Monday, October 12, 2009

NYT Tuesday 10/13/09 - Meet Your Waterloo

Mimi, Magdalen and Miz CedarThis is an abbreviated form of my usual crossword post, as we are on a road trip for a few days. We managed to get to Jensen Beach's beach today to exercise the household's dogs. Our Mimi wasn't really in her element: she doesn't like water and found the kind that chases her up the beach very alarming.

The golden retriever with her in the accompanying shot with Magdalen is Miz Cedar, Mimi's doggy host in Florida. She's a really calm older dog and has been a good influence on our high-energy puppy, who still has a lot to learn about how to behave around other dogs (and cats for that matter).

Today's New York Times crossword seemed relatively straightforward, but the implementation of the theme was a little puzzling to me: I get the toilet connection, but the "royal" part of royal flush (the highest ranking poker hand, hence its clue) seems to be reflected only in 35-Across - the other theme answers have no apparent connection with royalty.

This aspect didn't faze me at all during solving, and I found the puzzle straightforward, with no particular trouble spots. I learned two new brand names: 13a Amana {Frigidaire competitor} and 12d Salada {Brand used in 10-Down, maybe}. I don't know why I haven't heard of the latter, as I'm a great tea drinker and have consumed many many glasses of iced tea during the trip south.
Solving time: 8 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 1d mal- {Prefix with ware or content}
Solution

Sharon Delorme
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

Phrases ending in slang terms for toilet, as indicated by 58a royal flush {Poker player's dream ... and a hint to the ends of 17-, 25-, 35- and 50-Across}.
17a Little John {Member of Sherwood Forest's "merry band"}
25a letterhead {Company stationery}
35a heir to the throne {Prince Charles, beginning in 1952}
50a sardine can {Cramped spot, slangily}
Crucimetrics
CompilersSharon Delorme / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 36 (16.0%) black squares
Answers76 (average length 4.97)
Theme squares55 (29.1%)
Scrabble points291 (average 1.54)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Other Clues

1a Mamas {Pop music's Cass Elliot and Michelle Phillips}; 6a gad {Wander aimlessly (about)}; 9a Miss {___ America}; 13a Amana {Frigidaire competitor}; 14a IPOs {Debuts on the N.Y.S.E.}; 16a acta {Court records}; 19a real {Existing}; 20a Astros {First pro team to play on artificial turf}; 21a East L.A. {Calif. barrio area}; 23a ashy {Pale as a ghost}; 27a Sha {___ Na Na}; 28a NES {Old console using Game Paks, briefly}; 29a ort {Scrap for Spot}; 30a aga {Turkish title}; 31a curio {Antique shop item}; 33a abase {Humiliate}; 41a tapes {Blackmailer's evidence}; 42a Orion {Heavenly hunter}; 43a USA {One signatory to Nafta}; 46a bet {Belmont Park action}; 47a cow {Moon jumper of rhyme}; 49a Liz {Claiborne of fashion}; 53a agro- {Soil: Prefix}; 54a excite {Fire up}; 55a Oneida {Five Nations tribe}; 57a road {Blacktop, e.g.}; 62a Indo- {___-European languages}; 63a suer {"Judge Judy" figure}; 64a Segar {Elzie ___, Popeye's creator}; 65a dyes {Woad and anil, for two}; 66a try {Take a shot}; 67a Oreos {Snacks often eaten inside out}.

1d mal- {Prefix with ware or content}; 2d ami {Bordeaux buddy}; 3d Mata Hari {Seductive W.W. I spy}; 4d antsy {Unable to sit still}; 5d salt {Margarita go-with}; 6d GI Joes {Action figures for boys}; 7d a post {Words after "deaf as" or "dumb as"}; 8d doh {Cry accompanying a head slap}; 9d marsh {Cattail's locale}; 10d ice tea {Summer refresher}; 11d stalag {"Hogan's Heroes" setting}; 12d Salada {Brand used in 10-Down, maybe}; 15d sneer at {Show contempt for}; 18d Erle {Writer ___ Stanley Gardner}; 22d art show {Gallery event}; 23d Asch {"The Apostle" author Sholem}; 24d Shue {Elisabeth of "Leaving Las Vegas"}; 26d To be {"Hamlet" soliloquy starter}; 28d not a bit {Opposite of everything}; 32d IRT {N.Y.C.'s original subway line}; 33d ahs {Sounds of relief}; 34d err {Go astray}; 36d openers {Just for ___}; 37d tête {Place for a béret}; 38d oil-gauge {Auto dashboard indicator}; 39d noir {Pinot ___}; 40d Enzo {Automaker Ferrari}; 43d user ID {Log-on name}; 44d Saxony {Dresden's state}; 45d arcade {Skee-Ball site}; 47d canary {One who sings to the cops}; 48d one-L {Like Nash's lama}; 51d didos {Pranks}; 52d coyer {More coquettish}; 53d Adler {Irene of a Sherlock Holmes story}; 56d if so {"In that case ..."}; 59d out {"Git!"}; 60d São {___ Paulo, Brazil}; 61d HRs {Four-baggers: Abbr.}.

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