Saturday, November 6, 2010

NYT Sunday 11/7/10 Will Nediger - A Pealing

Magdalen was busy writing her latest novel as part of NaNoWriMo today, so I got on with this Sunday New York Times crossword on my own. It seemed rather variable in difficulty: I generally did OK, but found the NE corner particularly problematic.

PowerPCI got off to a reasonable start at the top left, having no difficulty working out the first theme answer at 22-Across once there were sufficient crossing answers. The theme was the least of my problems and in fact there were many times when - getting stuck - I thought harder about the thematic answer in the vicinity and managed to deduce part or all of it with few crossings.

Most of the grid fell slowly to my persistent attack and I managed to work around my surprising ignorance of PowerPC at 93-Across and unsurprising ignorance of Atom Man at 130-Across.

In the NE, there was a whole cluster of answers I knew not, or knew barely. I managed to come up with two other five-letter African countries ending with N before gravitating to Benin at 17-Down. The crossing of Reeves and Rama at 21-Across and -Down is nasty and only assuming the title to be alliterative made the decision clear. I wondered if the constructor had considered Bama and beeves (as in the plural of beef, used in Shakespeare) - wiser not to go there I guess.
Solving time: 35 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 65a igloo {Northern hemisphere?}
Solution

Will Nediger
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

"Leading articles". One of a doubled letter (always just after the beginning of a final word starting A) is deleted, making a pun.
22a resisting a rest {Trying to stay awake?} cf resisting arrest
36a under a tack {Pinned down?} cf under attack
72a love a fair {Really enjoy going to carnivals?} cf love affair
106a upon a rival {Straddling one's opponent?} cf upon arrival
123a checking a count {Frisking Dracula?} cf checking account
16d evening a tire {Mechanic's task?} cf evening attire
64d return a dress {What the dissatisfied female giftee might do after Christmas?} cf return address
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersWill Nediger / Will Shortz
Grid21x21 with 66 (15.0%) black squares
Answers140 (average length 5.36)
Theme squares81 (21.6%)
Scrabble points592 (average 1.58)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Video of the Day



18d Estes {Opera singer Simon}. Simon Estes is an operatic bass-baritone of African-American descent who had a major international opera career since the 1960s. He has sung at most of the world's major opera houses as well as in front of presidents, popes and internationally renowned figures and celebrities including Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon, Boris Yeltsin, Yasser Arafat, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. He was notably part of the first generation of black opera singers to achieve wide success and is viewed as part of an instrumental group of performers who helped break down the barriers of racial prejudice in the opera world.

The Doctor is IN

1a Savalas {Oscar-nominated actor with the given name Aristotelis}. I.e. Telly Savalas (1922–1994).

40a duet {"Beauty and the Beast," e.g.}. Presumably referring to the title song of the Disney movie, as sung by Céline Dion and Peabo Bryson.

54a neu {Popular word in German product packaging}. neu means "new" in German.

62a mer {Debussy subject}. As in the orchestral piece La Mer.

81a -ess {Un-P.C. suffix}. As in poetess, authoress etc.

86a Kal-El {Foe of 130-Across, at birth}. Superman was born Kal-El on the planet Krypton.

93a PowerPC {It was developed by Apple, IBM and Motorola}. See PowerPC.

128a Lesley {First name on "60 Minutes"}. I.e. Lesley Stahl.

130a Atom Man {Lex Luthor alter ego, once}. See Atom Man vs. Superman.

132a Edessa {One of the Crusader states}. See the County of Edessa.

42d on base {Partway home}. Home = baseball is in Pavlov's Guide to Crosswords.

51d cell {Sentence structure?}. Sentence = prison time is also in Pavlov's Guide to Crosswords.

125d Uma {Portrayer of June in "Henry & June"}. I.e. Uma Thurman in Henry & June (1990).

Image of the Day

Elsa Peretti ring

14d Peretti {Jewelry designer Elsa}. Elsa Peretti is an Italian jewelry designer. She designed the containers for Halston's fragrance and cosmetic lines, and many of Tiffany & Co.'s best-selling items including the famous 'teardrop' necklaces and 'thumb' vases in white. Both are examples of her simple organic aesthetic. She is noted for creating understated and timeless pieces that have become favorites of stars such as Keira Knightley who is often seen wearing her Elsa Peretti Round Pendant.


