Friday, July 23, 2010

NYT Saturday 7/24/10 David J. Kahn - Knowing Me, Knowing You

I don't expect to see the extra complications of  rebuses in a Saturday New York Times crossword, so - yes - there was an aha moment when I realized what was going on tonight.

Minnehaha and HiawathaAll the clues were there in the first minute or so, as I knew {Literary character whose name is said to mean "laughing water"} to be a reference to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Minnehaha. I couldn't believe I had the right answer though, imagined there must be an alternative spelling and moved on.

Eventually, I ran into {Hot spot} at 6-Down and finally the light dawned. I noted "aha moment" in the margin, little realizing this would be a later answer.

After this, progress was slow but steady throughout the solving process, there just being a slight hold-up as each rebus square was ferreted out. It helped to have rebus squares symmetrically opposite each other and I tend to this a courtesy that constructors should strive to confer, given the problems rebuses pose for the solver.

My one doubtful crossing was between 61-Across Sedalia and 53-Down Shays'. I'd wanted Vedalia for the former, thinking of the onions, but in fact they're spelled Vidalia after Vidalia, GA. That pushed me towards an -alia ending for the Missouri place name, which sounded right anyway; but since I hadn't heard of (or remembered) Shays' Rebellion, I ran the risk of a mistake here. As yesterday, I was influenced by shays being the plural of a dictionary word (and no other middle letter satisfies that).
Solving time: 20 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 62d leg {One with a supporting role}
Solution

David J. Kahn
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

A rebus puzzle in which AHA is squeezed into five symmetrically disposed squares, affecting the following answers:
13a Minnehaha {Literary character whose name is said to mean "laughing water"}
6d Sahara {Hot spot}

34a Yamahas {Raptor 350 and others}
12d Sir Galahad {Tennyson hero}

38a Mia Hamm {Founding member of the Washington Freedom}
20d Tallahassee {Seat of Leon County, Fla.}

41a Mahalia {Singer Jackson}
36d maharanees {Old royalty}

66a aha moment {What you may have while solving this puzzle?}
58d Omahas {Some Siouan speakers}
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersDavid J. Kahn / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 32 (14.2%) black squares
Answers72 (average length 5.36)
Theme squares0 (0.0%)
Scrabble points276 (average 1.43)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Video of the Day



8d Sharif {"Hidalgo" co-star, 2004}. Hidalgo is a 2004 film based on the legend of distance rider Frank Hopkins and his horse Hidalgo, a mustang. The movie was written by John Fusco and directed by Joe Johnston. It stars Viggo Mortensen, Zuleikha Robinson and Omar Sharif, who plays a wealthy sheikh, Sheikh Riyadh.

The Doctor is IN

21a ange {Figure depicted in une église}. "angel" and "a church" in French.

22a see to {Mind}. Equivalent in the sense of "take care of".

35a imps {Pucks}. Puck in the sense of mischievous sprite.

60a ora {Sessanta minuti}. "hour" and "sixty minutes" in Italian.

1d filles {Nice girls}. Nice = place in France is in Pavlov's Guide to Crosswords.

11d noontime {When two hands meet}. The hands of an analog clock meet at 12:00.

15d seeress {Figure in the Iliad}. Probably have Cassandra in mind.

25d nay {Con's call}. In politics etc., someone who's against (con) a proposal will say nay to it.

28d Sim {Actor who played Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol," 1951}. I.e. Alastair Sim (1900–1976).

33d Smee {Literary pirate}. Reference to Captain Hook's right-hand man in Peter Pan.

39d MTA {N.Y.C. travel letters}. MTA = Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

56d sala {Palacio part}. room = sala is in Español para los crucigramistas (palace = palacio has just been added).

Image of the Day

English Springer Spaniel doing agility


42d AKC {Springer's org.}. A springer, or springer spaniel, is a medium-sized sporting dog that is often used for finding and flushing small game. There are two main breeds: the English Springer Spaniel (usually of black-and-white or liver and white hair, pictured above) and the Welsh Springer Spaniel (red and white). Hence the answer AKC = American Kennel Club.

Other Clues

1a firsts {Some Guinness Book listings}; 7a aspens {Sources of woods used for saunas}; 14a chamois {Nonabrasive leather}; 16a oldster {Grandma or grandpa}; 17a had more {Went back to the buffet, say}; 18a Ole {Norwegian violinist ___ Bull}; 19a seater {Two-___}; 24a ad in {Server's edge}; 26a tar {Besmirch}; 27a espousal {Advocacy}; 30a facile {Smooth}; 32a stills {Film studio stock}; 40a meds {Many mail-order items, briefly}; 43a tsetse {English word that comes from Tswana}; 45a pranks {Tomfoolery}; 47a seaports {Places to unload}; 51a ray {Alpha or beta follower}; 52a case {Jewelry store feature}; 54a in oil {How fried foods are fried}; 55a -enes {Hydrocarbon endings}; 57a The One {1992 Elton John hit}; 61a Sedalia {Missouri site of the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival}; 63a made man {Fellow with no monetary woes}; 65a sealery {Place for barkers?}; 67a stages {Adolescence and others}; 68a Sentra {Civic alternative}.

2d in deep {Seriously committed}; 3d RNs {Workers with 64-Downs, for short}; 4d sets out {Embarks}; 5d thee {You, once}; 7d ached {Hurt}; 9d pad {Digs}; 10d Emma {Classic novel that ends with two weddings}; 11d noontime {When two hands meet}; 13d moose {Yellowstone sight}; 23d toss in {Add}; 29d alit {Settled}; 31d came on {Appeared in, as a TV show}; 35d impress {Awe}; 37d played at {Didn't do seriously}; 44d spied on {Watched closely from a distance}; 46d satire {"Fahrenheit 451," e.g.}; 48d roomer {Paying guest}; 49d Tirana {Capital midway between Rome and Istanbul}; 50d slant {Editorial feature}; 53d Shays' {___ Rebellion}; 59d name {Handle}; 62d leg {One with a supporting role}; 64d EMT {Colleague of 3-Down}.

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