Saturday, April 10, 2010

NYT Sunday 4/11/10 - A Puzzlemaster's Masters Puzzle

This Sunday New York Times crossword is a twist on a common pun theme: instead of a letter or fragment being added to a phrase making a pun (without a spelling change) the sound of the letter T is added to the sound of a phrase (with liberties taken over the spelling).

A subtle difference, but it made things quite a bit more challenging: for one thing you couldn't predict how each theme entry would end; also, you couldn't so easily recognize the original phrase at the start of the answer ... words sometimes changed significantly (pace became pasty for example).

This wasn't at all what I was expecting from the title (Tee Time): with The Masters under way, I predicted a golf theme ... the scheduling of this puzzle today was a mildly amusing leg-pull.

For a change, I solved this puzzle on my own, as Magdalen returned after a long day out, at around publication time, and needed a breather. Given some of the problem areas, I could have done with her complementary knowledge.

The northeast corner was the toughest to break into: I'm familiar with neither Actifed, nor flat-heel, and together with itty-bitty answers like as if and I see, this resulted in a persistent hole until I put a lot of effort in.

Another trouble spot was the mid-South, with the bizarrely spelled Osment (new to me) in the vicinity of Edessa and Emory (not new, but hardly on the tip of my tongue either). Then there was 87a Olinda crossing with the vaguely remembered 75d Lili (Taylor).

Finally, I was only saved from disaster at the crossing of 79a Mamie and 66d Cimino by memories of  Mamie Eisenhower's bangs from the March 29 puzzle. It was something of a miracle that I managed to negotiate all these sand traps in a solo effort.
Solving time: 33 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 88a rabbit warranty {What a bunny buyer at a pet shop might want?}
Solution

Patrick Berry
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

"Tee Time". The sound of "tee" is added to words/phrases, making a pun.
19a pool cutie {Bathing beauty at a swimming facility?} cf pool cue
23a Christmas Treaty {Armistice signed on December 25?} cf Christmas tree
38a loch Nestea {Scottish body of water with beverage concentrate added?} cf Loch Ness
43a Hanna barbarity {Awful illustration from cartoonist William?} cf Hanna-Barbera
56a keeping pasty {Opting not to sunbathe?} cf keeping pace
70a Santa clarity {Exactness in giving orders to toymaking elves?} cf Santa Clara
88a rabbit warranty {What a bunny buyer at a pet shop might want?} cf rabbit warren
90a hit or Misty {Choice of songs at a piano bar?} cf hit or miss
108a tortoise Sheltie {Hybrid sheepdog that moves ver-r-ry slowly?} cf tortoiseshell
115a up to party {Drinking and dancing instead of sleeping?} cf up to par
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersPatrick Berry / Will Shortz
Grid21x21 with 77 (17.5%) black squares
Answers138 (average length 5.28)
Theme squares120 (33.0%)
Scrabble points563 (average 1.55)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Video of the Day



90a hit or Misty {Choice of songs at a piano bar?}. Misty is a jazz standard written in 1954 by the pianist Erroll Garner. Originally composed as an instrumental following the traditional 32-bar format, the tune later had lyrics by Johnny Burke and became the signature song of Johnny Mathis. The song plays a key role in the plot of the movie Play Misty for Me (1971); Clint Eastwood and Universal paid $25,000 to use the song in the film.

The Doctor is IN

33a CPAs {Excellent summers, for short?}. Certified Public Accountants are good at adding.

63a SDI {Reagan-era program, in brief}. Strategic Defense Initiative aka Star Wars.

66a CSA {Union opposer: Abbr.}. The Confederate States of America opposed The Union.

79a Mamie {First lady after Bess}.  Mamie Eisenhower and Bess Truman.

87a Olinda {Brazilian beach resort}. Olinda is one of the best-preserved colonial cities in Brazil.

95a Edessa {12th-century Crusader state}. The County of Edessa.

113a Ariel {Oscar : United States :: ___ : Mexico}. The Ariel is the Mexican Academy of Film Award.

1d UPC {Scanned lines, for short}. The Universal Product Code, a type of barcode.

15d radio shows {Rush jobs?}. Reference to Rush Limbaugh.

33d cheeks {Where some hooks connect}. Explanation 1: in angling, fish tend to get the hook caught in their cheek. Explanation 2: hooks and cheeks are parts of a horse's bridle. Postscript: for Explanation 3, see the comments.

46d Amis {"House of Meetings" novelist, 2006}. British novelist Martin Amis wrote House of Meetings.

95d Emory {The Eagles of the N.C.A.A.}. Emory University is a private research university in metropolitan Atlanta.

Image of the Day

Utah Beach

98d Utah {___ Beach (D-Day site)}. Utah Beach was the code name for the right flank, or westernmost, of the Allied landing beaches during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, as part of Operation Overlord on 6 June 1944. Utah was added to the invasion plan toward the end of the planning stages, when more landing craft became available.

There is a curious connection with crosswords, since Utah is one of the code names that appeared in crosswords of The Daily Telegraph in the run-up to the invasion - a coincidence (or not) that resulted in constructor Leonard Dawe being interviewed by MI5 on suspicion of espionage. The investigators concluded that the appearance of the words was not an attempt to pass messages. The explanation seems to have been that Dawe (a schoolmaster) allowed pupils to help fill his grids and they had picked up the code words from nearby army camps.

