Tuesday, April 20, 2010

NYT Wednesday 4/21/10 - Car Pool

I like thematic grids that spatially correspond to something in the real world - I tried to incorporate that into some of my cryptic puzzles. So the theme of this Wednesday New York Times crossword particularly appealed to me, with its cars parked diagonally along the edge of the grid (symmetrically disposed too!) as if it represents a street running from west (left) to east (right).

The cars theme was evident after just over a minute, well before I found the central explanation at around 4 minutes. I got rather too enthusiastic about predicting car manufacturers along the bottom, going for Lotus rather than Lexus in the middle. Lotus is car manufacturer, but their products are unlikely to be seen along America's "Main Street" and it was a little foolish of me to think it would appear in an American crossword.

KoiI got lucky with one dodgy crossing: not knowing 68a ALDO, I was glad to have seen Koi (64-Down) today in a pond here at Mohonk Mountain House, where Magdalen and I are on a mini-break to celebrate our second (cotton/china) wedding anniversary. This determined my choice of clip for Dino (16-Across) - I couldn't resist the first Flintstones clip that came up, even though it doesn't include their pet.

Unfortunately, I fell foul of another tough crossing: at 48a ATF and 48d Fleer, I had no clue about the intersecting letter, eventually going for S of the many potential options, because the across clue looked like it had a plural answer. I don't feel too stupid about this, because I definitely haven't blogged about Fleer before. I have twice solved puzzles with ATF in (invariably clued with respect to the agency), but they were both Sunday puzzles, where a gap in my acquired knowledge sticks out less.
Solving time: 9 mins (solo, no solving aids, two wrong answers)
Clue of the puzz: 35d spaces out {Visits la-la land}

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


40a diagonal parking {Easy way of pulling in ... and a hint to the six circled words}. Cars (identified by manufacturer) appear diagonally at the top and bottom of the grid, as if diagonally parked along a street running west to east: Ford, Dodge, Fiat, Audi, Lexus, Saab.

Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersPeter A. Collins / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 38 (16.9%) black squares
Answers78 (average length 4.79)
Theme squares0 (0.0%)
Scrabble points281 (average 1.50)
Video of the Day

16a Dino {Flintstones' pet}. Dino (pronounced dee-no) featured in the Hanna-Barbera animated television series The Flintstones, and its spinoffs. He is a pet dinosaur of the series' main characters, Fred and Wilma Flintstone. In the show, he was a metaphorical pet dog, and exhibited the characteristics of a typical domesticated canine. He is some generic sauropod/prosauropod type. He frequently leapt upon Fred Flintstone, yapping happily, and energetically licked his face. Dino could also be moved to anger, at which point he would snarl and snap. He also loves to play with Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm. His species, as told in episode eighteen, is Snorkasaurus. The above clip doesn't feature Dino, but is relevant to what Magdalen and I are celebrating today (Wednesday)!

The Doctor is IN

47a ATF {U.S. Dept. of Justice raiders}. ATF = The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

68a ALDO {International shoe company}. The ALDO Groupe was founded by Aldo Bensadoun in Montreal in 1964 where its corporate headquarters remain today.

71a Desi {Lucy's love}. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

1d flow {Rap component, to a rapper}. The art of rapping is separated into “content”, “flow” (rhythm and rhyme), and “delivery”.

4d Pee Dee {River with its source in the Appalachians}. The Pee Dee River is named after the Pee Dee tribe.

6d Ron Reagan {Liberal pundit with a conservative father}. Ron Reagan is the son of former President Ronald Reagan.

9d FDA {Rx overseer}. FDA = The Food and Drug Administration.

15d spies {Black and white Mad magazine figures}. Reference to the Spy vs. Spy strip.

48d Fleer {Topps competitor}. Fleer and Topps are chewing gum/bubble gum manufacturers.

54d Nerds {Willy Wonka Candy Company brand}. Nerds were launched in 1983.

