Sunday, June 13, 2010

NYT Sunday 6/13/10 - Living Flags

What with one thing and the other, we didn't get around to this lovely Sunday New York Times crossword until latish on Sunday morning. The one thing was seeing Hello Dolly last night, the final performance of the Cider Mill season traditionally being a musical - that was a lot of fun.

Then we got engrossed in the NPR Sunday Puzzle including writing a perl script to produce a whole slew of possible answers, and extrapolations of the theme. Oh, and we had a thunderstorm of biblical proportions which I just had to watch - glad the roof of our 200+ year old house is relatively sound.

I started this puzzle on my own so Magdalen could blog the NPR puzzle and found I was in for a challenging time: large sections of the puzzle seemed impenetrable, but I was able to make reasonable progress elsewhere. Hmm.

Living flag - Preparedness Day Parade - June 3 1916 at Providence, RII could see that several countries were clued in relation to their flag colors and wondered if that was all there was to the theme. It wasn't till I'd being doing this for at least 20 minutes that I suspected a rebus puzzle, by virtue of 98-Across clearly being pyromaniacs and definitely not fitting. But how could that be split up into rebus squares?

I had 30 minutes on the clock when I finally started to notice the colors embedded in the down answers. Then all the parts of this elaborate idea fell into place and the remaining parts of the grid were dealt with much more quickly. By this time Magdalen had finished her blog post and she helped with the mopping up operation.

The Happy Valley Pals 4-H Group forms a I had to look up Flag Day to see when it is in the USA: yes, it is tomorrow, June 14. My impressions of Flag Day come largely from Garrison Keillor and his stories of the Lake Wobegon folks making a living flag out of people wearing red, white and blue caps. Did he make that up, or is it really true? ... Hey, it's all true (see above picture, and a variant to the right)!! That is so quaint!
Solving time: 45 mins (with Magdalen, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 39d cart {It rolls in the aisles}

Francis Heaney
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]


"Flag day". A rebus puzzle: each long answer has three adjacent rebus squares in which colors from the down answers cross with the name of the country (embedded in the across answer) whose flag has those colors (in the correct order). A reminder of the flag colors is helpfully given elsewhere:
90a France {Country with a blue, white and red flag}
22a Frances Bean Cobain {Daughter of rocker Kurt and Courtney Love}
1d Mr. Blue {1959 #1 hit for the Fleetwoods}
2d E. B. White {"The Trumpet of the Swan" author}
3d tired {Bushed}

49a Ireland {Country with a green, white and orange flag}
36a acquire land {Buy real estate}
15d lime green {Shade lighter than emerald}
16d Alan White {Longtime Yes drummer}
17d West Orange {New Jersey community next to Montclair}

69d Mali {Country with a green, yellow and red flag}

51a minimalists {Composer Philip Glass and others}
53d green tea {Drink with dim sum}
54d Yellow Rose {Texas has one, in song}
55d reducer {One on a diet}

75d Guinea {Country with a red, yellow and green flag}
80a sanguine about {Not troubled by}
 57d whirred {Sounded like a fan}
58d less yellow {Braver}
63d Walgreen {Drugstore eponym}

19a Romania {Country with a blue, yellow and red flag}
98a pyromaniacs {Lighting enthusiasts?}
100d bluesmen {Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon and others}
83d Big Yellow Taxi {1975 Joni Mitchell hit}
84d snored {Had an unquiet sleep}

66a Italy {Country with a green, white and red flag}
110a digital yearbooks {Modern school keepsakes}
112d greener {Not as experienced}
113d whitens {Bleaches}
107d dredge {Bring (up) from the past}
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersFrancis Heaney / Will Shortz
Grid21x21 with 80 (18.1%) black squares
Answers140 (average length 5.16)
Theme squares(not calculated)
Scrabble points574 (average 1.59)
Video of the Day

94d tol' {"My mama done ___ me ..."}. My momma done tol' me are opening words of Blues in the Night, a popular song which has become a pop standard and can certainly be considered part of the Great American Songbook. The music was written by Harold Arlen, the lyrics by Johnny Mercer, for a 1941 film begun with the working title Hot Nocturne, but finally released as Blues in the Night. The song is sung in the film by William Gillespie. Here is the young (younger than me anyway) Georgian-British singer Katie Melua to sing it for you today.

The Doctor is IN

48a Sar. {Isl. near Corsica}. Sar. is short for Sardinia.

73a ars longa {Half of an old Latin aphorism}. Half of ars longa, vita brevis, the first two lines of a Latin translation of an aphorism by Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, who was referring to the medicinal arts.

Image of the Day


27d mat {Place for a hammerlock}. A hammerlock is a shoulder lock similar to the kimura lock where the opponent's arm is held bent against their back, and their hand forced upwards towards the neck, thereby applying pressure to the shoulder joint. The hammerlock is well-known as a pain compliance hold in law-enforcement where it is typically used from a stand-up position to control an aggressor, and is also utilized in the application of handcuffs. It is also sometimes seen used as a submission hold in submission wrestling arts.

