Monday, December 13, 2010

NYT Tuesday 12/14/10 Mark Feldman - Keeping Fit

This New York Times crossword went very very smoothly for me ... exactly as a Monday should be ... but wait, it's Tuesday already. Sometimes weeks seem to start like this and then you're brought down to earth with a thud, usually with a 20+ minute Thursday puzzle.

climbing wallThe thematic pattern was again evident from just two examples. With both the verbs hold and hit starting with the same letter, I wondered if that was also a thematic feature, but it turned out to be just a coincidence.

I like the way the theme answers are referenced in quite different ways in their individual clues and collectively via the clue to 51-Across. You can definitely climb the walls of some exercise rooms, but would you be able to hit the ceiling?

Perhaps not very often, but I can well imagine exhausted exercisers holding the floor. I guess these uncertainties are reflected in the ? at the end of 51-Across. Gotta love those question marks, without which themes would be a whole lot more staid.
Solving time: 4 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 14a elope {Hitch on the run}

Mark Feldman
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]


Things you might literally do in an 51a exercise room {Where one might 20-, 26- and 45-Across?}, clued based on their figurative meaning:
20a hold the floor {Make a legislative speech, e.g.}
26a hit the ceiling {Go ballistic}
45a climb the walls {Be stir-crazy}
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersMark Feldman / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 41 (18.2%) black squares
Answers72 (average length 5.11)
Theme squares50 (27.2%)
Scrabble points291 (average 1.58)
Video of the Day

5d Lestat {Anne Rice vampire}. Lestat de Lioncourt is a fictional character appearing in several novels by Anne Rice, including The Vampire Lestat. He is a vampire and the main character in the majority of The Vampire Chronicles, narrated in first person. Above is the trailer for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, a 1994 American drama-horror film based on the first Lestat novel.

The Doctor is IN

32a ret. {No longer active: Abbr.}. ret. = retired.

60a Norma {___ Jean (Marilyn, originally)}. Marilyn Monroe (1926–1962) was born Norma Jeane Mortenson, but baptized Norma Jeane Baker.

65a Det. {Police dept. title}. Det. = detective.

33d Tso {General on Chinese menus}. Reference to General Tso's chicken.

58d uno {Half of dos}. one = uno and two = dos are in Español para los crucigramistas.

Image of the Day

The Bobbsey Twins

59d Nan {A Bobbsey twin}. The Bobbsey Twins are the principal characters of what was, for many years, the Stratemeyer Syndicate's longest-running series of children's novels, penned under the pseudonym Laura Lee Hope. The first of 72 books was published in 1904, the last in 1979. The books related the adventures of the children of the middle-class Bobbsey family, which included two sets of fraternal twins: Bert and Nan, who were 12 years old, and Flossie and Freddie, who were six.

Other Clues

1a moral {End of a fable}; 6a pew {Place to pray}; 9a chess {Game with knights}; 14a elope {Hitch on the run}; 15a ode {"To a ..." poem}; 16a legal {8 1/2" x 14" paper size}; 17a Seles {Monica with two U.S. Open wins}; 18a willingly {Without reluctance}; 22a aurist {Ear doctor}; 23a yea {Vote in favor}; 30a mine {Greedy person's cry before and after "all"}; 31a detox {Get clean, as in rehab}; 34a Others {Catchall category}; 37a Nikons {Popular cameras}; 39a pea {Shade of green}; 40a posse {Rapper's entourage}; 44a alto {Choir voice}; 49a Hec {"___ Ramsey" (1970s western)}; 50a bearer {"Pay to ___" (check words)}; 57a sunstroke {Summer woe}; 61a on air {How the euphoric walk}; 62a ils {They, in Tours}; 63a ate at {Bothered incessantly}; 64a Donna {Summer who sang "Love to Love You Baby"}; 66a shone {Performed superbly}.

1d mesh {Go well together}; 2d oleo {Dairy case bar}; 3d roll {See 11-Down}; 4d aped {Mimicked}; 6d powered {Propelled}; 7d edifice {Imposing building}; 8d well-set {Sturdily built}; 9d Clio {Advertising award}; 10d Henry I {English king crowned in 1100}; 11d egg {With 3-Down, Chinese restaurant offering}; 12d Sal {Mineo of film}; 13d sly {On the ___ (furtively)}; 19d lotion {Hand moisturizer, e.g.}; 21d huh? {"Come again?"}; 24d enroll {Sign up}; 25d agents {Ballplayers' representatives}; 26d hi tech {Like state-of-the-art gadgetry}; 27d inhale {Get a lungful}; 28d tee {Bit of gym attire}; 29d LXI {61, in old Rome}; 30d mop {Swabbie's handful}; 35d rpm {33 1/3, for an LP}; 36d sobber {Tearful one}; 38d Kal {Penn of "Harold & Kumar" films}; 41d steroid {Olympian's no-no}; 42d shackle {Put in chains}; 43d eeriest {Most weird}; 46d ices in {Strands during the winter, perhaps}; 47d Wes {Director Craven}; 48d arenas {Fight venues}; 52d Xtra {More, in adspeak}; 53d Roth {"Letting Go" novelist Philip}; 54d Oreo {Layered cookie}; 55d Oman {Neighbor of Yemen}; 56d mate {9-Across ending}; 57d sod {Cover with turf}.


Daniel Myers said...

One might also "hold the floor," so to speak, whilst doing push-ups exercises.

Crossword Man said...

Good point. My analysis obviously reflects my own experiences in the exercise room!