Other Clues

1a umps {Pitch evaluators}; 5a Cady {Children's illustrator Harrison ___}; 9a power {"The great aphrodisiac," per Henry Kissinger}; 14a frail {Easily broken}; 21a Eleni {Nicholas Gage memoir}; 22a lasso {Something thrown for a loop?}; 25a adieu {Leave-taking}; 26a semi {Important match}; 27a snap-on {Easily attached}; 28a Actifed {Allergy medication brand}; 30a capons {Poultry delicacies}; 32a Idaho {Bear Lake State Park locale}; 37a USO {Grp. that entertains troops}; 48a Tehran {Mideast capital}; 49a Endor {"Return of the Jedi" moon}; 50a payment {Something not to be missed?}; 51a soloist {Lone player}; 52a Enron {___ Field (former name of Minute Maid Park)}; 53a find out {Discover}; 55a woes {Reasons to cry}; 60a cocks {Readies, as a firearm}; 64a color {Some of this may be picked up at a beach}; 65a slier {Better at scheming}; 69a Hague {___ Tribunal (international court)}; 74a Play {Remote button}; 77a emperor {Japanese ruler}; 80a oil pans {Crankcases' bases}; 83a statute {Civil code entry}; 86a Edina {Minneapolis neighbor}; 92a ore {It's lode-bearing}; 93a rose {Pinkish}; 94a Teena {R&B singer Marie}; 98a unbinds {Sets free}; 101a Osment {Actor Haley Joel ___ of "The Sixth Sense"}; 103a roam {Use a cell phone outside one's local calling area}; 107a Terza {___ rima (verse form for Dante)}; 114a incur {Rack up}; 116a hoods {Punks}; 117a ready {"You good to go?"}; 118a ESPN {"Nascar Now" broadcaster}; 119a fate {Conventional explanation for a tragic event}.

2d Mohs {Hardness scale inventor}; 3d pore {Tiny perforation}; 4d slim {Unpromising, as a chance}; 5d cut {Director's cry}; 6d ATM {Device at a drive-thru}; 7d diaspora {Large-scale flight}; 8d yes-no {Phrased for a quick answer}; 9d perps {Lawbreakers}; 10d oleo {Tub filler}; 11d wean {Remove gradually from, with "off"}; 12d ENT {Med. specialty}; 13d Riyadh {City that's home to King Fahd Road}; 14d flat-heel {Like some boots}; 16d as if {Like}; 17d I see {Neutral reaction to a revelation}; 18d loud {Easily picked up, say}; 20d CSI {TV program set in Vegas}; 24d tan {Light earth tone}; 29d canto {Division of an Edmund Spenser work}; 30d cub {Tiny tiger}; 31d ASAP {With all haste}; 32d icy {Bitterly cold}; 34d panned {Had nothing good to say about}; 35d Andrei {Peace Nobelist Sakharov}; 36d snoop {One who's in your business?}; 38d Lindy {Swinging dance}; 39d Otto {Sharkey of TV's "C.P.O. Sharkey"}; 40d trio {Chamber group, often}; 41d ease {Lessen, as pain}; 42d ants {Unpaid workers?}; 44d arnica {Yellow-flowered perennial}; 45d by far {Overwhelmingly}; 47d rent {Ripped}; 51d stoic {Follower of the philosopher Epictetus}; 54d UCLA {Pac-10 competitor}; 57d nog {Drink from a bowl}; 58d glues {Puts together, in a way}; 59d poem {It may be measured by a meter}; 61d cel {Animator's sheet}; 62d Kramer {John ___, villain in the "Saw" films}; 65d strut {Look-at-me walk}; 66d Cimino {"Heaven's Gate" director}; 67d stints {Is parsimonious}; 68d aye-aye {Roger on a ship}; 69d hypnotized {Open to suggestions, say}; 70d set by {Kept for future use}; 71d Arab {Burnoose wearer}; 72d not I {Response to the Little Red Hen}; 73d radar {Speedster's undoing}; 74d pooh! {"That's just silly!"}; 75d Lili {Actress Taylor}; 76d alit {Settled on a branch}; 78d PSAT {H.S. exam}; 81d adrenals {Epinephrine-producing glands}; 82d named {Identified}; 84d two-steps {Some Scott Joplin compositions}; 85d ears {Prominent parts of a George W. Bush caricature}; 88d RSA {Cape Town's home: Abbr.}; 89d Rea {Stephen of "Stuck"}; 91d in stir {Doing time}; 96d dei {"Ad majorem ___ gloriam" (Jesuit motto)}; 97d ensue {Follow}; 99d Nero {Historical subject of a Boito opera}; 100d brio {Vigor}; 101d Orca {Boat in "Jaws"}; 102d stud {Small earring}; 103d rep {Sales force member}; 104d Olaf {Minnesota's St. ___ College}; 105d Atra {Razor brand}; 106d mitt {Necessity when playing hardball}; 109d one {Together}; 110d STP {Maker of fuel additives}; 111d hon {Turtledove}; 112d eye {Smiley dot}.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I believe that 33D refers to boxing - as in a right hook to the opponent's left cheek.

Crossword Man said...

Thanks for Explanation 3, Anon ... the best so far!