Sunday, November 22, 2009

NYT Sunday 11/22/09 - Job Lot

Magdalen and I solved this Sunday New York Times crossword in difficult circumstances: we dashed off to an evening out as soon as it was printed out and started the puzzle sitting at a dimly-lit bar before finishing it in a dimly-lit auditorium before the start of the evening's entertainment - a Gilbert & Sullivan gala by the Summer Savoyards (pronounced Suh-VOY-urds, they say in the program). The passion these folks have for the quintessentially English G&S came as a surprise to me, and we've enjoyed the two shows we've seen.

So I've really no accurate idea how long the puzzle took ... I thought it slightly easier than usual, since the theme answers were all very recognizable, but Magdalen estimated 40 minutes was spent on it. The only pun that we had any difficulty understanding was at 82-Across and that's because we looked at "Justice of the Peace" and wondered what was peaceful about a union official. We eventually got it that the pun is on "union", referring to a marriage union which can be presided over by a JP.
Solving time: 40 mins (with Magdalen, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 19a Iliad {Literary work in which Paris is featured}
Solution

Patrick Merrell
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

"Career Day Speaker Schedule". Theme clues are punning reinterpretations of job functions, supposedly the work of a 119a novel writer {Career of the parent who typed up the Career Day schedule?}.
23a ticket agent {Career Day Speaker #1: Meter maid?}
28a social worker {#2: Tea server?}
38a driving instructor {#3: Golf pro?}
58a branch manager {#4: Tree surgeon?}
70a file clerk {#5: Manicurist?}
82a union official {#6: Justice of the peace?}
103a marketing director {#7: Grocery store owner?}
111a record-keeper {#8: Disc jockey?}
Crucimetrics
Compilers
Patrick Merrell / Will Shortz
Grid
21x21 with 74 (16.8%) black squares
Answers
140 (average length 5.24)
Theme squares
115 (31.3%)
Scrabble points
562 (average 1.53)
Letters used
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
New To Me

11a I rest {"Many good nights, my lord; ___ your servant": Shak.}. The Bard comes to the rescue for this so-so answer. Normally it would be {_____ my case}. The clued line is spoken by Sir Thomas Lovell in King Henry VIII and seems to be a rather nondescript parting line ... not much of an advance on the standard clue for the answer?
GARDINER. ... From your affairs
    I hinder you too long - good night, Sir Thomas.
LOVELL. Many good nights, my lord; I rest your servant.
            Exeunt GARDINER and PAGE
Necco wafers
21a Necco {Candy wafer company}. My latest approach to learning American product names is to add everything new to the shopping list. This could really pack on the pounds. Last week it was Kix, which really is a {Spherical cereal}. Necco is an acronym for the New England Confectionery Company, which is located in the Greater Boston area. Necco Wafers are its best known candies. It also makes the Sweethearts Conversation Hearts, the Clark Bar and Haviland Thin Mints.

36a Ritt {Filmmaker Martin}. Martin Ritt (1914–1990) was new to both of us and it's hard to see why when you look at his work: several films I've not just heard of, but seen too, such as The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Norma Rae. Here's a clip from one I haven't seen: The Front, starring Woody Allen - one of the first dramatic feature films about the blacklist. Ritt himself was blacklisted by the television industry when a Syracuse grocer charged him with donating money to Communist China in 1951.



116a Laff {"___-A-Lympics" (old TV cartoon series)}. Laff-A-Lympics is a Hanna-Barbera Productions cartoon that used to be shown alongside Scooby-Doo on a Saturday morning. It's a spoof of the Olympics, in which 45 Hanna-Barbera characters are organized into three teams - The Scooby Doobies, The Yogi Yahooeys and The Really Rotten.



64d Antone {San ___, Lone Star State city}. I haven't yet found a good explanation for this, but San Antone appears to be a nickname for San Antonio (the "Lone Star State" in the clue indicating a nickname). Whatever the origins, there are a number of songs with San Antone in the title, such as this one from the Texas Tornadoes.



77d Momma {Mell Lazarus comic strip}. Mell Lazarus is best-known for Miss Peach (1957-2002), but his other strip Momma is still running. I think today's example can probably speak for itself.

Momma

Noteworthy

91a Kenobi {Skywalker's cohort}. This reminds me of our conductor at the G&S gala, who chose to wield a light saber instead of the conventional baton. A hint to the players that they'd better watch her more closely? No, just a necessity given the poor lighting in the school auditorium. Nevertheless, something for maestro Levine to think about if the Met orchestra gets out of order.



39d in air {Where Key's bombs burst}. The answers to clues like this still don't come naturally to me. If the First Rule of Crosswords is that all reference to "diamond" are to do with baseball, then all mentions of "Key" referring to The Star-Spangled Banner must be the Second Rule. Here is a version from our beloved Dixie Chicks at the 2003 Super Bowl.



