Sunday, January 17, 2010

NYT Sunday 1/17/10 - T Bolts

Washington Monument and the CapitolIt's got to be another very quick post today, as our trip to Washington D.C. took an unexpected course last night: our friend Henry, who's with us on the trip, collapsed as we sat down to dinner last night and was rushed to the local ER as a precaution.

He's been checked out by some of the best in the business at the George Washington University Hospital and appears to have made a full recovery and have no serious underlying medical issues. It looks as though we'll be taking him home with us for a few days until he can see his regular physician.

So, unusually, I ended up solving this one solo and on the computer. It took a long time to get to grips with the theme and I had parts of a lot of answers before seeing the rather subtle deletion idea. The basis for the puns was familiar except for The Book of Lost Tales - a J. R. R. Tolkien book I'd not heard of before. The intersection with unfamiliar (poetry) slams was therefore one place where I had to think more carefully.

Aside from the theme, the only trouble spot was where Hojo crossed with (Ken) Olin. Even though I watched a lot of Thirtysomething episodes back in the day, I don't remember a single cast member and I reckon I only met the Howard Johnson's/orange roof reference once before; so it took a few moments to see what was meant there.


Solving time: 24 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 3d barn {Web site for Charlotte}
Solution

Cathy Allis
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

"Subtleties", i.e. subtle Ts. A T is deleted at the start of a word in a phrase (in which the preceding word also ends T), making a pun:
23a God's honest Ruth {Dr. Westheimer telling it like it is?} cf God's honest truth
31a right urn only {All you need to brew a lot of coffee?} cf right turn only
49a toilet raining {Result of a plumbing disaster in the apartment above?} cf toilet training
65a The Book of Lost Ales {Tome that makes a pub owner feel nostalgic?} cf The Book of Lost Tales
84a on the fast rack {Where to find a best-selling CD?} cf on the fast track
99a the parent rap {Something kids might very well tune out?} cf The Parent Trap
112a don't rust anyone {Advice to Tin Man costume designers?} cf don't trust anyone
19d war against error {Debugger's mission?} cf war against terror
40d soft issue injury {Damage to a paperback edition?} cf soft tissue injury
Crucimetrics
Compilers
Cathy Allis / Will Shortz
Grid
21x21 with 74 (16.8%) black squares
Answers
140 (average length 5.24)
Theme squares
125 (34.1%)
Scrabble points
543 (average 1.48)
Letters used
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Clues
1a sob {Blubber}; 4a rewires {Updates electrically}; 11a missal {Liturgical reference}; 17a Rowena {Ivanhoe's lady}; 20a animato {Spiritedly, in scores}; 21a España {Santiago is its patron saint}; 22a eraser {Slip hider}; 25a parsing {Grammar class exercise}; 27a Ute {Chief Ouray's tribe}; 28a ago {Fourth word in the "Star Wars" opening crawl}; 29a ALer {Angel, e.g., for short}; 30a nail {Something an office worker might file}; 36a Goliaths {Huge opponents}; 38a vats {Aging vessels?}; 39a Aesop {Whence the phrase "sour grapes"}; 43a bran {Healthful husks}; 45a PTA {Educ. group}; 46a pep {Kind of talk}; 47a arrows {Male symbol components}; 48a lei {What you might bow your head to get}; 54a fly {Pitcher plant victim}; 55a innards {Viscera}; 57a roo {Playmate of Piglet}; 58a Dobie {___ Gillis of 1960s TV}; 59a 'tec {Spade, e.g., for short}; 60a posse {Rapper's retinue}; 61a Minos {Father of Ariadne}; 63a ret. {Abbr. after many a capt.'s name}; 64a pith {Essence}; 70a alee {"Hard ___!"}; 72a Ron {Pol Paul}; 73a frame {Cel}; 74a asset {Great trait}; 77a far {Eighth or ninth word in the "Star Wars" opening crawl}; 78a torts {Law school course}; 80a EMI {1977 Sex Pistols song ... or their first record label}; 81a Century {Longtime Buick model}; 83a Ayr {Scottish seaport}; 87a ESP {"Ghost Whisperer" skill}; 88a Clorox {Bleach brand}; 90a wad {Cabbage batch?}; 91a año {Julio to julio}; 92a rite {Sacrament, e.g.}; 93a tarot {Tea leaves alternative}; 94a abet {Help, wrongly}; 96a Scranton {"The Office" city}; 102a Hojo {Orange-roofed establishment, in brief}; 104a alia {Inter ___}; 107a Len {Author Deighton}; 108a Sra. {Married mujer: Abbr.}; 109a earfuls {Scoldings}; 117a Norris {"Good Guys Wear Black" star, 1979}; 118a in need {Strapped}; 119a upended {Topsy-turvy}; 120a Dwayne {Hickman who played 58-Across}; 121a Nessie {Subject of a Scottish mystery, informally}; 122a success {Good outcome}; 123a ant {Carpenter ___}.

