Monday, August 23, 2010

NYT Tuesday 8/24/10 Caleb Madison and J.A.S.A. Crossword Class - Ana Log

The pun-based theme of this Tuesday New York Times crossword was clear early on from 20-Across and I took advantage right away of the knowledge that each long answer would end -ana. It was fairly easy to deduce the complete last word of each theme answer, but it got progressively more difficult to work out what preceded that ... Joan of arcana requiring most of the crossing letters before it became clear.

Aladdin and the Genie
Aladdin and the Genie
I didn't have any significant problems outside of the theme. In fact, some of the fill and clues seemed tailor-made for the peculiarities of my knowledge: I doubt 7d Alec {Waugh who wrote "Island in the Sun"} was a gimme for many other solvers, and there seemed to be more literary, and less sporting, references than usual.

Perhaps this reflects the interests of the Jewish Association for Services for the Aged, whose crossword class is mentored by young constructor Caleb Madison. This is the second puzzle they have collectively published, following their debut in January this year.

1d fez {Aladdin's hat} had me thinking about Aladdin and where we get our images of the character. I wasn't sure about Aladdin being a fez wearer, since I envision him as sporting a turban ... whether that came from books, TV or films I don't now recall. Wikipedia does suggest, however, that Aladdin and his crossworthy pet monkey Abu both wear fezzes in the Disney film Aladdin (1992), so I can't really fault the clue.
Solving time: 6 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 1a fence {Dealer in hot goods}
Solution

Caleb Madison and J.A.S.A. Crossword Class
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

ANA is appended to a phrase, making a pun:
20a Mr. Nice Guyana {Title for a South American mensch?} cf Mr. Nice Guy
34a smoking banana {Result of heating a certain fruit too long?} cf smoking ban
42a one-man bandana {Informal headwear that can't be shared?} cf one-man band
56a Joan of arcana {Secretive singer Baez?} cf Joan of Arc
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersCaleb Madison and J.A.S.A. Crossword Class / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 36 (16.0%) black squares
Answers76 (average length 4.97)
Theme squares50 (26.5%)
Scrabble points327 (average 1.73)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Video of the Day



24d Irma {"My Friend ___" of 1950s TV}. My Friend Irma, created by writer-director-producer Cy Howard, was a top-rated, long-run radio situation comedy, so popular in the late 1940s that its success escalated to films, television, a comic strip and a comic book, while Howard scored with another radio comedy hit, Life with Luigi. Marie Wilson portrayed the title character, Irma Peterson, on radio, in two films and a television series. The radio series was broadcast on CBS Radio from April 11, 1947 to August 23, 1954. The movies are My Friend Irma (1949) and My Friend Irma Goes West (1950).

The Doctor is IN

57d Ness {"The Untouchables" character}. I.e. Eliot Ness (1903–1957), leader of The Untouchables.

59d crew {Sport with shells}. In the United States, high school and collegiate rowing is sometimes referred to as crew.

Image of the Day

Ubangi river at Bangui
Ubangi river at Bangui
12d Ubangi {Congo tributary}. The Ubangi River, also spelled Oubangui, is the largest right-bank tributary of the Congo River of Central Africa. It begins at the confluence of the Mbomou and Uele Rivers and flows west, then bends to the southwest and passes through Bangui, after which it flows south to the Congo at Liranga. The Ubangi's length is about 1,060 kilometres (660 mi). Together with the Congo River, it provides an important transport artery for river boats between Bangui and Brazzaville.

Other Clues

1a fence {Dealer in hot goods}; 6a naps {Siestas}; 10a I'm up! {"No need to wake me!"}; 14a enorm {Huge, poetically}; 15a a lot {Tons}; 16a Cuba {Destination of many 1960s-'70s airplane hijackings}; 17a zowie! {"Ooh-la-la!"}; 18a very {"___ funny!"}; 19a Khan {Genghis ___}; 23a hippie {"Hair" extra}; 26a Sis {Bro's sibling}; 27a MGM {"Gone With the Wind" studio}; 28a arr. {Flight board abbr.}; 29a to a T {Perfectly}; 32a anemia {Tiredness}; 37a pace {Tempo}; 38a hop {Bunny's move}; 39a I dig {"Gotcha"}; 47a Pelosi {House speaker Nancy}; 49a Esau {Biblical figure whose name means "hairy" in Hebrew}; 50a lob {Easily smashable tennis shot}; 51a ach! {German "Oh!"}; 52a SSN {ID on I.R.S. forms}; 54a basins {Sinks}; 60a acre {Plot division}; 61a Igor {Composer Stravinsky}; 62a clear {Transparent}; 66a Maus {What a Katze catches}; 67a tame {No longer wild}; 68a evade {Skirt}; 69a arms {Rifles and such}; 70a stew {Meat-and-potatoes dish}; 71a detox {Program for getting clean, briefly}.

1d fez {Aladdin's hat}; 2d Eno {Musician Brian}; 3d now {When repeated, a phrase of reproof}; 4d crimp {Make wavy}; 5d emeriti {Some academic retirees}; 6d Na'vi {Peaceful race in "Avatar"}; 7d Alec {Waugh who wrote "Island in the Sun"}; 8d pores {A facial may open them}; 9d Stygian {Hellish}; 10d icky {Gross}; 11d Muhammad Ali {Self-proclaimed "astronaut of boxing"}; 13d Panama {Southernmost country in Central America}; 21d neon {Really bright, as colors}; 22d USNA {John McCain's alma mater: Abbr.}; 23d hasp {Door fastener}; 25d Procol Harum {"A Whiter Shade of Pale" group}; 30d agha {Ottoman V.I.P.}; 31d T-bone {Cut above the flank}; 33d Enid {Sir Geraint's faithful wife}; 35d keno {Casino game with a caller}; 36d APBs {Police dept. alerts}; 40d in on {Get ___ the ground floor}; 41d gabs {Runs off at the mouth}; 43d Esso {Old U.S. gas brand}; 44d Misfits {Final movie of Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable, with "The"}; 45d AABA {Rhyme scheme for Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"}; 46d nuanced {Carefully worded}; 47d pajama {Word before bottom or party}; 48d ecocar {Prius, e.g.}; 53d nag at {Harass}; 55d salve {Wound soother}; 58d Rome {"I, Claudius" setting}; 63d Eat {"___, Pray, Love" (2006 Elizabeth Gilbert best seller)}; 64d ado {Hubbub}; 65d rex {Tyrannosaurus ___}.

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