Sunday, October 3, 2010

NYT Monday 10/4/10 Adam G. Perl - ABBA

This Monday New York Times crossword puzzle has a simple, but ingenious idea - I really enjoyed it and can't recall seeing the like before.

After getting the first two long answers, I tried to puzzle out what connected them, without success. Then I managed to fill in both hangover and overhang at 31-Across and 39-Across without realizing they were thematic and without noticing the inversion. Oh dear!

But when I arrived at police state at 45-Across, the relationship with state police at 23-Across was unmistakable. Unfortunately that meant I could only take advantage of being able to write in one theme answer "for free" ... ladies first.

sloop on the Hudson RiverOn my way down, I'd had trouble with one intersection: the crossing of 30a Sloop {The Beach Boys' "___ John B"} and 30d SHO {HBO rival}. I dreaded going back to this, as I thought it might wreck my chances of a correct grid.

Happily, running through the alphabet up to and including S showed me what to do: although I'm only vaguely (if at all) aware of SHO, it seemed a plausible channel name/abbr. And I could see Sloop might be appropriate vis-à-vis The Beach Boys. Still, a friendlier clue would have been in order for a Monday: we don't all know The Beach Boys' oeuvre to this extent.
Solving time: 4 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 42a dice {Cubes in a casino}
Solution

Adam G. Perl
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

The two words in the two-part answers in the top half are the other way round in the bottom half:
1a set-up {Frame job}
17a first ladies {Michelle Obama and Laura Bush}
23a state police {Highway troopers}
31a hangover {Drinker's next-day woe}
39a overhang {Eave}
45a police state {Oppressive regime}
56a ladies first {Tenet of chivalry}
64a upset {Unexpected win}
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersAdam G. Perl / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 40 (17.8%) black squares
Answers78 (average length 4.74)
Theme squares70 (37.8%)
Scrabble points258 (average 1.39)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Video of the Day



30a Sloop {The Beach Boys' "___ John B"}. Sloop John B is the seventh track on The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds album and was also a single which was released in 1966 on Capitol Records. It was originally a traditional West Indies folk song, "The John B. Sails", taken from a collection by Carl Sandburg (1927). Alan Lomax made a field recording of the song in Nassau, 1935, under the title "Histe Up the John B. Sail". This recording appears on the album Bahamas 1935: Chanteys And Anthems From Andros And Cat Island. The song was adapted by Weavers member Lee Hays, and that group recorded it as "The Wreck of the John B." The Kingston Trio's 1958 recording of the song, also under the title "The Wreck of the John B.", was the direct influence on the Beach Boys' version. Johnny Cash recorded the song in 1959 as "I Want To Go Home".

Sloop John B. was ranked #271 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
The John B. was an old sponger boat - presumably a sloop - whose crew were in the habit of getting notoriously merry whenever they made port. It was wrecked and sunk at Governor's Harbour in Eleuthera, The Bahamas, in about 1900.

The Doctor is IN

35a hero {Submarine sandwich}. The hero is one of many alternative names for a submarine sandwich - they're required knowledge for crosswords.

51a Lois {Lane of the Daily Planet}. Reference to Lois Lane, chief romantic interest for Superman.

30d SHO {HBO rival}. SHO and HBO are rival channels showing motion pictures, inter alia.

34d REW {FF's opposite}. I.e. the labeling on the rewind and fast forward buttons of e.g. a VCR.

41d Ste. {Jeanne d'Arc, e.g.: Abbr.}. Ste. = sainte (female saint in French).

57d ABA {Atty.'s org.}. ABA = the American Bar Association.

Image of the Day

Clara Barton

15a nurse {Clara Barton, e.g.}. Clara Barton (1821–1912) was a pioneer American teacher, nurse, and humanitarian. She is best remembered for organizing the American Red Cross. Prior to that, she was famous for helping to obtain and distribute supplies and comforts for the wounded during the Civil War ... hence the above image.

Other Clues

6a sapor {Taste}; 11a été {Somme summer}; 14a adore {Love to pieces}; 16a col. {Rank above maj.}; 19a Ono {Singer Yoko}; 20a Etna {Sicilian spewer}; 21a epic {On a grand scale}; 22a flip {Somersault}; 26a eldest {Of greatest age}; 29a taro {Poi source}; 36a Moogs {Early synthesizers}; 38a rave {Great review}; 41a sinew {Tendon}; 42a dice {Cubes in a casino}; 43a letter {E-mail predecessor}; 49a Erie {___ Canal, waterway through Schenectady}; 50a Irma {"___ la Douce"}; 55a tan {Beachgoer's shade}; 59a ate {Had something}; 60a abets {Assists at a heist}; 61a Estée {Cosmetician Lauder}; 62a les {Plural of "la" and "le"}; 63a cadet {West Pointer}.

1d safe {Opposite of "out" in baseball}; 2d edit {Tighten the writin'?}; 3d torn {Ripped}; 4d Ursa {___ Major}; 5d pet {Hamster, for one}; 6d snap at {Speak sharply to}; 7d audit {Bad news for a taxpayer}; 8d price tag {Sticker}; 9d -ose {Sugar suffix}; 10d res {Hi-___ monitor}; 11d E. coli {Food-poisoning bacteria}; 12d tonic {Gin's partner}; 13d elope {Run off to a judge in Vegas, say}; 18d lets {Allows}; 22d floor it {Put the pedal to the metal}; 23d Sep. {Mo. when fall starts}; 24d pans {Lousy reviews}; 25d org {U.R.L. ending that's not "com" or "gov"}; 26d elev. {Mt. McKinley's is 20,320 ft.}; 27d lore {Oral history}; 28d do or die {Like a dire situation}; 31d hog {Animal in a sty}; 32d vane {It shows which way the wind blows}; 33d ever {At any time}; 36d mace {Spray used on rioters}; 37d one-sided {Completely biased}; 40d hic {Drunk's outburst}; 43d lamest {Least plausible, as an excuse}; 44d etas {Helenic H's}; 45d petal {Daisy part}; 46d orate {Pontificate}; 47d lines {Actors speak them}; 48d trite {Hackneyed}; 51d lisp {Daffy Duck has one}; 52d orts {Table scraps}; 53d I see {"Now you're making sense"}; 54d stet {Proofreader's "reinstate" mark}; 56d Lac {Fond du ___, Wis.}; 58d feu {Fire: Fr.}.

3 comments:

Mstomp said...

Oh dear. Did you miss 1a and 64a as being part of the theme? :)

Crossword Man said...

Looks like I did. Thanks for pointing that out!

Crossword Man said...

Ok, I've now corrected grid, theme and crucimetrics to add 1-Across and 64-Across as thematic. Thanks Mstomp