Military plane acronym / MON 5-9-11 / Classic song about Iris lass #1 1913 1947 / Daily kids show debuted 1955 / Funnyman Jay
Monday, May 9, 2011
The therm (symbol thm) is a non-SI unit of heat energy equal to 100,000 British thermal units (BTU). It is approximately the energy equivalent of burning 100 cubic feet (often referred to as 1 Ccf) of natural gas. (wikipedia)
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Theme seems both tired and slightly off. One card from each suit and ... a JOKER (which is not a suit)? Without trying hard, I found this basic theme four times in the cruciverb.com database (I stopped at four—there might be more). I guess this one has a lot of Scrabbly letters going for it, and the added (but to my mind ill-fitting) JOKER. The grid is actually pretty nice overall. Thematically, though, it seems quite subpar, as well as old hat. I will say, however, that I respect this puzzle immensely for *not* having a "V," especially considering how tempting it must have been to try to go VADER at 64A: Independent candidate Ralph) — would've been symmetrical with DARTH, after all. But no! Pangram averted! Hurray!
- 17A: Daily kids' TV show that debuted in 1955, with "The" ("MICKEY MOUSE CLUB") — I wrote in "...SHOW," ignoring the facts that a. that's not right, and b. "show" is in the clue.
- 21A: Classic song about an Irish lass that was a #1 hit in 1913 and 1947 ("PEG O' MY HEART") — I think I know this song from crossword clues for the partial "PEGO" ... and yet research says that's impossible, since it hasn't been in the NYT since '97. Hmm... ah, seems the partial "O MY" is somewhat more common: two appearances in the past few years.
- 35A: A real wag (QUITE THE JOKER)
- 50A: Tool for turning up soil (GARDEN SPADE)
- 57A: Setting for the Cardinals or Orioles (BASEBALL DIAMOND)
- 66A: Like the English channel for the first time in 1875 (SWUM) — one of those words I can barely look at. Stupid-looking. Correct, but wrong-sounding.
- 4D: One hailed on city streets (CABBIE) — You hail a cab. Not a CABBIE. The phrase is hail a CAB. That is the phrase. The fact that yes, literally, the CABBIE is the one you're hailing because a car doesn't have free will ... means nothing.
- 23D: Teacher sitting cross-legged, maybe (GURU) — YOGI's better.
- 55D: Funnyman Jay (LENO) — my opposition to the proximity of "funny" and "LENO" is well documented, so I won't rehash it here.
- 4D: U.S. army post in Kentucky (FT. KNOX) — always looks good in the grid.
P.S. Here is a new radio profile of me and this blog, with added audio of me solving / commenting on a Newsday puzzle in real time. I sound ... nuts. Someone should be holding up a "SLOW" sign every time I kick into lecture mode. Still, overall the piece came out nicely.
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