Sunday, May 9, 2010

NYT Monday 5/10/10 - Take a Pew

I thought this Monday New York Times crossword rather harder than usual for the day, though the problems didn't come from the thematic aspects. I fell for several wrong answers: smoke for {Some air pollution} at 34-Down; irate for {Annoyed} at 23-Down; and nippers for {Tots} at 40-Down. That was enough to delay completion by a minute or so.

The vocabulary also seemed more adventurous than usual, particularly smaze at 34-Down. I think of  forecasters as having come up with these portmanteau words for weather phenomena. Here are some further examples: snush, thorms. Actually that's all I can think of, and I'm not even sure about thorms given the lack of Google hits. What did I miss out?

There's been great excitement in the household over the thought that Will Shortz will be appearing on CBS's How I Met Your Mother tomorrow (Monday May 10th) night. It ties (comparisons are odious) for being our favorite TV comedy with The Big Bang Theory. We hear Will appears alongside Arianna Huffington and Peter Bogdanovich as an attendee of a snooty New York party! I'll try to feature a clip in due course.
Solving time: 5 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 27a clichés {"As old as the hills" and others}
Solution

Randy Sowell
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

Things sat upon, as indicated by 53d sit {Use the start of 17- or 50-Across or 11- or 25-Down?}.
17a bench warmer {Second- or third-string player}
50a chairperson {Presider at a meeting}
11d couch potato {Boob tube lover}
25d stool-pigeon {Police informant}
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersRandy Sowell / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 34 (15.1%) black squares
Answers76 (average length 5.03)
Theme squares46 (24.1%)
Scrabble points323 (average 1.69)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Video of the Day



54d -ola {Suffix with schnozz}. James Francis "Jimmy" Durante (1893–1980) was an American singer, pianist, comedian and actor. His distinctive clipped gravelly speech, comic language butchery, jazz-influenced songs, and large nose helped make him one of America's most familiar and popular personalities of the 1920s through the 1970s. His jokes about his nose included referring to it as a Schnozzola, and the word became his nickname.

The Doctor is IN

6d Meany {George who was the first president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O.}. George Meany (1894–1980) was president of the united AFL-CIO from 1955 to 1979.

22d TCU {Fort Worth sch.}. TCU = Texas Christian University is in The Crucy League.

34d smaze {Some air pollution}. smaze = a mixture of smoke and haze is in The New Oxford American Dictionary.

Image of the Day

egg sac and babies

47a egg sac {Spider's cocoon, e.g.}. Female spiders lay up to 3,000 eggs in one or more silk egg sacs, which maintain a fairly constant humidity level. In some species the females die after laying their eggs, but females of other species protect the sacs by attaching them to their webs, hiding them in nests, carrying them in the chelicerae or attaching them to the spinnerets and dragging them along. Baby spiders pass all their larval stages inside the egg and hatch as spiderlings, very small and sexually immature but similar in shape to adults.

Other Clues

1a Borat {2006 boorish film character from Kazakhstan}; 6a moats {Castle-defending ditches}; 11a CBS {David Letterman's network}; 14a odors {Smells}; 15a eat it {Suffer ignominious defeat, in slang}; 16a oat {Feedbag tidbit}; 19a Uta {Actress Hagen}; 20a ions {Cyclotron particles}; 21a catchy {Interest-grabbing}; 23a I'm sorry {"Apologies"}; 27a clichés {"As old as the hills" and others}; 28a rotate {What wheels do on an axis}; 29a chat up {Talk to flirtatiously}; 30a kooks {Screwballs}; 31a Bless {"God ___ America"}; 32a ops {Photo ___ (when pictures may be taken)}; 35a Enos {Son of Seth}; 36a bleep {Audio censor's sound}; 37a atom {Molecule component}; 38a DSL {Broadband connection inits.}; 39a Clark {Lewis's partner in an expedition}; 40a Meara {Stiller and ___ (comedy duo)}; 41a Podunk {One-horse town}; 43a Cortez {Explorer Hernando}; 44a maitre d' {One showing diners to their tables}; 46a papoose {Indian baby on a back}; 48a perp {Suspect, to a cop}; 49a Rae {"Norma ___"}; 56a IPO {Stock debut, for short}; 57a kiosk {Newsstand}; 58a toile {Decorative fabric}; 59a ten {Highest non-face card}; 60a splay {Spread, as the legs}; 61a set at {Assail}.

1d Bob {Dylan or Dole}; 2d ode {Praiseful poem}; 3d Ron {Director Howard}; 4d arc {Lob's path}; 5d T-shirts {Gift shop apparel}; 7d oars {Items fitting in rowlocks}; 8d ATM {Place to enter a PIN}; 9d tieclasp {Man's jewelry item}; 10d straits {Narrow passageways}; 12d bathe {Wash oneself}; 13d stays {Remains}; 18d wore {Had on}; 23d irked {Annoyed}; 24d moons {Time periods lasting about 29 1/2 days}; 26d oaks {Acorn producers}; 27d cheek {Where rouge goes}; 29d clerk {Office worker}; 31d bland {Lacking individuality}; 33d pores {Skin openings}; 36d blue chip {Kind of stock}; 37d aero- {Prefix with dynamic}; 39d CD racks {Music store fixtures}; 40d moppets {Tots}; 42d OTs {Tie-breaking play periods: Abbr.}; 43d carp {Complain}; 44d merit {___ badge}; 45d agape {Open-mouthed}; 46d perky {Cheerful}; 48d Pisa {Leaning Tower site}; 51d AOL {Yahoo! competitor}; 52d Roe {___ v. Wade}; 55d 'Net {What 51-Down connects to, with "the"}.

2 comments:

Daniel Myers said...

It seems to me that 48A is simply wrong.

A "suspect" is someone merely suspected of a crime, a "perp" is the actual perpetrator of a crime.

To quote from the New York Times (10 April 1981) - "The decoy makes himself available to be robbed and mugged, then the guys in the backup van arrest the perpetrators. They call them 'perps.'"

Crossword Man said...

Guilty until proven innocent eh? You're more eagle-eyed than I am at spotting these little problems.