Tuesday, August 11, 2009

NYT Tuesday 8/11/09 - The French Connection

This is an abbreviated form of my usual blog, as I'm on vacation in Cooperstown, NY. I've so far seen two operas at Glimmerglass and lots of baseball memorabilia at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Unfortunately, internet access has been a problem, and we didn't have the promised wifi at our B&B (it's great otherwise). So I couldn't get down to solve this puzzle till Tuesday afternoon. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible ...
Solving time: 8 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 49a miff {Tee off}
Theme

Phrases starting with words that can follow French, indicated by 52d French {Word that can precede the starts of 20-, 28-, 46- and 57-Across}:
20a dressing up {Pre-costume ball activity} - French dressing
28a horn-rimmed {Like Buddy Holly's glasses} - French horn
46a fries an egg {Prepares part of breakfast, say} - French fries
57a Kiss Me Kate {Cole Porter musical that's a play within a play} - French kiss
Solution

Oliver Hill
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Crucimetrics
CompilersOliver Hill / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 37 (16.4%) black squares
Answers78 (average length 4.82)
Theme squares47 (25.0%)
Scrabble points297 (average 1.58)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Other Clues

1a tsp. {Baking soda meas.}; 4a Luigi {Brother of Nintendo's Mario}; 9a asset {Good thing}; 14a Oto {Oklahoma Indian}; 15a agrin {Beaming}; 16a socio- {Prefix with -path}; 17a Pak. {Islamabad's land: Abbr.}; 18a plant {Nursery purchase}; 19a as one {In unison}; 23a Utes {Salt Lake City team}; 24a ovate {Ellipsoidal}; 25a erases {Uses rubber on}; 27a get a {"___ life!"}; 32a scary {Like Stephen King novels}; 34a zeals {Burning passions}; 35a enc. {Bottom-of-letter abbr.}; 38a HMO {Patient care grp.}; 39a die {Angry cry to a vampire}; 41a nil {Zippo}; 42a forte {Strong suit}; 44a Linda {Supermodel Evangelista}; 49a miff {Tee off}; 53a basset {Long-eared hound}; 54a comer {Rising star}; 55a debt {Figure in red}; 60a alarm {Break-in deterrent}; 62a glean {Pick up bit by bit}; 63a gin {Tonic go-with}; 64a wager {$2 on the gray mare, e.g.}; 65a hit it {Bandleader's command}; 66a Esc {Upper-left key}; 67a sleet {Winter accident cause}; 68a spins {Starts a turn on "Wheel of Fortune"}; 69a shh {Library admonition}.

1d top dog {Head honcho}; 2d starve {"... ___ a fever"}; 3d poke at {Jab with a finger}; 4d lapse {Memory glitch}; 5d ugli {Wrinkly citrus}; 6d Iran {"Axis of evil" land}; 7d gingery {Pungent, like some Asian cuisine}; 8d in turn {One after another}; 9d as a {Simile words}; 10d so sue me! {"Well, sorr-r-r-y!"}; 11d Scotsman {Tartan wearer}; 12d eine {"___ kleine Nachtmusik"}; 13d toes {Tot's "piggies"}; 21d stas. {Metro map points: Abbr.}; 22d par {Scorecard figure}; 26d sized {Evaluated, with "up"}; 28d ham {Western omelet need}; 29d oro {Conquistador's prize}; 30d Eli {"Y"-sporting collegian}; 31d DSL {Upgrade from a dial-up connection}; 33d chess {Knight's realm?}; 35d eff {Letter before gee}; 36d nor {Hide-hair link}; 37d cribbage {Game to 31}; 39d dig {Like, slangily}; 40d -ing {Gerund end}; 43d tea tree {Source of an oil used in aromatherapy}; 44d let slip {Blurt out, say}; 45d amok {Bad way to run}; 47d ask {Set a price at}; 48d neighs {Paddock sounds}; 50d images {Camera card contents}; 51d fetish {Fixation}; 54d cents {Number after a period}; 55d daws {Crow cousins}; 56d El Al {Flier to Ben-Gurion}; 58d SETI {Alien-seeking program: Abbr.}; 59d Main {Common street name}; 61d Mr. T {Villain player in "Rocky III"}.

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