Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NYT Thursday 11/5/09 - The Horrors

This is an abbreviated form of my usual crossword post, as we are on a road trip for a few days. We're staying at the historic Mohonk Mountain House near New Paltz, NY as a special birthday treat for me. Today we finally made it up to the memorial tower atop the rocky point behind the hotel. From here you're supposed to be able to see five states on a clear day; we had the weather for it, but the landscape of one state is so much like another in this area that it was hard to say what we saw ... but it was certainly awesome.

Mohonk Mountain House
 
I was amazed at how fast I was able to solve this New York Times crossword compared to yesterday's - I seemed to get stuck on many of the answers, but I guess it helped to get The Invisible Man early and not have to deal with any unfamiliar or semi-familiar long answers. I guessed, on the basis of SSSSSSS (a less well-known horror movie), that it was the Ss that would form the required picture and this indeed turned out to be correct. The man's arms seem a little odd and I can't work out if the discontinuity is just due to the difficulties of having contiguous Ss across, or if there's a thematic explanation.

I've not read the novel, but the 1933 film version of The Invisible Man, starring Claude Rains, certainly made a strong impression on me when I saw it as a kid. The movie was groundbreaking in its use of visual effects, especially in the sequences that show the invisible man partially clothed.


Solving time: 10 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 44a tall {One way to stand}
Solution

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

Theme

36a The Invisible Man {1897 novel subtitled "A Grotesque Romance"}. Shading all the Ss in the grid displays the otherwise hidden outline of a man; this requirement is indicated by the note for the puzzle:
When this puzzle is completed, one letter of the alphabet will appear 22 times. Shade in its square everywhere it appears. The result will be an image suggested by 36-Across.
 Crucimetrics
Compilers
Patrick Blindauer / Will Shortz
Grid
15x15 with 32 (14.2%) black squares
Answers
74 (average length 5.22)
Theme squares
15 (7.8%)
Scrabble points
274 (average 1.42)
Letters used
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Other Clues

1a cri {___ de coeur}; 4a cajoled {Worked on}; 11a Meg {Ryan of "Top Gun"}; 14a LAN {Computer system acronym}; 15a ages ago {Way, way back}; 16a ADA {Canine care grp.?}; 17a ent {Tolkien creature}; 18a Roses are red {Start of a lover's quatrain}; 20a adorers {Big fans}; 22a snaking {Not straight, in a way}; 23a Roni {Rice-A-___}; 24a AES {1950s political inits.}; 26a Genie {Canadian Oscar}; 27a clasps {Holds}; 29a SAS {Eur. carrier}; 32a sect {Small denomination}; 33a up the {___ ante}; 34a Ostia {Port of ancient Rome}; 42a Holst {Composer of "The Planets"}; 43a anima {True inner self}; 44a tall {One way to stand}; 48a lys {Fleur-de-___}; 49a inaner {Comparatively cockamamie}; 50a opium {It's addictive}; 52a Sgt. {___ Maj.}; 54a terr. {The Dakotas, once: Abbr.}; 55a Monkees {#1 album for 13 weeks in 1966-67, with "The"}; 58a Siberia {Where the Samoyed dog comes from}; 60a cleans house {Eliminates undesirable parts}; 62a act {Pretense}; 63a à la {According to}; 64a step-ins {Panties, old-style}; 65a Lae {Pacific port where Amelia Earhart was last seen}; 66a tor {Rocky point}; 67a adapt to {Get comfortable with}; 68a end {This Across answer, appropriately}.

1d clear-cut {Plain as day}; 2d Randolph {Air Force base near San Antonio}; 3d intonate {Speak with gravity}; 4d care {It may be managed or extended}; 5d agoras {Ancient meeting places}; 6d Jesse {19th-century James}; 7d -ose {Sugar ending}; 8d lass {Filly}; 9d Egan {New York cardinal}; 10d do-rag {Headwear banned by the N.F.L. in 2001}; 11d marine {"Battle Cry" soldier}; 12d Edenic {Like paradise}; 13d gadget {Thingumbob}; 19d ekes {Just manages, with "out"}; 21d rishi {Hindu sage}; 25d SSSSSSS {1973 horror flick about a doctor who turns his assistant into a cobra}; 28d Penh {Phnom ___}; 30d at it {Having words}; 31d sib {Bro or sis}; 34d oily {Like unwashed hair}; 35d Alan {Mathematician Turing}; 37d VOL {TV control: Abbr.}; 38d enate {Maternally related}; 39d minerale {Eau ___}; 40d American {Yank}; 41d narrated {Told tales}; 44d tom-cat {The Rum Tum Tugger, e.g.}; 45d Apollo {New York theater on the National Register of Historic Places, with "the"}; 46d linear {Like some algebra}; 47d Luka {1987 Suzanne Vega hit}; 49d it isn't {Words of objection}; 51d Mensa {Indicator of brightness}; 53d G-suit {Astronaut's attire}; 56d estd. {Founded: Abbr.}; 57d Shea {Where the Mets once met}; 59d beso {Don Juan's kiss}; 61d opp. {Vs.}.

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