Gershwin musical of 1928 / SUN 1-24-10 / Han's hon / Valve in some fireplaces / Astronomer who lost part of his nose in duel / Heroin slangily
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Constructors: David Kwong and Kevan Choset
Relative difficulty: Easy
THIS GRID IS VERIFIED 100% CORRECT — please read my note to "Print Solvers" just beneath the grid — it explains the reason for the discrepancy between the on-line and print versions of today's puzzle...
See what the (empty) grid looks like in the print edition HERE
THEME: "Abridged Edition" — fold the puzzle when you're done (a la the pictures at the end of MAD MAGAZINE — 83A: Publication founded in 1952 featuring artwork that does the same thing as this puzzle) to get other things that are folded, namely:
- LAWN CHAIR
- BED SHEETS
- POKER HAND
- LAUNDRY (presumably excluding BED SHEETS)
Those instructions were not transparent to me. It's just not clear what "lined up" means. The A and the B have to be made adjacent to one another (i.e. lined up *next* to each other) in the top row *and* in the bottom row. If you were lucky enough to solve the puzzle in print, then you had handy little dotted lines to indicate where the folds would have to go for the theme answer to reveal themselves. Without those ... whatever, I've read "MAD" before, so I knew how to fold it. I'm just averse to a. instructions as answers (about the least sizzling fill one can imagine) and b. convoluted instructions as answers. This is an immensely clever puzzle that was just OK to solve. Six things that are revealed through folding reveal themselves only after you are already done. So nothing really... comes together during the solve. Just fill out the oversized grid and then do the parlor trick. Luckily it's a nice enough grid. Pretty open. Some interesting answers. Nothing to write home about. I had a very stupid error – went with ÉTAGE at 59D: Tour de France stage (étape) and didn't even blink at the resulting AGT cross. I might've blinked if I'd Read The Damned Clue — 79A: Quick on the uptake (apt). Bah!
Word of the Day: James FLORIO (21A: Former New Jersey governor James) —
James Joseph "Jim" Florio (born August 29, 1937) is a Democratic politician who served as the 49th Governor of New Jersey from 1990 to 1994, the first Italian American to hold the position. He also served as a member of the United States House of Representatives for 15 years between 1975 and 1990. (wikipedia)
I think novelty grids are cute, but as one of tens of thousands of people who *pay* to subscribe to the puzzle on-line, I'm getting a little tired of puzzles in formats that the applet and solving software can't accommodate. Second one this week. I'm told something else is coming on Monday. Make the software more sophisticated, give me a prorated refund, or cut it out.
I don't have much to say about this. It was super duper easy. One noteworthy thing — the SE corner was just weird. Not bad. Just odd. Look at the clues. 131D: Astronomer who lost part of his nose in a duel (Brahe). 132D: Animal with four toes on its front feet and three toes on its back feet (tapir). Long clues with odd details. I got both easily, but for some reason found these successive Downs something akin to a mini freak show. Creepy — as opposed to ugly, which is what EBERT'S crossing NERO'S at the damned "S" is.
- 1A: Letter-shaped woodworking tool (C-clamp) — flat-out gimme. A not uncommon answer. Not much out there in six letters that starts "CC-"
- 11A: Inuit word for "house" (iglu) — once made a puzzle (forthcoming in a book) with this word in it. It filled me with shame. It was the one hideous flaw I just couldn't fix.
- 32A: Only person to win Emmys for acting, writing and directing (Alda) — actually surprised there aren't more names on this list. I assume he got these all for "M*A*S*H" ... yes, although he also won an Emmy (acting) for "The West Wing"
- 72A: Heroin, slangily (scag) — read this as "heroine" and thought "well *that's* not a nice name..."
- 118A: Hanukkah serving (latke) — which raises the question:
- 122A: 1950 Asimov classic (I, Robot) — and, with "MIB" (5D: 1997 Will Smith/Tommy Lee Jones blockbuster, for short), another piece of the Will Smith corpus.
- 4D: Some early New Yorker cartoons (Arnos) — more names with "S" on the end! I second-guessed this, figuring I'd confused the cartoonist with the river that flooded in the '60s. But not, his name is indeed ARNO. Peter ARNO.
- 18D: Football Hall-of-Fame coach Greasy (Neale) — like EDA LE SHAN (86D: Eda who wrote "When Your Child Drives You Crazy"), a name I learned from crosswords.
- 19D: Writers Bagnold and Blyton (Enids) — name + S times .. what are we up to now, four?
- 48D: Valve in some fireplaces (gas tap) — perhaps the hardest part of the puzzle for me. Not hard, actually, just ... not a word I've heard before, and thus not an answer I trusted very strongly.
- 50D: Han's hon (Leia) — Brendan Quigley turned me on to this 70 minute (!?) film critiquing "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" — there are oddly disturbing components to it, but overall it's pretty genius, and often LOL funny.
- 117D: Gershwin musical of 1928 ("Rosalie") — should have brought this up when I was discussing the odd SE corner. Never (or barely) heard of this. Needed nearly every cross, and just educatedly guessed the "S" (figured it wasn't "ROTALIE").
- 124D: Skipjack and yellowfin (tunas) — for the ENIDS. They love TUNAS.
- @annaface The last 30 seconds of "Community" were AWESOME. Crossword puzzle ftw!
- @grievance Finished my first ever Saturday NYT crossword. No Googling, no cheating! Would it be wrong to start drinking to celebrate?
- @plannerben Is waiting for the Saturday crossword the way a puma awaits a sick antelope.
- @heardatsbux "What's the active ingredient in marijuana? PCP?" -old man working on a crossword puzzle.
- @le_ponch Doing the crossword. A clue is Haberdasher's rackful. Thanks to ICarly I know what haberdasher's carry. Haha
- @EricTheActor Want interview in the NYTimes for using my FAKE name in the crossword puzzle. Using the word Midget is racist and someone should be fired!
- @bukkhead Can I tell you something? It's really hard to do a crossword puzzle while listening to Frank Zappa's "In France." Just sayin.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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