Monday, July 5, 2010

NYT Tuesday 7/6/10 José Chardiet - Another Bite Out of the Apple

I've started solving the Monday thru Wednesday New York Times puzzles at the computer using Across Lite ... an attempt to save a few minutes work, but it backfired tonight ... I noticed the starred clues right away and briefly tried to find out what that was all about by clicking on the last across clue; then what appeared to be the last thematic clue. No dice. I should perhaps have thought of the last clue of all, but didn't. That very long clue does stand out better in the printed version of the puzzle.

Apple productsHence I only discovered what was going on with the theme about two minutes before I finished. Still, knowing I was looking for Apple products did help me with one or two theme answers that remained at that stage - Bernie Mac was certainly among them.

I take issue - in a minor way - with the use of "device" in 64-Down. Four of the Apple products are emphatically devices, but is the application iTunes such? Maybe in the broadest meaning of "device", but "product" might have been le mot juste?

That the iPad is featured suggests the puzzle was conceived recently, because the product only launched in April this year. This allowed weaker answers like the obsolete iBook to be avoided - it was good to see all the theme examples are well-known and indeed popular.
Solving time: 7 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 38d seep {Fall through the cracks?}
Solution

José Chardiet
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

Phrases ending in Apple products minus the i, as indicated by 64d eye {Storm center ... or, phonetically, letter that can precede the ends of the answers to the five starred clues to spell popular devices}.
20a Bernie Mac {*"Ocean's Eleven" actor} cf iMac
25a fine-tunes {*Tweaks} cf iTunes
37a escape pod {*Small sci-fi vehicle} cf iPod
52a shoe phone {*"Get Smart" device} cf iPhone
58a launch pad {*Blastoff spot} cf iPad
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersJosé Chardiet / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 38 (16.9%) black squares
Answers78 (average length 4.79)
Theme squares48 (25.7%)
Scrabble points330 (average 1.76)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
FeaturePangrammatic
Video of the Day



67a Cory {"Boy Meets World" boy}. Boy Meets World is an American comedy-drama series that chronicles the events and everyday life lessons of Cory Matthews, played by Ben Savage, who grows up from a young boy to a married man. The show aired for seven seasons from 1993 to 2000 on ABC, part of the network's TGIF lineup. It is one of many television shows to take place primarily in the Philadelphia area, and makes multiple local references. These include Cory's love for the Phillies and Morgan's always wearing a Philadelphia Eagles jacket. Eric mentions that he and his father always talk about the Eagles, 76ers, Flyers, and Phillies, the four major sports teams in Philadelphia, and his attempts to be accepted into Swarthmore College — finally ending with Cory and most of the cast attending Pennbrook, an institution that appears to be a pastiche of Swarthmore, Penn, Saint Joseph's University, and other Philadelphia-area colleges.

The Doctor is IN

47a top ten {Culmination of a Casey Kasem countdown}. Casey Kasem hosts the nationally syndicated Top 40 countdown show, American Top 40.

3d The Edge {U2 guitarist}. The Edge (or just Edge) is the stage name of U2 member David Howell Evans.

29d NSC {Foreign policy grp.}. NSC = National Security Council is in Alphabet Soup.

34d Apu {Kwik-E-Mart clerk}. Apu Nahasapeemapetilon Ph.D. of The Simpsons.

46d mom {Blondie, to Alexander and Cookie}. Reference to the Blondie comic strip, in which the kids are Cookie and Alexander.

48d NHL {Rangers' org.}. I.e. the New York Rangers professional ice hockey team.

