Thursday, October 28, 2010

NYT Friday 10/29/10 Barry Boone - Enlightenment

After some slower times for Friday puzzles recently, I was happy to get today's New York Times crossword done in just 20 minutes.

I got a great start in the NW by guessing an -ing ending for 1-Down, which prompted adjacent acrosses Incas and Netscape at 27- and 31-Across. When scant also worked at 28-Down, I felt I had things right and went on to complete that first corner in about four minutes.

I wasn't so lucky over in the NE and wasted some time there before tackling areas further down. The SE was next to fall with 14 minutes on the clock, and I then had so many angles of attack on the SW that it was finished in just two more minutes.

please stay on the pathSo there was now no choice but to resume work on the NE and here my guesswork led me down a costly blind alley: reading too much into {April shower?} at 18-Across, I tried daffodil, which happened to fit with both zydeco at 12-Down (correct) and Tao at 11-Down (close, but wrong, since its symbol is the Taijitu).

Enlightenment took a while and eventually arose from the left hand side where bicycle stand finally came to me as the answer to {Common sight outside a school building}. That ruled out the attractive daffodil, and I soon rebuilt the corner with bedazzle as the main reference.
Solving time: 20 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 47a tread {It's worn while driving}

Barry Boone
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersBarry Boone / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 27 (12.0%) black squares
Answers72 (average length 5.50)
Theme squares0 (0.0%)
Scrabble points338 (average 1.71)
Video of the Day

8d Ed Ames {Mingo player of 1960s TV}. Hard to believe this nod to the constructor's namesake is coincidental: Daniel Boone is an American action/adventure television series that aired from September 24, 1964 to September 10, 1970 on NBC for 165 episodes, and was made by 20th Century Fox Television. The title role was played by Fess Parker. Ed Ames co-starred as Mingo, Boone's American Indian friend, for the first four seasons of the series. Albert Salmi portrayed Boone sidekick Yadkin in season one only. Country Western singer-actor Jimmy Dean was a featured actor as Josh Clements during the 1968–1970 seasons. Actor and former NFL football player Roosevelt Grier made regular appearances in the 1969 to 1970 season. The show was broadcast "in living color" beginning in fall, 1965, the second season. It was shot entirely in California and Kanab, Utah.

The Doctor is IN

19a amo {I love the classic way?}. amo is the Latin for "I love".

29a pls {Abbr. of politeness}. pls is short for please.

33a Ida. {Home of Lewis-Clark State Coll.}. Lewis-Clark State College is a public undergraduate college located in Lewiston, Idaho.

44a BLT {Club cousin}. BLT and club are types of sandwich.

61a rasped {Copied a capo}. Presumably a reference to Vito Corleone's raspy voice ... in Marlon Brando's portrayal, at least.

3d solo acts {Ones with the motto "One for the road"?}. A reference to a solo act being a single person on tour, hence "one for the road"?

9d Daley {Sawyer's successor in Chicago}. Reference to Chicago mayors Richard M. Daley and Eugene Sawyer.

21d Zippo {Lighter option}. Zippo lighters are made in Bradford, Pennsylvania.

24d Năstase {The court's Bucharest Buffoon}. I.e. Ilie Năstase.

48d drear {"How pallid, chill and ___!": Keats}. Quoting from The Eve of St. Agnes.

Image of the Day

Enso Red 11/20

11d zen {Discipline symbolized by a painted circle}. Ensō () is a Japanese word meaning "circle" and a concept strongly associated with Zen. Ensō is one of the most common subjects of Japanese calligraphy even though it is a symbol and not a character. It symbolizes the Absolute, enlightenment, strength, elegance, the Universe, and the void; it can also symbolize the Japanese aesthetic itself. As an "expression of the moment" it is often considered a form of minimalist expressionist art.

In Zen Buddhist painting, ensō symbolizes a moment when the mind is free to simply let the body/spirit create. The brushed ink of the circle is usually done on silk or rice paper in one movement (but the great Bankei used two strokes sometimes) and there is no possibility of modification: it shows the expressive movement of the spirit at that time. Zen Buddhists "believe that the character of the artist is fully exposed in how she or he draws an ensō. Only a person who is mentally and spiritually complete can draw a true ensō. Some artists will practice drawing an ensō daily, as a kind of spiritual exercise."

Some artists paint ensō with an opening in the circle, while others complete the circle. For the former, the opening may express various ideas, for example that the ensō is not separate, but is part of something greater, or that imperfection is an essential and inherent aspect of existence (see also the idea of broken symmetry). The principle of controlling the balance of composition through asymmetry and irregularity is an important aspect of the Japanese aesthetic: Fukinsei (不均斉), the denial of perfection.

Other Clues

1a resods {Fixes, as some fairways}; 7a bedazzle {Charm the pants off}; 15a Exocet {Missile that sank a British destroyer in the Falklands War}; 16a I dare you {Words before many a foolish act}; 17a la-la-la {"I'm not listening ..."}; 18a calendar {April shower?}; 20a enzymes {Causes of breakdowns}; 22a Edo {Old Asian capital}; 23a Xi'an {Capital of Shaanxi province}; 25a dicey {Far from a sure thing}; 26a C cup {Lingerie shop specification}; 27a Incas {Ancient empire builders}; 30a I hope {Bit of wishful thinking}; 31a Netscape {Company at the forefront of the dot-com boom}; 34a Gestapo {Like brutal tactics}; 35a solider {Not so tenuous}; 39a ant {One with a small nest egg?}; 40a fine-tune {Make purr, as an engine}; 41a H Test {Poisonous mushroom producer, briefly?}; 45a Deneb {Star in the Swan constellation}; 46a orle {Shield border}; 47a tread {It's worn while driving}; 49a acro- {Top: Prefix}; 50a Boi {"Sk8er ___" (2002 top 10 hit)}; 51a theatre {Locale for an Olivier Award winner}; 53a ego {One may suffer a blow}; 54a Nude Bomb {1980 Maxwell Smart film, with "The"}; 56a elicit {Extract}; 58a open area {Clearing}; 59a ablaze {Really lit}; 60a be strong! {"Hang in there!"}.

1d relaxing {In a hammock, say}; 2d examinee {Many a patient}; 3d solo acts {Ones with the motto "One for the road"?}; 4d oca {Andean tuber}; 5d dele {Strike}; 6d stand {See 7-Down}; 7d bicycle {With 6-Down, common sight outside a school building}; 10d Ares {Longtime enemy of Wonder Woman}; 12d zydeco {Style associated with washboards}; 13d load up {Stuff}; 14d Europe {It covers 2% of the earth's surface}; 26d chai tea {Latte alternative}; 28d scant {Opposite of ample}; 30d idled {Wasn't employed}; 32d apt {Quick to get things}; 33d ion {Plasma bit}; 35d sit at {Join, as a table}; 36d dunce cap {Quaint humiliator}; 37d energize {Pep up}; 38d rebooted {Responded to a crash, maybe}; 40d flea-bag {No posh hotel}; 41d hobnob {Hang (with)}; 42d troupe {51-Across unit}; 43d elides {Uses shortening on?}; 44d Bremen {State surrounded by Lower Saxony}; 47d thoro {Complete, informally}; 51d T-bar {Alternative to a carpet lift}; 52d Elba {Part of the Tuscan Archipelago}; 55d ENT {Apnea diagnoser, briefly}; 57d ils {They, in Calais}.

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