Other Clues

8a jamjar {Preserves holder}; 14a Plebe {Annapolis frosh}; 19a I give up {"Fine, tell me"}; 20a amoeba {Slide sight}; 21a Reeves {Steve who played the title role of Hercules in a 1959 film}; 24a ardent {Fervid}; 25a store {Stockholder?}; 26a tarot {Deck for divining}; 27a meanie {No Mr. Nice Guy}; 28a die {It has 21 spots}; 31a rips {Features of some jeans}; 33a yells at {Reads the riot act}; 35a ins {Connections}; 41a ton {Bunch}; 43a ad exec {Spot overseer}; 44a lung {Air bag?}; 46a toiling at {Working hard on}; 50a dynamic {Vigorous}; 52a moot {Not worth debating}; 55a bade {Requested}; 56a manes {Shaggy locks}; 58a X out {Get rid of}; 60a sat atop {Lay on}; 65a igloo {Northern hemisphere?}; 67a drew {Took a card}; 69a ursine {Like grizzlies}; 70a Odeon {Classic theater name}; 75a aerie {Home to fly into}; 76a either {Noncommittal reply}; 78a nuts! {"Darn!"}; 79a knead {Work, in a way}; 82a studded {Star-___}; 84a mono {Early Beatles songs are in it}; 88a here {Call to a dog}; 89a pep {Vinegar}; 91a neap {Twice-a-month tide}; 97a ad nauseam {Seemingly without end}; 100a whim {Sudden fancy}; 102a Havasu {Lake ___ City, Ariz.}; 103a arm {Site of the brachial artery}; 104a Prof. {Prepresidential title for Bill Clinton or Woodrow Wilson: Abbr.}; 108a and {Moreover}; 110a pistols {They have duel purposes}; 113a Eros {First near-Earth asteroid to be discovered}; 114a Itt {Addams Family cousin}; 115a dermis {Skin layer}; 117a ice ax {Scaling tool}; 119a outer {Peripheral}; 122a O'Meara {Mark who won the 1998 Masters}; 129a lecher {Rake}; 131a fasts {Takes nothing in}; 133a ten past {A sixth of the way through the hour}.

1d Sir {Letter start}; 2d age {Gray}; 3d vis- {With 4-Across, in relation to}; 4d -à-vis {See 3-Across}; 5d lest {For fear that}; 6d auto racing {Activity with flags}; 7d spirit {Spunk}; 8d jag {Bender}; 9d amat {Part of a Latin conjugation}; 10d moray {Conger cousin}; 11d jeered {Razzed}; 12d Absolut {Smirnoff competitor}; 13d rattle on {Refuse to shut up}; 15d Leda {Mother of Helen and Pollux}; 17d Benin {Neighbor of Nigeria and Togo}; 21d Rama {Arthur C. Clarke's "Rendezvous With ___"}; 23d Nepal {Kingdom overthrown in 2008}; 28d duad {Couple}; 29d Indy {May event, informally}; 30d Eden {British P.M. between Churchill and Macmillan}; 32d scum {Film you don't want to see}; 34d sties {Stockholders?}; 37d exam {Entrance requirement, sometimes}; 38d remained {Didn't go}; 39d Knox {The "K" of James K. Polk}; 45d good as new! {Handyman's exclamation}; 47d luau {Island do}; 48d Adonis {Good-looker}; 49d tepees {Plain homes?}; 53d turf {Gang's area}; 57d soon {Any minute now}; 59d teak {Furniture material}; 61d trade war {It may involve punitive tariffs}; 62d Moesha {Sitcom role for Brandy Norwood}; 63d edited {Ready for publication}; 66d ovum {Certain gamete}; 68d wink {Sleep unit?}; 71d oh dear! {"Goodness me!"}; 73d Eton {George Orwell's alma mater}; 74d reap {Take in}; 77d reps {Gym number}; 80d Aloha State {85-Down is part of it}; 83d deeps {Ocean areas}; 85d Oahu {Home of the highways H1 and H2}; 87d Levi {Big name in denim}; 90d particle {It may be elementary}; 92d pipe {Snowman's prop}; 94d Ravi {Sitarist Shankar}; 95d PSAT {H.S. junior's exam}; 96d cult {Kind of film}; 98d umpires {Call makers}; 99d mooched {Freeloaded}; 101d moron {Fool}; 105d fleece {Take to the cleaners}; 107d nougat {Nutty treat}; 108d Adolf {Unpopular baby name}; 109d Nemea {Site of Hercules' first labor}; 111d I say! {"Well, old chap!"}; 112d Sachs {Goldman ___}; 116d malt {Fountain order}; 118d XK-Es {Classic sports cars}; 120d Econ. {Nobel Prize subj.}; 121d romp {Frolic}; 124d Ira {Writer Levin}; 126d Nas {"Illmatic" rapper}; 127d TNT {Blaster}.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is there some sort of pun/trick I'm missing, or should 3d and 4d refer to 4-DOWN and 3-DOWN, respectively? I had some trouble with this corner anyway, and what seemed like a typo had me even more confused.

Crossword Man said...

Yes, there is/was a problem with the Across Lite file for this puzzle. I somehow missed it, but the error has been acknowledged in comments at the official NYT blog.