Wednesday, October 14, 2009

NYT Thursday 10/15/09 - HI There

This is an abbreviated form of my usual crossword post, as we are on a road trip for a few days. After a grueling day with over nine hours of driving, we've now made it as far north as Maryland and I'm feeling the need to change out of those shorts I put on for the Florida temperatures.

The Thursday New York Times crossword was generally straightforward, but had some thorny sections that I eventually needed to collaborate with Magdalen on. I worked out champion jockey (Eddie) Arcaro on my own, as I could just about remember Lodi in Italy.

The intersection of 54d bag and 60a ginned also caused trouble, as it took ages to realize "marketing" in the clue to the former refers to shopping for groceries. Having food bagged for you (and the "paper or plastic" business) is still rather alien to me, as the norm in the UK is for customers to bag their own produce and hope to keep up with the cashier as items roll off the end of the conveyor belt.

Iolani PalaceMuch the toughest area was the intersection of ʻIolani, with Aldens John and Priscilla. Rather than make a pure guess at the intersecting letter, I asked Magdalen to advise and with that help could complete the puzzle with reasonable confidence. The wording of the ʻIolani clue is somewhat confusing, since the ʻIolani Palace isn't now the official residence of a reigning monarch: the last time it was thus occupied was in 1893, the year the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown.
Solving time: 15 mins (with Magdalen, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 16a hic {Post-shot syllable?}
Solution

Victor Fleming
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

43d Hawaii {Theme of this puzzle}. The following across answers are related:
17a Bette Midler {Entertainer born 12/1/45 in 25-Across}
25a Honolulu {Capital whose name means "sheltered bay"}
34a ʻIolani; 36a Palace {Only official residence of a reigning monarch now in the United States}
44a Mauna Kea {Measured base to peak, the world's tallest mountain}
54a Barack Obama {Politician born 8/4/61 in 25-Across}
Crucimetrics
CompilersVictor Fleming / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 33 (14.7%) black squares
Answers74 (average length 5.19)
Theme squares56 (29.2%)
Scrabble points317 (average 1.65)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Other Clues

1a data {Crunched numbers}; 5a Namath {The Jets' retired #12}; 11a CPA {No. cruncher}; 14a emit {Spew}; 15a Arabia {"Aladdin" setting}; 16a hic {Post-shot syllable?}; 19a Eph. {Book after Galatians: Abbr.}; 20a altar {Union site}; 21a Leo I {Earliest pope to receive the title "the Great"}; 22a pret {___-à-porter}; 23a Sierra {"High ___," 1941 film}; 27a ear {Hammer site}; 28a exam {Something to prep for}; 30a cabin {Rustic digs}; 31a aptly {In a suitable way}; 33a paying {Like most customers}; 37a Sondra {Actress Locke of "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter"}; 38a Donat {Actor Robert of "The 39 Steps"}; 39a a-week {Every seven days}; 40a Pete {With 37-Down, seven-time Wimbledon champ}; 41a ash {Common pollutant}; 46a La Brea {Los Angeles fossil site}; 49a PCPs {Some hallucinogens, for short}; 50a Hera {Daughter of Cronus}; 52a macaw {One talking in a forest, maybe}; 53a rip {Potential swimsuit embarrassment}; 56a ate {Eroded, with "away"}; 57a akin to {Comparable with}; 58a ere I {"... ___ saw Elba"}; 59a Syd {Barrett of the original Pink Floyd}; 60a ginned {Went out, in a card game}; 61a Lodi {Lombardy town}.

1d debase {Cheapen}; 2d Amelia {English princess after whom a Virginia county is named}; 3d titter {Nervous laugh}; 4d attar {It may smell like a rose}; 5d 'Nam {"China Beach" setting}; 6d aril {Relative of a husk}; 7d made hay {Seized the opportunity}; 8d abloom {More than budding}; 9d tie-in {Marketing device}; 10d har {Guffaw syllable}; 11d cherubic {Innocent-looking}; 12d pipeline {Oil conduit}; 13d Achtung {German warning}; 18d err {Drop a pop-up, say}; 22d play at {Dabble in}; 24d AEtna {Hartford-based Fortune 500 company}; 26d Ocala {Seat of Marion County, Fla.}; 29d XLI {Year Caligula was assassinated}; 31d Aldens {Priscilla and John}; 32d parka {Cold comfort?}; 33d panel {Talk show group}; 34d Iowa City {It's west of Davenport}; 35d one-upped {Outdid}; 36d pot {Ante destination}; 37d Sampras {See 40-Across}; 38d Dear Ann {Start of a letter to Landers}; 40d peer in {Look through a window, maybe}; 41d Arcaro {Five-time Kentucky Derby winner}; 42d seamed {Like pant legs}; 45d khaki {Uniform fabric}; 47d Amo {Te ___}; 48d Babel {Early tower locale}; 51d acte {Opéra division}; 54d bag {Do a marketing job}; 55d KO'd {Down for the count}.

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