Saturday, April 17, 2010

NYT Sunday 4/18/10 - Let's Do It

It didn't take long to deduce enough about the theme of this New York Times crossword for it to be helpful in further solving, though it's hard to put the idea into words: we decided that figurative expressions as answers were treated literally in the cluing ... so in cluing sleep on it, "it" is assumed to be a pillow, not an idea. 112-Across is thematically unusual, but in a neat way: each of the two parts of take it or leave it makes sense with the clue: you can "take a message" or "leave a message".

We found a lot of nice misleading clues along the way down the jumbo grid, particularly liking {They may be fed downtown} for meters at 94-Down, as well as the quoted "clue of the puzz" ... it took a long time to fathom that "in park" applied to a car!

However, I think the clue to nil at 80-Across {Common cricket score} shows a limited understanding of the noble game: I don't think nil is used in the context of a cricket match at all; it might be used in expressing the overall result of a cricket series, but in that sense it wouldn't really be common. Substitute "soccer" or "rugby" and that formula for cluing nil makes more sense.
Solving time: 35 mins (with Magdalen, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 29a in park {Not going anywhere?}
Solution

Randolph Ross
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

Idioms ending "it" are clued on the basis of what that "it" might mean:
1a bite it {Your tongue}
14a say it {Uncle}
23a come to think of it {An idea}
25a get it? {The picture}
111a eat it {Crow}
112a take it or leave it {A message}
119a see it {The light}
122a lose it {Face}
8d stick to it {The point}
32d deal with it {A deck of cards}
35d rolling in it {The aisles}
40d don't bet on it {Sure loser}
43d sleep on it {A pillow}
46d count on it {An abacus}
51d brown-bag it {Lunch}
80d not up to it {Snuff}
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersRandolph Ross / Will Shortz
Grid21x21 with 74 (16.8%) black squares
Answers142 (average length 5.17)
Theme squares138 (37.6%)
Scrabble points536 (average 1.46)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Video of the Day



54a Ellie {TV "Miss"}. Miss Ellie is the matriarch of the Ewing family in Dallas. She is played by Barbara Bel Geddes (1978-1984, 1985-1990) and also by Donna Reed (1984-1985).

The Doctor is IN

27a Rocky VI {1986 parody of a Sylvester Stallone film series}. Aki Kaurismäki's Rocky VI appeared 20 years before the real sixth Rocky film, Rocky Balboa.

28a Benito {First name among the Axis powers}. Benito Mussolini (1883-1945).

45a barkcloth {Retro upholstery material}. Barkcloth in the sense clued is a textured fabric made of cotton, associated with 1950s and 1960s home fashions.

63a BSA {Org. with an oath}. BSA = Boy Scouts of America.

80a nil {Common cricket score}. nil would only be used in series scores for cricket (see introduction above).

11d mafia {Scorsese subject}. As in Goodfellas for example.

18d Toto {Fictional terrier}. Toto is a Cruciverbal Canine.

55d ILA {Wharf workers' org.}. International Longshoremen's Association represents longshore workers.

74d Eli {2010 Denzel Washington title role}. Denzel Washington plays Eli in The Book of Eli.

76d tens {Second place?}. In decimal notation, if the units are the first place, the tens are the second place?

85d Nast {G.O.P. elephant originator}. The G.O.P. elephant originated with Thomas Nast's The Third-Term Panic in 1874.

Image of the Day

Shalimar Gardens (Lahore)

7d Lahore {Home of Shalimar Gardens}. The Shalimar Gardens, sometimes written Shalamar Gardens, is a Persian garden and it was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in Lahore, modern day Pakistan. Construction began in 1641 A.D. (1051 A.H.) and was completed the following year. The Shalimar Gardens are laid out in the form of an oblong parallelogram, surrounded by a high brick wall, which is famous for its intricate fretwork. In 1981, Shalimar Gardens was included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the Lahore Fort.

