Sunday, August 23, 2009

NYT Monday 8/24/09 - Join De Queue

The thematic treatment in this Monday New York Times crossword was one I've seen used a few times before, so once I got Don Quixote, I guessed the other answers would also have the initials D.Q. and put the Ds where I knew they'd have to go. I'm not sure if there's any reason for honoring DQ - the current Dairy Queen logo uses just those letters, so maybe that was the inspiration for the puzzle?

Time for an update on my "recreational" solving. After finishing Frank Longo's Cranium-Crushing Crosswords, I looked for more difficult puzzles and was surprised to find a different series with an almost identical name. Peter Gordon's Cranium-Crushing Friday Crosswords were originally published in the ill-fated New York Sun from 2002-2003. Most of the puzzles are from constructors we see regularly in the NYT, but whereas the toughest NYT puzzles are themeless, many of these Sun puzzles are thematic and have a difficulty level equivalent to a Friday NYT. I believe there are at least two other "Cranium-Crushing" books from the Sun when I finish this one.
Solving time: 6 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 22d Have {One who's well off}
Theme

Names with the initials D.Q.:
17a Don Quixote {Tilter at windmills}

Don Quixote

49a Dairy Queen {Place to order a Blizzard}

Dairy Queen

11d Dennis Quaid {Star of "The Rookie," 2002}



25d Doctor Quinn {Medicine woman of 1990s TV}


Solution

Anthony J. Salvia
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Crucimetrics
CompilersAnthony J. Salvia / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 36 (16.0%) black squares
Answers76 (average length 4.97)
Theme squares42 (22.2%)
Scrabble points329 (average 1.74)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Noteworthy

29a loaves {Biblical objects of multiplication}. You'd have thought the answer could be any of the animals leaving the Ark, as Noah's parting words were "go forth and multiply". loaves came as a bit of a surprise, but still seems logical.

22d Have {One who's well off}. Neat way to clue one of the most familiar words in the English language. The Oxford English Dictionary traces this use of Have (and Havenot) to Edward Bulwer-Lytton's history of Athens.
But there was a still more fearful division than these, the three legitimate parties, now existing in Athens: a division, not of principle, but of feeling—that menacing division which, like the cracks in the soil, portending earthquake, as it gradually widens, is the symptom of convulsions that level and destroy,—the division, in one word, of the rich and the poor—the Havenots and the Haves.
From Athens: Its Rise and Fall
24d Isaac {Newton with a law named after him}. I wonder why the clue says just "a law": it's not wrong, but it would seem more natural to have "laws" given Newton described three laws of motion.

37d Erma {Bombeck who wrote "The Grass Is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank"}. I still have difficulties remembering whether Ms. Bombeck was an Irma or an Erma, so I'm glad when the crossing answer is clear. The Grass Is Always Greener over the Septic Tank was first published in 1976.

The Rest

1a chefs {Kitchen V.I.P.'s}; 6a wipe {Towel (off)}; 10a idol {Rock star, say}; 14a U-boat {W.W. II German sub}; 15a apex {Peak}; 16a Demi {Moore of "G.I. Jane"}; 19a Enid {City NNW of Oklahoma City}; 20a bred {Raised, as livestock}; 21a chants {"Dee-fense! Dee-fense!" and others}; 23a side-bar {Little article accompanying a bigger article}; 27a gratis {For free}; 28a US Open {One of golf's four majors}; 30a raced {Sprinted}; 31a Monte {___ Carlo (part of Monaco)}; 32a QBs {"Hike!" callers in football, for short}; 35a gate {Entryway}; 36a forge {Fabricate, as a signature}; 37a euro {Multinational currency}; 38a Eco {Umberto ___, author of "The Name of the Rose"}; 39a elves {Santa's little helpers}; 40a brain {Cranium contents}; 41a retain {Hire, as a lawyer}; 43a gaming {Industry in Las Vegas and Atlantic City}; 44a square {Plaza}; 45a parades {Plaza displays}; 46a course {Psychology 101, e.g.}; 47a zero {Number of calories in water}; 48a Elie {Nobelist Wiesel}; 55a dink {Softly hit ball in tennis}; 56a unto {"Render ___ Caesar ..."}; 57a urges {Eggs on}; 58a Edna {Writer ___ St. Vincent Millay}; 59a pain {Aspirin target}; 60a Enola {___ Gay (W.W. II plane)}.

1d cud {What a cow chews}; 2d HBO {"Entourage" network}; 3d eon {Ages and ages}; 4d FAQ {Online help page}; 5d stubbed {Struck accidentally, as the toe}; 6d waxer {Floor finisher}; 7d iPod {Item with earbuds}; 8d pet {Favorite}; 9d execrate {Detest}; 10d ideate {Think creatively}; 12d omits {Fails to mention}; 13d lids {Jar tops}; 18d Iran {Ahmadinejad's country}; 23d surge {Increase in troop levels}; 26d épée {Fencing sword}; 27d gongs {Pagoda instruments}; 29d Loren {Italian 31-Down star Sophia}; 31d movie {See 29-Down}; 33d brine {Salt water}; 34d songs {Hymns, e.g.}; 36d flared up {Came back strong, as allergies}; 39d etas {Greek H's}; 40d baroque {Like the works of Handel and Bach}; 42d eureka {"I've got it!"}; 43d Gary {Indiana birthplace of the Jackson 5}; 44d solid {Sphere or cube}; 45d Peron {Argentine dictator who was ousted in 1955}; 46d cede {Relinquish}; 47d ziti {Casserole pasta}; 50d an A {"Gimme ___!" (Alabama cheerleader's cry)}; 51d urn {Container at many receptions}; 52d ego {Maniacal leader?}; 53d eel {Ingredient in some sushi rolls}; 54d NSA {Intelligence-gathering org.}.

2 comments:

Daniel Myers said...

This is a pet peeve of mine, so feel free to disregard as not particularly germane to puzzle creation or solving: I simply don't like anything in empirical science being called a "law." I wonder how Newton's observations came to be called such. In any event, Einstein broke them all. We don't refer to Einstein's "law" of gravity - the bending of space-time - though. And Quantum Electrodynamics? Well, as I say, it's merely a personal peeve; and it is, after all, a Monday.:-)

Crossword Man said...

Yes, "rule of thumb" would be more honest, but less pithy.