Esquire in Henry VI Part 2 / SUN 5-9-10 / Pilfer old-style / Jazz vibraphonist Jackson / Primitive percussion instrument / Midnight Poison maker
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Constructor: Elizabeth C. Gorski
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: "MS. CONCEPTIONS" — theme answers are various inventions by women, with the theme revealed in the answer MOTHERS OF INVENTION (104A: Rock group whose name is an appropriate alternative title for this puzzle); circles in grid spell out "bonus message": "HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY"
Word of the Day: Alexander IDEN (72D: Esquire in "Henry VI, Part 2") —
"Kentish gentleman" who is in exactly two scenes in "Henry VI, Part 2" — IV.x, V.i
- 23A: Programming tool created by Grace Hopper (1906-92) (COBOL COMPUTER LANGUAGE)
- 29A: Item of apparel created by Mary Phelps Jacob (1891-1970) (THE MODERN BRASSIERE) — as opposed to the pre-modern brassiere, which was a pair of coconut shells, and the post-modern brassiere, which is merely theoretical
- 50A: Medical discovery of Gertrude Elion (1918-99) (DRUG FOR LEUKEMIA)
- 64A: Woodworking tool created by Tabitha Babbitt (1784-1853) (CIRCULAR SAW)
- 71A: Office item created by Bette Nesmith Graham (1924-80) (LIQUID PAPER)
- 88A: Driving convenience created by Mary Anderson (1866-1953) (WINDSHIELD WIPER)
- 117A: Food formula created by Ruth Wakefield (1903-77) (TOLLHOUSE COOKIE RECIPE)
Will must want mothers to feel good about their solving skills today, because man oh man this puzzle was easy. The easiest puzzle I've done in ages. I was done in under 10 — a shade over 9:30, in fact. Slowed a bit at IDEN and NO IF, and oh so slightly in the SILEX (126A: Proctor ___ (small appliance brand)) / MILT (114D: Jazz vibraphonist Jackson) region (at the very end), but other than that — straight shot to victory
- 41A: Active Japanese volcano (ASO) — Never even saw the clue, thank god. As I believe I've said before: APO I know, ASO ... I might have heard of before, but it just isn't sticking yet.
- 10D: Frolickers by a stream (OTTERS) — this may be the first time in my life I've ever beheld the word "frolickers." I kind of like it. My first encounter with the word "frolic" was likely in the lyrics to "Puff the Magic Dragon":
- 38D: Primitive percussion instrument (GOURD) — Very primitive. Also edible.
- 51D: Donate, to Burns (GIE) — I was like "hmm, what would Mr. Burns say instead of 'donate'?" — he's prone to saying olde-timey things, e.g. asking the gas station attendant to fill his car up with petroleum distillate and revulcanize his tires, post haste! Alas, wrong Burns.
- 73D: "Eris ___ sum" ("You will be what I am") ("QUOD") — if you google this phrase, this is your first hit (wikipedia!):
"Eris Quod Sum" is the seventh episode of the third season of the NBC science fiction drama series Heroes and forty-first episode overall. The episode aired on October 27, 2008. "Eram quod es, eris quod sum" is a Latin phrase that is often found on gravestones and translates as "I was what you are, you will be what I am".
- 102D: Midnight Poison maker (DIOR) — ooh, I did not know this, though I should have guessed, with that name, it would have to be a fragrance. I was going to ask "Isn't there already a fragrance named 'Poison'?" but it turns out that's the DIOR original. Midnight is some kind of spin-off.
- @KristerR Hello, weekend! What's this? A cheap bottle of wine and a crossword puzzle? Be still my heart!
- @angefitzpatrick glories in the completion of 92% of the NYT crossword in just one day!
- @PHook4000 Folded my crossword perfectly today!
- @camillececilia Note to self: doing NY Times crossword puzzles on my iPhone is murder on the battery.
- @thatpuzzleguy Round of applause for Timothy Parker, who today ran his 1,000th puzzle with animal similes as its theme!
- @BrentPiaskoski Seriously, if kids can bring coloring books to church, is it so wrong to bring the crossword puzzle?
- @barben2 Just had brunch with David Bowie. He was surprisingly good with the NY Times crossword but his eye with the enlarged pupil was distracting.
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