Thursday, December 23, 2010

NYT Friday 12/24/10 Jay Kaskel and Daniel Kantor - Solution

Here is the solution for the New York Times crossword puzzle dated Friday December 24, 2010. This is an abbreviated post as I am now in vacation mode for the holiday weekend. Full commentaries will resume with the Monday puzzle.
Solving time: 24 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 51a Christmas Eve {Time before the present day?}
Solution

Jay Kaskel and Daniel Kantor
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

59a Silent Night {Song of 1859 ... or what the five circled letters represent?}. Other long answers include the letters of NIGHT as silent ones (indicated by circles in the published grid).
18a church hymns {Carols, often} has a silent N
24a Michael Caine {Scrooge player of film} has a silent I
38a naughty or nice {Polar opposites?} has a silent GH
51a Christmas Eve {Time before the present day?} has a silent T

Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersJay Kaskel and Daniel Kantor / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 42 (18.7%) black squares
Answers76 (average length 4.82)
Theme squares59 (32.2%)
Scrabble points285 (average 1.56)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Other Clues

1a hmm {Not an ideal answer to "Do these jeans make me look fat?"}; 4a arch {Chief}; 8a gas cap {Something to unscrew on an auto}; 14a eau {Feu fighter}; 15a rara {Uncommon, in ancient Rome}; 16a España {Land of Papá Noel}; 17a nus {N N N}; 20a riot {Mr. Hilarious}; 22a Dir. {Chair: Abbr.}; 23a pat {Nonverbal congratulations}; 29a Mt Sinai {It has 3,750 "steps of penitence"}; 30a get at {Intimate}; 33a eat {Down}; 34a Celt {Bird, e.g., once}; 37a ouch! {Comment upon receiving a large bill}; 42a in so {"___ doing ..."}; 43a Oslo {Cold capital}; 44a ire {Pique condition?}; 46a adage {Saw}; 48a eased in {Entered cautiously}; 54a Ava {Palindromic girl's name}; 57a oak {With 67-Across, sacred symbol to Zeus}; 58a Loni {TV's Anderson}; 64a ten {It's taken to calm down}; 66a Scene I {It takes place on board a ship at sea in "The Tempest"}; 67a tree {See 57-Across}; 68a are {Be a certain way?}; 69a tic-tac {Bit of candy}; 70a seed {Start of something}; 71a law {Brief subject}.

1d hen {Game ___}; 2d Mauritania {Its capital is Nouakchott}; 3d music-stand {Score keeper?}; 4d arctan {Inverse trig function}; 5d rah! {Exclamation heard 12 times in Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance"}; 6d cru {Word on a vin bottle}; 7d hard C {Head of cattle?}; 8d Gehrig {The Iron Horse of baseball}; 9d ash {Silvery-gray}; 10d spy {19-Down employee}; 11d camp {Rough it, say}; 12d Anna {Lady whom Don Giovanni tries to seduce}; 13d past {Over}; 19d CIA {Employer of 10-Downs: Abbr.}; 21d oh I {"___ don't know"}; 24d Mme. {Fr. title}; 25d each {Per}; 26d lie to {Misinform, maybe}; 27d neon {#10 on a table}; 28d étui {Seamstress's aid}; 31d accidental {Chance}; 32d The Riviera {"Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" setting}; 35d lys {Lily, in Lille}; 36d TO LET {Flat sign}; 39d USAC {Car-racing org.}; 40d Gogh {Van follower}; 41d roam {Tramp}; 45d -ene {Chemical suffix}; 47d erotic {Blue}; 49d salted {Like many winter roads}; 50d eso {Peruvian pronoun}; 52d Ian {Ziering of "90210"}; 53d skits {Burlesque bits}; 54d asst. {Bob Cratchit to Scrooge, e.g.: Abbr.}; 55d vici {Part of a boast}; 56d Alec {Smart ___}; 60d ENT {Three-in-one M.D.}; 61d NEA {Class-conscious grp.?}; 62d GRE {Princeton Review subj.}; 63d hee {Part of a snicker}; 65d new {Fresh}.

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