Sunday, October 25, 2009

NYT Sunday 10/25/09 - Ask And Ye Shall Receive

Some service, huh? Just over a month after Peter King mentions that he wants to be in a New York Times crossword puzzle (in his Monday Morning QB column of September 21, 2009), Brendan Emmett Quigley obliges with a Sunday puzzle devoted to him. I wonder if this will start a trend? I would also like to be in a New York Times crossword puzzle.

I also wondered if Peter King had been right about not appearing in the crossword before. Apparently true, and you can see why with a name like King. Now if he'd been Peter Olan, he wouldn't have had to beg.

Magdalen and I really enjoyed this crossword, and one of the fun things about it was wondering just who 112-Across was, as we uncovered the quote. Working down the grid, we discovered the answer quite late. Overall, the puzzle wasn't too difficult, less of a struggle than we thought we might be in for when we saw the byline.
Solving time: 32 mins (with Magdalen, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 102a solo {What can one do?}
Solution

Brendan Emmett Quigley
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

"Wishful Thinking". A quotation from 112a Peter King {NBC football analyst/reporter and longtime writer}.
23a,28a,43a,57a,71a,80a,119a My goal in life is to be a clue in the New York Times crossword puzzle. I've never told anyone that, but it's true {A wish by 112-Across on 9/21/09}
94a Sports Illustrated {Magazine for which 112-Across writes}

Crucimetrics
Compilers
Brendan Emmett Quigley / Will Shortz
Grid
21x21 with 76 (17.2%) black squares
Answers
140 (average length 5.21)
Theme squares
113 (31.0%)
Scrabble points
578 (average 1.58)
Letters used
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Feature
Pangrammatic
New To Me

13a Cedric {___ Errol, main character in "Little Lord Fauntleroy"}. I have an image of the eponymous character without knowing much about the book, such as the period in which it was set. Little Lord Fauntleroy was the first children's novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, which appeared in serial form in the St. Nicholas Magazine between November 1885 and October 1886. Lord Dorincourt's favorite son Captain Errol marries an American and emigrates to the USA ... the shame of it! After Captain Errol dies, Mrs Errol brings up young Cedric in Brooklyn, NY, in genteel poverty circa 1885. Cedric unexpectedly inherits the Earldom and vast estates, becoming Lord Fauntleroy and going back to England to learn how to behave as an aristocrat. In the 1936 film adaptation, Cedric is played by famous child actor Freddie Bartholomew (1924–1992).



roid rage19a roid rage {Violent behavior due to excessive use of banned athletic substances}. The term roid rage was coined by the popular press in the mid-1980s for the increased aggression and hypomania that can arise from the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS). Actually proving a connection through clinical studies has proved problematic - it could just be that the sort of people who take steroids are the sort of people who are naturally aggressive.

Parliament50a ash {Parliament output?}. Magdalen had to explain this one to me: Parliament is a brand of cigarettes, introduced by Philip Morris in 1931 and distinctive for their "recessed paper filters and a sharp, tangy flavor". Since I've never smoked, I don't know the significance of that. I don't think Parliaments are sold in the UK - the name mightn't have as much cachet in a country that actually lives under a Parliament.

sigil125a sigil {Magical symbol}. Another one Magdalen came up with: she said she knew of sigils from some of the fiction she reads. The term probably comes from the Latin sigillum, meaning "seal", and signifies an abstract, semi-abstract, or pictorial symbol created for a specific magical purpose. Sigils are commonly found in Jewish mysticism and Kabbalistic magic, upon which much of Western magic is based. In recent times, the creation of sigils was popularized by the artist Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956).

Dick Armey1d Armey {Dick who was once House majority leader}. This one's for me ... I expect everyone else knows of this guy ... Dick Armey is a retired Republican congressman, apparently one of the engineers of the "Republican Revolution" of the 1990s, in which Republicans were elected to majorities of both houses of Congress for the first time in four decades. He was one of the chief authors of the Contract with America, which I'd also not heard of before.

Apu108d Apu {"Much ___ About Nothing" ("The Simpsons" episode)}. Yes, we fell for this, having Ado for a few seconds before reading the whole clue and realizing the neat reference to Apu via the 23rd episode of The Simpsons' seventh season. In this episode, a referendum is created that will require all illegal immigrants from Springfield to be deported. After learning that his friend Apu will be deported, Homer decides to help Apu prepare for a United States citizenship test so that he can become a legal citizen. As I write this, I'm still waiting for the renewal of my green card: my first one expired in September, but I got a letter granting me a year's extension while my I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence is being processed (the Vermont center takes 6 months to deal with the petition, but paradoxically only allows you to submit it 3 months in advance of you needing the renewal).

Noteworthy

arson82d arson {Hot topic in insurance}. "Hot" is witty in the context ... hence a bit surprising not to see the question mark at the end.

Feliz Año Nuevo100d año {It's got mayo}. Now something of a cliché, this totally foxed me the first time I saw it, so I guess I'd better recap: mayo is Spanish for May, being the fifth month of the year (año in Spanish). Woe betide anyone leaving the tilde off the N.

