Saturday, June 26, 2010

NYT Sunday 6/27/10 Michael J. Doran - Western Weevil

Magdalen and I returned to the normal routine this weekend and solved this Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle together over Saturday dinner. Glancing down at the clues to the long answers, it was immediately clear what was going on, but the theme clues were still quite a challenge to work out.

The theme started out strongly at the top, with {Irate} for film critic and the like being nicely solid. Further down, the examples moved further away from dictionary entries and that seemed less satisfactory, eBay patron from {Ibid.} being our least favorite.

I can see it was fun to come up with this idea as I've had a go at a few more examples myself. How about these:
careless driver {Ident}
pit worker {Imine}
commis chef {iPod}
garbageman {Irid}

Yeah, not that great I agree. I think that explains why the ones in the puzzle couldn't all be as good as 23-Across.

Apart from the theme, the puzzle seemed on the easy side. There were a couple of trouble spots where I might have got into difficulties on my own: 59a Sert and 54d IED was a mean crossing - my instinct was to go for an E (probably based on having seen Sert before), but I couldn't think of what IED might expand to by way of confirmation. Luckily Magdalen had heard of improvised explosive devices on news programs and could explain.

We also debated over 31d Darla and 31a depend. I'm apparently now considered the household expert on Our Gang, but couldn't remember Darla Hood. Ultimately, the only way to make a word out of 31-Across was to put a D at the front, but maybe {Bank} was still a little tricky given the crossing?
Solving time: 30 mins (with Magdalen, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 11d art majors {Drawers in some college dorm rooms?}
Solution

Michael J. Doran
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

"To Thine Own Self Be True". One-word clues can be reinterpreted as starting with the personal pronoun "I", as follows:
23a film critic {Irate} => {I rate}
28a Olympic luger {Isled} => {I sled}
52a tabloid writer {Islander} => {I slander}
88a election loser {Iran} => {I ran}
109a telemarketer {iPhone} => {I phone}
117a eBay patron {Ibid.} => {I bid}
33d Ponzi schemer {Icon} => {I con}
42d casino worker {Ideal} => {I deal}
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersMichael J. Doran / Will Shortz
Grid21x21 with 68 (15.4%) black squares
Answers142 (average length 5.25)
Theme squares94 (25.2%)
Scrabble points557 (average 1.49)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Video of the Day



92a Rho {When written three times, fraternity in "Revenge of the Nerds"}. Revenge of the Nerds is a 1984 American comedy film satirizing social life on the campus of the fictional Adams College. The film stars Robert Carradine and Anthony Edwards, with Curtis Armstrong, Ted McGinley, Julia Montgomery, Brian Tochi, Larry B. Scott, John Goodman, and Donald Gibb. The film was directed by Jeff Kanew. The film's storyline chronicles of a group of nerds trying to stop harassment by the persecuting jock fraternity, the Alpha Betas. Here are all the fraternities and sororities in the movie, for future reference:
  • Fraternities

    • ΑΒ - Alpha Beta, athletes' fraternity
    • ΛΛΛ - Lambda Lambda Lambda, aka "Tri Lamb" a black fraternity that has a nerd chapter at Adams College
    • PPP - Rho Rho Rho, a fraternity in the Greek Sing contest
    • ΝΤΝ - Nu Tau Nu
    • ROTC - Reserve Officers' Training Corps (note, while not a fictional fraternity, it is treated as one in its access to the Greek Games in the movie)
    • AN - Alpha Nu
  • Sororities

    • ΩΜ - Omega Mu, sorority for nerds and fat girls
    • ΠΔΠ - Pi Delta Pi, sorority of pretty girls affiliated with ΑΒ
    • ΙΣΠ - Iota Sigma Pi
    • ΩΨ - Omega Psi
    • ΞΣΡ - Xi Sigma Rho
    • ΡΟΤΧ - Presumably matched up with ROTC (the Greek letters are the closest equivalent to ROTC)
The Doctor is IN

51a Liz {Tina's role on "30 Rock"}. Liz Lemon, played by Tina Fey.

55a ser. {Father's speech: Abbr.}. ser. = sermon.

126a Anna {Title girl on the first Beatles album}. Anna (Go to Him) on the 1963 album Please Please Me.

31d Darla {Alfalfa's sweetie}.  Darla Hood, and Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer of the Our Gang comedy shorts.

54d IED {Roadside bomb: Abbr.}. I.e. improvised explosive device.

64d her {Every other hurricane}. Hurricanes are given male and female forenames alternately - see lists of tropical cyclone names for all the details.

90d Ollie {Half of an old comedy duo}. Presumably Oliver Hardy.

112d tres {Square root of nueve}. three = tres and nine = nueve are in Español para los crucigramistas.

Image of the Day

Joan Miró Museum - Parc Montjuïc

59a Sert {Miró Museum architect José Luis ___}. Josep Lluís Sert (1902—1983) was a Spanish Catalan architect. He completed the Fundació Joan Miró on Montjuïc in Barcelona in 1975. Sert conceived the museum like an open space, with big terraces and interior courtyards that allowed a correct circulation of the visitors. It also has sculptural roof forms designed to bring natural light into the galleries.

Other Clues

1a swale {Low-lying land}; 6a slur {"Dirty rat," e.g.}; 10a darts {Moves quickly}; 15a sand {Take the edge off?}; 19a Pisan {Tower city resident}; 20a tune {Ensure that a G is actually a G, say}; 21a Drury {___ Lane, home of London's Theatre Royal}; 22a Agee {Pulitzer-winning James}; 25a atman {Universal soul, in Hinduism}; 26a love {Troubadour's subject}; 27a biers {Coffin frames}; 31a depend {Bank}; 34a Karl {Benz of Mercedes-Benz fame}; 36a all set {Ready}; 37a amoroso {Lovingly, in music}; 39a Skopje {Macedonian capital}; 41a pecan {Texas' state tree}; 45a rant {Talk until you're blue in the face}; 46a erat {Part of Q.E.D.}; 48a Yao {Shanghai-born N.B.A. star}; 49a ages ago {Way in the past}; 56a alibi {Defendant's testimony, maybe}; 58a Sirs {Elton John and Paul McCartney}; 60a mine {Word of greed}; 61a situ {In ___ (unmoved)}; 63a tithe {What most Mormons do}; 66a disbands {Breaks up}; 68a licking {Rout}; 71a Aleve {Naproxen, commercially}; 73a pea-coat {Double-breasted winter wear}; 74a aches for {Greatly desires}; 76a Erins {Moran and Gray}; 78a trow {Think, in olden times}; 79a need {Financial aid factor}; 80a Eros {One taking a bow?}; 82a Act I {When the tempest occurs in "The Tempest"}; 84a Enoch {Grandson of Adam}; 87a cam {Bit of video gear, for short}; 93a exempts {Lets off}; 95a rel. {Hinduism, e.g.: Abbr.}; 96a open {Dentist's request}; 97a skål {Swedish toast}; 98a Teris {Actress Hatcher and others}; 99a aisles {Large planes have two}; 101a Ed Meese {Attorney general under Reagan}; 103a no-risk {Like some investments}; 106a I get {"___ the picture!"}; 108a soared {Rose and rose and rose}; 113a hours {Word with kilowatt or business}; 115a olio {Mix}; 116a yes or {"___ no?"}; 122a Gael {Certain Scot}; 123a o' nine {Cat-tails connector}; 124a tine {Trident feature}; 125a Laura {Bush with the memoir "Spoken From the Heart"}; 127a nenes {Baja babies}; 128a -ster {Suffix with hip}; 129a Srtas. {Madrid misses: Abbr.}.

1d SPF {Lotion letters}; 2d Wii {What to play Super Mario Galaxy on}; 3d ASL {Communication for the deaf: Abbr.}; 4d Lambert {St. Louis airport}; 5d Encino {City near Sherman Oaks}; 6d stir {Mix}; 7d Lutsk {Ukrainian city in W.W. I fighting}; 8d uni {College, across the pond}; 9d recork {Close again, as a wine bottle}; 10d D-day {Event depicted in "Saving Private Ryan"}; 11d art majors {Drawers in some college dorm rooms?}; 12d rumple {Make wrinkly}; 13d trail {Crumbs, in "Hansel and Gretel"}; 14d syncs {Makes match up}; 15d salutes {Private greetings?}; 16d agog {Awestruck}; 17d Neve {Actress Campbell}; 18d deer {A couple of bucks?}; 24d Red Sea {Part of Eritrea's border}; 29d Lloyd {Christopher of "Back to the Future"}; 30d leper {Recipient of Jesus' healing}; 32d email {Google or Yahoo! service}; 35d Astoria {Area in Queens}; 38d orbs {Earth and moon}; 40d paw {What a dog might "shake" with}; 43d agenda {Outline of a sort}; 44d no rest {What the weary get, in a saying}; 47d alit {Got off}; 49d atrip {Off the bottom, as an anchor}; 50d get set {Words before "go"}; 52d titis {South American monkeys}; 53d istle {Basketry fiber}; 57d biked {Competed in a velodrome}; 60d Macon {"Heart of Georgia"}; 62d unfelt {Like a mild earthquake, maybe}; 65d Evian {Fiji competitor}; 67d barer {Less furnished}; 68d lancet {Surgeon's tool}; 69d ice-axe {Sherpa's tool}; 70d Gores {Al et al.}; 72d enclose {Pen}; 75d Roc {___-A-Fella Records}; 77d stop {Pull over}; 81d strike one {Call from home?}; 83d I see {Therapist's reply}; 85d chase {Part of many an action movie}; 86d holed {In hiding, with "up"}; 88d Epsom {English racing town}; 89d -ies {Suffix with pant}; 91d ends up {Becomes}; 94d Mineola {Long Island town where the Wright Brothers experimented}; 97d sea-star {Ocean dweller with five points}; 99d asks in {Is a polite host to}; 100d egrets {Marsh sights}; 102d morals {Fable teachings}; 104d rayon {Silky material}; 105d Irene {"Me, Myself & ___," 2000 Jim Carrey movie}; 107d thane {"The ___ of Fife had a wife": Shak.}; 109d toga {"Spartacus" attire}; 110d élan {Panache}; 111d lien {Certain claim}; 114d oyer {Open hearing, in law}; 118d bit {Drill part}; 119d rut {Cause of a bump in the road}; 120d or a {"... boy ___ girl?"}; 121d Nas {"If I Ruled the World" rapper}.

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