Saturday, February 20, 2010

NYT Sunday 2/21/10 - Purr Izod Ents

I'm in the middle of competing in the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Brookyln, NY. I'll be blogging about my experiences of the ACPT puzzles in a separate post this coming week, but for the moment I just have time for the briefest of reports on the Sunday New York Times crossword.

Magdalen and I solved this one on the computer, and perhaps with the adrenalin of competition still flowing through my veins, we were able to complete the grid in what's probably a record time for us. We thought the puns on the US presidents were maybe a little more labored than usual, but that didn't hold us up much ... knowing the difficulty of what the constructor attempted, we were prepared to cut him a little slack.
Solving time: 18 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 18d ash {Memento of an old flame?}
Solution

Eric Berlin
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

"Words from the White House". A sequence of clued words puns on the name of a 9d United States President {What you'll get if you read aloud 23-, 44-, 67-, 86- or 113-Across}.
23a sac/air/eat/ail/lore {Anatomical pouch / Run on TV / Consume / Feel sick / Oral history} cf Zachary Taylor
44a yule/hiss/say/ask/rent {Christmas season / Greet a villain / Speak aloud / Query / Monthly payment} cf Ulysses S. Grant
67a dumbest/chef/hers/Sinn {Least smart / Kitchen worker / Towel word / ___ Fein} cf Thomas Jefferson
86a junk/wins/see/add/hums {Trash / Victories / "Get it?" / Do some math / Runs smoothly} cf John Quincy Adams
113a hairiest/room/Hawn {Most shaggy / Hotel offering / Actress Goldie} cf Harry S. Truman

Crucimetrics
CompilersEric Berlin / Will Shortz
Grid21x21 with 70 (15.9%) black squares
Answers136 (average length 5.46)
Theme squares103 (27.8%)
Scrabble points556 (average 1.50)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Other Clues

1a pal {Trusted one}; 4a split {Dairy Queen order}; 9a U-boats {W.W. II threats}; 15a Sara {F.D.R.'s mother}; 19a ova {Eggs}; 20a Haiti {Its national anthem is "La Dessalinienne"}; 21a no-spin {Unbiased}; 22a as is {Untouched}; 26a Utah {"Big Love" setting}; 27a Enigma {Appropriately named monthly of the National Puzzlers' League, with "The"}; 28a Lott {Former Mississippi senator}; 29a Oleanna {Mamet play revived on Broadway in 2009}; 31a at. no. {Periodic table fig.}; 32a boy! {"Whew!"}; 34a Lee {Washington and ___ University}; 36a oddities {Robert Ripley's specialty}; 39a signs on {Joins the team}; 41a bad dog {Cry after discovering the furniture's been chewed, maybe}; 43a Ceres {Roman goddess of agriculture}; 48a ASL {A fist might represent A or S in it: Abbr.}; 51a paleo- {Early: Prefix}; 52a Tet {Asian observance}; 53a tae {___ kwon do}; 54a Peace {"___ and Prosperity" (Eisenhower slogan)}; 56a sandal {Forum wear}; 58a wedlock {Union, of a sort}; 62a uncork {Open}; 64a riot {Barrel of laughs}; 65a chai {Indian tea}; 66a UAE {Mideast inits.}; 71a une {French article}; 72a naes {Scottish refusals}; 73a slat {Crate part}; 74a Tejano {Music genre that often includes an accordion}; 76a pat down {Frisk}; 78a Sparta {Peloponnesian power}; 80a sales {Corporate department}; 81a obi {Japanese tie}; 82a Ukr. {U.S.S.R. member: Abbr.}; 83a Aetna {Blue Cross competitor}; 85a slo {Traffic warning}; 93a use as {"___ directed"}; 94a enisle {Strand}; 95a omelets {Egg foo yung and others}; 99a Lawrence {Obama economic adviser Summers}; 102a nie {Never, in Berlin}; 103a Ale {McSorley's Old ___ House, New York landmark since 1854}; 104a Ashe {North Carolina county}; 105a Lasorda {World Series manager of 1981 and '88}; 107a drab {Grayish}; 109a rushee {Fraternity hopeful}; 111a oleo {Blue Bonnet, e.g.}; 116a weak {Watered down}; 117a one ton {Pickup capacity, sometimes}; 118a ran up {Accumulated, as debts}; 119a rea {Mens ___ (guilty mind)}; 120a Life {"My ___" (Clinton autobiography)}; 121a weren't {"You ___ kidding!"}; 122a amass {Accumulate}; 123a PBS {"Washington Week" airer}.

