Wednesday, March 24, 2010

NYT Thursday 3/25/10 - Silly Signs

This Thursday New York Times crossword seemed relatively straightforward themewise, on a day normally reserved for the more outrageous ideas constructors come up with. No complaints, though, as the ironically "odd" signs were good fun.

The problems for me lay outside the theme, and this puzzle marks a big step up in difficulty compared to yesterday's. I remember the SE corner being the last to be done: even though 52a estival was a gimme for me, the troublesome 45d TV Show with its four-consonant start, required 61-Across to be solved first - and only when that was done could I break into the final corner.

In fact, there was a more insidious problem at the top: I knew neither 4a Camacho, nor AAU at 5d, and had to make a guess at the intersecting letter ... clearly a vowel, and very likely A or O. I opted for Comacho and OAU, as I thought I remembered the former from a previous puzzle, but clearly not. I wonder how well known the Amateur Athletic Union and Héctor Camacho are to Americans born and bred?
Solving time: 18 mins (solo, no solving aids, two wrong answers)
Clue of the puzz: 33d nanas {Frequent spoilers}
Solution

Dan Naddor
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

Ill-chosen sale signs:
17a blowout tire sale {Odd sign at a Michelin dealership?}
36a lingerie half off {Odd sign at Victoria's Secret?}
56a all suits slashed {Odd sign at Men's Wearhouse?}
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersDan Naddor / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 32 (14.2%) black squares
Answers70 (average length 5.51)
Theme squares45 (23.3%)
Scrabble points289 (average 1.50)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Video of the Day



59d aws {Jimmy Stewart syllables}. James Stewart (1908–1997) had a folksy "aw-shucks" manner as a performer, notably in the Frank Capra-directed Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and It's a Wonderful Life.

The Doctor is IN

1a LAL {Kobe Bryant's team, on scoreboards}. Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.

4a Camacho {Boxing champ Hector}. Héctor Camacho is a Puerto Rican professional boxer.

22a Eastman {Photography pioneer}. George Eastman, the founder of Eastman Kodak Company.

31a Arabians {The Black Stallion and others}. Reference to The Black Stallion of the Walter Farley books.

40a ANA {Carrier to Tokyo}. All Nippon Airways, Japan's second-largest airline.

60a LIU {Sch. in Brooklyn, N.Y.}. Long Island University.

65a Wye {___ Accord (1998 Mideast peace agreement)}. Wye Accord between Israel and the Palestine Authority.

5d AAU {Jr. Olympics sponsor}. Amateur Athletic Union, one of the largest, non-profit, volunteer, sports organizations in the United States.

19d Saab {Car whose name is an acronym}. Saab derives from Svenska Aeroplan AB.

32d a home {"Oh, give me ___ ..."}. Opening words of the state song of Kansas, Home on the Range.

Image of the Day

nautilus

38d nautilus {Spiral-shelled creature}. Nautilus (from Greek ναυτίλος, 'sailor') is the common name of marine creatures of cephalopod family Nautilidae, the sole extant family of suborder Nautilina. Having survived relatively unchanged for millions of years, nautiluses represent the only living members of the subclass Nautiloidea, and are often considered "living fossils". The nautilus shell presents one of the finest natural examples of a logarithmic spiral, although it is not a golden spiral.

Other Clues

11a ago {Earlier}; 14a aga {Near East honorific}; 15a harsher {Like boot camp vis-à-vis day camp}; 16a mow {Annihilate, with "down"}; 20a fête {Roast, e.g.}; 21a onboard {In agreement with the group}; 26a assails {Goes after}; 28a emeritus {Part of an academic title}; 30a bleu {___ cheese}; 35a Lar {Choreographer Lubovitch}; 41a diagonal {Shortcut, perhaps}; 42a CPUs {Computer innards, for short}; 44a emanates {Issues}; 48a tutored {Like slow students, sometimes}; 52a estival {Summerlike}; 53a bipolar {Kind of disorder}; 55a RSTU {Alphabet string}; 61a The View {ABC daytime staple since 1997}; 62a .org {U.R.L. ending}; 63a PCs {Program holders}; 64a surplus {Extra}.

1d lab fee {Physical expense}; 2d agleam {Radiant}; 3d Lao Tse {Who wrote "He who does not trust enough will not be trusted"}; 4d Cho {Comedian Margaret}; 6d Mr. T {"The A-Team" muscleman}; 7d as to {Concerning}; 8d china {Popular wedding gift}; 9d herbs {Tea flavorings}; 10d Oreos {Sandwiches for dessert}; 11d Amarillo {Panhandle city}; 12d gold-leaf {Bookbinding decoration}; 13d owe {Get behind}; 18d wet rag {Symbol of limpness}; 23d mired {Stuck}; 24d Atari {___ 2600}; 25d Nubia {Nile Valley region}; 27d surf {Roar producer}; 29d siege {More than a raid}; 33d nanas {Frequent spoilers}; 34d slant {Grade}; 36d lact- {Milk: Prefix}; 37d in public {For everyone to see}; 39d flairs {Talents}; 43d sops {Soaks (up)}; 45d TV show {61-Across, e.g.}; 46d eatery {Bistro}; 47d sludge {Gunk}; 49d routs {One-sided contests}; 50d Elihu {Electrical pioneer Thomson}; 51d dater {Antique dealer, at times}; 54d RSVP {Answer}; 56d alp {Frequent Winter Olympics site}; 57d s'il {The "S" in 54-Down}; 58d leu {Romanian currency}.

2 comments:

Daniel Myers said...

I opted for the "O" as well. My one mistake in an otherwise very enjoyable puzzle.

Regarding your Image of the Day, I think you'll like this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkGeOWYOFoA

Crossword Man said...

Yes, an awesome video. It would have been my Video of the Day if I'd known about it in time.