1d session {Recording period}; 2d O'Neill {"Anna Christie" playwright}; 3d barn {Web site for Charlotte}; 4d rag {Paper that dishes dirt}; 5d enough! {"Knock it off!"}; 6d widths {Lumber dimensions}; 7d I'm set {"No more, thanks"}; 8d rah {Shout at a bowl}; 9d ETO {W.W. II command area}; 10d sonant {Voiced, in phonetics}; 11d meson {Quark/antiquark particle}; 12d -ist {Suffix with cruciverbal}; 13d sprayer {Exterminator, often}; 14d Saul {Handel oratorio king}; 15d ante {Starting stake}; 16d Lahr {Bert who was a Leo, aptly}; 17d rep {Name on the street}; 18d Oran {Algerian port}; 24d egos {Stars can have big ones}; 26d gratis {Free}; 32d Ital. {Romance lang.}; 33d uvea {Eye layer}; 34d rapid {Galloping}; 35d large {Living ___}; 37d iPod {Touch, e.g.}; 41d owlet {Nocturnal fledgling}; 42d Psych {College course, briefly}; 43d blip {Radar image}; 44d Reno {City near old silver mines}; 46d proof-read {Scan for slips}; 47d Anita {"West Side Story" girl}; 49d Tree {___ of Souls, Na'vi temple in "Avatar"}; 50d Erik {Composer Satie}; 51d ton of {Like a ___ bricks}; 52d Norse {Language from which "sky" and "egg" are derived}; 53d I bet {Skeptical rejoinder}; 56d Ashe {Arthur with a racket}; 61d month {Shevat or Sivan}; 62d slams {Poetry contests}; 64d pest {Exterminator's target}; 66d Bronx {___ Zoo}; 67d Oort {___ cloud (solar system outlier)}; 68d omit {Cross out}; 69d lank {Opposite of stout}; 70d a fact {"Is that ___?"}; 71d Layla {Eric Clapton love song}; 75d erst {Once, formerly}; 76d type {Variety}; 78d tooth {Its crown is in your head}; 79d sewer {Waste line}; 81d canapé {Cocktail party serving}; 82d Econ {College course, briefly}; 85d fate {Karma}; 86d rara {___ avis}; 89d rotates {Pivots}; 92d roof rat {Attic scurrier}; 94d apes {Galoots}; 95d Bantus {Ethnic group including Zulus}; 96d strode {Walked boldly}; 97d cranes {Port sights}; 98d thrown {Nonplussed}; 100d elude {Duck}; 101d N'sync {"This I Promise You" band, 2000}; 103d Olin {Ken of "thirtysomething"}; 104d ad in {Good situation for a server}; 105d lone {Unattended}; 106d inns {Imarets, e.g.}; 110d and a {"___ partridge in ..."}; 111d SSE {V.I.-to-Trinidad dir.}; 113d Rei {King, in Portuguese}; 114d Apu {Toon for which Hank Azaria won a 1998 Emmy}; 115d NEC {Japanese I.T. giant}; 116d eds. {Mag. team}.

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