Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Thursday, August 9 - Tyler Hinman

There were a lot of firsts for me with this puzzle. In no particular order:
  • the first Tyler Hinman puzzle I've solved
  • the first nonsymmetrical New York Times puzzle (that I remember)
  • the first puzzle with a lot of sports clues...all of which I nailed

I don't quite know how to describe the theme...answers that end in some variation of GALL?

20A: With 22-Across, actor with a black belt in aikido (Steven/Seagal). I didn't know this but was able to guess it from the S and N in Steven.

36A: President with a bridge in Montreal named after him (Charles DeGaulle). This is the second time I've tried to put in the name of an American president. Hello! Other countries have presidents!

53A: He said "Great art picks up where nature ends" (Marc Chagall). I didn't know he said that, but it was pretty easy to figure out the answer.

It's pretty obvious that Tyler's big into sports, but I didn't get tripped up by them this time around. That's not to say that I understood all of them. Sports clues/answers include:

1A: Moon and Starr, for short (QBs).

11A: The Jaguars, on scoreboards (JAX).

19A: The Engineers of coll. athletics (RPI). Don't get this one.

58A: Be disqualified, in the 8-Down (foul out). I struggled a bit with this one, since I was looking for a word that began with D...the result of having Dec for 58D: Winter mo. instead of the correct Feb. That error also made it difficult to guess 65A: "Who Let the Dogs Out" group (Baha Men). Have never heard of them or the song. Here's a link to their official website. While it's still under construction, you can at least see what they look like.

3D: Star near Venus? (Serena). The best clue of the puzzle.

8D: Rockets' and Suns' org. (NBA).

45D: Washington and Oregon are in it (Pac-Ten). More here for those who are interested.

Well, it sure seemed like a lot more than seven. Still, I thought it was a bit much (38D, clued as Too-too).

Unless I'm missing something, Tyler missed having a pangram by one letter. Everything's there except Y.

I have to say I'm not crazy about the looks of a nonsymmetrical puzzle. You know, the old dog new trick thing. I'm sure I'll eventually get used to seeing them, but it just felt wrong to me. A little unsettling.

That said, there was plenty of fill to love in this one.

15A: Tinseltown doings (showbiz). I had an S at the end until I got to 10D: Tenochtitlán dweller (Aztec). I'm sure I wasn't alone.

28A: "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song" singer, 1974 (Croce). That was one of his posthumous hits, along with "I Got a Name" and "Workin' at the Carwash Blues." Great talent...gone much too soon.

33A: Item sought in the spring (Easter egg). Without that last G in place, I would never have guessed 23D: Salad bar offering (arugula).

48A: Don't do it (taboo).

1D: Knights' journeys (quests).

40D: Rock singer Russell (Leon). Every summer we have a series of free concerts nearby, along the Colorado River. Leon Russell was one of the performers three or four years ago. His voice was a little crackly...his bones much more so, he said...but it was pure Leon. He played for two hours, including "A Song for You," "Tightrope," personal favorite..."Lady Blue."

47D: Beer, often (chaser). I have never had a beer as a chaser...can't even imagine that.

50D: Italian apologies (scuse). That's not a word I recall hearing in the house when I was growing up. Maybe we never apologized?

54D: __ breve (musical direction) (alla). This was in a recent puzzle, without the musical hint. At the time, I thought it had something to do with a coffee drink. Got it this time, though.

It's late and time to wrap this up. Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


Anonymous said...

enjoy reading your answer to your question...Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI),it is a school known for engineering....also the correct spelling of scuse is scusi...also pic is a poor answer for snap...have a good day

Rex Parker said...

Tyler graduated from RPI.

SCUSE is correct.

PIC is perfectly acceptable for "snap."


Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this puzzle. Even though it had many sports references (which I'm typically bad at) I was able to deduce them.

Good day for puzzling. Thanks, Tyler.

Amy, if you read this I tried posted on your blog as well but couldn't get it to work.

Take Care.

Anonymous said...

Linda G,

I just got to today's puzzle, minutes after completing my first viewing of "WordPlay." Loved this documentary, and was happily surprised to go from seeing Tyler win his first tournament, to seeing his name on today's puzzle!
Thanks again for your blog.

Jaya B

Linda G said...

Just getting back to yesterday's comments section. Welcome, Bob. I'm glad you enjoy the blog. Thanks for solving the RPI mystery.

I vaguely remember hearing that Tyler was an RPI graduate...from watching WordPlay some time ago. Need to watch it again. Any of you who haven't...should. I'm sure Jaya B would agree.

PGW said...

I too found this puzzle to be a bit easier than most...but maybe it is because I participated in sports at many levels (including college).... having a theme that one is familiar with, does make it easier to solve.

Really enjoy this blog!