Thursday, November 5, 2009

NYT Friday 11/6/09 - Making Time

This is an abbreviated form of my usual crossword post, as Magdalen and I are on a road trip for a few days. We're returning home tomorrow, so normal service should be resumed with the post for the Saturday November 7 puzzle.

I think I broke another personal record with the solving time for this Friday New York Times crossword: I seemed to get at least one of the long answers in each corner right away and then just raced along. There were trouble spots, but isolated ones that I was able to suss out in a minute or so.

file cabinet
One case in point was the intersection of 39a Lodi {City in San Joaquin County} and 35d ojos {Sight-seers at the Prado?}. I might have come across Lodi, CA before, but I wasn't about to trust to my unreliable memory on it. So I tried hard to make sense of 35d, eventually realizing it was familiar from Español para los crucigramistas, ojo being the Spanish for "eye".

There was even worse trouble 48a FDA {Occasional medicine dropper?: Abbr.} and 48d file {Cabinet member?}, where I toyed with the more common ADA as a medicine dropper, but aile did not convince as the down answer. Trying all the possible letters, I eventually remembered FDA as the Food and Drugs Administration and only then realized the intended sense of "cabinet" in the down clue, viz a file cabinet.

My final difficulty was 37a lent {Spotted}, which relies on "to spot" meaning "to lend", an American usage I'm not familiar with. In this case, I was lucky to be 100% confident of all the crossing answers.
Solving time: 13 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 11d peace pipes {They go around on reservations}

Doug Peterson
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Doug Peterson / Will Shortz
15x15 with 30 (13.3%) black squares
68 (average length 5.74)
Theme squares
0 (0.0%)
Scrabble points
321 (average 1.65)
Letters used
1a Mount Fuji {Far Eastern pilgrimage destination}; 10a op-ed {Page with convictions}; 14a ignoramus {Dull type}; 15a prexy {Campus V.I.P.}; 16a alpha male {Leader of the pack}; 17a agape {Clearly riveted}; 18a sec {"One ___!"}; 19a Josie {"The Ballad of ___," 1967 comedy western}; 20a raced {Made time}; 21a pause {Suspension}; 22a saner {Relatively stable}; 23a pagans {Solstice celebrators}; 26a trap {Set up}; 28a Piz {___ Bernina (highest peak in the Eastern Alps)}; 30a ecru {Dull shade}; 31a at the time {Then}; 33a reel-to-reel tapes {Some audiophiles' collections}; 36a Steve Jobs {Subject of the 2005 biography "iCon"}; 37a lent {Spotted}; 38a Ein {Kafka's "___ Hungerkünstler"}; 39a Lodi {City in San Joaquin County}; 40a crusty {Gruff}; 42a coals {They may be glowing}; 44a Niles {William McKinley's Ohio birthplace}; 46a danke {Hamburger's acknowledgment}; 47a to let {Availability sign}; 48a FDA {Occasional medicine dropper?: Abbr.}; 51a icier {Not so welcoming}; 52a I, Claudius {John Hurt played Caligula in it}; 54a viols {They had C-shaped sound holes}; 55a Chevrolet {Avalanche, e.g.}; 56a Edna {Best in shows}; 57a Serengeti {Where some buffalo roam}.

1d MIAs {They're officially honored on the third Friday in Sept.}; 2d ogle {Regard impolitely}; 3d un-PC {Sexist, say}; 4d noh {Stylized drama}; 5d Trajan {A tall Roman column is named after him}; 6d famous {Celebrated}; 7d Umass {Dr. J's alma mater}; 8d Juliette Binoche {"The English Patient" Oscar winner}; 9d I see {Comment when following someone}; 10d organ {Source of ballpark pitches?}; 11d peace pipes {They go around on reservations}; 12d experiment {It often has controls}; 13d dyed {Like some changed locks}; 15d parapet {Citadel feature}; 21d Paul V {Pope who met with Galileo}; 22d Sahl {"The Future Lies Ahead" comedian, 1958}; 23d per se {By its nature}; 24d acetic acid {Wood distillation product}; 25d green onion {Its bulb is small}; 27d rtes. {G.P.S. output: Abbr.}; 29d zesty {Vivacious}; 31d Arod {Baseball nickname that's a portmanteau}; 32d talus {Fibula neighbor}; 34d tellers {They're concerned with checks and balances}; 35d ojos {Sight-seers at the Prado?}; 40d cleave {Split}; 41d return {Trip part}; 43d Akela {Kipling's "great gray Lone Wolf"}; 45d iller {More terrific, to a hip-hopper}; 46d dive {One may be given a 10}; 47d tics {Nervous reactions}; 48d file {Cabinet member?}; 49d duet {Shared air}; 50d Asti {Wine spot}; 53d dog {Frank}.

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