Tuesday, March 23, 2010

NYT Wednesday 3/24/10 - Buddy

I like the theme of this Wednesday New York Times crossword, which adds a neat pictorial element to an idea involving lots of different associations of the city usually known as just St. L in crosswords. It also amused me to discover that the Gateway Arch was designed by our old crossword bud Eero Saarinen.

The fame of the Gateway Arch is such that I'd seen it in pictures well before arriving in the USA; and I remembered its location today, but couldn't conjure up its formal name. Similarly, I wasn't aware of the city's association with Budweiser, nor its hosting of a World's Fair (though that didn't surprise me either).

So although I recognized what I was dealing with after a couple of minutes - when I had 3d cardinals and 40a St Louis, Missouri - the other aspects didn't fall out immediately; and hence the theme held my interest to the completion of the puzzle. In fact, I didn't check to see what the circled letters spelled out until after the grid was complete.

I was very glad today of some answers that I only learned recently from other American puzzles: 25d Sabu and 56d press were both learned recently and illustrate the two areas of knowledge I've struggled most to acquire in the last year or so ... showbiz and sports.

The crossing of 43a NASD and 41d O'Doul would have stymied me completely at one time, but I fortunately remembered NASD from its outing 10 days ago; otherwise I could have been playing alphabetical roulette again trying to work out the intersecting letter.
Solving time: 8 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 30d as sin {Words after ugly or guilty}
Solution

Peter A. Collins
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

Circled letters spell out the Gateway Arch, which is in 40a St. Louis Missouri {City with a landmark spelled out by the circled letters, reading left to right}. Four other long answers are associated with the city:
21a river-boats {Conveyances at 40-Across}
58a World's Fair {1904 event at 40-Across}
3d Cardinals {Pro team in 40-Across}
37d Budweiser {Brand associated with 40-Across}
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersPeter A. Collins / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 36 (16.0%) black squares
Answers78 (average length 4.85)
Theme squares62 (32.8%)
Scrabble points295 (average 1.56)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Video of the Day



5d Poe {Creator of Roderick Usher}. The Fall of the House of Usher is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, first published September 1839. Roderick Usher's twin sister Madeline is prone to catalepsy and gets buried alive, but returns to wreak vengeance. The above movie version, House of Usher (1960), stars Vincent Price as Roderick, Myrna Fahey as Madeline, and Mark Damon as the Philip Winthrop (the unnamed narrator in the story); it ushered in a series of Poe movie adaptations in the 60s.

The Doctor is IN

16a Sox {Either of two A's rivals}. A = Oakland Athletics (player) is in Pavlov's Guide to Crosswords.

19a lei {Don Ho adornment}. Don Ho (1930–2007) was a Hawaiian entertainer.

30a Alf {1936 foe of Franklin D.}. Alf Landon ran against Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1936 presidential election campaign.

36a Eban {"Voice of Israel" author}. Israeli politician and diplomat Abba Eban (1915-2002).

43a NASD {Former Wall St. letters}. The National Association of Securities Dealers became FINRA.

9d ayer {Yesterday, in the Yucatán}. Yesterday = ayer needs to go into Español para los crucigramistas.

10d Isabel {Juan Perón's third wife}. Isabel Martínez (1961–1974) was also a President of Argentina.

25d Sabu {"Elephant Boy" boy}. Sabu Dastagir, an Indian actor.

41d O'Doul {Two-time N.L. batting champ Lefty}. Lefty O'Doul (1897–1969).

56d press {Defensive strategy in basketball}. See full-court press.

59d Stan {Ollie's partner}. Laurel and Hardy.

Image of the Day

Gateway Arch

The Gateway Arch, also known as the Gateway to the West, is an integral part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and the iconic image of St. Louis, Missouri. It was designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen and structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel in 1947. It stands 630 feet (192 m) tall, and is 630 feet (192 m) wide at its base, making it the tallest monument in the United States. Construction of the arch started on February 12, 1963 and was completed on October 28, 1965.

Other Clues

1a escape {Go over the wall, maybe}; 7a Alai {Asia's Trans ___ Range}; 11a ape {"Great" creature}; 14a shadow {Peter Pan lost his}; 15a bays {Serenades the moon}; 17a sirree {Word after yes or no}; 18a odea {Ancient concert halls}; 20a Erda {Wagner's earth goddess}; 24a skits {Revue bits}; 26a NES {Nintendo's Super ___}; 27a Ernst {Collagist Max}; 28a neaps {Some tides}; 31a Sea {Beaufort ___, area above Alaska}; 33a briars {Prickly plants}; 44a stymie {Thoroughly frustrate}; 45a DCX {Early seventh-century year}; 46a oom {___-pah band}; 48a in-law {Holiday visitor, maybe}; 50a The UN {Org. headquartered on N.Y.C.'s First Avenue}; 53a own {Part of B.Y.O.B.}; 55a aleph {Letter before beth}; 61a lira {Coin with the words REPVBBLICA ITALIANA}; 62a awe {One may stand in it}; 63a étui {Needle holder}; 64a abuser {Problem drinker, e.g.}; 66a Nic {Actor Cage, familiarly}; 67a cast {Project, as a 14-Across}; 68a duress {Arm-twisting}; 69a get {Come down with}; 70a knee {See 65-Down}; 71a Smersh {Soviet agcy. in Bond novels}.

1d esses {Slalom maneuvers}; 2d shirk {Dodge, as a duty}; 4d ad rate {Madison Ave. cost}; 6d ewer {Basin go-with}; 7d above {Superior to}; 8d lades {Does dock work}; 11d Aslan {Narnia lion}; 12d poets {5-Down and others}; 13d exist {Be}; 22d insist {Refuse to bend}; 23d Orfeo {Monteverdi opera partly set in the underworld}; 29d prism {Spectrum-forming solid}; 30d as sin {Words after ugly or guilty}; 31d SSN {Govt.-issued ID}; 32d ETA {Info from the cockpit, for short}; 34d Amy {"Rehab" singer Winehouse}; 35d Rimini {Adriatic Riviera city}; 38d arc {___ cosine}; 39d nix {Shoot down}; 42d Sela {Emmy winner Ward}; 47d on deck {Next in the order}; 49d allure {Cafe aroma, say}; 50d twang {Vocal nasality}; 51d Howie {TV host Mandel}; 52d erect {Way to stand}; 53d of use {Worth having}; 54d Waite {Ralph of "The Waltons"}; 57d harsh {Like Russian winters}; 60d rads {X-ray dosage units}; 65d bum {With 70-Across, cause of a limp}.

3 comments:

Daniel Myers said...

A little-known fact about Poe is that he was educated in England - at a boarding school in Chelsea no less. No wonder he was so gloomy.

Crossword Man said...

Didn't know that about Poe. I rather like his brand of gloominess, at least in the prose works I've read ... The Gold-Bug, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Pit and the Pendulum.

Daniel Myers said...

I like them too, especially The Gold-Bug and The Fall Of The House Of Usher (none of the films do it justice, to my mind).