Friday, September 17, 2010

NYT Friday 9/17/10 Jonah Kagan, Brown University '13 - No Problemo

Patrick Dougherty sculpture at Brown UniversityBROWN CROSSWORD WEEK. Every crossword this week, from Monday to Saturday, has been created by a member of the Puzzling Association of Brown University. Founded in 2008, the student club has about 30 members, who meet weekly during the school year to solve and discuss puzzles. Each spring it organizes a campuswide crossword tournament. Other schools with crossword clubs include Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Texas Christian. Brown’s club, though, has the most members with published puzzles.
I enjoyed this first themeless crossword of Brown week in the New York Times, which is particularly attractive in the center section, where there's a sandwich of long answers. I didn't get to that right away, finding a good start at the top right but then worked my way to the center after about 5 minutes.

The southwestern counterpart that first corner I tackled was also straightforward and I had the whole diagonal done from NE to SW after 9 minutes. Hence down to the SE which took another 3 minutes. Was I heading for a record Friday time?

blood moonUnfortunately, I still had to deal with the dreaded top left hand corner ... dreaded because I'd got nowhere with it on a first pass and couldn't see what word should precede moon at 6-Down. This area was indeed tough and it didn't immediately help to have {River of Devon} at 24-Across - my bad, as the Exe is referenced in well-known place names like Exmoor, Exeter and Exmouth.

The X of Exe gave me toy box at 2-Down and I built the corner from that tentative start. Ironic that the crux of the puzzle should include no problemo.
Solving time: 16 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 32d Clinique {Company that gets a lot of its money from foundations?}

Jonah Kagan
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersJonah Kagan, Brown University '13 / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 36 (16.0%) black squares
Answers70 (average length 5.40)
Theme squares0 (0.0%)
Scrabble points327 (average 1.73)
Video of the Day

34a Blue Man Group {Colorful stage performers since 1987}. Blue Man Group is a creative organization founded by Phil Stanton, Chris Wink, and Matt Goldman. The organization produces theatrical shows and concerts featuring music, comedy and multimedia; recorded music and scores for film and television; television appearances for shows such as The Tonight Show, Las Vegas, Scrubs, FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman, and Arrested Development; and a children's museum exhibit ("Making Waves"). All of the organization's appearances star a trio of performers called Blue Men, who appear to have blue skin and no voice, hair, or ears. The above clip shows that Blue Men can play the drainpipes, but can Blue Men sing the whites?

The Doctor is IN

23a IPO {Company outing, for short?}. IPO = Initial Public Offering.

25a Sem. {Sch. for the preordained?}. Sem. = seminary.

26a doctor {Photoshop, say}. Equivalents as verbs meaning "(to) alter".

36a Ont. {Home of Polar Bear Prov. Park}; 50d Que. {36-Across neighbor}. Ontario and Quebec.

40a año {It starts with el primero de enero}. "Year" and "the first of January" in Spanish (see Español para los crucigramistas).

53a EEE {Spec for a roomy flat?}. "flat" in the sense of a shoe with little or no heel, EEE being a wide shoe size.

7d Bella {"Twilight" protagonist}. I.e. Bella Swan. It seems like Twilight is coming up as often as Star Wars these days.

30d seg. {Part: Abbr.}. seg. = segment.

Image of the Day

Allosaurus and friend

29a allosauruses {Literally, "different lizards"}. Allosaurus was a genus of large theropod dinosaur that lived 155 to 145 million years ago, in the late Jurassic period (Kimmeridgian to Tithonian). The name Allosaurus means "different lizard" and is derived from the Greek αλλος/allos ("different, strange") and σαυρος/sauros ("lizard"). The first remains that can definitely be ascribed to this genus were described in 1877 by Othniel Charles Marsh. As one of the first well-known theropod dinosaurs, it has long attracted attention outside of paleontological circles, and has been a top feature in several films and documentaries.

As the prominent large predator in the Morrison Formation, Allosaurus was at the top of the food chain, probably preying on contemporaneous large herbivorous dinosaurs and perhaps even other predators (e.g. Ceratosaurus). Potential prey included ornithopods, stegosaurids, and sauropods. Some paleontologists interpret Allosaurus as having had cooperative social behavior, and hunting in packs, while others believe individuals may have been aggressive toward each other, and that congregations of this genus are the result of lone individuals feeding on the same carcasses. It may have attacked large prey by ambush, using its upper jaw like a hatchet.

Other Clues

1a Itō {Japan's Prince Hirobumi ___}; 4a Webber {Five-time N.B.A. All-Star Chris}; 10a J. Lo {2001 #1 album with the hit "Love Don't Cost a Thing"}; 13a no problemo! {"Easy peasy!"}; 15a Dior {Christian with many robes?}; 16a hyperbolic {Over the top}; 17a Nuva {___Ring (birth control brand)}; 18a above {Over}; 19a olla {Vessel over heat}; 20a a Jet {"Leaving on ___ Plane"}; 21a loss {Perfect-record breaker}; 22a D-Day {When all one's planning is put to the test}; 24a Exe {River of Devon}; 32a cogito ergo sum {Descartes found this truth to be self-evident}; 35a litres {There are 50 in a keg of Newcastle}; 37a pun {One of about 3,000 in Shakespeare's plays}; 41a dawg {"Wassup, ___?"}; 43a hope {One might lose it in a crisis}; 44a miff {Tee off}; 46a bark {Where you might see some initials}; 47a parse {Break down, in a way}; 48a equi- {Prefix with angular}; 49a unrequited {Like some love}; 51a muse {Opine}; 52a stay up late {Put off retirement?}; 54a yesses {O.K.'s}; 55a LSD {Subj. in "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test"}.

1d inhale {Scarf down}; 2d toy-box {Home for Barbie and Ken, perhaps}; 3d oppose {Counter}; 4d wore {Tediously went (on)}; 5d ebb {Flag}; 6d blood moon {Autumnal event so called because it helps hunters kill their prey}; 8d Emily {"Bones" actress Deschanel}; 9d Roc-A- {Jay-Z's ___-Fella Records}; 10d jiu-jitsu {Practice with locks and pins?}; 11d love poem {Troubadour's creation}; 12d orators {Ones happy to give you their addresses?}; 14d revs {Makes roar}; 15d DNA {Kind of profiling}; 22d Deltas {Some sorority women}; 25d slime {Lowlifes}; 26d dugong {Sea grass grazer}; 27d or out {"Indoors ___?"}; 28d cusp {Where two branches of a curve meet, in math}; 29d ager {Sun exposure, for one}; 31d arrow keys {Certain navigational aids}; 32d Clinique {Company that gets a lot of its money from foundations?}; 33d out of use {Defunct}; 34d blame me {"It's my fault"}; 37d portal {Door}; 38d upsets {Reasons to use Pepto-Bismol}; 39d needed {Compulsory}; 41d Dante {Il Poeta}; 42d arras {Decoration for Gertrude's room in "Hamlet"}; 43d hail {When repeated, exuberant cry}; 45d fie! {"Ptui!"}; 46d busy {Tied up}; 47d pups {Litter, maybe}.


Crossword Man said...

P.S. Just noticed the shape of the blocks at the bottom left makes a letter J. A signature for Jonah? If so, kudos to him.

Ted said...

53a is strange that the term 'flats' is almost exclusively used in women's shoes...but the width EEE is almost exclusively used for men's shoes. Women's widths go from B (standard) to D (wide) to 2E (extra-wide) to 4E (extra-extra-wide). I dunno about this clue.

Crossword Man said...

That's an interesting point. I'm not sure EEE is used in the UK, and since I have the narrowest of feet wouldn't have been offered them anyway!