Monday, July 12, 2010

NYT Tuesday 7/13/10 Peter A. Collins - Something to Hide

I love the theme of this Tuesday New York Times crossword, which inverts an idea I've seen before by having phrases that embed a word meaning their opposite. Have these long answers got something to hide? ... A great idea: my only quibble being that the full answers generally have positive connotations and the hidden words negative ones, except in the case of 48-Across, which thus stands out.

I anticipated the workings of the theme even before getting the first full answer, and found it helpful to guess the circled letters from the clue. This technique only failed me at 27-Across, where I could only think of loathes and that wouldn't fit in the five-letter slot.

What few problems I had were around crossings where I was doubtful of one or both answers: although I know the tune of Felix Arndt's Nola (at 71-Across) from somewhere (where?), I didn't know what it was called or have any idea about the title. Luckily I'm now familiar with both Otto of The Simpsons and esta from Español para los crucigramistas ... but I know Spanish words can sometimes have a variants with a different vowel as the last letter, so that was a slight worry here.

The other tough area for me was around the center, and the crossing of 31-Down Otaru and 45-Across Eries got left to last. I toyed around with different letters at the intersection until R happened to produce a tribe I recognized and was satisfied with that. But researches in Wikipedia make me wonder how accurate the clue {Some Iroquois} is to Eries ... often defined in the past as {Iroquois foes}.
Solving time: 6 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 67a deuce {Club that doesn't beat much}
Solution

Peter A. Collins
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

Long answers contain (in the indicated letters) words that mean their opposite:
17a every bit an angel {Nice through and through ... or not} => evil
27a has the hots for {Really digs ... or not} => hates
48a absolute worst {Most wretched ... or not} => best
63a tells it like it is {Speaks with brutal honesty ... or not} => lies
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersPeter A. Collins / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 34 (15.1%) black squares
Answers76 (average length 5.03)
Theme squares56 (29.3%)
Scrabble points295 (average 1.54)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Video of the Day



71a Nola {Title girl in a 1922 hit}. The pianist and composer Felix Arndt (1889–1918) is best known for the 1915 composition Nola, written as an engagement gift to his fiancee (and later wife), Nola Locke. It is sometimes considered to be the first example of the novelty piano or "novelty ragtime" genre. It was the signature theme of the Vincent Lopez orchestra, for which it was a hit in 1922. Above is a typically flamboyant performance from Liberace in the 1950s.

The Doctor is IN

22a HRE {Charlemagne's dominion: Abbr.}. HRE = Holy Roman Empire, of which Charlemagne was the first monarch.

45a Eries {Some Iroquois}. I've not been able to justify this clue, although Wikipedia does say the Erie tribe spoke an Iroquoian language.

51a Vassar {One of academia's Seven Sisters}. The Seven Sisters (Barnard College, Bryn Mawr College, Mount Holyoke College, Radcliffe College, Smith College, Vassar College, Wellesley College) is a group of what were historically women's colleges, having parallels with the Ivy League.

55a Terps {Maryland athletes, for short}. Terps is short for the Maryland Terrapins, the University of Maryland athletic teams.

68a état {"L'___ c'est moi": Louis XIV}. The attribution to Louis XIV is doubted by scholars.

11d night rider {Certain vigilante}. night rider n. (1877) : a member of a secret band who ride masked at night doing acts of violence for the purpose of punishing or terrorizing [MWCD11].

27d Hera {Juno's counterpart}. Hera in Greek Mythology is equivalent to Juno in Roman mythology.

31d Otaru {Japanese seaport}. Otaru is on Japan's second largest island, Hokkaidō.

Image of the Day

Eliot Hall, Reed College

38a Reed {Portland, Ore., college from which Steve Jobs dropped out}. Reed College is a private, independent, liberal arts college located in southeast Portland, Oregon. Founded in 1908, Reed is a residential college with a campus located in Portland's Eastmoreland neighborhood, featuring architecture based on the Tudor-Gothic style, and a forested canyon wilderness preserve at its center. Reed is distinctively known for its mandatory freshman humanities program, for its required senior-year thesis, as the only private undergraduate college with a primarily student-run nuclear reactor supporting its science programs, and for the unusually high percentage of graduates who go on to earn PhDs and other postgraduate degrees.

