Sunday, November 7, 2010

NYT Monday 11/8/10 John Dunn - Take Four?

In my hurry to complete this Monday New York Times crossword, I missed that 64-Across is an explanatory answer, thinking it a regular thematic answer on a par with the other three. I can't have been paying any attention to the clue, just filling in what was obviously the answer based on the cross-checking and what had come before.

owletI guess that's the danger of using a key answer with the same structure as the regular theme answers: if the "catch" words had all been at the end, the distinction would have been clearer (although since the clue at 64-Across spells it out, it's a bit mean of me to pick up on this).

This wasn't my fastest Monday puzzle by any means, and that partly arose from a wrong turn at 28-Across, where I tried take a bite to eat. The answers confirming (or refuting) those first four letters had some of the harder clues, so it took a while to switch horses and settle on grab as the "catch" word.

It was surprisingly easy to choose a "Clue of the puzz" today. Were it not for 55-Across, I'd have happily gone for 16a owlet {Baby hooter} which is rather charming.
Solving time: 5 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 55a spa {Where you might get into hot water?}

John Dunn
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]


Each of the first three long entries is a 64a catch phrase {Commonplace utterance ... or a description of 18-, 28- and 49-Across?}.
18a seize the day {"Carpe diem"}
28a grab a bite to eat {Quickly satisfy one's hunger}
49a capture the flag {Rough-and-tumble outdoor kids' game}
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersJohn Dunn / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 38 (16.9%) black squares
Answers78 (average length 4.79)
Theme squares50 (26.7%)
Scrabble points297 (average 1.59)
Video of the Day

2d Rita {Hayworth of "Cover Girl"}. Cover Girl is a 1944 American musical film starring Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly. The film tells the story of a chorus girl given a chance at stardom when she is offered an opportunity to be a highly-paid cover girl. The film was directed by Charles Vidor, and was one of the most popular musicals of the war years. Primarily a showcase for Rita Hayworth, the film has lavish modern and 1890s costumes, eight dance routines for Hayworth, and songs by Jerome Kern and Ira Gershwin, including the classic "Long Ago (and Far Away)".

The Doctor is IN

17a ATL {The Braves, on scoreboards}. A reference to the Atlanta Braves baseball team.

48a LPN {Hosp. employee}. LPN = Licensed Practical Nurse.

9d Johnson {First impeached U.S. president}. Andrew Johnson (1808–1875) - he was acquitted.

50d UTEP {Lone Star State sch.}. UTEP = University of Texas, El Paso (the Miners).

Image of the Day

SheiKra at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

33d Tampa {Busch Gardens locale}. Busch Gardens at Tampa Bay is a 335 acre 19th century African-themed animal theme park located in the city of Tampa, Florida. It opened on March 31, 1959 as an admission-free hospitality facility for the Tampa Anheuser-Busch brewery on the grounds of the manufacturing plant.

After the manufacturing plant closed down some years later, Busch Gardens focused progressively on its tropical landscape, exotic animals, and amusements to draw visitors. Busch Gardens began charging admission as the entertainment became more complex, with extra fees for the thrill rides, such as the roller coasters for which Busch Gardens is now known. Currently Busch Gardens competes with other such parks in Florida and charges comparable fees. The park is operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, owned by the private equity firm The Blackstone Group. In 2009, the park hosted 4.1 million people, placing in the Top 20 of the most-visited theme parks in the US.

The Stanleyville section of the park includes SheiKra, a Bolliger and Mabillard roller coaster (pictured above). SheiKra was the first dive machine roller coaster in North America. It is tied with Goliath at Six Flags Over Georgia as the second tallest roller coaster in the southeast. SheiKra first opened in May 2005. On June 16, 2007, SheiKra was converted into a floorless roller coaster. The name SheiKra is derived from a shikra, an Asian - African hawk that is known to dive straight down for its prey.

Other Clues

1a arc {Path of a Hail Mary pass}; 4a Alamo {"Remember the ___!" (cry of 1836)}; 9a jeans {Wranglers, e.g.}; 14a Rio {___ de Janeiro}; 15a resin {Pine exudation}; 16a owlet {Baby hooter}; 20a badge {Officer's identification}; 22a sedan {Family car}; 23a ape {Imitate}; 24a want {Poverty}; 26a gust {Burst of wind}; 34a o'er {"___ the land of the free ..."}; 35a lace {Spike, as the punch}; 36a natal {Birth-related}; 38a slew {Large number}; 40a reaps {Harvests}; 43a Mama {Owner of the bed that was too soft in "Goldilocks and the Three Bears"}; 44a hires {Takes on, as workers}; 46a seal {Diploma feature}; 53a Tate {London art gallery}; 54a laic {Secular}; 55a spa {Where you might get into hot water?}; 58a Seder {Passover feast}; 61a drove {Motored}; 67a six {Half a dozen}; 68a agree {Shake hands (on)}; 69a Oskar {Schindler of "Schindler's List"}; 70a tap {Touch on the shoulder, say}; 71a meals {Breakfast, lunch and dinner}; 72a teens {First-time drivers, often}; 73a slo {___-mo}.

1d Arab {The "A" in U.A.E.}; 3d Cold War era {Late 1940s to about 1990}; 4d arsenal {Weapons depot}; 5d Lee {Actor ___ J. Cobb}; 6d as is {Sale tag words}; 7d Mize {1987 Masters winner Larry}; 8d on edge {Fidgety}; 10d ewe {Mother in a flock}; 11d Alda {Alan of "Crimes and Misdemeanors"}; 12d neap {Certain tide}; 13d stye {Eye problem}; 19d taut {Fully stretched}; 21d gab {Talk and talk and talk}; 25d T-bar {Ski lift}; 27d team {Squad}; 28d gosh! {Exclamation before "darn it!"}; 29d relic {Excavated item, maybe}; 30d ice {What most of hail is}; 31d tease {Razz}; 32d at all costs {Regardless of the results}; 37d lang {Singer k. d. ___}; 39d wept {Openly grieved}; 41d pet {Caress}; 42d Sahl {Comic Mort}; 45d stashes {Squirrels away}; 47d leaders {Captains and commanders}; 51d red-hot {Extremely popular}; 52d fir {Tree with cones}; 55d scam {Offer that's too good to be true, often}; 56d page {Beep, as a doctor}; 57d Atra {Gillette brand}; 59d Erse {Gaelic tongue}; 60d rake {___ over the coals}; 62d vial {Medicine bottle}; 63d expo {World's fair}; 65d cel {Animation frame}; 66d San {___ Bernardino Mountains}.

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