Image of the Day
Mott's Apple Sauce

12d Mott's {Big name in applesauce}. Mott's is a company involved in producing apple-based products, particularly juices and sauces. The company was founded in 1842 by Samuel R. Mott in Bouckville, NY, who made apple cider and vinegar. Mott products were exhibited at Philadelphia's Centennial Exposition in 1876 and Chicago's World's Columbian Exposition in 1893. In 1900 the company merged with the W.B. Duffy Cider Company to become Duffy-Mott. In 1933 the company introduced prune juice. Eventually, the company was acquired by American Brands (formerly American Tobacco) and became a division of that conglomerate. In 1982, Cadbury Schweppes purchased the Duffy-Mott Company. In early 2006 all of Mott's beverage brands (Grandma's Molasses, Hawaiian Punch, IBC Root Beer, Mr and Mrs T Bloody Mary mix, Orangina, and Yoo-hoo) were folded into Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages. Mott's continues to operate as a separate unit of Dr Pepper Snapple Group (recently demerged from Cadbury Schweppes plc).

Other Clues

1a flip {Resell quickly, as a house}; 5a drop {No longer insure}; 9a from {Native to}; 13a lore {Passed-down stories}; 14a dolls {Voodoo accessories}; 17a ogre {Scary figure}; 18a end up {Conclude}; 19a Anat. {Med school subj.}; 20a weeds {Garden intruders}; 22a Regis {Denver's ___ University}; 24a sit {Command to Rex}; 25a geese {Ones flying in formation}; 27a sealers {Driveway applications}; 29a blue star {Rigel or Spica}; 32a Ste. {Thérèse, for one: Abbr.}; 33a AOL {Pioneer in instant messaging}; 34a egis {Protection: Var.}; 36a yetis {Himalayan legends}; 44a Enron {2005 documentary subtitled "The Smartest Guys in the Room"}; 45a neat {Orderly}; 46a mot {Word for word?}; 49a scoopers {Items for urban dog-walkers}; 52a sandals {Toga go-withs}; 56a Ezras {Pound and others}; 57a are {"What ___ the chances?"}; 58a peels {Day spa facial procedures}; 60a I Shot {"___ the Sheriff" (Eric Clapton hit)}; 63a lurk {Watch from a hidden position}; 65a Exxon {Half of a giant 1999 merger}; 67a tam-o- {___-shanter}; 69a revue {Skit collection}; 70a Aram {Composer Khachaturian}; 72a dits {Counterparts of dahs}; 73a Serb {Belgrade native}.

2d loge {Special seating area}; 3d irregular {Asymmetric}; 5d DDE {Onetime White House monogram}; 7d Olde {Shoppe modifier}; 8d plugs {Cord ends}; 10d rinse {Dishwasher cycle}; 11d on air {Broadcasting}; 21d ses {Paris possessive}; 23d satyr {Woodland reveler of myth}; 26d Sten {British submachine gun}; 28d leek {Welsh national emblem}; 29d bade {Wished}; 30d loin {Pork cut}; 31d riles {Stirs up}; 35d spaces out {Visits la-la land}; 37d timeshare {Vacation plan}; 38d in or {"___ out?" (question to a pet)}; 39d Sgts. {Some cops: Abbr.}; 41d goad {Prod}; 42d on tap {Ready for use}; 43d A to Z {One-volume encyclopedia range}; 50d or I {"... ___ quit!"}; 51d pastas {Olive Garden dishes}; 52d salad {Garden dish}; 53d a rule {As ___ (usually)}; 55d sexed {Determined the gender of}; 59d LXVI {M years before the Battle of Hastings}; 61d Omar {Epps or Sharif}; 62d tomb {Mausoleum}; 64d koi {Decorative pond fish}; 66d NES {Super ___ (1980s-'90s game console)}.


Anonymous said...

This puzzle was featured at the recent Boston Crossword Tournament
- Aaron

Crossword Man said...

Thanks for the info Aaron. I'd have floundered in competition over the ATF/Fleer business. I have a Cruciverbal Cheat Sheet planned to cover the U.S. Depts., as I must get them under my belt before the next ACPT.