Wednesday, November 10, 2010

NYT Thursday 11/11/10 Andrew Zhou - One Good Turn Deserves Another

The theme of this Thursday New York Times crossword is one I've seen a few times in British cryptics; so I knew what to look for at the first mention of degrees, especially apropos of answers with seemingly a lot of Ns, Zs, Hs, etc. Unfortunately, I couldn't solve 20-Across right away (and am still a bit fuzzy on the significance of zinc ions in mouthwashes).

22-Across, however, was more readily solved and I could see that the answer conic happily fitted with the down answers when rendered UOZHU by being entered with the paper turned 90 degrees clockwise. Nice that the idea also uses a 180 degree rotation in the middle and a 270 degree rotation at the bottom, neatly explained with reference to Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There Is a Season):

The cluing seems to have been kept relatively simple today, presumably because the unusual entry method will be a tough enough challenge for many solvers. Accordingly, there's less to write about below than often on a Thursday.

I did have difficulties in two areas with doubtful crossings. The aforementioned zinc ion was unfamiliar, so I had to think twice when guessing what 3-Down Brazos should be. Happily, the need for the letter at the crossing to be rotatable AND make sense as a component of mouthwash narrowed things down fast.

The crossing of 7d Oly {West Coast brew, for short} and 18a Nyes {Actress Carrie and others} needed more thought: I felt Oli and Nies was a viable alternative ... essentially the same situation I was faced with in the Mike Shenk puzzle in ACPT 2009.

I'd have preferred a reference to the now familiar Bill Nye, of course, but decided eventually that Carrie very likely had the same spelling ... much the more common surname I reckon. Plus Oly seemed more likely as a nickname for a beer, perhaps a shortening of Olympic or Olympia (which indeed it turns out to be).
Solving time: 11 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 21d ower {Short person?}

Andrew Zhou
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]


Answers to starred clues can be entered/read after turning the paper the specified number of degrees, as indicated by 35a Turn! Turn! Turn! {#1 hit by the Byrds ... or directions for reading the answers to this puzzle's starred clues (always clockwise as indicated)}.
20a zinc ion {*Antimicrobial bit in mouthwashes [90 degrees]}
22a conic {*Like wizards' caps [90 degrees]}
43a moon missions {*Apollo 11 and 12 [180 degrees]}
59a union {*Marriage, say [270 degrees]}
61a no onion {*Specification in a burger order, maybe [270 degrees]}
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersAndrew Zhou / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 36 (16.0%) black squares
Answers78 (average length 4.85)
Theme squares48 (25.4%)
Scrabble points403 (average 2.13)
Video of the Day

36d noir {"The Big Sleep" film genre}. The Big Sleep is a 1946 film noir directed by Howard Hawks, the first film version of Raymond Chandler's 1939 novel of the same name. It stars Humphrey Bogart as detective Philip Marlowe and Lauren Bacall as the female lead in a film about the "process of a criminal investigation, not its results." William Faulkner, Leigh Brackett, and Jules Furthman co-wrote the screenplay. In 1997, the U.S. Library of Congress deemed this film "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant," and added it to the National Film Registry.

The Doctor is IN

21d ower {Short person?}. ower = someone who owes, i.e. is short.

51d Thorpe {Five-time Olympic gold-medal swimmer}. I.e. Ian Thorpe.

60d Cali {District of Colombia?}. Cali is a city in western Colombia and the capital of the Valle del Cauca Department.

Image of the Day

Little Oly

7d Oly {West Coast brew, for short}. The Olympia Brewing Company was a brewery in Tumwater, Washington which existed from 1896 until 2003.

Leopold Schmidt, a German immigrant from Montana founded The Capital Brewing Company at Tumwater Falls on the Deschutes River in the town of Tumwater, near the south end of Puget Sound. He built a four-story wooden brewhouse, a five-story cellar building, a one-story ice factory powered by the lower falls, and a bottling and keg plant and in 1896, began brewing and selling Olympia Beer. In 1902, the firm became Olympia Brewing Company and chose the slogan "It's the Water" to promote its flagship product. Statewide Prohibition, which began in January 1916, four years before National Prohibition, ended beer making operations. After Prohibition ended, a new Olympia Brewery was erected just upstream from the original, and Olympia beer went back on sale in 1934.

