Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Age of the Sun

SPOILER WARNING: Don't read any further until you've done today's New York Sun Crossword Puzzle. New York Sun puzzles are every bit as good as the more well-known New York Times, and they're indisputably better in one way -- they're free. You can download this puzzle and join in on the fun here.

"One For the Ages" by Mark F
eldman. The theme here is the four ages of history -- Stone, Bronze, Iron and Space. (Although, since the first three ages are named after what most of man's tools were made of and since we're not doing much in space these days, perhaps the current age should instead be known as the Plastic Age.)

The theme entries are at 20A: Bas-relief tourist attraction near Atlanta (STONEMOUNTAIN) (It is by the way, the largest bas-relief in the world and it depicts Confederate stalwarts Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and Stonewall Jackson) 30A: Prize for third place (BRONZEMEDAL) (Since it is the second "age" it's kind of a mystery how bronze came to be associated with third place. They only started handing out third place medals at the 1904 Olympics -- prior to that only first and second got medals -- and maybe they thought iron was not as impressive) 40A: Symbolic political barrrier (IRONCURTAIN) (Had they chosen to give out iron medals at the 1904 games in St. Louis, perhaps it would have been a bronze curtain that fell over Europe later in the century) 54A: Asteroids alternative (SPACEINVADERS)

Nice Monday theme. Feldma
n doesn't have to resort to a lot of crosswordese to get his themed entries in. ETD may be the only example of such. SAMOSA at 44A (Fried turnover of India) was interesting to me. I'd never heard of it, but it sounds delicious, a triangular pastry shell filled with potato, onion and peas (usually, although some contain meat or fish or there are sweet dessert samosas too.) What was interesting to me though was it looks to me like the constructor was trying to do the more common MIMOSA there (which would have have made 29D DENIM instead of DENIS (Hockey Hall of Fames Potvin) but he couldn't make 42D Like a twangy voice (NASAL) work any other way. I could be way off base, but DENIS and SAMOSA looks like a compromise to me.

I also liked 59A; Part of the Constitution that deals with judicial powers and defines treason. (ARTICLEIII) If you think I love Gwen Stacy you should see how I feel about the Constitution. This amazing document allows the Republic to survive bad leaders -- and that's as close to a political statement as I'm likely to get on a crossword blog 11D: Twilight (EVENTIDE) a beautiful word for a lovely time of day and, according to the Bible, a good time to do a little Peeping Tomming: 1 Samuel 11:2: And it came to pass at eventide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house; and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. 24A: In a snit (HETUP) just a wonderful old-fashioned term. 46D: Native New Yorker (ONEIDA) Straightforward enough. Had this been later in the week it might have been clued as "The only Ms. Lupino". That's how Ida done it.

See ya Tuesday.


Rex Parker said...

Never heard of STONE MOUNTAIN or AMPERE HOUR, so naturally that NW corner was the last thing to fall. Otherwise, nice puzzle. Beat hell out of today's NYT.


Norrin2 said...

If you lived south of the Mason-Dixon you'd've heard of it. It's like the Confederate Mount Rushmore.
I agree the NYTCP today was pretty lackluster.

Howard B said...

AMPERE HOUR did bad things to me there... I don't know what else to put there, thankfully the crossings were easier. STONE MOUNTAIN was vaguely familiar, enough to work it out eventually. Another Yankee here ;), so it was far from a gimme. Those go into the 'learn something new' and 'remember something long forgotten' files in the dusty attic of my mind.
Tricky for a Monday, huh?