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 row...it'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). Hmm...an 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

8 comments:

Bob 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.

Bob said...

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

jimd 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.
Cheers

Annielee 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 ; )