Sunday, October 11, 2009

NYT Sunday 10/11/09 - Cooking the Books

This is an abbreviated form of my usual crossword post, as we are on a road trip for a few days. We've now reached our furthest point south, Jensen Beach - it's quite a shock for us to experience temperatures of 90°F with high humidity in mid-October.

It's not as far south as I've ever been though: I was born on an army base in Malaysia and traveled to Singapore during my first year before returning to the UK. I'm told I was very unhappy to come home to a British winter having spent most of my first year wearing nothing but a nappy/diaper. I had to check the latitudes to confirm that Singapore is virtually on the equator, while where we are in Florida is approximately 27°N.

Juan Ponce de LeonThe highlight of our last travel day was to visit and eat brunch in St. Augustine, where Juan Ponce de León landed in 1513 ... or so the locals claim - other places vying for the honor are Ponce de León Inlet and Melbourne Beach. I first heard about Juan through the June 8 puzzle.

Magdalen and I seemed to get along OK with this Sunday puzzle: several of the authors were unfamiliar to us, but the pun made it easy enough to guess the answer anyway. We were surprised by the number of non-theme answers that neither of us knew, for example: 40a wha {"___ hoppen?"}, which seems to relate to a Ricky Ricardo catchphrase on I Love Lucy; 103a Scripps {Big newspaper company, informally} referring to the E. W. Scripps media empire; 5d Ederle {Gertrude ___, first woman to swim the English Channel}; 11d NASD {Former stock regulating org.}; and 56d Aku {When repeated, a Thor Heyerdahl title, referring to Aku-Aku.
Solving time: 31 mins (with Magdalen, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 74d Lenin {Big Red}

Randolph Ross
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]


The surnames of two writers are joined together to suggest the title of a book they might co-author:
22a Harte Burns {Bret and Robert's treatise on acid reflux?}
24a West London {Nathanael and Jack's travel guide about Heathrow's environs?}
37a Swift Walker {Jonathan and Alice's account of a pedestrian in a hurry?}
47a Snow White {C. P. and E. B.'s essay on purity?}
59a Carr Parker {Caleb and Robert B.'s novel about valet service?}
70a Steele Mann {Richard and Thomas's book about a robot?}
83a Stout King {Rex and Stephen's biography of Henry VIII?}
90a Wilde Singer {Oscar and Isaac's profile of Little Richard?}
109a Brown Woolf {Dan and Virginia's story of a dark-colored predator?}
111a PoundStone {Ezra and Irving's memoir of a stand-up comic?}
36d Foote Bunyan {Horton and John's podiatry journal article?}
40d Wright Price {Richard and Reynolds's bargain hunting manual?}
CompilersRandolph Ross / Will Shortz
Grid21x21 with 71 (16.1%) black squares
Answers140 (average length 5.29)
Theme squares122 (33.0%)
Scrabble points594 (average 1.61)
Other Clues

1a angle {Fish}; 6a win {Walk away with}; 9a Honus {___ Wagner, player on an ultrarare baseball card}; 14a Adam {Fictional inspector Dalgliesh}; 18a cooed {Sounded soft and sweet}; 19a Jane {Name after "you"}; 20a Omani {Gulf Stater}; 21a game {Willing}; 26a theorem {Prove it}; 27a O Canada {It includes the line "The True North strong and free!"}; 29a peaks {Maxima}; 30a flap {To-do}; 31a tabor {Diminutive drum}; 32a crew {Team on the Thames}; 34a gaffe {Faux pas}; 40a wha {"___ hoppen?"}; 43a iso- {Prefix with metric}; 44a Sue Me {"Guys and Dolls" song}; 45a Astaires {Old dancing duo}; 50a état {South Dakota, to Pierre}; 53a I stink {Admission of ineptitude}; 54a mete out {Apportion}; 55a be a dear {"Come on, help me out"}; 57a ogre {Nightmare figure}; 58a Oregon {___ Treaty, establishing the 49th parallel as a U.S. border}; 62a hid {Went undercover}; 63a bod {Hunk's pride}; 64a pole {Flag holder}; 65a trou' {Drop ___ (start to strip)}; 66a ait {Small island}; 68a emu {Six-footer from Australia}; 73a dimple {Golf ball feature}; 76a lend {Advance}; 78a wired up {Very tense and excited}; 79a motored {Went by Saturn, say}; 80a say I do {Make a commitment}; 82a cess {British tax}; 85a Arapahoe {Ally of the Cheyenne}; 87a Sioux {Another ally of the Cheyenne}; 88a Cie {Ltd., in Paris}; 89a San {With 100-Across, Naples opera house Teatro di ___}; 94a glens {Dells}; 96a estd. {Abbr. before a date}; 97a atman {Hindu soul}; 98a Nero {He was born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus}; 100a Carlo {See 89-Across}; 103a Scripps {Big newspaper company, informally}; 105a in a spot {Stuck}; 113a Elba {Italian isle}; 114a tubal {___ ligation}; 115a lung {Breather}; 116a picks {Plays the banjo, e.g.}; 117a rosy {Looking good}; 118a slope {Coordinate geometry calculation}; 119a etc {Sentence shortener, for short}; 120a stops {Stations}.

