Saturday, October 2, 2010

NYT Sunday 10/3/10 Daniel A. Finan - Yes I Can

The workings of this Sunday New York Times crossword's theme were fairly predictable from the title, but we still found a lot of entertainment in the thematic answers. The most amusing in an whimsical sort of way was spiral sitar case (which we don't suppose you see many of) coming from spiral staircase.

oastsThe oddest clue was 109a scramble {Convert, as metal into a melt?}, which fooled me completely ... not once but twice. When solving, Magdalen saw the reference to the anagram before I did and had to explain the clue to me; by the time I came to do this write-up, I'd forgotten all about that and reached for the dictionary and Google to investigate which obscure meaning of scramble was being referenced. An evil clue.

72a oasts {Brewery sights} clue struck me as suspect, but that may just come down to my limited experience in the field. I don't think of oasts as necessarily being built at or in breweries: in England at least, oasts are common in hop-growing areas and from what I've read freshly-picked hops are dried in the oasts before being bagged up and shipped off to  breweries that may be at some considerable distance.
Solving time: 29 mins (with Magdalen, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 29a dye {Turn red, say}
Solution

Daniel A. Finan
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

"Can I Change Places?". The letter I moves within one word of a phrase, making a pun.
23a trail of the century {Lewis and Clark expedition, for the 1800s?} cf trial of the century
35a Tehran rain {Spoiler of a parade for Ahmadinejad?} cf Tehran, Iran
57a the loin king {Top butcher's title?} cf The Lion King
76a French fires {Destroyers of les forêts?} cf French fries
93a marital law {What a family court judge enforces?} cf martial law
112a don't touch that Dali {Admonishment at a Surrealist museum?} cf "don't touch that dial!"
16d spiral sitar case {Decorative piece of George Harrison tour equipment?} cf spiral staircase
43d icon collections {Paintings of Marilyn Monroe, Che Guevara and the like?} cf coin collections
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersDaniel A. Finan / Will Shortz
Grid21x21 with 69 (15.6%) black squares
Answers138 (average length 5.39)
Theme squares106 (28.5%)
Scrabble points587 (average 1.58)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Video of the Day



41d Fran {Actress Drescher}. I.e. Fran Drescher, best known for playing Fran Fine on the television series The Nanny, which is currently a big hit in our household: it started with me just wanting to check out Fran Drescher/Fine and Madeline Zima, having encountered them both in crosswords ... but we soon got completely hooked and are now lapping up as many episodes as we can find on TV Land (invaluable for me as a way to view the bygone shows whose memories are kept alive in crosswords). Nice that the suave and sophisticated Broadway producer is an Englishman (Charles Shaughnessy as Maxwell Sheffield) ... nowadays if there's an English actor in a show, he always turns out to be the villain.

The Doctor is IN

19a pollo {Spanish fowl}. chicken = pollo is a new one for Español para los crucigramistas.

41a Frieda {Charlie Brown's curly-haired pal}. See Frieda.

61a nines {WXY buttons}. WXY was associate with the number 9 on rotary dial telephones.

75a S,M,L {T-shirt sizes, in short}. I reckon S,M,L = small, medium, large (not SML = small) based on "sizes" being in the plural.

100a taw {Glimpsed à la Tweety Bird}. As in the catchphrase "I taw a putty tat".

103a Leia {Luke's princess sister}. I.e. Leia and Luke Skywalker of Star Wars.

109a scramble {Convert, as metal into a melt?}. "metal" anagrams into "a melt".

119a leash {Lab holder?}. Lab = dog is in Pavlov's Guide to Crosswords.

17d Arnaz {Ball's partner}. Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball.

56d ASU {Sun Devils' sch.}. ASU = Arizona State University is in The Crucy League.

95d lecher {Fyodor Karamazov, for one}. Fyodor Karamazov is the father in The Brothers Karamazov.

Image of the Day

USS Texas

97d Texas {U.S.S. ___, first battleship to become a state shrine}. USS Texas (BB-35), the second ship of the United States Navy named in honor of the U.S. state of Texas, is a New York-class battleship. The ship was launched on 18 May 1912 and commissioned on 12 March 1914. Texas was decommissioned in 1948, having earned a total of five battle stars for service in World War II, and is presently a museum ship near Houston, Texas. Texas is notable for being the oldest remaining dreadnought battleship. She is also noteworthy for being one of only six remaining ships to have served in both World Wars. Among US-built battleships, Texas is notable for her sizable number of firsts: the first US battleship to mount anti-aircraft guns, the first US ship to control gunfire with directors and range-keepers (analog forerunners of today's computers), the first US battleship to launch an aircraft, one of the first to receive the CXAM-1 version of CXAM commercial radar in the US Navy, the first US battleship to become a permanent museum ship, and the first battleship declared to be a US National Historic Landmark.