1d pose as {Pretend to be}; 2d avanti {Forward, in 7-Down}; 3d lacing {Ice skate part}; 4d shim {Thin wedge}; 5d parabola {What's represented by x2 = 4py}; 6d lie {"I cannot tell a ___"}; 7d Italy {See 2-Down}; 8d Tito {A Jackson}; 10d Bol. {Neighbor of Braz.}; 11d Oslo {___ Accords of 1993}; 12d apology {"My bad," for one}; 13d tired {Ready for bed}; 14d Snead {Three-time Masters champ}; 15d saunter {Amble}; 16d Astaire {"Shall We Dance" dancer}; 17d ria {Inlet}; 18d ash {Memento of an old flame?}; 24d agony {"There is no greater ___ than bearing an untold story inside you": Maya Angelou}; 25d Atlas {Brother of Prometheus}; 30d nickel {Where 67-Across's face appears}; 33d One-Ls {Law school newcomers}; 35d Edsel {Son - or father - of Henry}; 37d een {Contraction before "now"}; 38d SST {Former part of the British Airways fleet, for short}; 40d superb {Topnotch}; 41d bionics {Science of duplicating nature}; 42d oat {It may be made into a meal}; 45d hearten {Buck up}; 46d a tear {Rampaging, after "on"}; 47d sadist {Hannibal Lecter, e.g.}; 48d Apu {Satyajit Ray's "The ___ Trilogy"}; 49d send-up {Satirize}; 50d lacuna {Blank space}; 55d Comet {Cupid's teammate}; 57d doh {Cry accompanying a head slap}; 58d whetted {Sharpened}; 59d ouija {Holder of the alphabet}; 60d canals {Shortcuts for ships}; 61d kennel {Setter sitter?}; 63d Kenobi {Skywalker's friend}; 65d Charade {1963 Audrey Hepburn thriller}; 68d saw in {Admitted to the foyer}; 69d Fla. {Ga. neighbor}; 70d sesame {Cracker seed}; 75d oso {Bear, in Baja}; 77d dowses {Emulates a rhabdomantist}; 78d skein {Entanglement}; 79d Athol {Playwright Fugard}; 82d USN {Org. for Jimmy Carter, once}; 84d numerous {Many}; 86d Jul. {Birth mo. for Coolidge, Ford and G. W. Bush}; 87d USA {Cable channel}; 88d new leaf {Fresh start, metaphorically}; 89d karaoke {Bar activity}; 90d seedier {More run-down}; 91d ALers {Yanks and others}; 92d slash {Playable character in Guitar Hero III}; 96d E sharp {Equivalent to F}; 97d the web {Surfer's place}; 98d seen as {Regarded to be}; 100d nohow {Not in any way}; 101d crane {Stretch, in a way}; 103d Abram {The "A" of James A. Garfield}; 106d arte {Prado displays}; 108d Atra {Grooming brand}; 110d umps {Ones near bases}; 111d Owl {Friend of Pooh}; 112d lei {Kona keepsake}; 114d ion {Charged bit}; 115d on a {___ high}.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can anyone explain 48a -- ASL (a fist might represent the A or S in it)?

Crossword Man said...

Yes, ASL = American Sign Language, in which A and S are represented by a fist in different configurations. See e.g. The American Sign Language (ASL) Alphabet.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Got the rest of the puzzle, but missed that one.