Saturday, August 8, 2009

NYT Sunday 8/9/09 - Crossover Successes

Magdalen and I took one look at Gossip Girl Interrupted and thought she'd be responsible for most of the rest of the thematics. This was based on our respective performances with Obsessed with TV: I score slightly less than the 25% correct one would expect from random selection of answers; Magdalen scores a little over 50% correct.

The contributions turned out to be a little more even than that, mainly because the shows and movies selected were really well known, which was good to see. We particularly liked Two and a Half Men in Black {One-quarter of a mourning lacrosse team?}, there being 10 players on a lacrosse team.
Solving time: 30 mins (with Magdalen, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 48d hairdo {Bob or weave}

"Made for TV-Movies": the long answers are hybrids of a TV show and a film, joined at the common word:
22a Gossip Girl Interrupted {Dirt-dishing lass who's been cut off?}
Gossip Girl and Girl Interrupted

44a Father Knows Best In Show {Dad is familiar with top Broadway star?}
Father Knows Best and Best In Show

66a Grey's Anatomy of a Murder {Actor Joel's crime scene analysis?}
Grey's Anatomy and Anatomy of a Murder

90a Two and a Half Men in Black {One-quarter of a mourning lacrosse team?}
Two and a Half Men and Men in Black

113a Sex and the City of Angels {Hollywood hanky-panky?}
Sex and the City and City of Angels


Patrick Blindauer and Andrea Carla Michaels
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

CompilersPatrick Blindauer & Andrea Carla Michaels / Will Shortz
Grid21x21 with 72 (16.3%) black squares
Answers140 (average length 5.27)
Theme squares105 (28.5%)
Scrabble points570 (average 1.54)
New To Me

80a Sara Lee {Brand that's universally liked?}. I actually got the answer before Magdalen, but only because I guessed it from the crossings we had, not because I knew the reference. I'm told Sara Lee has the slogan "Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee" (which is often misheard as "Nobody does it like Sara Lee" I gather).

15d 's up? {"How's it goin', man?"}. Magdalen had to parse this three-letter answer for it to make sense to me. Apparently it's one of a myriad slang corruptions of "what's up?". I was introduced to the Whassup? commercials soon after I arrived in the US, so 's up didn't surprise me.

hair weave48d hairdo {Bob or weave}. We both liked the way this clue looked to relate to pugilism. I had to ask M what a weave is: seemingly a type of hair extension.


28a Pelé {Star of football, to most of the world}. We were amused at the concession inherent in "to most of the world". To most of the world, "football" indeed means soccer, though we're not used to it meriting such qualification in NYT puzzles!

63a tee {Fourth of September?}. Literally the fourth (letter) of September, which is a T. When you've grown up on cryptic crosswords, it's hard to read a clue like this and not think of it in the required way.

2d an O {"Wheel of Fortune" purchase}. One of the funnier parts of Will Shortz's recent Q&A was the reader pointing out that año, when rendered as ANO in a grid, means not "year" in Spanish, but something rather rude ... who goes on to suggest año is therefore avoided. Perhaps today's constructors took that to heart!

11d GST {Prime meridian std.}. This very clue had caught me out before, and I suggested that Magdalen withhold the middle letter until the crossing decided it. Most people would think of Greenwich Mean Time as the standard at the prime meridian, which is true, but it's not the only one. Greenwich Sidereal Time is used by astronomers to simplify their calculations, avoiding the complications of basing time on earth's orbit round the sun. Our regular days are nearly 4 minutes longer than a sidereal day.

17d Enero {First of 12 abroad}. Talking of año, here's the first month in it.

49d orated {Said "Friends, Romans, countrymen ..."}. I still don't get the rules regarding using examples in clues. Why doesn't this call for a question mark at the end, or a "perhaps"? Standards seem to be different to that for cryptic crosswords.

84d CDE {B train?}. "train" here means retinue, ie what follows B (alphabetically).

92d neatnik {One who loves pick-ups?}. Oh yes, neatniks would rather you didn't leave stuff all over the place. I suppose the archetypal neatnik (or neatfreak as the Wikipedia article puts it) is Felix Ungar, Jack Lemmon's character in The Odd Couple.