Olympia Beer was a very popular regional brand in the Pacific Northwest for half of a century. It eventually expanded nationwide, repositioned as a low-price lager. During the 1970s, Olympia acquired Hamm's and Lone Star. Olympia Brewing also produced Buckhorn Beer, which had previously been a product of the Lone Star Brewing Company. The beer declined increasingly in sales when the president of the brewery was caught engaging in a homosexual act, and was therefore publicly outed in the early 1980s. The Schmidt family, which owned and operated the brewery and company, elected to sell the company in 1982. Olympia was subsequently purchased by Pabst in 1983.

As with many other regional breweries, ownership of this brewery eventually passed through several corporations including Pabst, G. Heileman, and Stroh's, until the brewery was eventually purchased by SABMiller. For a time, the Olympia brewery took over the brewing of other Pacific Northwest brands as their original breweries were closed one by one, including the Lucky Lager brewery in Vancouver, Washington, the Henry Weinhard's brewery in Portland, Oregon, and the Rainier Beer brewery in Seattle, Washington. Miller closed the Olympia brewery on July 1, 2003 citing the unprofitability of such a small brewery. However, beer marketed under the Olympia Beer name continues to be manufactured by SABMiller at a plant in Irwindale, California.

Other Clues

1a abbés {French clerics}; 6a Polk {President after Tyler}; 10a tsps. {Medicinal amts.}; 14a march! {General's cry}; 15a olio {This and that}; 16a whet {Stimulate}; 17a Atari {Game maker starting in 1972}; 18a Nyes {Actress Carrie and others}; 19a oozy {Like wetlands}; 24a Deo {___ volente (God willing)}; 25a twig {Really thin person}; 27a vortex {Tornado}; 30a assize {Judgment}; 32a agar {Food thickener}; 34a one {Undivided}; 38a tais {Mai ___ (drinks)}; 41a oen- {Wine: Prefix}; 42a at ya {"Comin' ___!"}; 48a OK'd {Given the nod}; 49a hora {Dance at a Jewish wedding}; 50a rusted {Showing signs of disuse}; 54a Shiraz {Iranian city of 1.2+ million}; 56a yang {Masculine side}; 58a HMO {Insurance plan, for short}; 63a Eric {Attorney General Holder}; 65a last {Endure}; 67a torte {Dessert cake}; 68a wink {[I'm kidding!]}; 69a Elie {Nobelist Wiesel}; 70a toper {Dipsomaniac}; 71a edgy {Jumpy}; 72a disc {LP or 45}; 73a omers {Biblical dry measures}.

1d Amanda {"She's the Man" actress Bynes}; 2d bathes {Washes}; 3d Brazos {Longest river in Texas}; 4d ecru {Off-white shade}; 5d shih-tzu {Tibetan dog}; 6d Ponzi {Kind of scheme}; 8d lieu {Place}; 9d Kosovar {Dweller in Pristina}; 10d two hr. {Like many TV movies: Abbr.}; 11d shout-out {Public mention}; 12d Pez {Candy that comes in more than a dozen flavors}; 13d sty {Farm structure}; 23d Zorn {N.F.L. coach Jim}; 26d gateway {St. Louis's arch, symbolically}; 28d 'enry {"Just you wait, ___ 'iggins ..."}; 29d Xena {TV warrior princess}; 31d it's I {Formal/informal response to "Who's there?"}; 33d Gunn {Ben ___, "Treasure Island" pirate}; 37d taws {Shooters}; 38d Tso's {General ___ chicken}; 39d ankh {Egyptian cross}; 40d iodizing {Treating, in a way, as table salt}; 44d shah {Bygone sovereign}; 45d sozzled {Three sheets to the wind}; 46d or no {Of little ___ use}; 47d ought to {Should}; 52d emoter {One overacting}; 53d dozers {Catnappers}; 55d rocky {Tumultuous}; 57d Aztec {Old pyramid builder}; 62d zoom {Camera feature}; 63d ewe {Animal often seen with a bell around its neck}; 64d rid {Clear (of)}; 66d sis {Family girl}.


Anonymous said...

Don't like a puzzle that you can't readily
understand if your printing style doesn't lend
itself to H's looking like I's if inverted.

Crossword Man said...

Yup, it's a bit of a stretch. U and C also don't look much like each other.

But it must be a hard theme too resist if one happens to have a surname (ZHOU) that becomes COIN when turned through 90 degrees!