Monday, July 20, 2009

NYT Tuesday 7/21/09 - Armstrong Tactics

Henry & Ross at Niagara FallsThis is an abbreviated form of my usual blog, as I'm currently on vacation in Niagara Falls, Ontario. We were on the road most of the day, but had a chance to view the falls from the American side; I've been reading about them since childhood, so it was wonderful to come and see them firsthand.

We were lucky with the weather and saw the clouds of mist rising from the plunging water from several miles away. When we finally saw them close up, I was struck as much by the total width of the falls as their height (about 173 feet). We have now settled into a B&B on the Canadian side of the falls and will do the Maid of the Mist boat tour tomorrow.

Henry was there to help me solve this New York Times crossword and with his assistance, I was able to finish a Tuesday puzzle in record time. The anniversary of the first moon walk has been much anticipated in the media, so we guessed the theme immediately on seeing 20-Across. The remaining theme answers were very obvious and the non-thematic clues seemed straightforward, even for a Tuesday.
Solving time: 7 mins (with Henry, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 9d stamps {They may come in sheets}
Theme

Answers celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first moon walk on July 21, 1969.
20a MEN WALK ON MOON {New York Times headline of 7/21/69}
28a Neil Armstrong {Subject of a photo beneath 20-Across}
45a WE CAME IN PEACE, 55a FOR ALL MANKIND {Message left by 28-Across for future explorers}
The New York Times's store site shows what their front page of 7/21/69 looked like.

Solution

Donna S. Levin
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Crucimetrics
CompilersDonna S. Levin / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 36 (16.0%) black squares
Answers72 (average length 5.25)
Theme squares52 (27.5%)
Scrabble points296 (average 1.57)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Other Clues

1a Irish {Almost half of U.S. immigrants in 1840}; 6a toms {Male tabbies}; 10a Earp {O.K. Corral figure}; 14a Marlo {Actress Thomas}; 15a a rat {Smell ___ (be suspicious)}; 16a Xbox {Console used with the game Halo}; 17a aroar {Like stadiums after touchdowns}; 18a legal pads {Places to put briefs}; 22a SRO {Letters that please angels}; 23a tub {Clumsy boat}; 24a up a {Hoagy Carmichael lyric "___ lazy river ..."}; 25a D.O.A. {1988 Dennis Quaid/Meg Ryan movie}; 32a dolce {La ___ vita}; 33a Henie {Old-time Norwegian skating sensation}; 34a Kiri {Soprano ___ Te Kanawa}; 37a skids {Loses traction}; 40a LSTs {D-Day vessels}; 41a icons {Desktop symbols}; 43a Gotti {The Dapper Don}; 49a irk {Peeve}; 50a alg. {Geom. prerequisite}; 51a Ali {"Aladdin" hero}; 52a Mao {Little Red Book writer}; 59a a fortiori {Even more certain: Lat.}; 61a tilde {Diacritical squiggle}; 62a berg {Sight in the Arctic Ocean}; 63a noon {When morning ends}; 64a Eliot {"Silas Marner" author}; 65a eddy {Whirling water}; 66a esne {Anglo-Saxon laborer}; 67a doors {Opportunities, metaphorically}.

1d imams {Mosque leaders}; 2d rarer {Less common}; 3d iron-on {Like some patches}; 4d slaw {Cabbage dish}; 5d Horatio {Whom Hamlet calls "A man that Fortune's buffets and rewards / Hast ta'en with equal thanks"}; 6d talk back {Sass, with "to"}; 7d Oreo {McFlurry flavor}; 8d magnum {Large wine bottle}; 9d stamps {They may come in sheets}; 10d Expo {___ 67 (onetime Montreal event)}; 11d abandons {Forsakes}; 12d rod {Reel's partner}; 13d PXs {Stores for G.I.'s}; 19d loath {Reluctant}; 21d lulls {Respites}; 26d on it {Handling the matter}; 27d ages {Matures}; 29d Edina {Minneapolis suburb}; 30d reign {Have the throne}; 31d relic {Archaeologist's find}; 34d kiwi {Fuzzy fruit}; 35d icer {Cupcake finisher}; 36d Rockford {1970s James Garner TV title role}; 38d dopamine {Pleasure-associated neurotransmitter}; 39d stela {Inscribed pillar}; 42d smart {Natty}; 44d tainted {Not pure}; 46d Elaine {Julia's "Seinfeld" role}; 47d igloos {Inuit homes}; 48d Emilio {Estevez of the Brat Pack}; 53d and/or {Choice words}; 54d Odets {"Waiting for Lefty" playwright}; 56d orgy {Bacchanalian revelry}; 57d L. Ron {"Dianetics" author ___ Hubbard}; 58d kilo {D.E.A. seizure, maybe}; 59d Abe {The Rail Splitter}; 60d Fed {G-man}.

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