Other Clues

1a oh, God! {"This can't be happening!"}; 6a iChat {Apple's instant-messaging program}; 11a based {Headquartered}; 16a sac {Anatomical pouch}; 20a nerve center {Headquarters}; 22a pry {Inquire about private matters}; 25a Inc. {"Monsters, ___"}; 26a enrollee {Student}; 27a chosen {Elite group, with "the"}; 28a oral {Like some exams}; 29a dye {Turn red, say}; 30a I dare {"___ you!" ("Just try it!")}; 32a star-gaze {Search the heavens}; 40a scull {Racing boat}; 44a garnet {January birthstone}; 46a ties on {Attaches with string}; 49a rect. {Like most city blocks: Abbr.}; 50a tes {Parisian possessive}; 53a Doria {Andrea ___ (lost ship)}; 54a onside {Like some kicks}; 55a Aloha {"___ From Hawaii," 1973 Elvis album}; 60a tow {Pull}; 62a harem {Sultan's group}; 63a ENE {Santa Barbara-to-Las Vegas dir.}; 64a wart {Blemish}; 65a ecru {Hosiery shade}; 66a Ev'ry {"Climb ___ Mountain"}; 67a mise {___ en scène (stage setting)}; 69a ihre {Her: Ger.}; 70a UFOs {"Independence Day" fleet}; 71a Ani {Singer DiFranco}; 72a oasts {Brewery sights}; 73a cocas {South American shrubs with potent leaves}; 79a skate {Glide}; 80a galore {Aplenty}; 82a graft {Surgeon's procedure}; 83a NES {Super ___ (game console)}; 85a nsec {Minute fraction of a min.}; 86a apemen {Cave dwellers}; 87a Save As {Menu option}; 89a cheery {Upbeat}; 91a carob {Chocolate substitute}; 96a at the top {Where sharks are in their food chain}; 99a a seed {Plant ___ of doubt}; 104a sienna {Yellowish-brown}; 111a exo- {Prefix with skeleton}; 115a van {Delivery means}; 116a switchblade {"West Side Story" fight scene prop}; 117a iller {More awesome, to a rapper}; 118a ess {Slalom figure}; 120a sugar {Darling}; 121a tiled {Like many mosaics}.

1d opted {Went (for)}; 2d horny {___ toad}; 3d glare {Cold look}; 4d olio {Grab bag}; 5d dollied {Moved on wheels, as a movie camera}; 6d in fear {Afraid}; 7d cetera {Et ___}; 8d HRH {Regal letters}; 9d avec {Opposite of sans}; 10d tech. {Practical school, for short}; 11d Ben's {Uncle ___}; 12d antes {Pennies are small ones}; 13d stunts {Staples of action scenes}; 14d e'er {Poetic contraction}; 15d dry {Humorless}; 18d cycle {Spring, summer, fall and winter, e.g.}; 21d CEO {Big suit}; 24d old hat {Stale}; 28d ogles {Eyes}; 31d Eng. {Grade school subj.}; 33d Act One {Play opener}; 34d ruing {Wishing undone}; 35d tethers {Restrains}; 36d Radley {Boo ___, recluse in "To Kill a Mockingbird"}; 37d A Room {Forster's "___ With a View"}; 38d INRI {Crucifix letters}; 39d nein {Unlikely response to "Sprechen Sie Deutsch?"}; 42d relief map {Chart showing highs and lows}; 45d takes ten {Rests}; 47d Odor Eater {Shoe insert}; 48d newt {Grown-up eft}; 51d ethene {Anesthetic gas}; 52d shavings {Sharpener residue}; 58d err {Screw up}; 59d in esse {Actually}; 64d who knew? {Words said with a shrug}; 67d Mai Tai {Tiki bar order}; 68d Isr. {Medit. state}; 69d -ics {Suffix with robot}; 70d USGA {Grp. concerned with courses}; 71d are not! {Playground retort}; 72d offer {Volunteer}; 74d Secy. {Cabinet member: Abbr.}; 76d frère {Parisian business partner, maybe}; 77d cram {Squeeze (in)}; 78d Hava {"___ Nagila" (Hebrew folk song)}; 81d Omaha {Site of the College World Series}; 84d sclera {Cornea neighbor}; 88d Sta. {RR stop}; 90d had at it {Didn't shrink from the challenge}; 92d Bosnia {1990s war site}; 94d Asst. DA {Member of the prosecutor's office: Abbr.}; 96d Aleve {Advil rival}; 98d Pitts {ZaSu of film}; 100d T-Ball {Peewee slugger's sport}; 101d allée {Tree-lined walk}; 102d weird {Kooky}; 105d etch {Permanently mark}; 106d noh {Japanese drama}; 107d nubs {Gists}; 108d ACLU {Rights org.}; 110d MDLI {Year Boris Godunov was born}; 112d DSL {Broadband letters}; 113d owe {Be behind}; 114d hag {Witch}.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Aw, "taw"...that'th dethpicable. Cost me a good 10 minutes.

Crossword Man said...

Don't lose your marbles over it :-)