Sunday, August 9, 2009

NYT Monday 8/10/09 - Show One's Hand

My reaction to seeing palm in 17-Across was that the theme would be handheld devices, there being enough now to perhaps make the basis for a crossword. But although 27-Down started the right way, handset pointed to parts of the human hand.

It took a lot of crossings before I worked out knuckleball, which I gather is a specific pitch in baseball in which minimal spin is imparted onto the ball, giving it an erratic trajectory. I hope to learn much more about this sort of thing when we go to the Baseball Hall of Fame this week.
Solving time: 6 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 30d tea {What the Hatter and the March Hare drank}

Phrases beginning with parts of the hand, as indicated by 27d handset {Phone part ... or a title for this puzzle?}:
17a palm reader {Examiner of heart and life lines}
56a nail polish {Small bottle in a purse}
10d knuckle ball {Slow pitch with a little spin}
25d finger paint {Messy art medium for kids}

Paula Gamache
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

CompilersPaula Gamache / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 38 (16.9%) black squares
Answers78 (average length 4.79)
Theme squares49 (26.2%)
Scrabble points311 (average 1.66)
New To Me

The Citadel39a cadet {Student at the Citadel}. Hmm ... something to do with Kafka? The answer suggests otherwise: I gather The Citadel's full title is "The Military College of South Carolina", one of six senior military colleges in the US. It offers Reserve Officers' Training Corps programs, the initials of which get into crosswords a fair bit.

Dansk42a Dansk {Tableware inspired by Scandinavian design}. A bit obscure for a Monday, but the answer turned out to be familiar as the Danish language (in Danish). I gather that the success of Dansk tableware is the result of entrepreneur Ted Nierenberg persuading designer Jens Quistgaard (there's a great crossword name) that his handmade flatware combining teak and stainless steel could be mass-produced. The Dansk company has since branched out into cooking utensils and other home furnishings.


21a cubicle {Partitioned-off work space}. My cubicle days are over I hope. I can't see the word without thinking of that master of office humor, Scott Adams.

64a tetr- {Four: Prefix}. Magdalen thought this should properly be tetra-, and it is for most compound words, but the A isn't necessary for the likes of tetrode and tetroxide.

65a Emil {First Best Actor winner Jannings}. Remembered him from a March puzzle. Emil Jannings was the first person to be presented with an Oscar - he won in 1929 for The Way of All Flesh and The Last Command.

24d exile {Napoleon, on Elba}. Something most word gamers know, thanks to that famous palindrome "Able was I ere I saw Elba".

The Mad Hatter's Tea Party30d tea {What the Hatter and the March Hare drank}. It can sometimes be difficult to choose a "Clue of the Puzz" on a Monday, when the clues tend to be very straightforward. This one appealed to me perhaps because I'm a great tea drinker: between us, Magdalen and I get through about three pots of tea per day. The Mad Hatter's Tea Party is of course engraved on everyone's memory thanks in large part to the Sir John Tenniel illustrations.

Menlo Park43d Menlo {___ Park (Edison's lab site)}. This rang a bell from somewhere, but I've no idea why. There's a Menlo Park in California, but the one Edison is associated with is in New Jersey. He set up his research labs in an unsuccessful real estate development of what is now Edison, NJ in 1876 and came up with some of his most famous inventions there before moving on to West Orange, NJ in 1886.

47d Ollie {One-toothed dragon of old children's TV}. Nice to see Kukla, Fran and Ollie come around so quickly, as they've stayed in my mind since the May puzzle when I first met the trio.

57d I Am {"___ the Walrus"}. A bit of a gimme for me as I Am the Walrus was once (strange to say) the subject of a Listener Crossword under my editorship, to the dismay of some solvers.

The Rest

1a zeal {Intense enthusiasm}; 5a Pete {Townshend of the Who}; 9a mkts. {Stock exchanges: Abbr.}; 13a aria {Diva's solo}; 14a exalt {Praise highly}; 16a anew {All over again}; 19a rule {"Look twice before crossing," e.g.}; 20a balm {Soothing ointment}; 23a ref {N.B.A. official}; 26a mesh {Fishnet stocking material}; 28a masks {Halloween purchases}; 29a exited {Left the building}; 31a appeal {Attractiveness}; 33a linen {Sheets, pillowcases, etc.}; 34a sneer {Look of disdain}; 35a ETs {Beings from out of this world, in brief}; 38a alga {Pond organism}; 40a abut {Border on}; 41a yee {"___-haw!" (western rider's cry)}; 43a Miata {Sporty Mazda}; 44a rebuke {Call on the carpet}; 46a peg leg {Pirate support, stereotypically}; 47a opals {Iridescent gems}; 48a T-men {Feds who catch counterfeiters}; 50a Lee {Golfer Trevino}; 51a classic {Enduring literary work}; 53a UNLV {The Runnin' Rebels of the N.C.A.A.}; 55a alit {Came to earth}; 61a sine {___ qua non}; 62a grata {Persona non ___}; 63a Ashe {Tennis champ Arthur}; 66a doux {Billet-___ (love letter)}.

1d zap {Hit with high voltage}; 2d era {Chapter in history}; 3d ail {Feel sick}; 4d lamb {Gentle creature}; 5d peeled {Skinned, as potatoes}; 6d exams {Midterms and finals}; 7d tad {Tiny bit}; 8d elec. {Basic util.}; 9d Marisa {Actress Tomei}; 11d tells {Spills the beans}; 12d Swee {___' Pea (Popeye's boy)}; 15d trumpet {Louis Armstrong's instrument}; 18d ramen {Japanese noodle dish}; 22d Baer {1930s boxing champ Max}; 23d relay {Race with batons}; 32d peek {Sneak preview}; 34d sank {Sent to the bottom}; 36d tutee {Private pupil}; 37d stage {Where a 51-Down performs}; 39d causing {Producing as a result}; 40d AIG {Insurance giant in 2009 news}; 42d dbls. {Two-base hits: Abbr.}; 45d Easter {Egg-dyeing time}; 46d pen pal {Someone from whom you might collect exotic stamps}; 49d multi- {Prefix with vitamin}; 51d cast {See 37-Down}; 52d care {Give a darn}; 54d Vlad {Prince called "the Impaler," who was the inspiration for Dracula}; 58d iso- {Equal: Prefix}; 59d Shu {Moo ___ pork}; 60d hex {Evil spell}.

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