Thursday, December 2, 2010

NYT Friday 12/3/10 Matt Ginsberg - Solution

Here is the solution for the New York Times crossword puzzle dated Friday December 3, 2010. This is an abbreviated post as I am currently on vacation; full commentaries will resume with next Monday's puzzle.
Solving time: 16 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 35a 'tec {Spade, e.g., for short}
Solution

Matt Ginsberg
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

A word ladder in which LEAD is turned into GOLD, as indicated by 8d alchemy {13-, 20-, 49- and 57-Across, commonly?}.
13a lead {Sleuth's quest}
20a load {Weight or freight}
49a goad {Pointed encouragement}
57a gold {What some hearts are made of}
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersMatt Ginsberg / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 32 (14.2%) black squares
Answers72 (average length 5.36)
Theme squares23 (11.9%)
Scrabble points316 (average 1.64)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Other Clues

1a A Two {German superhighway connecting the Ruhr with Berlin}; 5a Shea {Where the Beatles opened their 1965 North American tour}; 9a T-bar {Mountain climber?}; 14a chill {Hang loose}; 15a Homo {Our genus}; 16a telephonic {Like some communication}; 18a elms {Shady group?}; 19a ape {Going ___}; 21a Harley {Road hog?}; 23a restart {Computer action of last resort}; 25a hermit {Definitely not a company man?}; 26a sea-ice {Endangered Arctic presence}; 27a lummoxes {Cabbageheads}; 29a messily {How a toddler eats}; 31a purl {Knit alternative}; 32a freed {Out}; 35a 'tec {Spade, e.g., for short}; 36a Gypsy {1959 Broadway hit with the song "All I Need Is the Girl"}; 37a lava {Rolling stone?}; 38a Pinesol {"The powerful scent of real clean" sloganeer}; 40a utensils {They're set in place settings}; 42a quahog {Edible clam}; 46a indent {Put right?}; 47a cure-all {What snake oil is, supposedly}; 48a booted {Chucked out}; 50a NEA {Largest labor union in the U.S.}; 51a and I {"___ quote ..."}; 52a open season {Game time?}; 55a Ladd {Angel Cheryl}; 56a wench {Elizabethan barmaid}; 58a else {Or ___}; 59a Nash {Ambassador of old autodom}; 60a Ames {Home of a Big 12 school}.

1d altars {Service centers?}; 2d teepee {Home on the range}; 3d Walesa {Shipyard worker fired in 1976}; 4d ode {Lyricist's offering}; 5d shoat {Young hog}; 6d hind {Back}; 7d Eli {2010 title role for Denzel Washington}; 9d Thermopylae {Where Persia defeated Sparta in 480 B.C.}; 10d bollix up {Bungle}; 11d ammeters {Evaluators of current events?}; 12d rosy {Positive}; 14d chores {Walking the dog and others}; 17d placed {Found a job for}; 22d arm {Tentacle}; 24d time and tide {They won't wait, in a phrase}; 25d Hulce {Tom of "Animal House"}; 27d liens {They're put on many cars}; 28d Sly {Rocky, really}; 30d stilt {It may help you make big strides}; 32d flu {W.H.O. concern}; 33d rational {Reasoned}; 34d even odds {Oxymoronic chances}; 36d gourde {Haitian currency}; 38d pin down {Define clearly}; 39d squash {Game played with a dotted ball}; 41d see {Get it}; 43d hansom {Victorian taxi}; 44d ole! ole! {Soccer cheer}; 45d glands {Secretive group?}; 47d conch {Beach souvenir}; 48d bale {It may be tied up in farmwork}; 49d Gens. {Washington, Grant and others: Abbr.}; 53d pea {Snow ___}; 54d aga {Ottoman officer}.

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