The Rest

1a Balboa {Explorer who has a monetary unit named after him}; 7a twangs {Nasal tones}; 13a masses {"Huddled" group inscribed on the Statue of Liberty}; 19a ante up {Chip in}; 20a Go Irish {Notre Dame cry}; 21a equine {Like an ass}; 25a estival {Summery}; 26a Loca {"Livin' la Vida ___"}; 27a øre {Danish coin}; 31a Ste. {Jeanne d'Arc, for one: Abbr.}; 32a pilafs {Seasoned rice dishes}; 36a Manor {Wayne ___ (Gotham City abode)}; 38a Fleck {Entertainer Béla}; 40a I'm on it! {"Right away, boss!"}; 42a Edam {Cheese choice}; 51a TNT {Block buster?}; 52a Nia {Peeples of "Fame"}; 53a reprised {Played again}; 54a Ara {Constellation near Scorpius}; 55a hoarser {More raspy}; 57a Anna {"Finnegans Wake" wife}; 58a Iliad {Epic poem in dactylic hexameter}; 60a Apso {Lhasa ___ (dog)}; 64a IRT {N.Y.C. subway syst.}; 65a carte {See 114-Down}; 73a hello {Printing on many a name tag}; 74a hrs. {Ballpark figs.}; 75a obi {Japanese band}; 76a gods {Some depictions on a pyramid wall}; 77a alley {It may be blind}; 78a Shea {Bygone stadium}; 83a sat {Used a tuffet}; 84a charcoal {Backyard briquettes}; 86a cab {Hack}; 87a Mao {Red head, once?}; 95a Peel {Emma of "The Avengers"}; 96a menace {Dennis, to Mr. Wilson}; 97a saner {Comparatively right-minded}; 98a Petra {Ancient Jordanian city with rock carvings}; 101a lessor {Landlord}; 103a wds. {O.E.D. filler}; 106a Yoda {Jedi Council leader}; 107a Olé {"___ ELO" (1976 album)}; 108a toot {Blow the whistle}; 110a intense {Fervent}; 121a in a lie {Bad way to be caught}; 122a ossuary {Bone receptacle}; 123a regret {Lament}; 124a Tanaka {Tomoyuki ___, creator of Godzilla}; 125a said no {Just followed Nancy Reagan's advice?}; 126a lesson {Some blackboard writing}.

1d bag {Tote}; 3d Lts. {Some U.S.N.A. grads}; 4d beseech {Beg}; 5d ouis {Some votes in Québec}; 6d appts. {Calendar data: Abbr.}; 7d Tora {When tripled, a W.W. II movie}; 8d willpower {Self-control}; 9d Ari {"Entourage" agent Gold}; 10d Nin {"Seduction of the Minotaur" author}; 12d shelf {Continental ___}; 13d Merc {Grand Marquis, e.g., for short}; 14d Aquaman {Superhero with an octopus named Topo}; 16d sit on {Quash}; 18d Seder {Dinner that includes a reading}; 20d give in {Cry uncle}; 23d git! {"Skedaddle!"}; 24d rose tea {Beverage brewed from petals}; 28d pfft {Kaput}; 29d élan {Dash}; 30d Lett {Mikhail Baryshnikov, by birth}; 33d insp. {Clouseau title: Abbr.}; 34d library {Common setting in an Indiana Jones movie}; 35d ate into {Corroded}; 37d Ams {Pro-___}; 39d keno {Game played at the Mirage}; 41d more! {"Encore!"}; 43d did {Accomplished}; 45d riata {It's thrown from a horse}; 46d Karen {Carpenter of note}; 47d SSN {I.R.S. ID}; 50d waders {Waterproof boots}; 55d Hoyle {Noted rule maker}; 56d sea {Briny}; 58d ICU {Set of hospital rms.}; 59d large {Fries order at McDonald's, maybe}; 60d aghast {Shocked and awed}; 61d pre-law {Poli sci student's major, maybe}; 62d sell to {Do business with}; 64d IMs {Real-time e-notes}; 67d soy {Word with milk or sauce}; 68d The Rams {Colorado State, athletically}; 69d oracles {Future presenters of the past}; 70d for {In favor of}; 71d abaci {Summers}; 72d Milan {___ Kundera, author of "The Unbearable Lightness of Being"}; 78d shallot {Bulb in the kitchen}; 79d hah! {"LOL!"}; 80d Samaritan {Do-gooder}; 81d Alec {One of the Baldwins}; 82d ebbs {Goes back}; 85d of no {___ concern}; 87d mano {Hombre's hand}; 88d aced {Passed with flying colors}; 89d okra {Southern staple}; 91d Apr. {Financing fig.}; 93d new toy {Something you love to play with}; 94d lay eggs {What oviparous creatures do}; 98d posit {Surmise}; 99d Elena {"Marcus Welby, M.D." actress Verdugo}; 100d Texan {Old TV western starring Rory Calhoun, with "The"}; 102d ethos {Character of a community}; 104d Def {___ Leppard}; 105d snarl {What traffic and dogs do}; 109d odea {Greek theaters}; 111d Nyro {"Wedding Bell Blues" singer Laura}; 112d snee {Snick's partner}; 114d à la {With 65-Across, like some orders}; 115d esa {That, in Oaxaca}; 116d CSI {Hit TV show set in Las Vegas}; 117d IUD {Pill alternative, for short}; 118d ers {Stumblers' sounds}; 119d Leo {One of 13 popes}; 120d stn. {Stop on a track: Abbr.}.

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