Monday, November 8, 2010

NYT Tuesday 11/9/10 Daniel A. Finan - Ring Road

I got an inkling of the theme of this Tuesday New York Times crossword very early on: within the first minute I noticed that 19-Across started JRR. If that was right, it could only be followed by Tolkein (or should it be Tolkien ... I always have problems with him).

such a toolUnfortunately, J. R. R. Tolkien on his own would not fit the entry, and I waited for a few more crossings before reluctantly adding the (apostrophe) S and the beginning of the title completed in 55-Across. It's unusual to have a crossword with the title split rather awkwardly like this: it seems inelegant, but would the idea have been possible otherwise?

Having seen the context, I wondered what quote would appear in the central rows. My current knowledge of The Lord of the Rings is such that I needed to get almost all the letters from the answers: it's been nearly 40 years since I read the book(s). Perhaps the poem also appeared one of the recent movies, but I'm sure my vague memories of it come from my original reading of the story.

Interesting to see 24d a tool {"You're such ___" (teen put-down)}, as I know some of my regular readers are sensitive to answers and/or clues that don't pass the (somewhat subjective) "breakfast test". Presumably the slang meaning of "tool" has become progressively less offensive with successive generations. Here's an exercise for you: try cluing a tool without recourse to its slang meaning.
Solving time: 7 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 43a sewn {In stitches}

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


A quote from All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter, a poem in 19a/55a J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings {Source of this puzzle's quote (which starts in box #38)}. The text wanders appropriately and is contained within rings.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersDaniel A. Finan / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 40 (17.8%) black squares
Answers78 (average length 4.74)
Theme squares[not calculated]
Scrabble points328 (average 1.77)
Video of the Day

42a bog {Where cranberries grow}. Cranberries are a group of evergreen dwarf shrubs or trailing vines in the genus Vaccinium subgenus Oxycoccos, or in some treatments, in the distinct genus Oxycoccos. They are found in acidic bogs throughout the cooler parts of the Northern Hemisphere.

Cranberries are a major commercial crop in the U.S. states of Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin, as well as in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Quebec. According to the Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, Wisconsin is the leading producer of cranberries, with over half of U.S. production. Massachusetts is the second largest U.S. producer, with 28% of total domestic production. A very small production is found in southern Chile, in the Baltic States, and in Eastern Europe.

Historically, cranberry beds were constructed in wetlands. Currently cranberry beds are constructed in upland areas that have a shallow water table. The topsoil is scraped off to form dykes around the bed perimeter. Clean sand is hauled in to a depth of four to eight inches. The surface is laser leveled flat to provide even drainage. Beds are frequently drained with socked tile in addition to the perimeter ditch. In addition to making it possible to hold water, the dykes allow equipment to service the beds without driving on the vines. Irrigation equipment is installed in the bed to provide irrigation for vine growth and for spring and autumn frost protection.

The Doctor is IN

21a Ilsa {Rick's "Casablanca" love}. I.e. Ilsa Lund, played by Ingrid Bergman.

11d poke {Pig's container, in a saying}. Referencing a pig in a poke.

32d ditsy {Like a space cadet}. space cadet n. a flaky, lightheaded, or forgetful person [MWCD11].

Image of the Day

Garmin Nuvi

41d Garmin {Big name in GPS devices}. Easy for me, as we have two Garmin devices, one for the car and one for exploration on foot, such as when geocaching. Garmin Ltd., incorporated in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, is the parent company of a group of companies founded in 1989 by Gary Burrell and Min Kao (hence the name GarMin), that develops consumer, aviation, and marine technologies for the Global Positioning System.