The Rest

1a Bambi {White-tailed movie star}; 6a smoke {Barbecue byproduct}; 16a LGA {N.Y.C. airport}; 19a Iliad {Literary work in which Paris is featured}; 20a Essex {County abutting London}; 22a ORs {Hosp. workplaces}; 25a smooth out {Unwrinkle}; 27a laud {Talk up}; 30a Etta {Blues musician Baker}; 33a Rolo {Chocolate-and-caramel brand}; 37a silo {Big bin}; 44a ess {Swan's shape}; 45a sedans {Many four-doors}; 46a Meese {1985-88 attorney general}; 47a here's {Toast starter}; 49a Eva {Mendes of "2 Fast 2 Furious"}; 50a arable {Growing-friendly}; 52a agitate {Perturb}; 56a Lil {Rap's ___ Wayne}; 57a -ies {Suffix with pant or aunt}; 63a Bardot {Sex symbol once married to Vadim}; 66a rhea {Flightless bird}; 67a nacres {Button materials}; 68a Iran {First landfall north of Oman}; 74a Kent {Reeve or Reeves role}; 75a system {Gambler's holy grail}; 78a fish {They take the bait}; 79a misuse {Warranty invalidator}; 86a lat. {Long. partner}; 87a she {___-wolf}; 90a pen-name {Literary creation}; 93a way {"No ___!"}; 94a Erma's {"Aunt ___ Cope Book"}; 96a aside {Play byplay}; 98a Elaine {___ Chao, only cabinet member to serve through George W. Bush's entire administration}; 100a gat {Dillinger's derringer, e.g.}; 106a Evan {2007 Steve Carell title role}; 108a egos {I's}; 109a ests. {Job bidding figs.}; 110a this {First of two choices}; 118a browbeats {Bullies}; 125a -ism {Conclusion for many believers?}; 126a inlet {Bay, for one}; 127a on end {Sideways up}; 128a avian {Of interest to ornithologists}; 129a lea {Grazing ground}; 130a -sters {Dump and road endings}; 131a Ratso {"Midnight Cowboy" nickname}; 132a years {College classes}.

1d bit {Iota}; 2d Ali {Larter of "Heroes"}; 3d mic {Amp plug-in}; 4d baklava {Honeyed pastry}; 5d idea {Start of a plan}; 6d sea-dog {Old salt}; 7d MSG {Bouillon cube ingredient, usually}; 8d -ose {Sugar suffix}; 9d Kens {Boy toys?}; 10d extorts {Shakes down}; 11d in situ {Untouched}; 12d rematch {The Thrilla in Manila, for one}; 13d ecol. {Reforestation subj.}; 14d scow {Garbage hauler}; 15d Toto {Emerald City visitor}; 16d lookie {"Hey, see what I got!"}; 17d gruels {Meager bowlfuls}; 18d Astros {Club that began as the Colt .45s}; 24d turns red {Blushes}; 26d HRs {Over-the-wall wallops: Abbr.}; 29d ciré {Glazed fabric}; 30d Edsel {It debuted on "E Day"}; 31d Trevi {Fountain in front of the Palazzo Poli}; 32d tidal basin {Large body in Washington, D.C.}; 34d limb {Appendage}; 35d one lb. {16 oz.}; 40d seer {Reader of signs}; 41d team {Wagon puller, often}; 42d organ {It's often played on Sunday}; 43d Reina {Madrid's ___ Sofía Art Center}; 48d stacks {Library section}; 51d as of {From}; 53d agrees with {Seconds}; 54d teen {Many a bar mitzvah attendee}; 55d erst {First, in Frankfurt}; 59d archi {Prefix with -tect}; 60d NHL {Goal-oriented org.}; 61d cee {Middle grade}; 62d harm {Impair}; 65d tiff {Slight fight}; 68d is up {Leads (by)}; 69d Ryne {Hall-of-Famer Sandberg}; 71d LII {A little over half a century in old Rome}; 72d Esc {"Help!" key}; 73d kilo {Unit of contraband}; 76d enarm {Equip with weapons, old-style}; 80d saber saw {Hand-held cutter}; 81d utile {Functional}; 83d fear {Cause of quailing}; 84d akin {Comparable (to)}; 85d ledge {Break in a building's facade}; 88d Hanoi {World capital once under French rule}; 89d eyers {Spectators}; 92d Neds {Beatty and Sparks}; 95d skeeter {Pesky biter}; 96d atop {Mounted on}; 97d si señor {Approval for Juan Valdez}; 99d Act Five {When Juliet says "O happy dagger!"}; 100d gerbil {Animal in an exercise wheel}; 101d averse {Unwilling}; 102d Tacoma {City in Mount Rainier's shadow}; 104d egests {Disgorges}; 105d it'll do {"I can get by with that"}; 107d now {Parental imperative}; 112d RBIs {Result of 26-Down, often}; 113d dent {Lot "souvenir"}; 114d kale {Leafy vegetable}; 115d Rona {Author Jaffe}; 117d fray {Skirmish}; 120d vet {One likely to have pet peeves?}; 121d ens {Dash lengths}; 122d Tia {___ Maria}; 123d ear {Human body part with vestigial muscles}; 124d RNs {Hosp. V.I.P.'s}.

2 comments:

ALDERMANOR said...

SAN ANTONE IS A NICKNAME AS IS LONE STAR STATE

Crossword Man said...

Thanks for the info ADLERMANOR ... that confirms my suspicions about the clue.