Monday, December 6, 2010

NYT Tuesday 12/7/10 Andrea Carla Michaels and Kent Clayton - Double Acts

Ram ChargerThis New York Times crossword has the feel of a Monday one, with its simple theme, and cluing with very little spin on it. I was quite surprised to have spent all of six minutes on the puzzle, perhaps because of an unfamiliarity with matchups in the footballing sense ... I tried ketchup and finally catchup before arriving at the correct central answer.

I like the thematic concept, with both halves of each answer being involved equally. I thought the examples well chosen, with giant bill the most amusing; ram charger is a bit of an oddity in that it's the name of a Dodge SUV ... this proved a bit of a distraction when trying to rationalize the theme.
Solving time: 6 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 18d feel {Have a hunch}
Solution

Andrea Carla Michaels and Kent Clayton
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

Football team player nicknames are paired up, making a pun, as indicated by 39a football matchup {Bit of Sunday TV scheduling ... or a hint to 17-, 25-, 50- and 59-Across}.
17a chief Texan {Governor in Austin?}
25a giant bill {Unwelcome result of a shopping spree?}
50a jet packer {Airport baggage handler?}
59a ram charger {Sheep's accuser?}
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersAndrea Carla Michaels and Kent Clayton / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 34 (15.1%) black squares
Answers76 (average length 5.03)
Theme squares53 (27.7%)
Scrabble points335 (average 1.75)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Video of the Day



10a rink {Ice Follies venue}. Shipstads & Johnson Ice Follies was a touring ice show featuring elaborate production numbers, similar in concept to Ice Capades. It was founded in 1937 by Eddie Shipstad, Roy Shipstad, and Oscar Johnson, who also skated in the show. In later years, Olympic skaters such as Donald Jackson, Barbara Berezowski, Peggy Fleming, and Janet Lynn were in the cast. Ice Follies also featured novelty acts such as Frick and Frack and Richard Dwyer, who was billed as "Mr. Debonair". Ice Follies was featured in a film, The Ice Follies of 1939 (see trailer above), MGM's answer to the popular Sonja Henie films of the time.

The Doctor is IN

14a Na-Nu {Half of Mork's sign-off}. "Na-Nu Na-Nu" is Mork's salutation in Mork & Mindy.

45a gym {Sock hop locale}. See sock hop. 

Image of the Day

William Jennings Bryan

40d Bryan {Orator William Jennings ___}. William Jennings Bryan (1860–1925) was an American politician in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. He was a dominant force in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, standing three times as its candidate for President of the United States (1896, 1900 and 1908). He served in the United States Congress briefly as a Representative from Nebraska and was the 41st United States Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson, 1913-1916. Bryan was a devout Presbyterian, a supporter of popular democracy, an enemy of gold, banks and railroads, a leader of the silverite movement in the 1890s, a peace advocate, a prohibitionist, and an opponent of Darwinism on religious grounds. With his deep, commanding voice and wide travels, he was one of the best known orators and lecturers of the era. Because of his faith in the goodness and rightness of the common people, he was called "The Great Commoner."

In the intensely fought 1896 and 1900 elections, he was defeated by William McKinley but retained control of the Democratic Party. With over 500 speeches in 1896, Bryan invented the national stumping tour, in an era when other presidential candidates stayed home. In his three presidential bids, he promoted Free Silver in 1896, anti-imperialism in 1900, and trust-busting in 1908, calling on Democrats to fight the trusts (big corporations) and big banks, and embrace anti-elitist ideals of republicanism. President Wilson appointed him Secretary of State in 1913, but Wilson's strong demands on Germany after the Lusitania was torpedoed in 1915 caused Bryan to resign in protest.

After 1920 he was a strong supporter of Prohibition and energetically attacked Darwinism and evolution, most famously at the Scopes Trial in 1925. Five days after winning the case, he died in his sleep.

Other Clues

1a Iraq {Neighbor of Kuwait}; 5a maple {Sugar source}; 15a I will {Volunteer's cry}; 16a Oman {Arabian Peninsula sultanate}; 19a apse {Area that may have stained-glass windows}; 20a meet {Come together}; 21a misdeal {Card player's boo-boo}; 23a stage {All the world's one, to the Bard}; 27a eat {Chow down}; 28a laud {Give kudos}; 30a oil {"Black gold"}; 31a RBIs {Sluggers' stats}; 33a bios {Life stories, for short}; 35a locos {Nut jobs}; 42a sonar {Aid in finding sunken ships}; 43a tier {Part of a wedding cake}; 44a Kate {Jackson or Winslet}; 47a Zach {Galifianakis of "The Hangover"}; 49a Mia {Actress Farrow}; 54a upper {Like half of a pair of dentures}; 56a arrange {Do the work of a florist or an orchestrator}; 57a plea {"S O S," e.g.}; 58a roar {Belly laugh}; 64a edit {Cut and paste, say}; 65a acrid {Pungent-smelling}; 66a info {Lowdown}; 67a deny {Say isn't so}; 68a whigs {Presidents Tyler and Taylor, for two}; 69a Lego {Plastic brick brand}.

1d Inc. {Abbr. at the end of a co. name}; 2d rah! {Cheerleader's cry}; 3d animation {Walt Disney's specialty}; 4d Queeg {"The Caine Mutiny" captain}; 5d mitt {Oven user's aid}; 6d awe {Leave dumbstruck}; 7d pix {Snapshots, for short}; 8d llama {Cousin of an alpaca}; 9d El Niño {Weather-affecting current}; 10d roadblock {Place for a "Bridge Out" sign}; 11d I. M. Pei {Rock and Roll Hall of Fame architect}; 12d nasal {Like Fran Drescher's voice}; 13d knell {Mournful peal}; 18d feel {Have a hunch}; 22d stilt {Bit of equipment for a circus clown}; 23d serfs {Feudal drudges}; 24d taboo {Verboten}; 25d guilt {Burden of the conscience-stricken}; 26d idolize {Put on a pedestal}; 29d ABA {Attorney's org.}; 32d stag party {Event that may include blue films}; 34d smear {Dirty campaign tactic}; 36d champagne {Bubbly drink}; 37d outie {Protruding navel}; 38d spear {Gaff, to a fisherman}; 41d arc {Rainbow shape}; 46d McGraw {Dr. Phil's last name}; 48d hula {Hip-shaking dance}; 50d Jared {Actor Leto of "American Psycho"}; 51d erode {Chip away at}; 52d train {Choo-choo}; 53d Keach {Stacy who played Mike Hammer}; 55d peril {Danger}; 57d PhDs {Degs. for many profs}; 60d MRI {CAT scan alternative}; 61d cig {A smoker might bum one}; 62d EFG {Trio after D}; 63d Roo {Kanga's baby}.

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