Wednesday, September 2, 2009

NYT Thursday 9/3/09 - Fundamentalism

I found this New York Times crossword something of a struggle by Thursday standards, perhaps because I was trying too hard to get it out of the way before a short road trip to Philadelphia to see a Phillies game. "More haste, less speed" seems to apply to crossword solving, in my experience.

Anyway, I guessed after about three minutes that the theme involved reversals of the starred down answers, when it was obvious rear gunner would only fit upwards. With this, I was able to make great progress on the right hand side of the grid, but I had problems all over the left half and especially in the northwest corner. The crux was deciding what to do about the crossing of Patmore and tens, which I negotiated with a bit of judgment and a bit of good luck.
Solving time: 18 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 1d pack {Have heat}
Theme

Phrases starting with synonyms for "bottom" (in the sense of the buttocks) are entered upwards, as indicated by 20d bottoms up! {"Cheers!" ... or a hint to answering this puzzle's five starred clues}. The other four starred clue answers are:
6d seat cover {Auto accessory}
12d rear gunner {Crewman on the tail of a bomber}
28d Fanny Brice {1968 Barbra Streisand starring role}
35d rump roast {Beef cut}
Fanny Brice (1891–1951) is a name I vaguely remembered, though some research was needed to see that her life is the basis for Funny Girl the musical and film.



Solution

C. W. Stewart
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Crucimetrics
CompilersC. W. Stewart / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 34 (15.1%) black squares
Answers76 (average length 5.03)
Theme squares47 (24.6%)
Scrabble points297 (average 1.55)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
New To Me

Mrs. Coventry Patmore1a Patmore {English poet Coventry ___, who wrote "The Angel in the House"}. I'm sure I've come across Coventry Patmore (1823-1896) at some point, but couldn't reliably remember whether the surname was Patmore and Padmore. I knew tens place was possible for 3-Down and took the gamble that there wasn't a sitcom (e.g.) called Den's Place. The Angel in the House is a narrative poem about an ideal happy marriage, the "angel" being Coventry's first wife Emily (here painted by Millais).

37a Heloise {Popular newspaper columnist who writes for Good Housekeeping}. I suppose it's good to get away from Abélard's lover once in a while, but there was little chance I'd have come across Heloise the columnist before. In fact there have been two of them: mother Heloise Bowles (1919-1977) and daughter Poncé Kiah Marchelle Heloise Cruse Evans.

5d Oliva {Twin Tony whose #6 jersey was retired}. Didn't remember this guy from the Baseball Hall of Fame, but it turns out Tony hasn't been inducted, injuries hampering an otherwise stellar career. Twin, I see, refers to the Minnesota Twins - my assumption was he had a twin brother in the game (silly me!). Tony Oliva played his entire career for the Twins and had the nickname Tony-O.

Ann Taylor11d Ann {___ Taylor (clothier)}. Don't remember seeing an Ann Taylor outlet in my travels, but apparently there are 869 stores bearing the name, so I may just not have been paying attention.

Dove52d Dove {Chocolate brand}. The only Dove I know is the soap brand (which I pronounce DOUGH-vay as if it were "where" in Italian). Oh I see, Dove is American for "Galaxy", the Mars product I'm familiar with from the UK.

Noteworthy

20a PEI {Canadian prov. on Atlantic Time}. Logically, if it is that far east and three letters, it can only be Prince Edward Island.

24a ISU {Big 12 sch.}. There are so many schs. with the initials ISU that I had to check The Crucy League to confirm that the Cyclones of Iowa State University were being referenced.

29a toss {It can turn up heads}. Anyone else fall for coin here?

elbow44a elbow {Where a hole may develop}. Nothing to do with the ozone layer, these holes come from too much resting of elbows on tables - something my parents tried to discourage in me. My current solution: wear nothing but tee shirts.

packing heat1d pack {Have heat}. I thought fairly early on that "heat" might mean a firearm, but it still took ages to sort out the answer. Nice one.

3d tens {___ place}. I thought this fill-in-the-blank was unusually tough, since it could in theory have involved commercial names such as Ben's Place, Den's Place, Len's Place etc. That I couldn't remember any of those being national institutions, and knew tens place to be a real term in math, persuaded me that 1-Across must be Patmore in preference to other possibilities.

8d obsess {Dwell}. Nicely misleading use of "dwell" in the sense of fixing one's attention (on something).

14d Hyde {Fictional Mr.}. Looks to be a reference to the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde of the many adaptations.



The Rest

8a on earth {Where "Thy will be done," in a prayer}; 15a areoles {Parts of irises}; 16a beanery {Cheap cafe}; 17a connive {Scheme}; 18a shunned {Like outcasts}; 19a Kosovo {Balkan land}; 21a née {Previously called}; 22a cactus {Desert water source}; 26a feel {Bleed (for)}; 30a sight {Rifle part}; 33a lace {Skate part}; 34a aim {Profitability, for a business}; 35a terror {Not just a brat}; 36a as I {"___ always say ..."}; 39a awe {Sense of "wow"}; 40a merges {Tricky highway maneuvers}; 42a to a {___ fault}; 43a vets {Checks for accuracy}; 45a St Lo {Town in W.W. II headlines}; 46a Eros {Counterpart of Thanatos, in Freudian psychology}; 47a yon {Not here}; 48a hoards {Stashes}; 50a awn {Plant bristle}; 52a dab {Tiny bit}; 53a posing {Not authentic}; 57a Bangkok {World capital known locally as Krung Thep Mahanakhon}; 60a amnesia {Overused soap opera plot device}; 61a evasive {Not to the point, say}; 62a dueling {Swordplay, e.g.}; 63a defames {Runs down}; 64a dresses {Sack and others}.

2d -aroo {Ending with buck}; 4d monocle {Item on a chain}; 7d ESE {Sioux Falls-to-Cedar Rapids dir.}; 9d Nehi {Soft drink since 1924}; 10d eau {Liquide clair}; 13d tree {Corner}; 23d toil {Sweat}; 24d I see {"Aha!"}; 25d Sir {"My dear fellow"}; 26d flame {One in an affair}; 27d easel {Holder of a black marker}; 31d how-to {Purchase by Mr. Fix-It}; 32d tress {Lock}; 37d hewn {Chopped}; 38d Iola {Kansas town on the Neosho River}; 41d goo {Fake blood, maybe}; 43d vessels {Skiffs and scows}; 45d shakes {Fountain orders}; 49d donee {Beneficiary}; 50d abed {Opposite of up}; 51d wave {You might catch one near a beach}; 54d Isis {Goddess who restored Osiris to life}; 55d nine {Highest score in baccarat}; 56d gags {Comedian's stock}; 58d GSA {Fed. purchasing org.}; 59d Kim {Kipling novel}; 60d add {Hyperactivity may be a sign of it, for short}.

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