Wednesday, October 7, 2009

NYT Thursday 10/8/09 - Time Square

This is an abbreviated form of my usual crossword post, as we are on a road trip for a few days. Today we had our lunch in VA, the fourth state of the morning (we'd already been through PA, MD and WV). The afternoon was more leisurely, as we took a detour to drive down a stretch of the Skyline Drive - the day was beautifully clear, so we had great views to the east and west. Magdalen should have some pictures in tomorrow's NPR Sunday Puzzle solution post.

When I learned that we would be taking this route, I asked where the "lonesome pine" was, and Magdalen didn't know what I was talking about. I've been meaning to show her the relevant Laurel and Hardy clip, so here it is. This song was a huge hit in the UK in the mid-70s, which is how I got to know it.



This Thursday New York Times crossword seemed quite tough: partly because it took a while to figure out what the theme was (and even when you knew what was going on, it didn't have much predictive value); partly because the cluing seemed difficult.

I fared much better in the bottom half of the grid. In the top half, I cracked the middle reasonably easily, but both the NE and NW corners were empty towards the end and took a while to break into.
Solving time: 18 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 32a mute {Not just turn down}
Solution

Scott Atkinson
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

Two-part answers where each part can precede time, indicated by 33a time after time {Repeatedly ... and a hint to the answers to this puzzle's starred clues}.
18a double play {Baseball feat} cf double time, playtime
24a half-life {Physics period} cf half-time, lifetime
48a game face {Brave front} cf game time, face time
52a air quality {Asthmatic's concern} cf airtime, quality time
Crucimetrics
CompilersScott Atkinson / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 32 (14.2%) black squares
Answers74 (average length 5.22)
Theme squares49 (25.4%)
Scrabble points297 (average 1.54)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Other Clues

1a taco {___ salad (dish with ground beef)}; 5a Osaka {Where Panasonic is headquartered}; 10a Acad. {Nav. ___}; 14a On Up {"Get ___," 1967 hit for the Esquires}; 15a Epcot {Florida tourist destination}; 16a Rolo {Hershey's candy}; 17a ripe {Like many old gym socks}; 20a among {___ friends}; 22a ore {Pay dirt}; 23a de-ice {Clear, in a way}; 26a Tulsan {Garth Brooks, by birth}; 27a slaloms {Winter Olympics races}; 28a THC {Marijuana's active substance: Abbr.}; 29a -ern {Directional ending}; 30a ave {Old greeting}; 31a moo {Farm sound}; 32a mute {Not just turn down}; 37a sine {Kind of wave}; 38a nun {One of the Canterbury pilgrims}; 39a Ian {Golden Globe-winning English actor McShane}; 40a obs {M.D.'s who deliver}; 41a oil {Palm product}; 42a numeral {X, e.g.}; 46a repeat {Last word in shampoo instructions}; 49a brush {Dentist's admonition}; 50a vet {Do a background check on}; 51a ditto {"What he said"}; 55a Eton {Town at one end of the Windsor Bridge}; 56a tutu {Something a person may take a spin in?}; 57a maced {Blinded painfully}; 58a Leni {Filmmaker Riefenstahl}; 59a esse {To be, to 33-Down}; 60a odors {Targets of some sprays}; 61a Dred {Harriet Beecher Stowe novel}.

1d Torahs {They're read at services}; 2d animal {Uncouth sort}; 3d cupola {Basilica feature}; 4d open flame {Hazard around an aerosol can}; 5d OED {Work started by London's Philological Soc.}; 6d spoofs {Many Mel Brooks films}; 7d a cure {"Dedicated to finding ___" (diabetes foundation motto)}; 8d Kobe {Japanese port}; 9d ATL {The Falcons, on scoreboards}; 10d Arpel {Cosmetician Adrien}; 11d coliseum {Olympics venue}; 12d à la carte {Individually, in a way}; 13d doyenne {Leading lady}; 19d Educ. {N.E.A. part: Abbr.}; 21d glove {Part of a hazmat suit}; 25d I mean it {Follow-up to a parent's command, maybe}; 26d thorium {Metal that's an effective radiation shield}; 28d toe {It may be pinched}; 31d Mtn. {Range part: Abbr.}; 32d mine-field {Treacherous expanse}; 33d Tiberius {Caligula's predecessor as emperor}; 34d in spurts {Not gradually}; 35d -ful {Suffix with glee or sorrow}; 36d tamed {Like circus elephants}; 37d sorbate {Potassium ___ (preservative)}; 41d Oahu {Home of highways H-1, H-2 and H-3}; 42d natter {Flap one's gums}; 43d ratter {Vermin hunter}; 44d Act One {When Romeo meets Juliet}; 45d Leonid {Russian playwright Andreyev}; 47d -esque {-like}; 48d Geico {Insurance giant}; 50d Vlad {___ the Dragon, ruler of old Wallachia}; 53d amo {"Yo te ___"}; 54d yds. {Stat for an R.B.}.

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