Thursday, October 21, 2010

NYT Thursday 10/21/10 Dan Naddor - Solution

Here is the solution for the New York Times crossword puzzle dated Thursday October 21, 2010. This is an abbreviated post as I am currently traveling in the UK. Full commentaries will resume when time permits.
Solving time: 15 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 29d hair {It'll grow on you}
Solution

Dan Naddor
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

The block at the start/end of certain answers is represented by a black square at the center of the grid, as indicated by 48d block {The 2x2 black square near the middle of this puzzle's grid, e.g., which is part of eight answers}.
38a mental block {Temporary lapse of memory}
39a block parties {Neighborhood get-togethers}
40a engine block {Metal casting housing automotive cylinders}
41a block diagram {It displays the connections between system components}
6d auction block {What a hammer may hit}
7d writer's block {Author's bane}
43d block buster {Smash hit}
44d block letter {Bit of comic strip text}
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersDan Naddor / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 37 (16.4%) black squares
Answers74 (average length 5.08)
Theme squares52 (27.7%)
Scrabble points286 (average 1.52)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Other Clues

1a amp {Rock blaster}; 4a slaws {Shredded sides}; 9a shuns {Blackballs}; 14a lei {"Fantasy Island" prop}; 15a Laura {1944 murder mystery directed by Otto Preminger}; 16a Corea {Jazz pianist with 16 Grammys}; 17a Uta {Hagen of Broadway}; 18a op. cit. {Footnote abbr.}; 19a and/or {Flexible conjunction}; 20a man! {"Wow!"}; 21a bottom round {Butcher's roast cut}; 23a slop {Spill}; 25a fierier {More fervent}; 26a hem {Border line?}; 28a orig. {Not a copy: Abbr.}; 29a hot {Trendy}; 32a omicrons {O's overseas}; 35a Romana {Pax ___ (uneasy peace)}; 42a no end {Incessantly}; 43a blanc {Like many squares in a French crossword}; 45a moue {Pout}; 47a elbows {Newbie rollerblader's sore spots}; 52a piecrusts {Filling holders}; 57a Elvin {N.B.A. Hall-of-Famer Hayes}; 58a pole sitter {Certain 1920s faddist}; 60a ouzo {Anise-flavored liqueur}; 61a plan {Scheme}; 62a jeers {Bronx cheers}; 63a Cleo {1963 role for Liz}; 64a sent {E-mail folder}; 65a arrêt {Stop on the Métro?}; 66a Kent {Cigarette that once advertised the "health benefits" of its Micronite filter}.

1d alums {Fraternity benefactors, for short}; 2d metal {Rock music genre}; 3d piano hinge {Cabinetmaker's hardware}; 4d slob {Neatnik's opposite}; 5d lap of {In the ___ the gods (left to fate)}; 8d satori {Zen enlightenment}; 9d scare {Close call}; 10d honor {Pay tribute to}; 11d Urdu {Language of Islamabad}; 12d Neon {Old Dodge}; 13d sard {Reddish-brown gem}; 22d migraine {What screaming may exacerbate}; 24d pectin {Jelly thickener}; 27d Mr and Mrs {Start of some addresses}; 29d hair {It'll grow on you}; 30d One-A {Fit for duty}; 31d Tasm. {Land under Down Under: Abbr.}; 32d omen {Harbinger}; 33d meno {___ mosso (less rapid, in music)}; 34d Ole {Hoagy Carmichael's "___ Buttermilk Sky"}; 36d oracle {Soothsayer}; 37d mtg. {Subj. of a 39-Down reminder}; 39d PDA {See 37-Down}; 46d ouija {Kind of board}; 49d ovule {Fertilized item}; 50d wizen {Shrivel from age}; 51d snoot {Condescending one}; 52d PPPS {Third afterthought in a missive: Abbr.}; 53d Iole {Princess loved by Hercules}; 54d élan {Dash}; 55d cent {Small price to pay}; 56d sere {Bone-dry}; 59d RST {Queue after Q}.

3 comments:

Daniel Myers said...

I have a huge wrangle with the clue to 35A. When I took Latin, we learned Roman history along with it. Thus, I have it drilled into my head that the PAX ROMANA was the greatest era of peace and stability in the Empire - the exact opposite of "uneasy." The OED backs me up on this point. I can only suppose that some different usage of which I am unaware might have evolved, but I rather doubt it. All the term's verbal descendants (Pax Americana, Pax Britannica etc.) are modelled on this idea of stability, not unease.

Counterexamples would be most welcome.

Crossword Man said...

I'm no expert on this, but it seems you have a point. "(period of stability)" might have been better, but is a parenthetical qualification really needed?

Daniel Myers said...

No, not needed at all. It is quite de trop, which makes me wonder all the more why "(uneasy peace)" was tacked on to 35A.