Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NYT Wednesday 11/3/10 Tracy Gray - Forget About It

Eagles Mere,PAMagdalen and I currently on a working vacation in lovely Eagles Mere, PA and now that we've figured out how to get around the peculiarities of the hotel wi-fi, I can resume the usual commentary.

This Wednesday New York Times crossword seemed fairly easy for this stage of the week: I had trouble finishing the theme answers, but the one I could get - Tennessee tans - suggested to me that IT was being removed (yes, I indeed remembered the Tennessee Titans from previous puzzles).

That insight was very soon confirmed by 62-Across, so when I went back over the theme answers I couldn't do in the first pass down the grid, I had a lot more success.

I was lucky that the obscurer facts I wasn't aware of - e.g. that there's a city in Nevada called Sparks and that La Guardia's forename was Fiorello - were well spread out in the grid, creating no significant hot spots today.

The P.U. reference at 38-Down was also most elusive. If I've ever heard this mysterious expression before, I'm fairly sure it was not through being written down as in today's clue.
Solving time: 7 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 60a Europe {Where to find a piece of Turkey}

Tracy Gray
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]


IT is deleted from a phrase, making a pun, as indicated by 62a cut it out! {"Stop that!" ... and a hint to the answers to 17-, 23-, 39- and 52-Across}
17a net profs {Online university staff?} cf net profits
23a Tennessee tans {What Nashville sunbathers acquire?} cf Tennessee Titans
39a no visors allowed {Sign prohibiting sunshades?} cf no visitors allowed
52a learner's perms {Salon jobs from apprentice stylists?} cf learner's permits
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersTracy Gray / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 40 (17.8%) black squares
Answers78 (average length 4.74)
Theme squares57 (30.8%)
Scrabble points269 (average 1.45)
Video of the Day

63d Una {Old-time actress Merkel}. Una Merkel (1903–1986) was an American film actress. She bore a resemblance to actress Lillian Gish and began her career as a stand-in for Gish, most notably in the 1928 classic The Wind, a late silent film. Merkel appeared in a few films during the silent era, including the two-reel Love's Old Sweet Song (1923) filmed by Lee DeForest in his Phonofilm sound-on-film process, and co-starring Louis Wolheim and Donald Gallaher. However, she spent most of her time in New York City working on Broadway.

Merkel returned to Hollywood and achieved her greatest success with the advent of "talkies". She played Ann Rutledge in the film Abraham Lincoln (1930) directed by D. W. Griffith. During the 1930s, Merkel became a popular second lead in a number of films, usually playing the wisecracking best friend of the heroine, supporting actresses such as Jean Harlow, Carole Lombard, Loretta Young, and Dorothy Lamour. With her kewpie doll looks, combined with a strong Southern accent and wry line delivery, she enlivened scores of films of the era and worked with most of the stars of the period. Merkel was an MGM contract player from 1932 to 1938, appearing in as many as twelve films in a year, often on loan-out to other studios. She was also often cast as leading lady to a number of comedians in their starring pictures, including Jack Benny, Harold Lloyd, and Charles Butterworth.

The Doctor is IN

8a Nevada {Sparks's state}. A reference to the city of Sparks, NV, a twin city with Reno.

19a O'er {Anthem contraction}. A reference to "O'er the ramparts we watched" from The Star-Spangled Banner.

28a TLC {Special attention, for short}. TLC = "tender loving care".

34a Astro {Ballplayer with a 40-Down logo}; 40d star {See 34-Across}. A reference to the Houston Astros.

49a twp. {Local govt. unit}. twp. = township.

38d odor {"P.U.!" inducer}. See P.U..

52d Laura {Michelle's predecessor as first lady}. References to Laura Bush and Michelle Obama.

Image of the Day

5d Fiorello {Former Big Apple mayor La Guardia}. I recognized La Guardia's surname from the airport, but had no ideas about his forename and had to piece it together from crossings. Fiorello La Guardia (1882–1947) was Mayor of New York for three terms from 1934 to 1945 as a liberal Republican. Previously he was elected to Congress in 1916 and 1918, and again from 1922 through 1930. Irascible, energetic and charismatic, he craved publicity and is acclaimed as one of the three or four greatest mayors in American history. Only five feet tall, he was called "the Little Flower" (Fiorello is Italian for "little flower", diminutive of fiore, Italian for "flower").

Other Clues

1a both {The two together}; 5a fit {In fighting trim}; 14a in no time {Quick as a wink}; 16a unisex {For all, as a restroom}; 18a cosine {Trig function}; 20a tel. {Phone no.}; 22a tats {Body designs, informally}; 27a pal {One to hang with}; 29a lie {Golf ball's position}; 30a a bet {"Not on ___!"}; 32a lam {Hasty escape}; 43a erect {At attention}; 44a NCO {Sgt. or cpl.}; 45a to go {Like many fast-food orders}; 46a AIG {Bailed-out insurance co.}; 51a air {Make public}; 57a barb {Zinging remark}; 58a joe {Coffee, slangily}; 59a IRA {Nest egg letters}; 60a Europe {Where to find a piece of Turkey}; 67a erodes {Chips away at}; 68a Uncle Leo {Seinfeld's eccentric relative}; 69a parent {Many a Little League rooter}; 70a rah! {"Go team!"}; 71a rays {Sunbathers catch them}.

1d bin {Coal holder}; 2d one {Indivisible}; 3d TNT {Demolitionist's aid}; 4d hop on {Biker's invitation to a friend}; 6d IMF {Global currency org.}; 7d tests {Lab jobs}; 8d nuclei {Atomic centers}; 9d Eno {Brian of ambient music}; 10d vista {Scenic view}; 11d Asian {Like most Turks}; 12d dents {Body shop jobs}; 13d axes {Graph lines}; 15d Trent {1545-63 council site}; 21d eel {Moray, e.g.}; 23d tabor {Drum accompanying a fife}; 24d élève {École attendee}; 25d scar {Emotionally damage}; 26d teal {Blue-green hue}; 27d pane {Plexiglas piece}; 31d tic {Muscle spasm}; 33d MSN {AOL alternative}; 35d sot {W. C. Fields persona}; 36d two am {Bar closing time, perhaps}; 37d Regis {Philbin of live TV}; 41d acts {"Hamlet" has five}; 42d low pitch {Fastball in the dirt, say}; 47d in jest {Kiddingly}; 48d geo- {Prefix with thermal}; 50d peril {Jeopardy}; 53d error {Goof}; 54d abode {"Humble" home}; 55d recur {Come back}; 56d rater {Zagat, to restaurants}; 57d beep {Microwave sound}; 61d pen {Porker's pad}; 64d -ola {Suffix with pay or plug}; 65d uey {Driver's one-eighty}; 66d tos {How-___ (handy books)}.


Nasal Ante Rhino said...

Cheers Englishman and your constituents,

I started a blog inspired by the Puns and Anagrams puzzle that is sometimes featured in the Sunday NY Times. It's inanely witty and lots of fun!

Puns and Anagrams

Crossword Man said...

What a great idea NAR. Could you use an inhalant, Señora?

Nasal Ante Rhino said...

Thanks C-Man ;] You know you can never be too de-congested.