Image of the Day

Gleem

56a Gleem {Toothpaste with "green sparkles"}. Gleem is a brand of toothpaste made by the Procter & Gamble company. Advertisements in the 1950s stated that it has GL-70, a supposed odor- and bacteria-fighting compound. Gleem was introduced in 1952 with advertising coordinated by Compton Advertising, Inc. The League Against Obnoxious TV Commercials included a Gleem toothpaste commercial in its list of the terrible 10 in May 1963. By 1969 Gleem was a declining brand name. In an effort to obtain additional sales, Procter & Gamble assigned the account to the firm of Mary Wells Lawrence, Wells, Rich, Greene. When Gleem II with fluoride and "green sparkles" was introduced within several years, the brand achieved a 9% share of the toothpaste market. However, this portion declined to around 6% with the introduction of new competing brands. In 1975 Gleem was supported by $6 million in television advertising alone. In August 1976 Procter & Gamble transferred Gleem from Wells, Rich, Greene to the Leo Burnett Company of Chicago, Illinois.

Other Clues

1a alto {Voice above tenor}; 5a star {Cross: Christianity :: ___ : Judaism}; 9a decor {Interior design}; 14a d'ohs {Cries from Homer Simpson}; 15a oh so {Very very}; 16a Ex-Lax {Going brand?}; 17a zwei {Number between eins and drei}; 18a Liam {Neeson of "Clash of the Titans"}; 19a meets {Track-and-field events}; 23a cam {Follower of spy or web}; 24a oldie {Any Beatles song, now}; 28a logs on {Enters Facebook, maybe}; 30a eats at {Annoys incessantly}; 31a ewe {Female flock member}; 32a Shaq {N.B.A. nickname}; 36a reels {Film units}; 40a posse {Rapper's crew}; 43a Judd {Director Apatow}; 44a dam {Obstruction for salmon}; 49a quarto {Book size}; 57a lie {Falsity}; 60a palms {Uses sleight of hand on}; 62a tête {Head of Québec}; 63a amie {French girlfriend}; 65a sleek {Aerodynamic}; 66a even {Tied, as a score}; 68a tardy {Late}; 69a sort {Organize alphabetically, say}; 70a ante {Chips in the pot}.

1d adz {Carpenter's curved cutter}; 2d low blow {Uncalled-for insult, say}; 4d Osiris {Brother and husband of Isis}; 5d soli {Arias, usually}; 6d thief {Robin Hood or Jesse James}; 7d as am I {"Same here"}; 8d Roman {Director Polanski}; 9d Dem. {Obama, e.g.: Abbr.}; 10d executed {Performed, as one's duties}; 11d cleanse {Purify}; 12d oatmeal {Quaker breakfast offering}; 13d Rxs {Prescriptions, for short}; 21d Neo {Keanu Reeves's role in "The Matrix"}; 22d cee {Middling grade}; 24d olé {Chilean cheer}; 26d taro {Poi source}; 27d Sts. {Aves.}; 33d haj {Pilgrimage to Mecca}; 35d Q.E.D. {Proof ending}; 37d esteemed {Well-regarded}; 38d seep {Fall through the cracks?}; 39d PDQ {A.S.A.P.}; 40d pts. {A TD is worth six: Abbr.}; 41d ooh la la! {"So beauuutiful!"}; 42d spoiler {Unwanted plot giveaway}; 44d dream on {"Yeah, like that'll ever happen"}; 45d ate dirt {Groveled}; 50d ugh {"That's awful"}; 51d alpaca {Fleecy fiber}; 53d Oates {Hall's musical partner}; 54d Nuevo {___ Laredo, Mexico}; 55d enter {Go in}; 59d Cent {50 ___ ("Candy Shop" rapper)}; 60d PST {Winter clock setting in Nev.}; 61d sky {Heavens}.

2 comments:

Occasional Constructor said...

Two debut constructors in a row now, both with very crisp themes and polished fill. The future for NY Times crosswords certainly looks bright these days. Hats off to Will Shortz for inspiring so many great new constructors.

Always entertaining to see all the letters put to work in one puzzle. Might as well give them all a shot, if the fill doesn't start getting too forced-looking. The trick is knowing when to pull back.

Crossword Man said...

These teen constructors make me feel v old trying to start out at 50-something. (In case readers aren't aware, José constructed the above puzzle at age 15.)

Agree re the pangram: if you end up with e.g. AQUA crossing IRAQ to get in the Q, it's probably not worth it. QED and SHAQ seem OK, though maybe that's because the latter is still a novelty to me.