Other Clues

1a metals {What the majority of elements are}; 7a erenow {Before this moment}; 13a L.A. Law {Show whose title was seen on a license plate}; 18a RBI man {One specializing in slugging}; 21a mobile {Not fixed}; 24a agamas {Brilliantly colored lizards}; 25a Seles {Tennis's Monica}; 26a gyms {Reps' places?}; 28a Cent {Rap's 50 ___}; 29a mestizos {Mixed-ancestry Latin Americans}; 33a hep {Lead-in for cat}; 38a incites {Provokes}; 39a calamitous {Devastating}; 42a stalest {Most old-hat}; 43a at a run {Galloping}; 44a ties to {Connects with}; 50a pshaw! {"It is to laugh!"}; 56a scowl {Knit one's brow}; 59a Eli {Horror director Roth}; 60a electrum {Alloy of gold and silver}; 61a d'oh! {Cry from Homer}; 62a hewable {Within a lumberjack's ability to cut down}; 65a EEOC {Fair-hiring org.}; 68a is at {"Our quest ___ an end!"}; 69a maltase {Digestive enzyme}; 72a NHL {Penguins' org.}; 77a Ave. {One of 17 on a Monopoly board: Abbr.}; 78a erase {Take off the board}; 82a Loebs {Singer Lisa and newspaper publisher William}; 85a rebuilt {Put back up}; 87a Kit {With 116-Down, club in "Cabaret"}; 88a in kind {One way to be repaid}; 91a Sistine {___ Chapel}; 95a go on strike {Stage a walkout}; 97a encodes {Keeps from prying eyes, in a way}; 101a DSO {British mil. award}; 102a snarls at {Responds to angrily}; 103a east {Toward the dawn}; 104a Kapp {British science fiction author Colin ___}; 107a denti- {Tooth: Prefix}; 108a ohmage {Amount of electrical resistance}; 118a no exit {Sartre play}; 119a Ferengi {Greedy race in the "Star Trek" universe}; 120a aerial {Like some Google Maps views}; 121a Sonia {Actress Braga}; 122a Dorset {County on the English Channel}; 123a presto {Rapidly}.

4d AMs {They include the wee hrs.}; 5d lab site {Experiment place}; 6d sneezes {They cause your eyes to close}; 7d ernes {Maritime birds}; 8d rocs {Mythical birds}; 9d emo {Alt-rock genre}; 10d nab {Snag}; 11d on a {Hot dog ___ stick}; 12d Wiig {Actress Kristen of "S.N.L."}; 13d log {Journal}; 14d abacuses {You can count on them}; 20d any {Whatever}; 21d mascot {Costumed animal, maybe}; 23d a lost {"It's ___ cause"}; 29d miss me? {Lover's question on a long-distance call}; 30d entail {Involve}; 31d Scarne {Card game expert John}; 32d 'Til {Fox TV's "___ Death"}; 33d hates {Can't abide}; 34d El Al {Mideast carrier}; 35d parasol {Sunshade}; 37d quip {Bon mot}; 39d cart {It rolls in the aisles}; 40d munchy {Good for snacking}; 41d Indo- {___-European}; 45d Sheb {Wooley with the 1958 #1 hit "The Purple People Eater"}; 46d tall {Like a difficult order}; 47d owie {Boo-boo}; 49d -ism {Belief: Suffix}; 52d Ice-T {Rapper on "Law & Order: SVU"}; 61d dal {Lentil dish at an Indian restaurant}; 64d A to B {First volume of an encyclopedia, perhaps}; 66d insert {Magazine extra}; 67d the Bard {Shakespeare sobriquet}; 70d Avon {Company calling?}; 71d leek {Garlic relative}; 73d ant {Fire ___}; 74d no kids {Dating service specification}; 76d attest {Swear}; 79d arfs {Basset sounds}; 80d Sicko {Michael Moore documentary}; 81d alee {Not windward}; 86d Unis {Les États-___}; 89d docket {Courtroom schedule}; 91d senna {Medicinal plant}; 92d in a trap {Snared}; 93d scriber {Wood-marking tool}; 96d NSA {Cryptologist's org.}; 98d peons {Lowly workers}; 99d Yahoo {"Gulliver's Travels" creature}; 102d See It {"___ Now" (Murrow series)}; 105d PDF {Sharable PC file}; 106d pied {Motley-colored}; 109d Gia {Actress ___ Scala}; 111d Gro {Miracle-___}; 114d ore {Mine find}; 115d O is {Sue Grafton's "___ for Outlaw"}; 116d Kat {See 87-Across}; 117d slo {___-mo}.


Anonymous said...

A beautiful puzzle! Completely ruined my solving time by guessing Togo for 69d. I knew the colors fit, but couldn't remember the order.

How come the Guinea colors are not shown in 80a?

Crossword Man said...

Hi Anon. Thanks for pointing out the problem with 80a - there's a New Guinea now :-)