Ottoman hospice honorific / SUN 3-14-10 / Soviet co-op / Noted Palin impressionist / Flower once cultivated for food
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Durban (Zulu: eThekwini) is the third largest city in South Africa, forming part of theeThekwini metropolitan municipality. It is the largest city in KwaZulu-Natal and is famous as the busiest port in Africa. It is also a major centre of tourism due to the city's warmsubtropical climate and beaches. // According to the 2007 Community Survey, the city has a population of almost 3.5 million. Durban's land area of 2,292 square kilometers (884.9 sq mi) is comparatively larger than other South African cities, resulting in a somewhat lower population density of 1,513 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,918.7/sq mi)
It was my privilege to see this puzzle in an earlier, rougher incarnation. Having solved it before (maybe 6 months ago?) did nothing to help my time, which was actually slightly slower than average. The one, major slow point, that I don't remember at all from the original version was OVA (67A: Things that go through tubes). I have never, ever heard of the NASD (64D: Former Wall St. initials), and SMOTE could have been SMITE, given the clue (55D: Hit hard), and so I had -V-, figured that last letter had to be "S," and could come up with only IVS, which seems very close to plausible (there are "tubes" involved with IVS, after all), but isn't, if you really read the clue. So ... stuck. Even ran the alphabet to make sure EVEN was right, because its clue wasn't exactly transparent either (63D: Still). Not sure when OVA clicked. I tried to think of ways that IVY could a. be plural and b. "go through tubes." No dice.
- 24A: Plot of a Willa Cather novel (STORY OF O PIONEERS)
- 41A: Unabridged version of a Philip Roth novella? (THE LONG GOODBYE COLUMBUS)
- 61A: Pocket edition of a D. H. Lawrence novel? (LITTLE WOMEN IN LOVE)
- 77A: "Frost/Nixon" director's copy of a Graham Greene novel? (HOWARD'S END OF THE AFFAIR) — for the record, the "HOWARDS" in "HOWARDS END" does not, technically, have an apostrophe in it ... I know, I know, why do I notice / care about these things? Who can say?
- 99A: Final copy of a Cervantes novel? (THE LAST DON QUIXOTE)
- 114A: Creased copy of a Jack Finney novel? (A WRINKLE IN TIME AND AGAIN) — nooooo idea who Jack Finney is. Never heard of this book.
- 137A: Illustrations in a Leo Tolstoy novel? (ART OF WAR AND PEACE)
- 19A: "Let's Talk About Sex" hip-hop group (SALT 'N' PEPA) — not my favorite song by them. Let's go older. First time I ever heard them:
- 60A: "Authority is never without ___": Euripides ("HATE") — well that's an odd sentiment. HATE was not intuitive at all.
- 105A: Suffix at a natural history museum (-SAUR) — had to pause a bit, as it seemed like there could have been infinite answers. Actual answer is rather obvious in retrospect.
- 133A: Community hangout, informally (THE Y) — Whoa! Never saw the clue, thank god. Very interesting choice to make this a two-word rather than a one-word answer.
- 144A: 1957 film dog (OLD YELLER) — wasn't he just in a puzzle? It's a "he," right?
- 2D: String once used for cellos (CATGUT) — Made from guts, but not, as you might expect, from the guts of cats. Weird.
- 70D: Firefox alternative (SAFARI) — I'm using it right now, though I prefer Firefox. I have had horrible internet connection issues this weekend, so I'm a little rattled and edgy about mishaps at the moment. Constant hiccupping of connection, made better by installation of new modem, but not eliminated. Grrr.
- 73D: Film with the line "Oh, we have 12 vacancies. 12 cabins, 12 vacancies" ("PSYCHO") — watched it very recently. Can't say enough good things. Great line, great clue.
- 98D: Biological bristle (SETA) — wanted AWN. Both are crosswordese.
- 119D: Soviet co-op (ARTEL) — So it's like a HOtel ... but for pirates. Also, one of those words I "just know" from crosswords.
- 113D: Ottoman honorific (AGA) — I get my honorifics confused. BEY? SRI? I don't know.
- 116D: Ottoman hospice (IMARET) — I do not, however, get my Ottoman hospices confused. IMARET is IMARET is IMARET (more crosswordese, though higher end).
- 121D: "Uncle!" criers, perhaps (NIECES) — god I love that clue.
- 138D: Noted Palin impressionist (FEY) — The only reason I hope Palin runs in 2012.
- @bryangreenberg Saturday morning. Coffee. Crosswords. New @broken_bells record.
- @courtneyholbroo Baby just dropped me offff & now chilling in my snuggie with my cat on my lap doing a crossword. I'm hardcore, I swear.
- @ertchin I maintain that "Stacked Crooked" is my favorite New Pornographers song for reasons beyond its use of the phrase "cryptic crossword".
- @joshdelfresco What does the train conducter do. He's sitting in car 5 doing crosswords
- @sethmeyers21 Thanks to Will Shortz for getting me in NYT crossword today. Is it dicky to start introducing myself as "13 Down?"
- @The_Real_LLC @jose3030 I only use newspapers for the crossword, and now there's an app for that. All my other news is already digital.
- @zrau Fuck you, USA Today crossword.
- @eaststarlight One thing about my mama..it gets real behind her crossword puzzles baby..she pulls em out at red lights, stop signs, wherever! Lol
- @ken_mooney I'm not sure how I feel about living in a world where Academy Award Winner (tm) Sandra Bullock will be on the box art for All About Steve
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