Sunday, January 6, 2008

Monday, January 7 - Lynn Lempel

I think it's time to put Lynn Lempel on the New York Times payroll. Not only is this her second puzzle in a's her third in the last week!

After her tough Sunday puzzle, though, it was kind of nice to nail Monday.

The theme is revealed at 64A: Theory of the universe, or a hint to the starts of 17-Across and 7-, 10-, 35- and 40-Down (Big Bang)...and the five theme answers are:

17A: High hit behind the catcher, say (pop foul).

7D: Prosperous place (boomtown).

10D: Extreme effort at weight loss (crash diet). Have you ever noticed that the first three letters of the word diet are d-i-e. That's why you'll never catch me going on one.

35D: Skilled marksman (crack shot).

40D: Baloney (claptrap).

As always, Lynn's nontheme fill is entertaining...and often out of the ordinary.

13A: Kansas city where Dwight Eisenhower grew up (Abilene). I have no idea why, but this was a gimme.

15A: Symbol of sturdiness (oak tree)...that contrasts nicely with 50D: Symbols of meekness (lambs).

18A: Do surgery (on) (operate).

23A: Ward off (repel).

39A: Spotty (erratic). A favorite word...don't know why.

41A: Tidy savings (nest egg)...what we're trying to build so we can retire at some point. Don has always been self-employed, and I've never worked for a company with a retirement plan that would really provide for retirement. It's always been up to us. It's a good thing one of us is a saver.

47A: Stretchy fabric (Lycra). It feels good on, but it sure doesn't look good on everyone.

49A: Self-assurance (aplomb). That is just one of the best words ever. Period.

67A: Scene at a natural history museum (diorama).

16D: Musical chord (triad). I love playing triads...something about the sounds.

27D: Abductors' demands (ransoms). Not often heard as a plural, but sometimes you just have to do things to make the puzzle work out. I'm okay with that.

32D: Lady and the Tramp, e.g. (dogs). Dooley and Barnabas wanted me to point this out. It's one of their favorite movies.

There were just a couple of things I didn't know but was able to get from crosses.

14D: Twisty-horned antelope (eland). Never heard of these guys, but they're kind of cute.

34D: Air France destination (Orly). airport in Paris. I should make a note of that.

There were several answers that make their way into the puzzle fairly often, including 19A: End of a school Web address (edu), 20A: Salves (balms), 28A: Refused (said no), 38A: Nuptial agreement (I do)...clever clue, 69A: Summer hrs. in D.C. (EDT), 5D: Old auto inits. (REO), 9D: __ out (barely make (eke), 37D: Aviation-related prefix (aero), 45D: Sporting sword (epee)...a word I'd never heard of before I started doing crossword puzzles and 60D: Nurses a drink (sips).

In addition to the theme answers, there were a couple of good multiword answers that I liked...62A: Miss terribly (ache for)...the last time it was pine for, 68A: Observed secretly (spied on) and 3D: Shred (rip up).

Identical cluing at 21D and 29D [Eye part]...lens and iris, respectively.

Like many of you, I've gotten spoiled by two long weekends. I hope I can get myself up and around tomorrow. It was kind of nice having Mondays off.

That's it for today. Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


Anonymous said...

The puzzle was easy for a Monday...almost too easy....I did not think that the theme answers were in any way clever....they were nicely clued but did not really hang together
have a good day
PS no more tpying in letters to blog

Linda G said...

Thanks, Bob. I forgot to mention that I removed the word verification. I know it was a nuisance, but it did stop the spam. We'll see what happens.

Anonymous said...

yes it is easier to comment, but if it stops the spam a bit of word verification is worth it!

Anonymous said...

Eland is one of those words that comes and goes. When I started the NYT puzzle (shortly after the dawn of time) it was in at least three puzzles a week but has been missing for a while. They are cute but I'd rather not be on the pointy end of one!

bougeotte said...

I liked the puzzle, but I was stuck in the corner with Laotian. I had no clue and it didn't help that I had Ante for a card game start. I am so used to using ante, I just put it in. Next time I will look at the corner better.
Hope everyone had a nice weekend.

MBG said...

Found this one to be a breeze, but with lots of great clues and interesting fill. Even Laotian didn't give me a minute's pause, but that's because I was a young woman during the Vietnam War, and mucht of our focus back then, in one way or another, was on that part of the world.

Linda, it wasn't such a big deal to type in a few letters to gain access to the comments, so if the spammers come back, don't hesitate to reinstate verification. :)

bill komissaroff said...

I had a bit of trouble with this one for a Monday, but mainly because of my Monday morning foggy head...

I did get Laotian because I visited that part of the world (Vietnam not Laos) this past summer!

Linda G said...

bougeotte, I would have gone with ANTE if I'd started with the downs, but I worked this one across.

Thanks for being so tolerant of the word verification. If the spam starts again, it will be back.

I could use a fun Tuesday puzzle. It was hard working on Monday again ; )