Wednesday, December 23, 2009

NYT Thursday 12/24/09 - All About Eve

I found this New York Times puzzle for Christmas Eve on the easy side for a Thursday, and certainly a lot simpler than yesterday's. I'm guessing that now the holiday season is in full swing, we'll get slightly easier puzzles to make sure everyone's included in the yuletide revels. Talking of which, the blog for this and the next few crosswords will be abbreviated ones so I can join in the yuletide fun myself.

It took about five minutes to work out that this was a rebus puzzle, during which clues like {It was conquered in 1953} for Mount Everest caused great mystification. I think {Fate-tempting motorcyclist} finally gave the game away as that couldn't conceivably be anyone other than Evel Knievel (1938–2007).

Citizens Bank Park
I could then complete the grid relatively quickly, but the rebus squares still held one surprise: I was expecting there to be eight - a pair in each of three across answers and one each in two down answers; the SW corner held me up for a minute or so until the ninth rebus square was discovered.

With Henry back in the house or the holidays, 22-Down reminded me of one of the highlights of our year: going to see a Phillies game as Henry's guests. In addition to the baseball action, we had great views over downtown Philadelphia as night fell - a bonus I hadn't expected.
Solving time: 12 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 31d newel {Flight support}
Solution

Nancy Salomon
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

A rebus puzzle for the day before Christmas: nine squares contain the three letters EVE, affecting the following answers:
17a forever and ever {In perpetuity}
29a main event {Fight night highlight}
38a Evel Knievel {Fate-tempting motorcyclist}
41a élève {One in the charge of un instituteur}
59a Never Never Land {Pan's place}
61a revels {Has a blast}
4d Cleveland {Cavaliers' home}
8d clever {Sharp}
11d Mount Everest {It was conquered in 1953}
24d sleeveless {Like tank tops}
28d irreversible {Impossible to change}
30d Aleve {Tylenol competitor} 47d pareve {Made without milk or meat}
52d peeved {Put out}
53d Revere {Midnight alarm giver}
Crucimetrics
Compilers
Nancy Salomon / Will Shortz
Grid
15x15 with 38 (16.9%) black squares
Answers
78 (average length 4.79)
Theme squares
79 (42.2%)
Scrabble points
309 (average 1.65)
Letters used
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Other Clues

1a torch {Light in a bad way}; 6a Coco {Emmy-winning character actor James}; 10a amid {In}; 14a Italo {Novelist Calvino}; 15a olla {Spanish pot}; 16a nova {Astronomer's sighting}; 19a dual {Twin}; 20a feel {Sense}; 21a hair {Locks}; 22a penne {Edible tubes}; 23a as one {Concertedly}; 25a hat {Monopoly token}; 26a thinly {How the obvious may be disguised}; 33a Verde {Green, to Goya}; 34a stall {Go "pfffft"}; 36a Ree {Dakota Indian}; 37a SLR {35mm camera type}; 40a ewe {Suffolk female}; 42a loins {Sources of filets mignons}; 43a Ibsen {"Ghosts" playwright}; 45a torrent {Deluge}; 47a pertly {With a saucy style}; 48a ses {French possessive}; 49a blasé {Ho-hum}; 51a epics {Big pictures}; 53a roar {Belly laugh}; 54a shoe {Monopoly token}; 58a Bebe {Tony winner Neuwirth}; 62a trek {Tough trip}; 63a aided {Opposite of hindered}; 64a odes {Olympian ___ (classical works)}; 65a Hedy {Delilah portrayer Lamarr}; 66a enjoy {Relish}.

1d tiff {Bit of a dustup}; 2d Otoe {Plains Indian}; 3d rare {Red inside}; 5d HOR. {26-Down adjustment: Abbr.}; 6d Conan {Big name in late-night}; 7d oldie {Any song on a 78}; 9d oar {It may be part of a bank}; 10d Andean {Like vicuñas}; 12d Ivan {Novelist Turgenev}; 13d Dale {Cartoon chipmunk}; 18d ahoy {Ship-to-ship call}; 22d Phillies {2008 World Series champs}; 26d TV set {Tube}; 27d hello? {"Is anybody listening ...?"}; 29d mais {"___ oui!"}; 31d newel {Flight support}; 32d teeny {Itsy-bitsy}; 34d skit {"The Tonight Show" piece}; 35d TNN {Onetime C&W channel}; 39d Lon {Chaney of "The Wolf Man"}; 44d Breslin {"The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight" novelist}; 46d recess {Judge's announcement}; 49d bored {Feeling ho-hum}; 50d lanky {Squat's opposite}; 51d Ebro {River that ends in Tarragona}; 55d hadj {Pilgrimage to Mecca}; 56d One O {"___'Clock Jump" (Basie hit)}; 57d eddy {Whirling water}; 59d nth {Ultimate}; 60d Rae {Scottish explorer of the Arctic}.

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