Sunday, July 11, 2010

NYT Monday 7/12/10 Freddie Cheng - Come On Now!

Although there were several hesitations along the way today, I still equaled my best time with this Monday New York Times crossword. On seeing triple miles and three for one I naturally assumed the theme would be threeness ...

Could the theme have been continued that way? I'm not sure, since further variants would presumably involve suffixes and hence mar the consistency. Anyway, the come-on idea was fun as implemented and we got the crossing a deal as an unexpected bonus theme answer.

I was a little surprised, given the day, to see a few words from the dustier recesses of the dictionary: stelae, leady and bimodal for example. What is the US equivalent of the retired colonel in Tunbridge Wells? In the UK they are stereotypically liable to write to editors if something in the crossword causes them to choke over their breakfast egg ... for whatever reason.

Then there's Kiowa. I'm trying to learn my civics in preparation for a Naturalization Test and question 87 is "Name one American Indian tribe in the United States". Kiowa isn't among the 22 possible answers ... nor Oto(e) for that matter. I'd better not try those on the USCIS interviewer if I get asked that question!
Solving time: 4 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 57d nose {Sniffer}

Freddie Cheng
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]


Various advertising come-ons, as indicated by 52d a deal {"What ___!" (possible response to 20-, 29-, 46- and 56-Across)}.
20a triple miles {Special offer at an airline Web site}
29a three for one {Special offer at a supermarket}
46a free refills {Special offer at a diner}
56a no money down {Special offer at a car dealership}
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersFreddie Cheng / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 43 (19.1%) black squares
Answers78 (average length 4.67)
Theme squares48 (26.4%)
Scrabble points286 (average 1.57)
Video of the Day

69a Glen {Campbell who sang "Rhinestone Cowboy"}. Rhinestone Cowboy is a song written by Larry Weiss and most famously recorded by country-pop singer Glen Campbell. The song enjoyed immense popularity with both country and pop audiences when it was released in 1975. Rhinestone Cowboy served as the basis for the 1984 movie Rhinestone, starring Sylvester Stallone and Dolly Parton. The song also continues to be heard in movies and television, making the soundtracks of High School High and Daddy Day Care, as well as being used in an episode of Desperate Housewives and The Jamie Foxx Show.

The Doctor is IN

67a Anne {Prince Charles's sister}. I.e. Anne, Princess Royal.

11d FCC {TV monitor?}. FCC = Federal Communications Commission is in Alphabet Soup.

Image of the Day

Kiowa Three-Hide Dress

36a Kiowa {Midwest tribe}. The Kiowa are a nation of American Indians who migrated from the Northern Plains to their present location in Southwestern Oklahoma. They are a federally recognized tribe, the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, with over 11,500 members. Kiowa refer to themselves as Kgoy-goo, meaning "the principal people" in their tribal language. The word "Kiowa" originated after their migration through what the Kiowa refer to as "The Mountains of the Kiowa." This location is in the present eastern edge of Glacier National Park, Montana, just below the Canadian border.

Other Clues

1a cusp {Point that marks the beginning of a change}; 5a arcs {Rainbows, basically}; 9a gaffe {Blunder}; 14a Alto {Palo ___, Calif.}; 15a coat {Jacket}; 16a ulcer {Affliction said to be caused by worry}; 17a step {One of 12 for the Alcoholics Anonymous program}; 18a hale {Robust}; 19a nicer {More courteous}; 23a Sanyo {Japanese electronics brand}; 24a Balmoral {Scottish castle for British royals}; 32a act {"___ your age!"}; 35a air {Scuba tankful}; 37a low {Depressed}; 38a gym {Place for phys ed}; 39a Poe {"The Murders in the Rue Morgue" writer}; 41a sad {Depressed}; 42a obese {Way too weighty}; 44a bow {Arrow shooter}; 45a try {Attempt}; 50a tantalum {Element with the symbol Ta}; 51a pasta {Rotini or rigatoni}; 59a rabbi {One of three people walking into a bar, in many a joke}; 63a Idol {Fox's "American ___"}; 64a Enid {Sir Geraint's wife, in Arthurian legend}; 65a adieu {François's farewell}; 66a NASA {Mission control org.}; 68a totem {___ pole (Indian emblem)}; 70a lyes {Corrosive alkalis}.

1d casts {Groups on "Saturday Night Live"}; 2d ultra {The "U" of UHF}; 3d Stein {Writer Gertrude}; 4d poppy {Opium flower}; 5d ache {Yearn (for)}; 6d roam {What buffalo do in "Home on the Range"}; 7d caliber {.45, e.g., for a firearm}; 8d stelae {Upright, inscribed stone tablets}; 9d Gunsmoke {TV western that ran for 20 seasons}; 10d Ali {Muhammad ___, opponent of 53-Down}; 12d fee {Lawyer's charge}; 13d err {Blunder}; 21d lot {Bit of real estate}; 22d elf {Santa's helper}; 25d or I {"... ___ quit!"}; 26d roost {Henhouse perch}; 27d Anwar {Egypt's Sadat}; 28d leady {Like many old water pipes}; 30d hay {What a farmer bales}; 31d rim {Edge}; 32d aloft {Skyward}; 33d cobra {Snake that a snake charmer charms}; 34d tween {Sixth-grader, usually}; 38d geranium {Flower also known as a cranesbill}; 39d pol {Campaign pro}; 40d owl {"Wise" bird}; 43d set {Put in rollers}; 44d bimodal {Having two methods}; 47d ELO {"Shine a Little Love" rock grp.}; 48d fuming {Really angry}; 49d spy {Passer of secret documents}; 53d Sonny {___ Liston, opponent of 10-Down}; 54d twine {Bale binder}; 55d Andes {Much of Chile}; 57d nose {Sniffer}; 58d élan {Verve}; 59d rat {Double-crosser}; 60d ado {Hubbub}; 61d bit {Chomped (on)}; 62d bee {Busy one?}.


O.C. said...

Nice write-up. On the naturalization test, answer "Cleveland Indians" or "Atlanta Braves". Then they'll have no doubt that you've been suitably Americanized.

As a constructor, probably wouldn't have served this fill up to a beginner audience of solvers. As a more advanced solver, liked it a lot; had some challenges to it. No 4 minute solve time here, thank you. But, then, I tend to savor them more over sips of coffee (aka puzzle juice).

Crossword Man said...

Very funny re the Indians and Braves ... but I'm not sure USCIS have a sense of humor :-)