Other Clues

7a LSD {Trip preparation}; 10a CMII {Early 10th-century year}; 19a I wanna! {"Lemme!"}; 20a at a slant {Sloping}; 22a adeno- {Gland: Prefix}; 26a name {Identify}; 29a in park {Not going anywhere?}; 31a lead out {Direct to the exit}; 34a are {It often follows you}; 36a ice teas {Summer coolers}; 38a eel {Dragon roll ingredient}; 39a ads {Spots}; 42a Mt Ossa {Greek high spot}; 44a OTB {Gambler's hangout, for short}; 48a oil {Dressing choice}; 49a low bid {Contract winner, often}; 52a bolt {Leave in a hurry}; 53a omnia {Opera ___ (complete works: Lat.)}; 56a art {Story accompanier}; 57a Crowe {"A Beautiful Mind" star}; 58a usted {You, in Yucatán}; 59a stiletto {Tool for making eyelets}; 61a flatiron {Old-fashioned clothes presser}; 64a Napa {California's ___ Valley}; 65a wrought {Created}; 67a Otoe {Old buffalo hunter}; 69a lag {Closed-captioning problem}; 71a open area {Expanse}; 73a hemostat {Surgeon's tool}; 77a onion {Kind of ring}; 79a Abner {Rube of bygone funnies}; 81a noose {Cause of a pain in the neck}; 82a ennui {Yawn producer}; 83a sacs {Pouches}; 84a rotini {Curly pasta}; 86a Nin {Writer Anaïs}; 87a waist-high {Like cornstalks after about six weeks}; 89a gat {Weapon carried in a speakeasy}; 90a attics {Accommodations with low overhead?}; 92a Ste. {Abbr. in many a Québec address}; 93a Ali {Fighter with a shuffle}; 94a modulos {Math operations that yield remainders}; 97a Hts {Shaker ___, Oh.}; 98a scythes {Field tools}; 100a parter {Moses at the Red Sea, e.g.}; 102a Spacek {"In the Bedroom" actress, 2001}; 106a it's a tie {Rare announcement after balloting}; 108a rips {Slams}; 116a Aleta {Prince Valiant's wife}; 117a overpaid {Didn't get a good deal}; 118a St. Elmo {Name associated with fire}; 120a mess {Putter (around)}; 121a DTs {Sot's woe}.

1d Bic {Inexpensive pen}; 2d I won! {Joyful cry}; 3d Tama {Author Janowitz}; 4d enemies {Exes, sometimes}; 5d in ten {One ___ (long odds)}; 6d Tao {Eastern path}; 9d dank {Like dungeons, typically}; 10d cloves {Some garlic}; 12d Ini {___ Kamoze of reggae}; 13d ITT {Big corp. in defense contracts}; 14d Saget {Bob ___, narrator on TV's "How I Met Your Mother"}; 15d Aden {Present-day site of the ancient port city Eudaemon}; 16d yeti {Hirsute Himalayan}; 17d init. {J. Edgar Hoover used one: Abbr.}; 21d Skylab {1973 NASA launch}; 24d Trac {Gillette's ___ II}; 28d bulk {Major portion}; 30d Piao {Former Chinese Communist military leader Lin ___}; 33d Oerter {Olympic discus great Al}; 34d atilt {Not straight}; 37d ETD {Announcement at a terminal, in brief}; 39d alms {Poor support}; 41d sties {Sloppy spots}; 42d Moe's {___ Southwest Grill (restaurant chain)}; 45d booth {Ticket site}; 47d had a {"Humpty Dumpty ___ great fall"}; 50d Wat {Angkor ___ (Cambodian temple)}; 52d Braga {Actress Sonia}; 57d cluer {Crossword creator, at times}; 60d tap {Water source}; 61d fores {Course calls}; 62d oom {Part of a tuba sound}; 66d ranch {Dressing choice}; 68d oso {Spanish bear}; 69d Loew {Theater mogul Marcus}; 70d Annas {Kournikova and others}; 72d easily {Without breaking a sweat}; 75d Asics {Athletic shoe brand}; 78d Ouse {River of York}; 84d rad {Far out}; 88d hack {Commit a computer crime}; 89d gossip {Dirt}; 91d thrives {Does very well}; 94d meters {They may be fed downtown}; 95d lairds {Scots with lots}; 96d Orel {City SSW of Moscow}; 98d set at {Tuned to}; 99d hikes {Ups}; 101d Erato {Classical sister}; 102d seas {Seven ___}; 103d pale {Washed out}; 104d a tee {Suit to ___}; 105d Citi {Field opening?}; 107d a tad {Not much}; 109d Pelé {Soccer immortal}; 110d Simi {California's ___ Valley}; 112d Tom {Nursery rhyme boy who "stole a pig, and away he run"}; 113d Ave {N.Y.C.'s A, B, C or D}; 114d ESL {Night sch. class}; 115d tot {Rug rat}.

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