Steve Jobs dropped out of Reed College in 1972, but credits a Reed calligraphy class for his focus on choosing quality typefaces for the Macintosh.

Other Clues

1a snip {Tiny scissor cut}; 5a arena {Sphere}; 10a gnat {Annoyance at a barbecue}; 14a tote {Lug}; 15a later! {"I'm outta here!"}; 16a eine {Aachen article}; 20a Mamma {Mother, in Milan}; 21a lapel {Pin's place}; 23a icy {Like some stares}; 25a sin tax {Levy on cigarettes and booze}; 33a Eve {Woman who raised Cain}; 34a two to {58 minutes past the hour}; 35a tripe {Hogwash}; 40a stabs {Uses a dagger}; 42a Adam {33-Across's partner}; 43a ask up {Invite to the penthouse, say}; 47a Eli {2008 Super Bowl M.V.P. Manning}; 53a deb {Many a 16-year-old Southern belle}; 54a Ely {Bridge expert Culbertson}; 59a drove {Shepherded, in a way}; 66a Crüe {Rock's Mötley ___}; 67a deuce {Club that doesn't beat much}; 69a home {Terse order to a chauffeur}; 70a assay {Evaluate}.

1d stem {Flower stalk}; 2d nova {Exploding star}; 3d item {Couple on a gossip page}; 4d permit {Learner's ___}; 5d alb {Priestly attire}; 6d rail {Train transportation}; 7d Etta {Singer James}; 8d neap {Kind of tide}; 9d Arness {"Gunsmoke" star James}; 10d gen {___-Xer}; 12d an era {End of ___}; 13d telex {Bygone communication}; 18d yacht {America's Cup entry}; 19d a lift {"Can I give you ___?"}; 24d yews {Some evergreens}; 26d Nora {Writer Ephron}; 28d Aves. {Connecticut and Virginia, in Monopoly: Abbr.}; 29d seek asylum {Defect}; 30d hotel {Monopoly purchase}; 32d Tobit {Book of the Apocrypha}; 36d pals {Buddies}; 37d emit {Give off}; 39d dubs {Nicknames}; 41d seed {Bit of watermelon waste}; 44d PSATs {11th-grade exams, for short}; 46d Swede {Ingemar Johansson or Ingrid Bergman}; 49d Ore-Ida {Tater Tots maker}; 50d O'Brien {Funnyman Conan}; 51d vetch {Climbing legume}; 52d Alero {Old Oldsmobile}; 56d rtes. {Itinerary parts: Abbr.}; 57d plus {Bonus}; 58d Sica {"The Bicycle Thief" director Vittorio De ___}; 60d Otto {Bus driver on "The Simpsons"}; 61d vial {Lab container}; 62d esta {"Cómo ___?"}; 64d Lee {Stan who co-created Spider-Man}; 65d key {Lock opener}.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

It took me a while to grasp the theme of the puzzle ... perhaps because of the need to concurrently supervize the kids' baths and pick up the kitchen while solving it!

But it was a fun idea, and more enjoyable than some early-in-the-week puzzles recently.

On a pedantic note, I would argue that 45a "Eries" for {Some Iroquois} is flat out wrong, though not for a friends-vs-foe reason.

In its usual usage, including academically, "Iroquois" refers specifically to the 5 (later 6) nations of the Longhouse – of which the Erie were never a part – while "Iroquoian" is used for those tribes in the lower Great Lakes region sharing related economies, social organizations and languages, irrespective of their political allegiances. The Erie were certainly "Iroquoian" in that sense.

Compare "Algonquin" (sometimes spelled "Algonkin"), the name (used by outsiders, if not the people themselves) for a tribe located near the Ottawa River, and "Algonquian", referring to a vast complex of peoples spread across much of NE North America, all of whom spoke languages forming part of the Algonquian language family (even if their ways of life were quite varied).

If 45a had been clued {Some Iroquoians}, it would have been correct.

Crossword Man said...

Belated thanks for your take on the Eries clue. I'd have been happy with {Some Iroquoians} too.