Other Clues

1a hep {Like a cool cat}; 4a simp {Not the brightest bulb on the tree}; 8a Terps {U. of Maryland team}; 13a am I {"___ seeing things?"}; 14a Gemma {"Hollyoaks" actress ___ Atkinson}; 15a idiot {Bozo}; 16a diesel oil {Fuel for some trucks}; 18a picky {Eating only certain things}; 22a eye {Word after public or private}; 23a mall {Shopping mecca}; 26a Tycho {Danish astronomer Brahe}; 29a Dred {Scott in an 1857 Supreme Court case}; 33a stetho- {Chest: Prefix}; 35a land {Touch down}; 37a Eli {Manning of the gridiron}; 38a not so! {"Au contraire!"}; 39a how? {"In what way?"}; 40a egest {Cast out}; 43a sewn {In stitches}; 45a bravos {Calls during curtain calls}; 46a clop {Wooden shoe's sound}; 48a by ear {How nonreading musicians play}; 50a rely {Lean (on)}; 51a Yar {Yevtushenko's "Babi ___"}; 53a teem {Abound (with)}; 62a Purim {Jewish holiday in Adar}; 63a amazon ant {Insect known for conducting raids}; 64a Dante {"Inferno" writer}; 65a vanes {Wind indicators}; 66a day {Calendar unit}; 67a queen {Powerful chess piece}; 68a ands {Added stipulations}; 69a awe {Leave slack-jawed}.

1d hadj {Muslim's pilgrimage}; 2d emir {Mideast leader}; 3d pier {Place to fish from}; 4d sells to {Does some business with}; 5d I'm okay {"Don't worry about me"}; 6d MMII {Year the Department of Homeland Security was created}; 7d pale {Visibly terrified}; 8d tipsy {Slightly drunk}; 9d edited {Trimmed to fit, say}; 10d rich {Filthy ___}; 12d sty {Pig's container}; 14d Geol. {Earth sci.}; 17d stilts {Some beach house supports}; 20d neon {Gas in lights}; 23d MSNBC {"Morning Joe" TV channel}; 24d a tool {"You're such ___" (teen put-down)}; 25d let go! {"Unhand me!"}; 27d clone {Any "Jurassic Park" dinosaur}; 28d haw {"Yee-___!"}; 30d reeve {Chaucer pilgrim}; 31d el sol {It shines in España}; 34d hos {Santa syllables}; 36d Der {___ Spiegel (German magazine)}; 39d hwy. {Numbered rte.}; 44d Ebro {River of Aragón}; 45d breezes {Zephyrs}; 47d pyrite {It glitters but isn't gold}; 49d at hand {Within easy reach}; 52d ad-men {Madison Avenue workers}; 54d Eros {Cupid, to the Greeks}; 55d luau {Party with poi}; 56d Orne {Author Sarah ___ Jewett}; 57d fava {Broad bean}; 58d T-man {Certain Fed}; 59d nada {"Nothin'"}; 60d gnaw {Be a busy beaver}; 61d stye {Eye woe}; 62d PDQ {A.S.A.P.}.


Daniel Myers said...

Needless to say, I fancied this puzzle tremendously. It's probably a mere coincidence - though with the clue for 47D relating back to the poem, I'm not so sure - that 44D is clued as it is. Aragon is one letter short of Aragorn, to whom the poem refers.

Crossword Man said...

Well spotted. Although I remembered Aragorn as a character, I'd forgotten the connection with the poem. Thanks DM.

Miles said...

Am I the only one a little shocked at the Hollyoaks reference, does this Brit soap even play in the US? What next, Neighbours?!

Anonymous said...

I found a quick way to make this puzzle pangramatic. In lower right, change: NADA to NASD;
GNAW to GNAR; and STYE to STYX, (x is the missing letter) The resulting across entries are SAY and DRX all are in the NYT XWORD database.

Crossword Man said...

Well spotted Anon. My guess is the puzzle started out panagrammatic, perhaps with your exact fill, but simpler vocab was thought desirable during editing, with a mind to it being Tuesday-worthy.

Crossword Man said...

Miles, thanks ... I'm not much of a soap addict, so missed that Hollyoaks is British (Wikipedia says it has been shown on BBC America, for what it's worth). Surely there have to be better known Gemmas around?