Saturday, March 13, 2010

NYT Saturday 3/13/10 - Holiday Mode

I started solving this Saturday New York Times crossword on my own, but achieved so little that way that I almost immediately appealed for Magdalen's help in finishing. Although I'd happily spend an hour or so on a puzzle like this at home, that's not what I'd rather do when on holiday.

Together we made significant inroads into the puzzle right away: we finished the SE corner first, although there was some question over why newts should be so bewitching. Then we moved over to the SW corner. The middle section with its sandwich of long answers was always going to be a challenge, and we polished off the NW corner before finally getting social lubricant, the first of the long acrosses.

That broke the logjam in the center and we soon just had the NE corner to go. What seemed impossible to start with eventually yielded: it helped that I had vague memories of Montana's motto "Oro y Plata" ... leafing through a road atlas on our many car trips, I've tried to make sense of the state mottoes. Montana's is pretty straightforward (as the clue suggests), but some are positively weird, like "it grows as it goes" for New Mexico and "she flies with her own wings" for Oregon.
Solving time: 24 mins (with Magdalen, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 29a brr {Shaker's cry}

Tyler Hinman and Byron Walden
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersTyler Hinman and Byron Walden / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 26 (11.6%) black squares
Answers68 (average length 5.85)
Theme squares0 (0.0%)
Scrabble points288 (average 1.45)
Video of the Day

3d Xavier Cugat {Entertainer who was the first man to be married at Caesars Palace}. Xavier Cugat (1900–1990) was an American bandleader from Catalonia, Spain who spent his formative years in Havana, Cuba. A trained violinist and arranger, he was a key personality in the spread of Latin music in United States popular music. He was also a cartoonist and a successful businessman. In New York, his was the resident orchestra at the Waldorf-Astoria before and after World War II. Cugat was married four times. His first marriage was to Carmen Castillo (1929–1944); his second to Lorraine Allen (1947-52); his third to singer Abbe Lane (1952-64); and his fourth to Spanish guitarist and comic actress Charo (1966-78). His last marriage was the first in Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip.

The Doctor is IN

61a gender gap {Title IX concern}. Title IX was renamed in 2002 the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act.

62a newts {Ones with bewitching eyes?}. "Eye of newt" is an ingredient used by the witches in Macbeth.

2d Mille Bornes {Game with hazards, safeties and remedies}. Mille Bornes is French for "a thousand milestones".

4d Enid {Personification of purity, in literature}. Referencing Geraint and Enid?

20d Nellis {Air Force base near Las Vegas}. Nellis Air Force Base was named in honor of P-47 pilot 1st Lieutenant William Harrell Nellis, who was killed in WWII during the Battle of the Bulge.

53d Lomé {Capital on the Gulf of Guinea}. Lomé is the capital of Togo.

Image of the Day

Salada tea

52a Salada {Tea originally wrapped in foil}. Salada tea was founded in 1892 by Montreal businessman Peter C. Larkin. Larkin's main innovation was to offer its tea packaged in foil packaging, as opposed to being sold in loose form from chests, which helped to establish a uniform, consistent flavor, and a guarantee of freshness to its drinkers. Salada became one of the leading teas in Canada and the northeastern United States.

By 1917, Salada was so popular in the US, that it was able to establish its own headquarters and blending and packaging plant in Boston, Massachusetts. This headquarter's large bronze doors are inscribed with images of the history of tea trade, as well as Larkin's own contributions to a commitment to quality in the field. Salada is now a division of Redco Foods, Inc. in Little Falls, New York.

Other Clues

1a BMXer {Debut Olympian of 2008}; 6a Cobb salad {Dish served with Roquefort cheese}; 15a liane {Tropical vine}; 16a Oro y Plata {Treasure State's motto, aptly}; 17a Elvis {Andy Warhol subject}; 18a well above {Easily past}; 19a slid on {Had trouble with, as icy roads}; 21a odors {What wavy lines often represent}; 22a see {"Let's ___"}; 23a Wes {Film director Anderson}; 25a ate {Fell hard, with "it"}; 26a sci. {It might be physical: Abbr.}; 29a brr {Shaker's cry}; 31a leds {They're often seen on scoreboards, for short}; 33a Titan {"The Sirens of ___," Kurt Vonnegut novel}; 35a social lubricant {Alcohol, it's said}; 38a true life romance {Hepburn and Tracy shared one}; 39a English lavender {Aromatic plant native to the Pyrenees}; 40a pease {Kind of pudding}; 41a esse {Ab ___ (absent: Lat.)}; 42a 'Til {"___ There Was You" (1997 film)}; 43a SST {Flier with delta wings}; 44a NRA {Arm supporters, for short}; 46a Srs. {They often get rings: Abbr.}; 48a new {Brand follower?}; 50a tra-la {Refrain from singing when you're happy?}; 54a Socratics {Plato and others}; 58a boron {Ulexite is rich in it}; 59a Innocent I {Pope when the Visigoths seized Rome}; 60a I'm out {Poker player's declaration}.

1d bless {Smile on}; 5d resow {Make seedier?}; 6d cow {Make chicken}; 7d Oreo {It has 12 flowers on each side}; 8d bold as brass {Overly confident}; 9d by lot {One way to break ties}; 10d spare time {Result of a break}; 11d albs {Garments covered by amices}; 12d Lao {Language written with no spaces between words}; 13d ATV {Mud bogger's purchase, briefly}; 14d Dae {"Lost" actor Daniel ___ Kim}; 24d self-healing {Holistic medicine topic}; 26d stand in a row {Line up}; 27d canceled out {Simplified, in a way}; 28d inter- {Start to change?}; 30d riels {Cambodian cash}; 32d duels {They often have seconds}; 34d I can't {Turndown from the overcommitted}; 35d steps {Salsa ingredients?}; 36d alien race {Vulcans, e.g.}; 37d rovers {NASA's Spirit and Opportunity}; 45d rater {Michelin, for one}; 47d Sabin {Albert with a National Medal of Science}; 49d wants {List in a wish list}; 50d trod {Put shoes on?}; 51d acta {They're found within minutes}; 54d Sig. {Foreign Mr.}; 55d one {The same partner?}; 56d CNN {"American Morning" home}; 57d sip {Spoonful, maybe}.


Deana said...

The witches in MacBeth use of "eye of newt" in their potions

Daniel Myers said...

I have two nits to pick w/ this puzzle, which I only got arount to today, yesterday being my birthday, with the usual obligations:

1.) 43A - Flier with delta wings Ans: SST No, no, no - I say again no! The clue should correctly read "Fliers"-- And the Answer: SSTS The Delta Wing on the Concorde and other such aircraft is always referred to as one wing. Just look at the shape! There are structural reasons as well, too technical for this comment. In fact, when these type of planes where in their experimental stages, they were called flying wings, a single aircraft was a "flying wing." You can lok all this up in wikipedia, but it's all intuitive to me. Who would ever say that the Concorde had delta wings? It has a delta wing!

2)41A - Abesse (one word in Latin) does NOT mean "absent." It means to be away, to be absent. It is a verb, not an adjective. I looked through all the English-Latin-Legal usage lexicons to make sure, as is so often the case, that this wasn't some adulteration now in common use. I found none.

Absens, Absentis is the Latin adjective meaning "absent".

Crossword Man said...

Thanks for your help Deana.

Daniel, I think you're right about those delta wings. If SSTs have two of them, they're not delta shaped.

Re "ab esse", I know better than to doubt your expertise on Latin usage!