Monday, September 27, 2010

NYT Tuesday 9/28/10 Michael Torch - Para Gone

I thought this Tuesday New York Times crossword rather tricky for this stage of the week, due in large part to the theme: while not conceptually difficult, the entries resulting from the puns were hard to parse, particularly the two across ones.

pear amountSo I'd spent maybe half of my solving time on the grid before getting a complete theme entry (pair a graphs at 20-Across) and then didn't see the pattern the constructor was going for until finishing pear amount at 11-Down. I then realized different homophones would be needed for the final two theme answers, and pare + père came very easily.

Interesting that the puns work differently across and down, and I haven't figured out if that was by necessity or choice. Whatever the case, doing things half one way and half the other seems like a virtue, whereas having just one answer different would seem flawed. I think we crossword solvers are hungry for patterns and to have only one example of a particular treatment in a puzzle makes us unsatisfied and uneasy.
Solving time: 8 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 9d bus stop {Point on a line?}
Solution

Michael Torch
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

Puns on words with the para- prefix:
20a pair a graphs {Two charts?} cf paragraphs
58a pare a phrase {Edit?} cf paraphrase
11d pear amount {A bushel of Boscs?} cf paramount
29d père amours {French father's affairs?} cf paramours
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersMichael Torch / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 36 (16.0%) black squares
Answers78 (average length 4.85)
Theme squares42 (22.2%)
Scrabble points298 (average 1.58)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Video of the Day



70a pine {"Lonesome" tree}. The Trail of the Lonesome Pine is a popular song published in 1913, with lyrics by Ballard MacDonald and music by Harry Carroll. In the song the singer expresses his love for June who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

"The Trail of the Lonesome Pine" has been recorded numerous times, probably most notably by Laurel and Hardy, and was featured in their 1937 film Way Out West. This version was also released as a single in 1975 in the UK, where it reached number 2 in the charts, which is how I came to hear about the Blue Ridge Mountains and the "lonesome" tree long decades before visiting there. I know I've featured this video before, but it's a good'un, so why not?

The Doctor is IN

19a Sears {What to "Come see the softer side of," in a slogan}. Wikipedia attributes the “Come See the Softer Side of Sears” advertising jingle to both Joey Levine and Jake Holmes ... anyone know what's going on with that?

47d Alph {Coleridge's sacred river}. The Alph is the fictional river mentioned in the third line of Kubla Khan:
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
Image of the Day

Raggedy Ann and Andy

21d Anns {Raggedy ___ (dolls)}.  Raggedy Ann is a fictional character created by American writer Johnny Gruelle (1880–1938) in a series of books he wrote and illustrated for young children. Raggedy Ann is a rag doll with red yarn for hair and has a triangle nose. The character was created in 1915 as a doll, and was introduced to the public in the 1918 book Raggedy Ann Stories. A doll was also marketed along with the book to great success. A sequel, Raggedy Andy Stories (1920) introduced the character of her brother, Raggedy Andy, dressed in sailor suit and hat.

Other Clues

1a caws {Cornfield sounds}; 5a wool {Scarf material}; 9a biped {Any member of the genus Homo}; 14a as it {"___ happens ..."}; 15a inky {Black}; 16a utero {In ___ (not yet born)}; 17a rife {Prevalent}; 18a norm {Having two or three kids in a family, nowadays}; 23a Roe {___ v. Wade}; 24a Ens. {Nav. rank}; 25a hit hard {Severely affected}; 27a Hop on Pop {Dr. Seuss title}; 32a doom {Gloom's partner}; 33a ore {Shipment to a smeltery}; 34a sat in {Audited a class, say}; 36a plows {Winter highway department needs}; 39a carb {See 43-Across}; 41a no-par {Like some stock}; 43a dual {With 39-Across, kind of engine}; 44a knead {Massage}; 46a sepia {Retro photo tone}; 48a NNE {New Orleans-to-Detroit dir.}; 49a arrs. {Some airport data: Abbr.}; 51a depleted {Drained}; 53a sambaed {Danced at Rio's Carnival, maybe}; 56a Apu {Homer Simpson's Indian friend}; 57a PLO {Mideast grp.}; 64a acute {Sharp}; 66a add a {Recipe step starter}; 67a okay {Approve}; 68a corer {Implement for an apple}; 69a Meir {Israel's Golda}; 71a eases {Lets (up)}; 72a Anat. {Basic subj. for a surgeon}; 73a ends {Goals}.

1d carp {Fault-find}; 2d Asia {Large part of a world atlas}; 3d Wi-Fi {Coffee shop convenience for a laptop}; 4d stereo {Not mono}; 5d wingspan {Bird spec}; 6d on or {___ about (approximately)}; 7d okra {Gumbo staple}; 8d lymph {___ node}; 9d bus stop {Point on a line?}; 10d -ite {Suffix with suburban}; 12d error {Boo-boo}; 13d dosed {Gave medicine}; 22d hid {Concealed}; 26d hold {Full or half nelson}; 27d hock {What a debtor might be in}; 28d Oran {Algerian port}; 30d Otos {Western tribe}; 31d piped {Spoke (up)}; 35d nape {Back of the neck}; 37d wane {Ebb}; 38d sled {Toboggan, e.g.}; 40d barb {Cutting remark}; 42d rip apart {Shred}; 45d drapers {Fabric dealers, to Brits}; 50d sea {Large quantity}; 52d Europe {One side of "the pond"}; 53d space {Gap}; 54d Alcoa {Foil-making giant}; 55d drama {Comedy alternative}; 59d Eden {Fall place}; 60d Adia {1998 Sarah McLachlan song}; 61d akin {Related}; 62d sand {Hourglass fill}; 63d eyes {Prominent features of a "Cats" poster}; 65d tee {Plumbing fitting}.

1 comment:

Jon88 said...

I beg to differ. From where I'm sitting, the first Across themer is the odd man out. Père amours is a little weak, but pair a graphs is just plain flawed. It amazes me that this puzzle got published.