Sunday, December 12, 2010

NYT Monday 12/13/10 Patrick Blindauer - On a Tear

shed thingsFor once I managed to get the point of a Monday New York Times crossword as I was solving it, despite doing the puzzle in what may be a record time for me (just over three and a half minutes, rounded up). After getting 16a net earnings and 25a waste area, I could see they had ear in common; one further example and I correctly adjusted that to tear being in common, ahead of any confirmation of it via 70-Across (which is neat in cluing tear with the rather elusive "Shed thing").

No particular trouble spots today, though I couldn't have figured out 23d cadet {Citadel student} without a lot of cross-checking. I assumed that must relate to a famous building in one of the five service academies, but I gather (see below) that The Citadel is a quasi-military institution dubbed a Senior Military College (SMC).

A Patrick Blindauer puzzle gives me another opportunity to plug his free monthly puzzles. You can also purchase his awesome puzzle compilations for a modest fee: there's a Holiday Puzzlefest and a Summer Puzzlefest, the latter having an associated competition with a February 1, 2011 deadline; we had a lot of fun working through these.
Solving time: 4 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 56a erase {Use the pink end of a pencil}
Solution

Patrick Blindauer
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

The word TEAR is embedded in the long theme answers, as indicated by 70a tear {Shed thing hidden in 16-, 25-, 39-, 49- and 59-Across}.
16a net earnings {Profits}
25a waste area {Town dump, e.g.}
39a definite article {The, grammatically}
49a Wyatt Earp {Dodge City lawman}
59a Planet Earth {Emmy-winning nature series narrated by David Attenborough}
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersPatrick Blindauer / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 38 (16.9%) black squares
Answers76 (average length 4.92)
Theme squares59 (31.6%)
Scrabble points266 (average 1.42)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Video of the Day



64d Her {Billy Joel's "Tell ___ About It"}. Tell Her About It is a hit 1983 song performed by Billy Joel, from the hit album An Innocent Man. An apparent homage to the Motown Sound, the song was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for one week on September 24, 1983, replacing the Phil Ramone-produced song, Maniac by Michael Sembello. The single was certified Gold by the RIAA for sales in the US.

In the lyrics of the song, the singer exhorts a young man to tell the woman he loves how he feels about her before he misses his chance.

The video for the song shows Joel singing the song as if he was on The Ed Sullivan Show of the 1960s. An Ed Sullivan imitator (Will Jordan) introduces Joel after Topo Gigio, the talking mouse, finishes his skit. During the song there are different scenes of teenagers watching Joel on TV at home, crowding around appliance store windows watching him, dancing to his song. There is even a brief scene of a Soviet cosmonaut in space listening to the song, with the lyrics displayed at the bottom in the Russian language and in Cyrillic script. At the end of the song, comedian Rodney Dangerfield is there preparing to go on "stage" thanking Joel for warming up the crowd.

The Doctor is IN

18a NBA {Hornets' and Nuggets' org.}. Reference to the New Orleans Hornets and Denver Nuggets.

44a ult. {Last in a sequence: Abbr.}. ult. = ultimo (Latin: last).

8d Eng. {London's locale: Abbr.}. Eng. = England.

9d Nasser {Former Egyptian leader with a lake named after him}. I.e. Gamal Abdel Nasser (1918–1970).

Image of the Day

The Citadel

23d cadet {Citadel student}. The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, also known simply as The Citadel, is a state-supported, comprehensive college located in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. It is one of the six senior military colleges in the United States, and has 14 academic departments divided into five schools offering 20 majors & 25 minors.

Other Clues

1a jets {Boeing 747s, e.g.}; 5a risen {Out of bed for the day}; 10a map {Rand McNally product}; 13a atop {Resting on}; 14a retina {Part of the eye}; 15a ill {In bed all day, maybe}; 19a Essen {Industrial city of Germany}; 20a sleet {Winter precipitation}; 22a Scuds {Gulf war missiles}; 28a Cassio {Othello's supposed rival for Desdemona's affection}; 30a horn {"Beep beep" maker}; 31a ado {Commotion}; 32a grader {Teacher, after exams}; 35a ASAP! {"Quickly!," on an order}; 42a Stan {Musial of the Cardinals}; 43a Osiris {Egyptian god of the underworld}; 45a Isle {___ of Man}; 47a Debbie {Actress Reynolds of "The Unsinkable Molly Brown"}; 54a Trans {The "T" in TWA}; 55a Hesse {German Hermann}; 56a erase {Use the pink end of a pencil}; 58a elk {Antlered animal}; 65a ale {Ginger ___}; 66a pomelo {Grapefruit-like fruit}; 67a sure {___ as shootin'}; 68a tow {Wrecker's job}; 69a expel {Kick out of school}.

1d Jan. {Feb. preceder}; 2d été {Summer in France}; 3d tot {Tyke}; 4d speeds {Goes 80, say}; 5d renew {Extend a subscription}; 6d I, Tina {Turner's 1986 rock autobiography}; 7d Sin {___ City (Las Vegas)}; 10d miner {Many a West Virginia worker}; 11d Albee {"The Zoo Story" playwright Edward}; 12d Plata {Oro y ___ (Montana's motto)}; 14d RRs {B&O and Short Line: Abbr.}; 17d assign {Give, as homework}; 21d Lanai {Island west of Maui}; 22d scads {A lot}; 24d US of A {Stars and Stripes land, for short}; 26d shear {Remove wool from}; 27d torrid {Hot}; 29d Oriole {Baltimore baseballer}; 33d at sea {Bewildered}; 34d Dei {"Agnus ___"}; 36d scuba {Swim with the fishes, say}; 37d all-in {Bold poker bet}; 38d Pete's {"For ___ sake!"}; 40d inits. {The J. and K. in J. K. Rowling: Abbr.}; 41d tsetse {African fly pest}; 46d steppe {Vast treeless plain}; 48d breast {Suckling site}; 49d wheat {Bread choice that's not white or rye}; 50d Yello {Mello ___ (soft drink)}; 51d askew {Off-kilter}; 52d Renée {Actress Zellweger}; 53d Prell {Suave or VO5 competitor}; 57d A to {From ___ Z}; 60d lox {Bagel topper}; 61d amp {What a guitar may be hooked up to}; 62d rue {Regret}; 63d tra {Gay singing syllable}.

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