Saturday, October 16, 2010

NYT Saturday 10/16/10 Patrick Berry - No Probs

As so often happens, this Saturday New York Times crossword was a breeze compared to yesterday's more brutal themeless. Today I was happy to get an immediate gimme in Bovary {Literary adulteress's surname} at 1-Down and built the NW corner rapido, despite the modern name of Benares at 17-Across being unfamiliar.

It wouldn't all be that easy, as progress petered out towards the nexus of long answers around the middle. Still, I managed to make a new start in the NE but again got stuck before getting near those critical long answers.

kite eating treeThere was a similar story at the bottom right: Searle was a gimme at 41-Down (despite a seemingly inaccurate clue - see below), as was gamba at 48-Across. The hardest corner turned out to be the bottom left ... maybe a case of overconfidence, as - knowing more than most about British coinage - I tried first new penny, then ten pence (closer) ... and that only got thrown out right at the end in order to make sense of Anwar and riots at 35- and 37-Across.

My way into the middle was actually through kite {One of many lost by Charlie Brown} - a popular reference I'm now catching onto fairly quickly. That first K was the key to getting the butterfly kisses and I soon had all those long downs in place ... our visit to Washington, D.C. earlier this year proving helpful for Pierre L'Enfant.

Fascinating to see another November poem at 50-Across. Here's the one I know by Thomas Hood (1799–1845).
No sun - no moon!
No morn - no noon -
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! -
'No!' (1844)
Solving time: 17 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 27a snail {Mobile home dweller}

Patrick Berry
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersPatrick Berry / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 28 (12.4%) black squares
Answers66 (average length 5.97)
Theme squares0 (0.0%)
Scrabble points299 (average 1.52)
Video of the Day

44d Bambi {"___ Meets Godzilla" (classic 1969 cartoon)}. Not so much of a classic that I'd heard of it before. Bambi Meets Godzilla (1969) is the title of the cartoon created entirely by Marv Newland. Less than two minutes long, the film is a classic of animation—#38 in the book The 50 Greatest Cartoons (1994). Newland was originally planning to do a live-action film; but, when he lost an essential magic hour shot, he drew this film in his room, rented from Adriana Caselotti, the voice of Snow White (1937). The bulk of the movie's running time is consumed in the opening and closing credits—all for Newland—except for "Marv Newland produced by Mr. & Mrs. Newland", Miss Caselotti as the studio owner, and the city of Tokyo "for their help in obtaining Godzilla for this film."

The Doctor is IN

17a Varanasi {City founded by Shiva, according to legend}. Varanasi is the Sanskrit name for the city of Benares in India.

30a Ponce {Puerto Rican seaport}. Ponce is named for Juan Ponce de León y Loayza, the great-grandson of Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León.

35a Anwar {First name of a 1978 Peace Nobelist}. Reference to Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat (1918–1981).

50a November {William Cullen Bryant poem that begins "Yet one smile more, departing, distant sun!"}. See William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878).

53a twin bill {It's more than just a game}. A twin bill is another name for a doubleheader.

1d Bovary {Literary adulteress's surname}. A reference to Emma Bovary of Madame Bovary.

6d Uma {Meryl's "Prime" co-star}. I.e. Uma Thurman and Meryl Streep.

9d Et tu {Shakespeare rebuke}. As in "Et tu, Brute?".

Image of the Day

The Terror of St Trinian's

41d Searle {English illustrator who created the "St. Trinian's" cartoon series}. Easy enough for me, as we have one of his cat cartoons in our basement. But isn't "cartoon series" a tad misleading? Ronald Searle has written a series of books about St. Trinian's School, with his own inimitable illustrations. He is also the co-author (with Geoffrey Willans) of the Molesworth tetralogy.

Other Clues

1a beats up {Licks}; 8a nectar {Plant production}; 14a on the map {In a position of prominence}; 16a ethane {Hydrocarbon with two carbons}; 18a stains {Reasons to presoak}; 19a amend {Reform}; 20a septuplet {One in a crowded delivery room}; 22a roux {Soup thickener}; 23a virus {It may be written in code}; 24a fry {Overdo the tanning}; 25a yrs. {Information on wine bottles: Abbr.}; 26a boors {Insufferable guests}; 27a snail {Mobile home dweller}; 29a seines {Fish catchers}; 31a butterfly kisses {Expressions of affection made with the eyes}; 36a rewire {Renew old connections?}; 37a riots {Shows anger publicly, say}; 38a unite {Throw in together}; 39a Gus {Kahn of Broadway}; 42a bop {1940s musical innovation}; 43a rifle {Drill item}; 44a bane {Unhappy influence}; 45a anecdotal {Not fully reliable, as evidence}; 48a gamba {Viola da ___ (old stringed instrument)}; 49a dinars {Mideast dough}; 52a oscine {Like many songbirds}; 54a stenos {Monologue writers?}; 55a satiate {Fill up}.

2d enamor {Bewitch}; 3d Atreus {Father of Agamemnon}; 4d thanx {"I appreciate it," in text messages}; 5d send {Transport}; 7d passion-fruit {It's also known as a maypop}; 8d nests {Forest homes}; 10d chap {Get rough}; 11d tailfans {Crayfish features}; 12d Anne Rice {Creator of the Mayfair Witches}; 13d restyles {Makes over}; 15d Pierre L'Enfant {Architect interred in Arlington National Cemetery}; 21d pussy willows {Russian Orthodox substitutes for palm branches on Palm Sunday}; 23d voir {___ dire}; 26d beers {Case load?}; 27d spire {Staple of gothic architecture}; 28d nose {Slim win margin}; 29d stat! {"At once!"}; 31d Barbados {Island nation with a trident on its flag}; 32d Unionist {Supporter of the North}; 33d twopence {British coin introduced in 1971}; 34d kite {One of many lost by Charlie Brown}; 39d Gambia {Smallest republic on the African mainland}; 40d unbelt {Begin disrobing, possibly}; 43d roses {Anniversary order}; 46d Cain {First son}; 47d Dr. No {1962 title film character played by Joseph Wiseman}; 48d gent {Mannerly man}; 51d via {Through}.


Daniel Myers said...

In Re "cartoon series": We'll just have to let pass, I think, the Yank obsession over cartoons in lieu of actual books here, Ross. ;-)

Agreed that today's puzzle was a breeze compared to yesterday's, though yesterday's was, in turn, more rewarding.

"Twin Bill" is new to me, and I kept on wanting to make it "Ball" until I saw the full significance of the indefinite article.

Crossword Man said...

Yes, I needed pretty much all the crossings for twin bill ... an unfamiliar term and elliptically clued.