Monday, October 12, 2009

NYT Monday 10/12/09 - C'est si bon

Donovan McNabbThis is an abbreviated form of my usual crossword post, as we are on a road trip for a few days. We are house-guests of former Philadelphians, so yesterday's agenda was sports dominated: we were glad to see both the Eagles and the Phillies win their games. This is great for my sporting education and I can just about remember now which is the (American) football team and which the baseball team.

Today's New York Times crossword used the familiar device of words differing only in the vowel, those being neatly ordered AEIOU down the grid. Even though I spotted the connection after seeing just BAN and BEN, the puzzle otherwise seemed slightly more challenging than usual ... or maybe my pace had just slowed down a little as a result of the Florida temperatures.

There was only one square where I had to make a guess, but the choice seemed obvious: I knew neither Charles Nelson Reilly (1931–2007), nor Jule Styne (1905–1994), but could the letter at their intersection be anything other than Y? I don't think so. Jule Styne wrote many classic songs, including the Oscar-winning Three Coins in the Fountain.


Solving time: 6 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 70a Eve {Adam's madam}
Solution

Richard Chisholm
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

BAN, BEN, BIN, BON, BUN:
18a swimming ban {Likely result of pollution along a beach}
23a Gentle Ben {Title bear of 1960s TV}
41a used clothing bin {Receptacle for some donations}
54a c'est si bon {"It's so good," in Paris}
62a hot cross bun {Lenten treat}
Crucimetrics
CompilersRichard Chisholm / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 36 (16.0%) black squares
Answers78 (average length 4.85)
Theme squares55 (29.1%)
Scrabble points287 (average 1.52)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Other Clues

1a ray {Bit of sunlight}; 4a gall {Effrontery}; 8a even up {Make equal, as the score}; 14a ewe {Ram's mate}; 15a owie {Sting, in baby talk}; 16a valise {Piece of luggage}; 17a tam {___-o'-shanter}; 20a are so {"You ___ wrong!"}; 22a Melba {Peach ___ (dessert)}; 26a urges {Says "Come on, try harder!," say}; 30a Roxy {Classic theater name}; 31a d'Or {"Le Coq ___"}; 33a alt. {Height: Abbr.}; 34a Lili {"___ Marlene" (W.W. II song)}; 37a uno {Half of dos}; 39a Reilly {Charles Nelson ___, longtime "Match Game" panelist}; 44a Model T {1910s-'20s flivver}; 45a tie {Make equal, as the score}; 46a ease {Simplicity}; 47a put {Postpone, with "off"}; 48a as a {Center of a simile}; 50a snit {Peeved state}; 52a stomp {Crush, with "on"}; 59a at sea {Bewildered}; 61a Italy {Milan's home}; 67a rim {Edge}; 68a Ararat {Mount where Noah landed}; 69a Taft {President before Wilson}; 70a Eve {Adam's madam}; 71a droops {Sags}; 72a shoo! {"Scat!"}; 73a set {Filming locale}.

1d retag {Change the price on at the store}; 2d aware {In the know}; 3d Yemen {The "heel" of the Arabian Peninsula}; 4d go solo {Leave the band and strike out on one's own}; 5d aww! {Exclamation before "How cute!"}; 6d LII {52, in old Rome}; 7d lemme {"___ at 'em!"}; 8d evil {Good's opposite}; 9d Van Buren {Abigail of "Dear Abby"}; 10d Elgar {Sir Edward who composed "Pomp and Circumstance"}; 11d nib {Point on a 13-Down}; 12d USA {"Made in the ___"}; 13d pen {Writing implement}; 19d mend {Darn, as socks}; 21d stride {Walk purposefully}; 24d exults {Rejoices}; 25d by no {___ means (not at all)}; 27d Galba {Emperor after Nero}; 28d Ellis {___ Island (onetime immigrants' arrival point)}; 29d Styne {Broadway songwriter Jule}; 32d orient {China and environs, once, with "the"}; 34d lumps {Swellings}; 35d is out {Has left the office}; 36d led to {Caused}; 38d Ott {Mel who was #4 at the Polo Grounds}; 40d I get it! {"Aha!"}; 42d claptrap {Nonsense}; 43d hiss {Sound of crowd disapproval}; 49d aces {King beaters}; 51d is into {Really digs}; 53d macro {Prefix with economics}; 55d easts {Certain bridge positions}; 56d bares {Reveals}; 57d olive {Martini go-with}; 58d NY Met {Citi Field player, for short}; 60d sots {Bar habitués}; 62d had {Owned}; 63d Orr {Bobby who was #4 at Boston Garden}; 64d tao {Chinese "way"}; 65d bah! {"Humbug!"}; 66d ufo {Sci-fi saucer}.

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