Wednesday, March 17, 2010

NYT Thursday 3/18/10 - Quavery

As often with rebus puzzles, this Thursday New York Times crossword was a "game of two halves". Until I worked out that notes were being crammed into single squares, progress was really slow; once I knew what was going on, the grid was finished reasonably quickly.

There must have been a couple of instances early on when I solved a rebus-affected clue correctly, found the answer didn't fit, and moved on. It wasn't till seven minutes of poor progress had elapsed that I got the idea and started looking for notes of the solfa scale.

This has to be one of the most popular Thursday ideas - I can recall two others in the last year immediately, and there may have been more. This one takes adds the drawing element, which is very neat. I was also amazed to discover the restriction on the clues, which I failed to notice until I went looking for it at the end.

I had some concerns over the NW corner, where Javits intersects with two acrosses I wasn't 100% sure of: Isadore and tai. Isidore was a possibility, but I didn't like the look of Jivits; I vaguely recalled tai as it came up recently ... yes, it was clued as {Red sushi fish} in the March 6 puzzle.

Interestingly, Brits use quite different and less logical names for the notes: quavers (eighth notes), crotchets (quarter notes), minims (half notes) and semibreves (whole notes).
Solving time: 15 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 8d imprisons {Doesn't let go?}

Daniel A. Finan
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]


A rebus-based puzzle in which eight notes (38-Across without the central square) are entered into a single square. When linked in ascending order starting at square 58, the notes make the shape of two eighth notes (38-Across with the central square). Every clue in the puzzle also begins with one of the notes. The answers affected by the rebus squares are:
16a mausoleum {Resting place for the deceased}
11d isolate {Reverse of "bring together"}

20a a favor {"Do me ___ and ..."}
6d Arafat {Mideast peace conference attendee, 1993}

47a doomed {Fated for ruin}
31d estado {Michigan, e.g., to a Spaniard}

56a lacto- {Milk: Prefix}
39d Ebola {Fatal virus}

57a condo {Time-share unit}
58d doing {Solving, as a puzzle}

59a gratia {Latin motto "Ars ___ artis"}
55d otiose {Lazy}
62a multimillionaire {Doughbags}
63d mica {Mineral in sheets}

65a Florence {Renaissance cradle city} 
52d ente {Restaurant order}
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersDaniel A. Finan / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 34 (15.1%) black squares
Answers73 (average length 5.22)
Theme squares(not calculated)
Scrabble points301 (average 1.58)
Video of the Day

14d o' My {Record of 1947 "Peg ___ Heart"}. A day late for St. Patrick's Day, Peg o' My Heart is a popular song written by Alfred Bryan and Fred Fisher. First published in 1913, it featured in the 1913 musical Ziegfeld Follies. A version by The Harmonicats peaked at #1 in the Billboard magazine chart in 1947. The above recording is by the American singer Joni James.

The Doctor is IN

19a tai {Red ___ (sushi order)}. How red sea bream (Pagrus major) appears on menus.

22a hgts. {Ming's 7'6" and Bryant's 6'6", e.g.: Abbr.}. References to basketballers Yao Ming and Kobe Bryant.

3d Javits {Late New York senator Jacob}. Jacob Javits was a United States Senator from New York from 1957 to 1981.

5d Toya {Michael's sister La ___}. Siblings La Toya Jackson and Michael Jackson.

13d butlers {Mister Belvedere and others}. The sitcom Mr. Belvedere starred Christopher Hewett as the eponymous butler.

31d estado {Michigan, e.g., to a Spaniard}. estado = "state" is in Español para los crucigramistas.

54d Waitz {Repeat New York City Marathon winner Grete ___}. Grete Waitz is a retired Norwegian marathon runner.

Image of the Day

10d lune {Millet's moon}. The constructors may have been inspired in this choice by Le parc à moutons, clair de lune, an 1872-3 painting by Jean-François Millet (1814–1875). Millet was a French painter and one of the founders of the Barbizon school in rural France. He is noted for his scenes of peasant farmers.

Other Clues

1a fajitas {Tijuana dishes}; 8a in limbo {Relegated to a state of oblivion}; 15a Isadore {Middle name of Sen. Joe Lieberman}; 17a five yard penalty {False start's result, in football}; 21a et al {Reference abbr.}; 24a topic {"Resolved: that ...," for debaters}; 26a Ener. {D.O.E. part: Abbr.}; 28a so sad {"'Tis a pity"}; 30a esse {Tiberius' "to be"}; 32a GRE {Last test before starting some advanced deg. programs}; 33a kiss {Request of a frog in a fairy tale}; 36a ops {Missions, for short}; 37a Esc {Laptop key}; 40a Edy {Last name in ice cream}; 42a -ier {Laborer's suffix}; 43a stab {Lance}; 44a ere {Reversible preposition}; 45a Trac {Double-bladed ___ II razor}; 51a lace {Doily material}; 53a in two {Rent down the center}; 61a Meg {Tilly of Tinseltown}; 66a tsarina {Resident of the Winter Palace before 1917}; 67a rare gas {Last-column element on the periodic table}; 68a zestier {Relatively piquant}.

1d fifths {Rémy Martin units}; 2d Asiago {Lasagna cheese, sometimes}; 4d -ide {Lanthan- suffix}; 7d servo {Regulator mechanism, for short}; 8d imprisons {Doesn't let go?}; 9d nae {Refusal for Rob Roy}; 12d melanges {Mishmashes}; 18d dope {Lamebrain}; 23d Saki {"Reginald" writer}; 25d C-spot {Large bill, slangily}; 27d REC {Remote button}; 29d dig it! {"Far out, man!"}; 34d Sheri {Fashionista ___ Moon Zombie}; 35d strangles {Does in with a rope}; 38d eye color {Factual info on a dating service questionnaire}; 40d eel {Sole alternative?}; 41d Dracula {Fanged villain}; 46d Ctrl {Laptop key}; 48d MCMIII {"Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" was published in this year}; 49d eterne {Timeless, old-style}; 50d dog-ear {Reader's place marker}; 60d anas {Miscellanies}; 62d mfr. {Dow Chemical, e.g.: Abbr.}; 64d art {Michelangelo's field}.

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