Saturday, August 15, 2009

NYT Saturday 8/15/09 - Speaking Volumes

This is an abbreviated form of my usual blog, as I'm currently in vacation mode while we have Dino_Burger, Coffee Jones and the little beans to stay. This Saturday New York Times crossword didn't turn out as well for me as those earlier in the week, perhaps because I was mentally tired after a grueling game of Settlers of Catan - a gift from our guests.

After 30 minutes attempting to solve the puzzle solo, I had the complete quote and the whole of the bottom half of the grid filled; but was struggling to make progress at the top. Wanting to get to bed reasonably early, I asked Magdalen to help with the remaining answers and we had the whole grid filled in another five minutes.
Solving time: 35 mins (with Magdalen, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 23a belt {Holdup accessory?}
Theme

A quotation:
19a The covers of 31a this book are 48a too far apart
{Scathing review attributed to Ambrose Bierce}
Solution

Matt Ginsberg
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Crucimetrics
CompilersMatt Ginsberg / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 34 (15.1%) black squares
Answers68 (average length 5.62)
Theme squares33 (17.3%)
Scrabble points280 (average 1.47)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Other Clues

1a masts {Brig pair}; 6a Sri {___ Vaishnavism (Hindu sect)}; 9a USPS {Org. that trademarked "Pony Express" in 2006}; 13a unpaid {Like some leaves}; 15a maniacal {Mad}; 17a Stiller and Meara {They appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" 36 times}; 20a von {De, across the Rhine}; 21a eels {Sources of some leather}; 22a is too {Grade school comeback}; 23a belt {Holdup accessory?}; 24a rms. {Hosp. units}; 25a boo {Reaction dreaded by a performer}; 26a Mr. Bones {Minstrel percussionist}; 28a court {Pursue, in a way}; 30a rags {Wear that's worn}; 34a AAAS {Some batteries}; 35a epics {Big productions}; 36a turkeys {They're often stuffed}; 39a eñe {16th letter of the Spanish alphabet}; 40a PTL {Old TV ministry inits.}; 43a OSHA {Agcy. concerned with ergonomics}; 44a O Lord {Prayer start}; 46a shoe {Last thing}; 47a Ute {Onetime foe of the Navajo}; 50a greenhouse gases {"Hot" political topic}; 52a hilltops {Where sledders start}; 53a daring {Strikingly original}; 54a sass {Cause for a kid getting grounded}; 55a -ose {Sweet ending?}; 56a recto {Half a leaf}.

1d muster {Summon}; 2d anthem {It's often played before the first play}; 3d spiels {Hucksters' deliveries}; 4d talcs {Baby showers?}; 5d silo {Titan's home}; 6d smart {Whiplike?}; 7d ransom {Free, but not for free}; 8d indoor {Like much plumbing}; 9d UAE {OPEC member: Abbr.}; 10d scavenge {Be a garbage collector}; 11d paroles {Releases from a spring board?}; 12d slants {They're not on the level}; 14d devious {Not on the level}; 16d IMF {Global lending org.}; 18d resorb {Break down and assimilate}; 23d boars {Sources of some leather}; 25d Boise {Snake feeder}; 27d brace {Pair}; 28d Chaka {Grammy winner Khan}; 29d toe {46-Across part}; 31d tar-heels {Cape Fear natives}; 32d operas {They're seen at Venice's La Fenice}; 33d kindred {Like-minded}; 34d Austria {Wienerwald's whereabouts}; 36d toughs {Ruffians}; 37d yoo-hoo {"Hello-o-o!"}; 38d sloops {Cousins of cutters}; 40d phasic {Occurring in stages}; 41d to rent {Letter's sign}; 42d lets go {Chooses to 46-Down}; 45d of use {Valuable}; 46d spare {Show clemency}; 48d TNT {Cause of a major downfall?}; 49d agar {Bacteriologist's base}; 51d els {Lines up?}.

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