The Rest

1a Abba Eban {"My People" writer}; 9a S Dak {Its motto is "Under God, the people rule": Abbr.}; 20a Aetna {Humana competitor}; 22a Aquino {Time's 1986 Woman of the Year}; 25a Dunlop {Big name in tires}; 26a elm {___ bark beetle (pest)}; 27a Naldi {Nita of silents}; 30a Yeomen {___ of the Guard}; 34a Dina {Actress Merrill}; 36a fattest {Like the best wallets?}; 37a uptime {Working hours}; 40a Desi {Lucy's guy}; 42a utes {Big wheels}; 47a gag {[Yuck ... that's awful!]}; 51a alee {Toward the quiet side}; 52a eon {It seemingly never ends}; 53a aide {Page, e.g.}; 54a Sasha {Malia's sister in the White House}; 63a ort {Table scrap}; 65a shoe {Oxford, e.g.}; 66a epitomes {Paragons}; 67a toolbox {Garage container}; 73a Isidore {___ the Laborer, patron saint of farmers}; 74a oxymoron {Hell's Angels, e.g.}; 76a else {Aside from that}; 79a Aly {Prince ___ Khan, third husband of Rita Hayworth}; 84a segue {Transition}; 88a ayes {Words of agreement}; 89a ear {Musical sense}; 90a idle {Not in operation}; 92a EST {Christmas hours in N.Y.C.}; 93a ley {Law, in Lima}; 101a scum {Refuse}; 102a solo {What can one do?}; 103a Pacino {Actor who said "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse"}; 104a savanna {Tropical grassland}; 107a nova {Astronomer's sighting}; 109a hooves {Minotaur feet}; 114a sapor {Flavor}; 117a Eth. {Sudan neighbor: Abbr.}; 118a Adélie {Kind of penguin}; 124a vaster {More massive}; 126a test ride {Take for a spin}; 127a enters {Infiltrates, say}; 128a jeté {Ballet jump}; 129a one liter {Soda bottle size}.

2d Boyle {Danny who directed "Slumdog Millionaire"}; 3d bigmouths {Windbags}; 4d ado {Whirl}; 5d era {Long, long time}; 6d Bal {___ Harbour (Miami suburb)}; 7d agin {Sayin' no to}; 8d Nena {"99 Luftballons" pop group}; 9d said "I do" {Got hitched}; 10d definer {Noah Webster, for one}; 11d ate {"I already ___"}; 12d knit {Pullover, e.g.}; 13d cadette {Middle-school Girl Scout}; 14d equates {Draws a parallel between}; 15d dunces {Boneheads}; 16d rills {Streamlets}; 17d IN/OUT {Kind of tray}; 18d cope {Hack it}; 21d as of {Starting from}; 24d LL.D. {Obama's honorary deg. from Notre Dame}; 29d Baum {Creator of Oz}; 31d mph {Dashboard stat}; 32d été {"L'heure d'___" (2008 Juliette Binoche film)}; 33d Niña {Historic ship whose real name was Santa Clara}; 35d askew {Cockeyed}; 38d Mel C {Nickname of the Spice Girls' Sporty Spice}; 39d ewers {Porcelain containers, maybe}; 41d I Too {Poem with the lines "Nobody'll dare / Say to me, / 'Eat in the kitchen'"}; 43d I as {"___ in ice"}; 44d NSA {Hush-hush org.}; 45d Yeoh {Michelle of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"}; 46d in re {Memo intro}; 47d gizmo {Contraption}; 48d Adler {Freud disciple Alfred}; 49d geese {Canada ___}; 53d azo dye {Chemical coloring}; 55d Holmes {Famous deerstalker wearer}; 56d arbor {Shady spot}; 58d so I {"___ thought"}; 59d seven {John Elway, for the Broncos}; 60d DPI {Printer resolution meas.}; 61d Pisa {Piazza dei Miracoli town}; 62d utils. {Monthly expenditures: Abbr.}; 64d tort {Battery, e.g.}; 67d tonal {Like most music}; 68d oxeye {It has ray flowers}; 69d oy vey! {"Sheesh!"}; 70d XOO {Losing tic-tac-toe combo}; 72d Ely {Bridge expert Culbertson}; 75d NLer {Member of the Brew Crew, e.g.}; 77d soil {Dirty}; 78d end up {Land, eventually}; 81d dats {"___ all!" ("Fini!")}; 83d Elsa {___ Schneider, villainess in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"}; 85d get over it! {"Stop your moping!"}; 86d use {Capitalize on}; 87d ETD {Flight board fig.}; 91d etch {Impress permanently}; 94d scarier {More hairy}; 95d punkers {Some Warped Tour attendees}; 96d Omni {Big name in hotels}; 97d I lost it {Lame excuse for missing homework}; 98d lovable {Endearing}; 99d Rio {2016 Olympics locale}; 101d svelte {Thin}; 104d sedan {Alternative to a wagon}; 105d A-test {Secret event of '45}; 106d ants {Harvesters, e.g.}; 110d étude {Practice piece}; 111d sheer {Like some stockings}; 112d pave {Asphalt, e.g.}; 113d GHIJ {Run of letters}; 115d Otto {Germany's ___ von Bismarck}; 116d rien {Nothing, in Nantes}; 120d age {Subject of many lies}; 121d Tse {K'ung Fu-___ (Confucius)}; 122d STL {The Gateway to the West: Abbr.}; 123d tri- {Prefix with valent}.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This one was quite the puzzler for me since my local newspaper cut off the bottom of the clues, so eight were simply missing. Thank you!

Crossword Man said...

It happens. I can think of three or four cases where I've solved cryptics with the last few downs missing and usually you can arrive at the right solution. I'm not sure if it would be harder or easier with the fully checked American grids.