Thursday, April 15, 2010

NYT Friday 4/16/10 - Loose Cover

This Friday New York Times crossword again turned out well for me. Have I turned a corner, with solving times for Friday and Saturday more likely to be under than over 30 minutes? We'll see ...

Today I got off to a reasonable start at the top left, but progress there petered out, as I just couldn't see how 17-Across would end (I persisted with my best guess of taster plate, as I couldn't understand 5-Down).

Working through the rest of the grid, I got my break all the way down in the SE, guessing the long 58-Across as comediennes and 51-Across as Siva, which was then the base for filling that corner. What's more I could develop from that clockwise to join up with the completed top left corner.

That just left the stubborn NE, where I eventually got the critical 21-Across the hard way, by guessing Astor for 30-Across, whom I knew (from other crosswords, of course) to have made his millions in the fur trade. With animal pelt in place, the grid was completed really quickly.

Am I alone in thinking that {Forest cover?} doesn't really play fair, even allowing for the question mark? I assume one's meant to read the clue as "what cover might you see in a forest", so that {Savanna cover?} could have done equally well? This all seems a little too vague and unhelpful to me.

Another poser, even after some research, is 7-Across: I've assumed desc. stands for "descendant", but it could perhaps be "descended", "descending". Does it matter?
Solving time: 23 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 26a scarecrow {Its purpose is frightening}

Eric Berlin
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersEric Berlin / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 29 (12.9%) black squares
Answers70 (average length 5.60)
Theme squares0 (0.0%)
Scrabble points267 (average 1.36)
Video of the Day

27d cathode ray {Crookes tube emission}. A Crookes tube is an early experimental electrical discharge tube, invented by British physicist William Crookes and others around 1869-1875, in which cathode rays, that is electrons, were discovered. An evolution of the Geissler tube, it consists of a partially (but not completely) evacuated glass cylinder of various shapes, with two metal electrodes, one at either end. When a high voltage is applied between the electrodes, electrons travel in straight lines from the cathode to the anode. It was used by Crookes, and others to discover the properties of cathode rays, culminating in J. J. Thomson's 1897 identification of cathode rays as negatively-charged particles, which were later named electrons. Crookes tubes are now used only for demonstrating cathode rays.

The Doctor is IN

7a desc. {Family tree abbr.}. desc. = descendant?

16a AEC {Post-Manhattan Project agcy.}. The United States Atomic Energy Commission was formed in 1946.

19a rea {Guilty, in a legal phrase}. As in mens rea ("guilty mind").

21a animal pelt {Forest cover?}. An animal pelt covers a creature living in the forest?

30a Astor {Noted 21-Across dealer}. Fur trader John Jacob Astor (1763–1848) was the first multi-millionaire in the United States.

60a bar {Place for many belts}. A "belt" is a gulp or shot of liquor.

64a neon {Rialto attention-getter}. The "Rialto" is slang for the Broadway theater district.

3d else {More}. Equivalent in the sense of "in addition" as in e.g. "what more/else did she say?".

5d ONI {Clandestine maritime org.}. The Office of Naval Intelligence, the United States Navy's intelligence agency.

7d Dominos {Company with the stock symbol DPZ}. I.e. Domino's Pizza.

8d elem. {I, for one}. I =  iodine is in Pavlov's Guide to Crosswords.

26d Susan {Longtime human "Sesame Street" role}. Reference to the fictional Susan Robinson, married to Gordon.

37d etats {Nations Unies members}. "Nations Unies" is French for the UN.

42d letter N {End of discussion?}. "discussion" literally ends with a letter N.

Image of the Day

The Trimurti

53a Siva {Member of the Hindu trinity}.The Trimurti is a concept in Hinduism "in which the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction are personified by the forms of Brahmā the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver, and Śhiva the destroyer or transformer." These three deities have been called "the Hindu triad" or the "Great Trinity," often addressed as "Brahma-Vishnu-Maheshvar."

Other Clues

1a reek of {Exude}; 11a pro {Backing}; 14a Illini {Marching ___ (Midwest college band)}; 15a olio {Mix}; 17a tasting menu {It has a lot of small dishes}; 20a elec. {Like many appliances: Abbr.}; 23a Aslan {Narnian guardian}; 25a ident. {Security need: Abbr.}; 26a scarecrow {Its purpose is frightening}; 32a UAE {OPEC member: Abbr.}; 33a pulses {They're checked for life}; 35a thru {Connecting, briefly}; 36a stretti {Climactic musical finales}; 38a lassoed {Like some pulled calves?}; 40a a hot {"That's ___ one!"}; 41a sell to {Unload on, in a way}; 43a OED {Work containing about 2.5 million quotations: Abbr.}; 44a nomad {Unsettled sort}; 46a reputedly {"Rumor has it ..."}; 48a deter {Discourage}; 50a tarsi {Tibiae neighbors}; 51a sets foot in {Enters}; 57a ore {It may lie in a bed}; 58a comediennes {Women who may make people break up?}; 61a on or {___ about}; 62a nieces {Some godchildren}; 63a sys. {Way: Abbr.}; 65a enrapt {Absorbed}.

1d rite {Graduation, e.g.}; 2d El Al {Offerer of the Matmid frequent flier club}; 4d kit car {Build-it-yourself wheels}; 6d final cuts {Demands of some directors}; 9d Sinai {Six-Day War setting}; 10d Coulda {"___ Been the One" (2006 Rihanna song)}; 11d parenthood {Pop's condition}; 12d reel-to-reel {Like some projectors}; 13d o'cat {One ___ (kid's game)}; 18d gnarlier {More difficult, in slang}; 22d pests {They might be smoked out}; 24d Sept. {Reaping time: Abbr.}; 28d aerometers {Measurers of gas properties}; 29d well-paid {Making seven figures, say}; 31d ruddy {Kind of complexion}; 34d saturnine {Gloomy}; 39d sots {They're often loaded}; 45d DEFCON {Military alert status}; 47d Eisner {Michael with the memoir "Work in Progress"}; 49d Roone {TV executive Arledge}; 51d sobs {Doesn't just tear up}; 52d Omoo {Novel with the chapter "Farming in Polynesia"}; 54d Inca {Old victim of the Spanish}; 55d veep {Resident of D.C.'s Observatory Circle}; 56d asst. {Right hand: Abbr.}; 59d Ein {"___ weites Feld" (Günter Grass novel)}.


Anonymous said...

Parenthood as a condition seems a bit weak to me. Maybe "pop's activity"? I may just be bitter because I said "Carbonated".

Crossword Man said...

Perhaps {Pop's state?} would have read better? "condition" made me think of pregnancy, which wasn't to the point!