Monday, May 12, 2008

Tuesday, May 13 - Caleb Madison

Tuesday's puzzle comes with some exciting news. Fifteen-year-old Caleb Madison makes his debut in the New York Times. Will Shortz had this to say via the New York Times Forum: "[Caleb] contributes puzzles to his school paper and stopped by this year's ACPT. He'll be interning for me this summer. He's the youngest person I've ever published in the Times."

There was one younger constructor, but 14-year-old Mike Miller was published in December 1976...before Will's time as editor.

Congratulations, Caleb...a fun theme and quite a bit of sparkling fill. I think we'll be seeing a lot of this young man. Who knows...maybe he'll follow in Will's footsteps.

The theme was revealed at 39A: Classic film company...or a description of 17-, 32-, 46- and 65-Across? (UNITED ARTISTS). The theme answers "unite" two recording artists, whose combined names are in-the-language words and/or phrases.

17A: Singers Clint + Patti (BLACKSMITH).

32A: Singers Tom + Johnny (PETTY CASH).

46A: Singers Neil + Courtney (YOUNG LOVE).

65A: Singers James + Sly (BROWNSTONE).

Some were easier than others...there's only one Clint, Courtney and Sly...but the puzzle came together nicely.

Favorite answers include 13A: Wispy clouds (cirri), 20A: Ache reliever (masseur), 29A: Pulitzer-winning biographer Leon (Edel), 44A: Show subtitled "The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical" (Hair), 67A: Blue, in Bogotá (azul), 69A: Poet Federico Garcia __ (Lorca), 1D: Cold war weaponry (ICBMs)...intercontinental ballistic missiles, 6D: Accused's bad break (bum rap), 10D: 1960s sitcom with the catchphrase "Sorry about that, Chief" (Get Smart), 22D: Heavenly (Elysian), 31D: John of "3rd Rock From the Sun" (Lithgow), 40D: Vessel in "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" (Nautilus) and 48D: Q-Tip target (ear wax).

Favorite clues...26A: As high as you can possibly go (limit), 35A: Where Kofi Annan earned his master's deg. (MIT), 63A: Like Yul Brynner, famously (bald), 70A: Prominent part of a Groucho disguise (nose), 47D: Brain, slangily (noodle), and 56A: "An invasion of armies can be resisted; an invasion of __ cannot be resisted": Hugo (ideas).

I wasn't sure about 64D: __ dye (azo). A quick check of JimH's grid confirmed it, so I looked it up in the dictionary..."pertaining to or containing the divalent radical N:N". I have no idea what that means.

I'm not familiar with 52A: "__ Deep (1999 Omar Epps film) (In Too), but it was easy enough to guess.

I didn't get home until 9:45, so I was late getting to the puzzle...and late getting to the blog. I have a 7:30 meeting tomorrow, so I'd better wrap things up.

Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


Anonymous said...

I loved the Hugo quote. One of many holes in my education. Very enjoyable puzzle.

Anonymous said...

Very good puzzle. I especially liked the theme. I kept wanting the Grouch clue to be the brows or the moustache....For some reason I overlooked the nose...

Anonymous said...

Linda, thanks for the swamp cooler explination...I guess it is like a humidifier which we need in the winter a 15 y/o constructor...I am was a fun puzzle

wendy said...

Yeah I wouldn't have guessed an off-the-turnip-truck constructor was behind this puzzle - it was very nice, EARWAX and all.

Glad to see HAIR in the puzzle - I blogged about one of my many favorite songs from it a few weeks ago on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of its debut on Broadway. I would have enjoyed an entire puzzle with that theme, actually. Maybe when it turns 50 ;)

The RETORT "So's your old man" was amusing - the more so because it's pretty old school, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Hey thanks for the feedback--- really good to hear most of you enjoyed it. Worked hard on it, and hope to have another one in soon. There's nothing like that first puzzle, tho.

Caleb Madison

Anonymous said...

I should have finished the puzzle B4 reading this page! Had to throw it away after the theme was givewn away. Ah, well . . . .Maybe next time.