Monday, November 2, 2009

NYT Tuesday 11/3/09 - Taking Woodstock

Tannery Brook House
This is an abbreviated form of my usual crossword post, as we are on a road trip for a few days. We are staying in the neighborhood of New Paltz, NY, visiting Woodstock, NY en route. I'd wanted to see Woodstock, not because of its associations with the famous Woodstock Festival (which actually took place 43 miles away from the town), but because my great-uncle Harry Leith-Ross (1886-1973) had lived there in the early 20th century.

Harry was an impressionist painter who eventually settled in New Hope, PA, but went to Woodstock in 1913 to continue his studies in landscape painting - the place was then (and still seems to be) a thriving art colony. His wife's memoirs describe "Tannery Brook House", the boarding house where many of the impoverished artists lived, and we were delighted to find the place still standing - not much changed in outward appearance, but renamed as The Old Forge House in honor of its once being a smithy.

Mario CuomoWe'd seen so many political yard signs on our drive today, that I suppose I should have anticipated an election puzzle. However, it took a long while to get the quotation and those long empty acrosses hampered my efforts to fill the grid. Similarly, Mario Cuomo was tough, although I had come across a Cuomo in a recent puzzle ... Andrew Cuomo, who Magdalen tells me is Mario's son.

Magdalen, who lived in New York State for much of her life, says that Mario was a good governor of a "complicated state". One peculiarity he has, apparently, is a steadfast refusal to sit for an official portrait to hang in the State Capitol.

My favorite clue of the puzzle reminds us of a fascinating piece of trivia: the first movie to be copyrighted is of one of  Thomas Edison's assistants, Fred Ott, taking a pinch of snuff and sneezing. Fred Ott's Sneeze (1894) lasts 5 seconds.


Solving time: 8 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 26a sneezed {What Fred Ott did in the first movie to be copyrighted}
Solution

Barry Boone
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

A quotation for Election Day by 1a,73a Mario Cuomo {Former New York governor}.
20a,37a,60a You campaign in poetry, you govern in prose
{A quote by 1-/73-Across}
Crucimetrics

Compilers
Barry Boone / Will Shortz
Grid
15x15 with 36 (16.0%) black squares
Answers
78 (average length 4.85)
Theme squares
45 (23.8%)
Scrabble points
324 (average 1.71)
Letters used
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

Other Clues

6a barge {Enter unannounced, with "in"}; 11a KPs {Military mess workers, for short}; 14a amend {Improve}; 15a Ethel {Lucy's friend on "I Love Lucy"}; 16a WAC {W.W. II female}; 17a cacti {Gila woodpeckers nest in them}; 18a coats {Layers of paint}; 19a at a {___ crossroads}; 23a Pfc. {Rank below cpl.}; 25a mum {Not talking}; 26a sneezed {What Fred Ott did in the first movie to be copyrighted}; 27a de la {Crème ___ crème}; 29a zero g {Astronaut's work environment, for short}; 31a Lana {Actress Turner}; 32a quell {Put down, as an uprising}; 34a a dry {Not ___ eye in the house}; 36a Atl. {Brits call it "the pond": Abbr.}; 41a dat {"Gimme ___ ding!"}; 44a sloe {___ gin fizz}; 45a sacks {Fires}; 49a in re {Memo starter}; 51a sweep {Win the World Series in four games, say}; 54a Rhea {Perlman of "Cheers"}; 55a stencil {Sign painter's help}; 57a Xes {Crosses (out)}; 59a egg {___ McMuffin}; 63a uni- {Prefix with cycle or sex}; 64a Ionia {Ancient Aegean region}; 65a nurse {Surgeon's assistant}; 68a Sin {___ City (Las Vegas nickname)}; 69a erect {Standing at attention}; 70a Iliad {Trojan War epic}; 71a Tao {"___ Te Ching"}; 72a desks {Drawer holders}.

