Saturday, July 10, 2010

NYT Sunday 7/11/10 Ed Sessa - Befuddled

Magdalen was busy with her writing when this Sunday New York Times crossword was published, so I set out to solve it solo. Despite this, I had a better than average solving time, suggesting today's puzzle is a relatively easy one ... certainly there were no major trouble-spots for me.

As often with this type of pun-based idea, getting the first few theme answers was a bit of a struggle - if I'd remembered wabbit season I might have worked out the mechanism wight away; but as it was, I needed virtually all the crossing letters for the top couple of thematic examples before I wealized Rs were becoming Ws.

Actually that isn't the whole story: in no case is an R literally replaced with a W to make the answer: every pun involves spelling changes elsewhere, although the sound of the letter R always changes to the sound of the letter W ... hence "As Elmer Fudd Would Say" in the title. Neat touch in an enjoyable puzzle.

Solving time: 25 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 89d Stevie {Nicks on a record?}

Ed Sessa
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]


"As Elmer Fudd would say". An R sound is replaced by a W sound in a phrase, making a pun.
23a so shall ye weep {Part of a biblical warning against growing onions?} cf ... so shall ye reap
30a towel whacks {Some locker room tomfoolery?} cf towel racks
40a The Life of Wilee {Bio for a Looney Tunes coyote?} cf the life of Riley
56a Nader's waders {Politico Ralph's fishing gear?} cf Nader's Raiders
68a thin as a whale {Pretty fat, actually?} cf thin as a rail
80a gargle and wince {React to a bitter mouthwash?} cf gargle and rinse
94a filthy witch {Sloven in the coven?} cf filthy rich
102a take a big whisk {Advice to someone going to the Egg-Beaters' Convention?} cf take a big risk
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersEd Sessa / Will Shortz
Grid21x21 with 69 (15.6%) black squares
Answers138 (average length 5.39)
Theme squares100 (26.9%)
Scrabble points621 (average 1.67)
Video of the Day

99a Tito {Timbales player Puente}. Tito Puente (1923–2000), born Ernesto Antonio Puente, Jr., was a Latin Jazz and Mambo musician. The son of native Puerto Ricans Ernest and Ercilia Puente, of Spanish Harlem in New York City, Puente is often credited as "El Rey" (the King) of the timbales and "The King of Latin Music". He is best known for dance-oriented mambo and Latin jazz compositions that helped keep his career going for 50 years. He and his music appear in many films such as The Mambo Kings and Fernando Trueba's Calle 54. He guest starred on several television shows including The Cosby Show, The Simpsons and Sesame Street (above).

The Doctor is IN

49a I am {Cartesian conclusion}. Reference to Cogito ergo sum ("I think, therefore I am").

52a bbl. {OPEC unit: Abbr.}. bbl. = barrels.

75a Aaron {First Baseball Hall-of-Famer, alphabetically}. I.e. Hank Aaron.

93a Fife {Barney of Mayberry}. Barney Fife (Don Knotts) in The Andy Griffith Show.

101a Deco {'33 Chicago World's Fair style}. I.e. Art Deco.

3d renews {Gets more InStyle, say}. InStyle is a monthly women’s fashion magazine.

6d rat {Singer}. Equivalent in the sense of informer.

46d orator {Clay, e.g.}. Presumably Henry Clay (1777–1852), US statesman and orator.

50a O rare {"___ Ben Jonson!"}. "O Rare Ben Jonson" is inscribed over Ben Jonson's grave in Westminster Abbey; it can also be read punningly as "Orare Ben Jonson" (pray for Ben Jonson).

60d TVA {New Deal inits.}; 104d WPA {New Deal inits.}. Tennessee Valley Authority and Works Progress Administration are in Alphabet Soup.

89d Stevie {Nicks on a record?}. Reference to female singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks.

106d Île {Any of the Marquises, par exemple}. The Îles Marquises are a group of volcanic islands in French Polynesia.

Image of the Day

Piel Bros

37d Piels {Beer brand originating in Brooklyn}. Piels Beer, aka Piel Bros. Beer and Piel's Beer, is a regional lager beer, originally brewed in Brooklyn, New York. Located in the East New York section of Brooklyn at 315 Liberty Avenue, it was founded in 1883 by the Piel brothers: Gottfried, Michael and Wilhelm Piel. The soft water from Long Island was preferred by German brewers and Breweries in Brooklyn proliferated at this time. Piels union employees are reputed to have been guaranteed ice cold beer on tap 24 hours a day in their union contract. Piels, in its present incarnation, is generally regarded as an inexpensive beer.