1d acht {Berlin octet}; 2d Noah {Preparer for a flood}; 3d gore {Colosseum spectacle}; 4d let off {Freed}; 5d Ederle {Gertrude ___, first woman to swim the English Channel}; 6d war {Declaration of 1941}; 7d in no time {Very quickly}; 8d Nescafé {Food brand name with an accent}; 9d how now {Question to a brown cow}; 10d O'Meara {Golf champ Mark}; 11d NASD {Former stock regulating org.}; 12d untacks {Removes from a bulletin board}; 13d s'il {Part of R.S.V.P.}; 14d Agnew {For whom Safire wrote the words "nattering nabobs of negativism"}; 15d Dada {Early vocabulary word}; 16d amok {Madly}; 17d Men's {Department store department}; 19d jump suit {One-piece outfit}; 23d Bea {Emmy-winning Arthur}; 25d operas {They're on the Met schedule}; 28d ABT {Co. that dances at the Met}; 33d retire {Go to bed}; 34d gismo {Gadget}; 35d Asner {"Fort Apache, The Bronx" actor}; 38d wet {Sweaty}; 39d later on {In the future}; 41d Henri {Artist Rousseau}; 42d asked {Posed}; 44d shun {Keep away}; 46d Ito {Judge who presided over 1995's most celebrated trial}; 48d we go {"And away ___!"}; 49d woods {Some drivers}; 50d -eer {Sonnet ending}; 51d tap-tap {Typist's sound}; 52d a darn {Give ___ (care)}; 55d breeds {Holstein and Hereford}; 56d Aku {When repeated, a Thor Heyerdahl title}; 59d coerced {Browbeaten}; 60d allée {Parisian walk}; 61d Raitt {Grammy winner Bonnie}; 64d Pei {Javits Center architect}; 67d I'm ok {Response to "How are you?"}; 68d Elsa's {"___ Dream" from "Lohengrin"}; 69d Meara {Stiller and ___}; 71d two-hit {Like a really good game for a pitcher}; 72d mus. {R&B and C&W: Abbr.}; 73d doux {Very sweet, as Champagne}; 74d Lenin {Big Red}; 75d edges {Noses out}; 77d dip {Temporary falloff}; 79d mourning {Sad time}; 81d Dawson {Former capital of the Yukon}; 83d signs out {Leaves with notice}; 84d toe {___ loop (skating move)}; 86d old soul {King Cole, e.g.}; 87d Snapple {Brand that has "Real Facts" on its products}; 91d earlap {Bit of winter protection}; 92d stifle {Archie Bunker's plea to Edith}; 93d imp {Baby-sitter's headache}; 94d grasps {Absorbs}; 95d lost it {Blew one's top}; 96d Elway {Stanford QB drafted #1 in 1983}; 99d end {Boundary}; 100d CBer {Semi conductor?}; 101d Arlo {Janis's comics partner}; 102d robs {Fleeces, perhaps}; 104d Cobo {Detroit's ___ Center}; 106d poco {Little, in La Scala}; 107d on KP {Cleaning up a mess, maybe}; 108d Tess {Mrs. Dick Tracy}; 110d wts. {Pkg. stats}; 112d UNC {A.C.C. school}.

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