Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Title: New Dimensions
Author: Richard Silvestri
Theme: Phrases in which the name of a geometric object is replaced with the next-higher-dimensional version of the object

  • 20a: 3' x 3' x 3' bale for sale? (HAYMARKET CUBE). a SQUARE is a two-dimensional box; a CUBE is a three-dimensional box. HAYMARKET SQUARE was the site of the famous 1886 labor riot in chicago.

  • 37a: One way to keep something level? (LAY IT ON THE PLANE). a LINE is a one-dimensional space of zero curvature; a PLANE is a two-dimensional space of zero curvature.

  • 48a: Orb of punk rocker Sid? (VICIOUS SPHERE). a CIRCLE is a one-dimensional locus of points equidistant from a common center; a SPHERE is the two-dimensional version of the same thing.

cute theme. and i apologize for the excessively technical geometric definitions. (wait, no, i don't.) i'm not 100% sure i've ever seen a theme like this before, where entire words are replaced by related words but according to a different sense than the one in context of the theme phrases. yikes, that's an ugly sentence. well, i give up on trying to describe it. but it's cool.

Sunny Spots:

  • 9d: Auto-sharing company (ZIPCAR). lively, fresh, and scrabbly. what more could you want in a fill word? i see these All The Time around cambridge. are they as common elsewhere in the country?

  • 10d: Horse play? (EQUUS). by peter shaffer. (i finally remembered how he spells it!) good play, very good clue, great fill word. anything with the double-U (not W) sequence is fun.


  • 5a: Lower California (BAJA). this was a really scrabbly puzzle.

  • 9a: Animal in an alphabet book (ZEBRA). lots of animals appear in alphabet books, but the ZEBRA shows up in essentially every alphabet book. if i ever write one, it'll end with ZYZZYVA.

  • 14a: Depeche ___ (English band) (MODE). enjoy "enjoy the silence."

  • 16a: Employee's last words (I QUIT). "you can't fire me!"

  • 40a: They look like aitches (ETAS). it's pretty weird seeing H spelled out.

  • 45a: Name on a spine (AUTHOR). i hate it when people write on my spine.

  • 64a: Clothes lines? (HEMS). this clue feels played out to me. likewise 52d: Make a lasting impression? (ETCH). they're not bad, but ... it's my fault, really. i do too many puzzles.

  • 1d: Cardiologist's org. (AMA). this seems like an opportune place to rant about the cartel known as the AMA. there's a massive shortage of doctors in this country, and it's not for lack of qualified and interested med students. the AMA artificially suppresses the supply of doctors (by controlling medical admissions and licensing exams) to ensure that existing doctors will continue to be (very) highly paid. in related news, i haven't seen my wife for four days because she's been traveling. today she was in atlanta to take a nine-hour "clinical skills" exam that's only offered in three places in the country and costs $1500 to take.

    okay, i'm done ranting.

  • 4d: "I'm Too ___" (1992 #1 hit) (SEXY). how exactly did that happen, anyway? i remember this song well, but ... #1?

  • 7d: Yo-yo (JERK). these don't seem 100% synonymous to me, but what do i know? apparently, not enough: my dictionary lists one definition of "yo-yo" as "a stupid, insane, or unpredictable person." i guess that fits.

  • 11d: Onion, e.g. (BULB). so many better answers that wouldn't fit...

  • 21d: Choral composition (MOTET). okay, as atonement for subjecting you to "i'm too sexy," i present to you duruflé's "ubi caritas." i tried to find a good recording by a mixed choir, but i eventually settled on king's college. i think women sound better than boys, but these kids are undoubtedly excellent.

  • 25d: Pat who coached the Lakers, Knicks, and Heat (RILEY). he was succeeded by none other than ERIK spoelstra, of friday's weekend warrior.

  • 26d: Bard's Muse (ERATO). i wonder if terpsichore (dance) and polyhymnia (sacred song) ever get jealous of their sister's crossword fame.

  • 27d: Chichén Itzá resident (MAYAN). it'd be awesome to see CHICHÉNITZÁ in the grid some day. i love crazy mesoamerican names.

  • 30d: With 46-Down, hardness-measuring system (MOHS/SCALE). named after a guy named MOHS, not MOH. talc is 1. corundum is 9. i think gypsum and apatite are in there somewhere.

  • 31d: Ledger of "The Dark Knight" (HEATH). RIP.

  • 35d: Writer of the lyric "Regrets, I've had a few" (paul ANKA). i'm sure this is some famous song. "my way," perhaps?

  • 38d: Top (OUTDO). there's a nice ambiguous clue.

  • 44d: Ready for the laundry (SOILED). i tried SORTED first. and i kind of wish that had been the answer, because ... ew.

  • 47d: Autumn flower (ASTER). see also 49d: Crocus kin (IRIS). in my hubris i actually tried to guess one of these without crossings (LILY for IRIS). now i know better. lousy botany.

  • 54d: Blue book occasion (EXAM). was this clue in yesterday's puzzle? or was it the NYT?

Suns of Bitches:

  • 28d: Pug of film (OTIS). apparently, this is from the adventures of milo and otis, a 1989 american release of a 1986 japanese live-action animal movie. i must have missed that one.

well, this was a great tuesday puzzle. cool theme, excellent fill, easy cluing. i thought it was considerably easier than yesterday's.

peace out.


No comments: