Thursday, June 17, 2010

NYT Thursday 6/17/10 - Dance for Joy

Oh joy! It seems rebus puzzles are back with a vengeance this week, but this Thursday New York Times example is about as well-behaved as they get, with the rebus squares symmetrically disposed and containing the exact same letters each time.

I worked out what the idea involved before the justification for it: arriving at 28-Down {"Dubliners" author}, I knew that could only be Joyce and JOY looked to be in the rebus square; this supposition was soon confirmed when I solved 26-Across as enjoyable. I had gotten this far in just under 7 minutes.

But it took a long time to make sense of 33-Across, as I had the alternative spelling nay for 27-Down and an S penciled at the end of 10-Down, assuming a regular plural (I'm always falling for that one). In fact, it wasn't till I'd spent 15 minutes on the grid that I finally twigged to Beethoven's Ninth; but at least during the time it took to get that, most of the answers affected by the rebus had been cracked.

The crux of the puzzle, in fact, lay outside of the rebus, in the horrible NW corner. In the absence of any JOY in that area, liberties seem to have been taken with more difficult answers and clues. My first mistake was assuming Raven for 1-Across ... I expect a lot of people fell for that.

The deception in 3-Down was particularly mean, but I forgave it when I saw what was going on, giving that clue the Clue of the Puzz, which would otherwise have gone to 57d byte {Part of a gig}. Other problems here came from the proper names: Bibb, Isaak, Ladd; I've no doubt seen these all before, but had great trouble recalling them tonight. This tiny section of puzzle ended up taking about eight minutes at the end.
Solving time: 28 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 3d lawn {It extends about a yard}
Solution

Corey Rubin
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

A rebus puzzle in which JOY appears in a single square, inspired by 33a Beethoven's Ninth {1824 Vienna premiere}, which includes a setting of Schiller's Ode to Joy. Here are the answers affected by the rebus squares:
20a bundle of joy {Newborn}
8d for joy {One way to jump}

26a enjoyable {Gratifying}
28d Joyce {"Dubliners" author} 

30a Almond Joy {Hershey's brand}
13d Ode to Joy {Work incorporated in 33-Across ... or a description of this puzzle?}

43a joyriding {Pastime for a car thief, perhaps}
43d joystick {Gamer's device}

47a overjoyed {Euphoric}
38d no joy {What there was in Mudville}

53a Joy Luck Club {Best-selling novel of 1989, with "The"}
53d Joyner {Al ___, 1984 Olympic gold medalist in the triple jump}
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersCorey Rubin / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 40 (17.8%) black squares
Answers78 (average length 4.74)
Theme squares(not calculated)
Scrabble points342 (average 1.85)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Video of the Day



15a/25a I Love a Piano {An Irving Berlin song}. Irving Berlin (1888–1989) wrote I Love a Piano in 1915 - an erotic, but comical, ragtime love song. It's sung by the incomparable Liza Minnelli above.

The Doctor is IN

59a ignis {Top of a Roman candle?}. ignis is "fire" in Latin.

9d TVA {Norris Dam agcy.}. Norris Dam was the first major project for the Tennessee Valley Authority.

23d bio {Life, in brief}. bio, short for biography.

26d Emb. {Attaché's place: Abbr.}. Emb. = embassy.

29d AST {Hrs. in Puerto Rico}. Puerto Rico uses Atlantic Standard Time (UTC–4).

32d hes {Jack and billy}. "jack" and "billy" signify the male of different animals, as in jackass and billy goat.

34d Heimlich {Eponymous doctor with a maneuver}. Henry Heimlich of the Heimlich Maneuver.

38d no joy {What there was in Mudville}. A reference to the baseball poem Casey at the Bat.

57d byte {Part of a gig}. gig = a gigabyte = 1000000000bytes or 1073741824 (10243 or 230) bytes depending on the context.

60d GRE {Hurdle for some srs.}. GRE = Graduate Record Examination, a standardized test that is an admission requirement for many graduate schools in the US.

Image of the Day

Ding Dongs

63a creme {Ding Dong filler}. A Ding Dong is a chocolate cake that is sold by Hostess Brands. It is round with a flat top and bottom, about three inches in diameter and a little more than an inch high, similar in shape to a hockey puck. A white creamy filling is injected into the center, and a thin coating of chocolate glaze covers the entire cake. The cake was originally wrapped in a square of thick aluminum foil, enabling it to be carried in lunches without melting the chocolate glaze. Hostess began marketing their Ding Dong in 1967. The name was given to coincide with a television ad campaign featuring a ringing bell.

Other Clues

1a Bells {Poe poem, with "The"}; 6a rafts {A lot}; 11a poo {Cutesy-___}; 14a Isaak {Chris with the 1991 hit "Wicked Game"}; 16a and {Furthermore}; 17a bawdy {Blue}; 18a Borat {Hit 2006 film banned in every Arab country except Lebanon}; 19a She {"___ Bangs" (Ricky Martin hit)}; 22a U-boat {Concern for an Allied ship}; 24a asst. {Part of many a job title: Abbr.}; 31a Macs {Part of the home computer market}; 32a hype {Talk up}; 41a -enes {Hydrocarbon suffixes}; 42a Soho {Home of London's Palace Theatre}; 50a Sonoma {Region known as the Valley of the Moon}; 51a spas {Évian and Vichy}; 52a tonal {Like most music}; 58a in E {Like Schubert's Symphony No. 7}; 61a irony {Sophocles skill}; 62a cee {Middling mark}; 64a Manet {Cézanne contemporary}; 65a Kyd {Elizabethan dramatist Thomas}; 66a here's {"___ to you!"}; 67a obese {Not just big}.

1d Bibb {Kind of lettuce}; 2d Esau {Grandson of Abraham}; 3d lawn {It extends about a yard}; 4d Ladd {Diane of "Wild at Heart"}; 5d Skylab {1973 NASA launch}; 6d ribose {Nucleic acid sugar}; 7d aloft {Up}; 10d setup men {Relief pitchers prior to closers}; 11d Pasoan {El ___ (certain Texan)}; 12d on hand {Present}; 21d ESL {Night sch. course}; 25d alps {Swiss ___}; 27d nae {Aye's opposite}; 30d Ayn {Writer Rand}; 35d Onna {Tony-nominated choreographer White}; 36d veg {Part of a food pyramid, briefly}; 37d Isr. {Neighbor of Jordan: Abbr.}; 39d thé {French beverage}; 40d hod {Container on a pole}; 44d Rooney {TV's Andy}; 45d in need {Short of resources}; 46d do a {___ favor}; 47d opuses {Works}; 48d vac {Dust collector, for short}; 49d Eskimo {Certain sled driver}; 51d slime {Lowlifes}; 54d crab {Zodiac creature}; 55d lone {Solo}; 56d unes {Quelques-___ (some: Fr.)}.

6 comments:

Daniel Myers said...

The Joyce reference was one day late for Bloomsday - No joy.;-)

Anonymous said...

Really not important, but your image of the day is of Hostess Cupcakes, not Ding Dongs. You're forgiven though since you are a transplant!

Crossword Man said...

Hi Anon. It looks like Ding Dongs have been Hooverized, as the picture I chose was labeled "ding dongs" (admittedly with no initial caps). I do like to get these things right, so I've substituted the genuine article (negative nutritional value and all). Thanks!

Crossword Man said...

Oops. Missed Bloomsday. Bettysday is going to be more significant chez nous - the centenary of romance writer Betty Neels is on September 15 this year!

Anonymous said...

My photo of the not-apparently-a-ding-dong. So I guess this means I have the genuine Ding Dong experience still ahead of me. Dang!

Crossword Man said...

Hey Kikishua, that's the first time an Image of the Day photographer has commented - thanks for making the picture Creative Commons. In case you didn't figure it out, the picture got changed after comment #2 ... I'm sure your Ding Dongs are genuine!