Sunday, March 21, 2010

NYT Monday 3/22/10 - New Deal

This Monday New York Times crossword uses the familiar thematic device of anagrammed words ending different phrases; with the bonus that an additional anagram appears at 35-Down, crossing the central theme answer. I ran into the bonus word and its clue about halfway through the puzzle and so had help with the lower two theme answers.

Let's Make a Deal wasn't easy for me, as I don't believe the show has ever appeared in the UK, with or without its original name, though I had come across the so-called Monty Hall Problem which was originally stated thus in Parade magazine:
Suppose you're on a game show, and you're given the choice of three doors: Behind one door is a car; behind the others, goats. You pick a door, say No. 1, and the host, who knows what's behind the doors, opens another door, say No. 3, which has a goat. He then says to you, "Do you want to pick door No. 2?" Is it to your advantage to switch your choice?
The right answer is that you should switch, as it doubles your chances of winning the car from 1/3 to 2/3. When the above statement of the problem and solution appeared in Parade, approximately 10,000 readers, including nearly 1,000 with PhDs, wrote to the magazine claiming the published solution was wrong and that switching makes no difference.

Aside from that, there were no particular trouble spots in the puzzle, as you'd expect on a Monday. The cluing overall seemed a little tougher than average, to judge by the number of times I stalled on a clue and had to work around it.
Solving time: 5 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 56d hem {Bottom line?}
Solution

Andrea Carla Michaels
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

Anagrams of ADEL, as indicated by 35d lade {Stow, as cargo ... or an anagram of the last word of 17-, 35- or 52-Across}.
17a over hill and dale {All around, as on a trip}
35a Let's Make a Deal {TV show with many doors}
52a take over the lead {Move into first place in a race}
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersAndrea Carla Michaels / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 38 (16.9%) black squares
Answers78 (average length 4.79)
Theme squares46 (24.6%)
Scrabble points295 (average 1.58)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Video of the Day



9d Madre {"The Treasure of the Sierra ___"}. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is a 1927 novel by the mysterious German-English bilingual author B. Traven, in which two penurious Americans of the 1920s join with an old-timer, in Mexico, to prospect for gold. The book was adapted successfully as a 1948 film of the same name, directed by John Huston. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre was one of the first Hollywood films to be filmed almost entirely on location outside the United States (in the state of Durango with street scenes in Tampico, Mexico), although the night scenes were filmed back in the studio.

The Doctor is IN

14a Rex {Film critic Reed}. Rex Reed writes the column "On the Town with Rex Reed" for The New York Observer.

45a pea {Sleepless princess' bane}. Reference to The Princess and the Pea by Hans Christian Andersen.

55d TVA {Energy inits. in the South}. Tennessee Valley Authority.

Image of the Day

Peter Mark Roget

4a Roget {Thesaurus creator}. Peter Mark Roget (1779–1869) was a British physician, natural theologian and lexicographer. After studying medicine at the University of Edinburgh, he became physician to the Manchester Infirmary in 1804. He was one of the founders of the Medical and Chirurgical Society of London, which later became the Royal Society of Medicine, and he was a secretary of the Royal Society. Roget retired from professional life in 1840 and about 1848 began preparing for publication the one work that was to perpetuate his memory. This was the catalog of words organized by their meanings, the compilation of which had been an avocation since 1805. Its first printed edition, in 1852, was called Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases Classified and Arranged so as to Facilitate the Expression of Ideas and Assist in Literary Composition. Above is the blue plaque commemorating Roget at the University of Manchester.

Other Clues

1a DDE {J.F.K.'s predecessor}; 9a muddy {Roil, as the waters}; 15a abash {Embarrass}; 16a anise {Licorice flavoring}; 20a virus {Common cold cause}; 21a toros {Spanish bulls}; 22a -ette {Suffix with disk}; 23a girlie {Young and feminine}; 26a pot {Money on a poker table}; 29a SOS {"Hel-l-lp!"}; 30a Errol {Dashing actor Flynn}; 31a bore {Ho-hum sort}; 32a Alamo {"Remember the ___!"}; 33a sorrel {Horse color}; 38a Sam I am {Last words of "Green Eggs and Ham"}; 39a infer {Get by logic}; 40a I'd be {"___ a fool to ..."}; 41a Seder {Passover meal}; 42a kit {Caboodle's partner}; 46a sensor {Heat detector, e.g.}; 48a pace {Walk a hole in the carpet, maybe}; 49a Rhone {River of Arles}; 51a Karen {Richard's partner in the Carpenters}; 57a sheet {Pillowcase accompanier}; 58a revel {Celebrate boisterously}; 59a ego {Sense of self-importance}; 60a paddy {Rice field}; 61a scamp {Rascal}; 62a men {Fellows}.

1d droves {Herds}; 2d DeVito {Danny of "Throw Momma From the Train"}; 3d exerts {Applies, as pressure}; 4d rahs {Stadium cheers}; 5d obi {Kabuki sash}; 6d gal {Guy's date}; 7d ESL {Night school subj.}; 8d That'll {Buddy Holly's "___ Be the Day"}; 10d undo {Reverse, as an action}; 11d diaspora {Scattering of an ethnic group}; 12d DSL {Internet connection faster than dial-up}; 13d yee {"___-haw!" (cry of delight)}; 18d rue {Street, in Paris}; 19d no I {"There is ___ in 'team'"}; 23d Gramm {Former Texas senator Phil}; 24d Irma {"___ la Douce"}; 25d rookies {First-year players}; 27d Orel {Pitcher Hershiser}; 28d Tel {___ Aviv}; 30d Elsa {"Born Free" lioness}; 31d Brer {Title before Rabbit or Fox}; 32d a tie {End in ___ (come out even)}; 33d safer {More secure}; 34d Oder {German/Polish border river}; 36d embarked {Started out (on), as a journey}; 37d endo- {Prefix with skeleton}; 38d sip {Tiniest drink}; 41d sneers {Contemptuous looks}; 42d Kareem {N.B.A.'s ___ Abdul-Jabbar}; 43d ice age {Period of advancing glaciers}; 44d tendon {Sinew}; 46d sooty {Like Santa's suit after going through the chimney}; 47d env. {Letter holder: Abbr.}; 48d pal {Chum}; 50d heed {Follow, as advice}; 51d kelp {Seaweed used as food}; 52d tsp. {Recipe amt.}; 53d aha! {"That's brilliant!"}; 54d rec {___ center (community facility)}; 56d hem {Bottom line?}.

2 comments:

Daniel Myers said...

I ran across that so-called Monty Hall problem whilst reading the book The Curious Incident of The Dog in Night-Time by Mark Haddon. I'm surprised you haven't had any comments saying in effect, as I did at first: "Huh?"

Then again, you did provide that helpful link.

Crossword Man said...

Not having read the Haddon, I reckon I must have come across the MHP in the rec.puzzles newsgroup circa 1990 (those were the days) ... probably in the FAQ, as there has been so much heated discussion on that particular puzzle over the years!