Sunday, September 12, 2010

NYT Monday 9/13/10 Aimee Lucido, Brown University '13 - A Brown Study

In Deo Speramus (In God We Hope)BROWN CROSSWORD WEEK. Every New York Times 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 was tipped off in advance about this week's fun and games, hence the above explanation. Something like it should appear in print editions, but I gather it would have been too complicated to include the text in the various online versions.

On past experience, I am expecting oddities in scheduling given the dramatically fewer choices available for publication. In particular, the difficulty level may be outside its normal range and themed puzzles may spill over into Friday and Saturday. I can't wait to see what these young constructors serve up to us.

SmurfetteThis crossword actually fit very well into my expectations for a Monday puzzle and knowing what I did about the coming week made life easier once I got to the central explanatory answer ... which happened about half way through the solving process.

I was amused to see the novel (to me) approach to cluing -ette. I gather there was only one female Smurf to begin with - Smurfette - but that Sassette and a Granny Smurf were later introduced. There are apparently 105 Smurf characters in all, from which I deduce there are 102 male Smurfs. One wonders if the Alaskan quip "the odds are good, but the goods are odd" also applies in Smurfdom.
Solving time: 4 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 22a -ette {Ending for a female Smurf}
Solution

Aimee Lucido
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

Two-part answers where the first part can follow "brown" to make an expression; this being indicated by 40a brown {Word that can precede the starts of 17- and 62-Across and 11- and 35-Down}.
17a bear with me {"I'll be through in a minute"} cf brown bear
62a sugar-daddy {Husband of a trophy wife, maybe} cf brown sugar
11d Betty Boop {Flapper of old toondom} cf Brown Betty
35d nose-dives {Loses altitude fast} cf brown-nose
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersAimee Lucido, Brown University '13 / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 36 (16.0%) black squares
Answers78 (average length 4.85)
Theme squares43 (22.8%)
Scrabble points317 (average 1.68)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Video of the Day



49a Darcy {"Pride and Prejudice" beau}. This one's for Magdalen, who is about to watch the BBC's Pride and Prejudice adaptation for the first time. Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy is one of two protagonists in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. He is an archetype of the aloof romantic hero, and a romantic interest of Elizabeth Bennet, the novel's main protagonist. The story's narration is almost exclusively from Elizabeth's perspective; she is portrayed as the sympathetic figure, and Darcy hardly so at all until the later chapters of the novel —as knowledge and ironic events are revealed to Elizabeth. Usually referred to only as "Mr. Darcy", his first name is mentioned twice in the novel.

The Doctor is IN

43a Clara {Barton of the Red Cross}. Clara Barton (1821–1912) was a pioneer American teacher, nurse, and humanitarian. She is best remembered for organizing the American Red Cross.

66a Augie {___ March, Saul Bellow protagonist}. Referencing the title character in The Adventures of Augie March (1953) by Saul Bellow.

3d O'Hara {Margaret Mitchell's Scarlett}. Scarlett O'Hara in Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind (1936).

8d Elmer {Wabbit's "wival"}. I.e. Elmer Fudd of the Looney Tunes cartoons.

Image of the Day

koala

57a koala {Australian animal that munches on eucalyptus leaves}. This "bear" seems a little out of place in a puzzle with a Brown Bear. Koalas are of course not bears at all, but arboreal herbivorous marsupials native to Australia, and the only extant representatives of the family Phascolarctidae. The koala is found in coastal regions of eastern and southern Australia, from near Adelaide to the southern part of Cape York Peninsula. Populations also extend for considerable distances inland in regions with enough moisture to support suitable woodlands. The koalas of South Australia were largely exterminated during the early part of the 20th century, but the state has since been repopulated with Victorian stock. The koala is not found in Tasmania or Western Australia.

Other Clues

1a coops {Homes for hens}; 6a ekes {Scrapes (out)}; 10a I bet! {Sarcastic exclamation}; 14a achoo {Sneeze sound}; 15a talk {Converse}; 16a Nemo {Pixar's "Finding ___," 2003}; 19a stir {Recipe direction}; 20a lark {See 38-Across}; 21a panel {Game show group}; 22a -ette {Ending for a female Smurf}; 23a enacts {Puts into law}; 25a repay {Settle, as a debt}; 27a hoots {Owls' cries}; 30a tomboy {Girl who plays football, perhaps}; 33a am not! {Response to "Are too!"}; 36a Epsom {___ salts}; 38a on a {With 20-Across, just for fun}; 39a loop {Part of a shoelace tie}; 41a dock {Boat loading area}; 42a ETs {Fliers of U.F.O.'s}; 44a wipes {Erases, as a computer's memory}; 45a sherpa {Mount Everest guide}; 47a Epson {Big name in printers}; 51a too hot {Like Papa Bear's porridge, to Goldilocks}; 55a fair {Expo}; 60a solo {Like Lindbergh's famous flight}; 61a Live {"___ and Let Die" (Paul McCartney hit)}; 64a ides {___ of March}; 65a Oreo {Creme-filled cookie}; 67a past {Future's opposite}; 68a Xers {Gen ___ (thirtysomethings)}; 69a breed {Poodle or dachshund, e.g.}.

1d cable {Monthly TV bill}; 2d ocean {Separator of continents}; 4d pork chop {Serving in Homer Simpson's favorite dinner}; 5d sow {Boar's mate}; 6d Etta {"At Last" singer James}; 7d Kahn {Madeline of "Blazing Saddles"}; 9d skeleton {What a paleontologist reconstructs}; 10d inseam {Pants length measurement}; 12d emit {Give off}; 13d tore {Ripped}; 18d ipso {___ facto}; 24d tot {Wee one}; 26d pom {Small dog, in brief}; 28d tera- {Trillion: Prefix}; 29d spore {Mold's origin}; 31d Once {First word in many a fairy tale}; 32d yaks {Is a chatterbox}; 33d ales {Pub draughts}; 34d moth {One drawn to a flame}; 37d swap {Trade}; 40d Black Sox {Scandalous 1919 Chicago baseball team}; 41d dinosaur {Triceratops, e.g.}; 43d CPR {Lifeguard's skill, for short}; 44d woo {Try to win the hand of}; 46d rarest {Most uncommon}; 48d star {Symbol on a flag}; 50d You're {"___ the One That I Want" ("Grease" song)}; 52d hodge {___-podge}; 53d oldie {Classics station song}; 54d toyed {Played (with)}; 55d flip {Freak (out)}; 56d Aida {Opera set in ancient Egypt}; 58d ager {Follower of new or golden}; 59d Laos {Neighbor of Cambodia}; 63d dab {Pat gently, as with makeup}.

2 comments:

Daniel Myers said...

Kudos to Aimee for fitting in both EPSOM (36A) and EPSON (47A)- which I found a bit of a LARK.:-)

Crossword Man said...

It didn't bother me when solving this puzzle, but I'd have avoided that collision as a constructor, not being sure if it would be thought a LARK, or would get the bird, in editordom.