1d Mac {Start of many a Scottish family name}; 2d AMA {Flu fighters: Abbr.}; 3d recycle {One of the three green R's}; 4d into {Call ___ question}; 5d odium {Hatred}; 6d became {Turned out}; 7d atom {Basic building block}; 8d rhapsody {Gershwin composed one "in blue"}; 9d get angry {Blow one's top}; 10d Elsie {Elmer the Bull's mate}; 11d Kwanzaa {December celebration}; 12d patient {"Beware the fury of a ___ man": John Dryden}; 13d scandal {Iran-Contra, e.g.}; 21d cuz {Slangy response to "Why?"}; 22d gel {Hair goop}; 23d PDQ {Instantly, for short}; 24d feu {Fire: Fr.}; 28d alp {Matterhorn, e.g.}; 30d raree {___ show (carnival attraction)}; 33d Los {Part of U.C.L.A.}; 35d yos {Casual greetings}; 38d Elsinore {"Hamlet" setting}; 39d towlines {Water-skiers' holds}; 40d UAR {Former Mideast inits.}; 41d disgust {Emotion conveyed by wrinkling one's nose}; 42d Ántonia {Willa Cather's "My ___"}; 43d Trevino {Golfer Lee}; 46d cheerio {"Toodle-oo!"}; 47d keg {Unit of gunpowder}; 48d sag {Slump}; 50d ENE {Cincinnati-to-Pittsburgh dir.}; 52d expats {Ones living abroad}; 53d per {Each}; 56d cried {"I can't remember if I ___" ("American Pie" lyric)}; 58d Sonic {___ the Hedgehog (video game)}; 61d nick {Paper cut, e.g.}; 62d Sulu {Navigator on the Enterprise}; 66d Sam {Uncle ___}; 67d Edo {Old Tokyo}.

5 comments:

Daniel Myers said...

Ross and/or Magdalen,

Don't Americans say "pond" for "Atlantic" as much as Brits do? I can't count the number of Americans who, after being introduced to me, have quipped "So, you must be from across the pond."

Magdalen said...

Right, but I'm pretty sure Americans who say that *think* they're being all witty and cosmopolitan because they think Brits say "pond" for the Atlantic Ocean.

Putting that another way: We don't grow up thinking of the Atlantic Ocean as anything other than what's to the right of the US. Most Americans, after all, would have a hard time pointing Europe out on a map.

But for the better-educated sector of our population, there inevitable comes a period of cultural self-denigration. A trip abroad, maybe a semester in Paris or a summer bumming around Scandinavia, and we're convinced we're very cool and je ne sais quoi. Add someone somewhere saying something about "the Pond" and it's all over.

Seriously, Dan -- the number of really cringe-worthy, pretentious faux-English accents that come back after semesters abroad is embarrassing. The "rahther" effect fades, but some of the Brit-speak terms linger. (I personally still refer to the trolleys in the car park when we go grocery shopping...)

(Ross points out that I am a special case, and he's right. Married to two Brits gets a body pretty muddled as to whether I'm "carving up" or "cutting in front of" a "heavy-goods lorry" or a "tractor trailer" on the "highway" or -- okay, so I don't actually refer to a motorway here in the States. But you see where I'm going...)

Daniel Myers said...

LOL - Yes, quite. I do see, rather. You could be a scriptwriter, Magdalen! Or screenwriter, as you will.:-) It reminds me of when I first came over here and used terms like "doo-lally" and "naff" and American friends started picking them up. It was truly "cringe-worthy"! It all sounded so wrong. But I didn't know that about "pond." I suppose it's because I rarely use it, and Americans seem to do so all the time Thanks!

rmeyers said...

Sulu was the helmsman, I believe; Checkov was the Navigator

Crossword Man said...

You seem to have spotted a rare lapse ... it's been so many years since I saw a Star Trek episode that I'd forgotten what the minor characters did. Star Trek, the characters and the actors come up alarmingly often in the NYT ... I recall Tyler Hinman would have benefited from knowing James Doohan in this year's ACPT.