Other Clues

1a carport {House extension}; 8a mamba {Deadly African biter}; 13a job jar {Container holding slips of paper with tasks written on them}; 19a over par {Like a bogey or double bogey}; 20a usual {Commonplace}; 21a bad move! {"Shouldn't have done that!"}; 22a Menotti {"Amahl and the Night Visitors" composer}; 25a Eden {Garden with an apple tree}; 26a spices {Livens (up)}; 28a eons {Ages upon ages}; 29a cru {French wine classification}; 33a date {See}; 34a foal {What a mare bears}; 35a ons {Turn-___}; 36a Omar {Jerusalem's Mosque of ___}; 37a post {Letters}; 38a slogs {Arduous travels}; 39a sad {Down}; 45a dozens {Bakery trayfuls, say}; 48a beliefs {Philosophy}; 51a dials {Radio features}; 53a vac {Closet item, in brief}; 60a true love {Light of one's life}; 62a a ton {Lots}; 63a Hoya {Georgetown hoopster}; 64a Evil {The ___ One (sobriquet for Satan)}; 65a clam {Buck}; 66a tore down {Razed}; 72a era {Victorian ___}; 73a ows {Sounds at a vaccination center, maybe}; 74a dhoti {Garb for Gandhi}; 76a aim {Intent}; 77a Iranian {Tabriz native}; 79a Orient {Marco Polo's destination}; 84a IBM {Big hirer of techies}; 85a Every {Mae West's "___ Day's a Holiday"}; 86a SARS {2003 disease scare}; 87a St Lo {Battle of Normandy town}; 89a sac {Egg container, of sorts}; 92a Nova {PBS staple since 1974}; 98a Eco {Author Umberto}; 100a camise {Loose smock}; 105a lie over {Blanket}; 108a ideates {Thinks}; 109a puree {Reduce to mush}; 110a old-line {Traditional}; 111a co-star {Spotlight sharer}; 112a abets {Assists}; 113a tea-sets {Some dollhouse miniatures}.

1d come to {Recover from a blackout}; 2d Avedon {Photographer Richard}; 4d prone {Lying}; 5d opt {Make a choice}; 7d Trisha {Singer Yearwood}; 8d music {Singer's accompaniment}; 9d a sock {"Put ___ in it!"}; 10d muses {Nine daughters of Zeus}; 11d bahs {Curmudgeonly cries}; 12d à la {___ king}; 13d Jayne {Actress Meadows}; 14d Odes {___ of Solomon}; 15d BMW {Maker of the Z4 roadster}; 16d Joe Cool {Snoopy's hip alter ego}; 17d average {So-so}; 18d repulse {Turn off}; 21d blotto {Totally wasted}; 24d leases {Things letters have}; 27d Part B {Added-on Medicare provisions}; 31d loaner {Courtesy car}; 32d WMDs {Saddam reportedly hid them, briefly}; 33d doffs {Tips, in a way}; 34d flim {____-flam}; 38d swale {Marshy tract}; 39d serene {Collected}; 41d Hedda {Gossipy Hopper}; 42d Elie {Nobel laureate Wiesel}; 43d liar {Stereotypical debate outburst}; 44d fibula {Calf bone}; 45d donate {Be philanthropic}; 47d Zadora {Golden Globe winner Pia}; 52d bris {Rite for a newborn Jewish boy}; 53d Volare {1958 #1 hit by Domenico Modugno}; 54d Avalon {King Arthur's burial place}; 55d cement {Solidify}; 57d show me! {"Prove it!"}; 58d wows {Knocks dead}; 59d Ayn {"The Fountainhead" writer Rand}; 61d l'chaim {"To life!"}; 64d ENIAC {So-called "Giant Brain" of 1946}; 67d doily {Bit of crochet work}; 68d thaws {Détentes}; 69d honi {"___ soit qui mal y pense" (old motto)}; 70d it in {"Put ___ writing!"}; 71d war bow {English archer's weapon}; 74d Dr Dre {Rapper with the 6x platinum album "2001"}; 76d Agra {Taj Mahal city}; 77d in a fog {Spaced out}; 78d nests {Fits one inside another}; 79d oily {Unctuous}; 80d genetic {Kind of code}; 81d avocado {Shade of green}; 82d revokes {Cancels}; 83d as it is {The way things stand}; 88d the lot {Everything}; 90d accent {Sign of stress}; 91d chores {Farmer's to-do list}; 93d fiber {Moral ___}; 94d faire {Renaissance ___ (historical reenactment)}; 95d I'm set {"No more for me, thanks"}; 96d likes {Takes a shine to}; 97d idols {Many people in People}; 99d ta-ta! {"Cheerio!"}; 100d chub {Carp family fish}; 103d eat! {"Mangia!"}; 107d Eda {Child-care writer LeShan}.

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