Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Thursday Sun Puzzle

"Not Finalized" is by Patrick Blindauer, and it doesn't seem as tough to me as a usual Thursday Sun puzzle. Maybe because I got off to a good start by knowing about a couple of doctors who never went to med school and was able to catch on to the theme very early. And it was the kind of theme that once I figured it out, I was able to go and fill in most of the long themed entries. A big plus. More after this 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 fun and challenging as the more well-known New York Times and they're indisputably better in one way -- they're free. If you'd like to read about an unbiased head-to-head competition between the Sun and the Times puzzles check this out. Or if you're ready to decide for yourself you can download this puzzle and join in on the fun here.

The theme of this puzzle is harder to explain than it is to understand. Basically, what you have to do is take words than end in -ize (hence the puzzle title, where the themed entries have had their final -ize altered), change that Z to an S, split the word in two, change the spelling and enter the resultant two-word phrase.

Sound complicated? It's not.

17A: Sweet Deceptions? (EQUAL LIES) The word "equalize" becomes a fib whose flavor has been enhanced by the artificial sweetener in the little blue packets.

25A: Prius goes kaput? (HYBRID DIES) This puzzle -- or least this clue -- might not have worked in Great Britain where "hybridize" is spelled with an s instead of a z.

36A: Where Santa goes sledding? (POLAR RISE) And yes I realize that illustration I used at the beginning of this post has an awful lot of trees to be a polar rise, but most of the pictures I could find of Santa in his sled were of him flying -- rising over the Pole, not sledding upon.

51A: Evil spirit approaches? (DEMON NIGHS) "Nigh" is more commonly used as an adverb or adjective. In fact says "nigh" as a verb is archaic. But I've heard it used that way -- of course I might be a tad archaic myself, but why say "draws nigh" when you could save a syllable by saying "nighs"?

57A: Strings on one's fingers? (DIGIT TIES) Do moms still tie strings on kid's fingers so they won't forget to bring home their homework or meet their sister after school or whatever it might be? I was an absent-minded tyke and my mom used to tie strings around my fingers -- which I either lost or forgot the significance of, and I think I just answered my own question.

Other entries of interest:

1A: Three-time ABA MVP (DRJ) and 1D: Eminem contemporary, familiarly (DRE), ah Doctors J and Dre, the two medicine men that got me started right at the beginning where I like to start. The ABA by the way was the American Basketball Association, a league that merged with the NBA in 1976, and where Julius Erving got his pro start with the Virginia Squires. All I remember about the ABA is that they used a really cool red, white and blue basketball instead of that boring brown NBA one.

4A: "Robot" man? (CAPEK) The word "robot" first appeared in the popular-in-crosswords play R.U.R. (which by the way stand for Rossum's Universal Robots) by Karel ńĆapek.

31A: Best foreign film of 2005 (TSOTSI) Whenever they ask you for a six-letter foreign film, the correct answer is usually AMELIE.
Usually but not always.

11D: Author whose initials can anagrammed into the second word of his most famous work (E. B. WHITE) the author of "Charlotte's Web".

25D: One end of a pump (HEEL) Those darn mules and pumps always slow me down a little and I don't even wear them.

61D: It's good to have a low one on the hill (ERA). Said hill being a pitcher's mound, of course.

40D: Like some contractions (UTERINE) You got me there, Patrick. I was thinking grammatical not gynecological.

65A: Cal. col. (FRI) I was just about to say I didn't get this one. I couldn't think of one California college that could be abbreviated FRI -- and it just dawned on me that Cal. col. is calendar column.

That's all for today. Let's do it again tomorrow.


Linda G said...

Bless me, Robert, for I have sinned. I haven't done a single New York Sun puzzle this week. My bad!

I would love to have you fill in for as many days as you'd like when I go to Hawaii...two weeks beginning September 21.

Norrin2 said...

You can count on me, Linda.

Anonymous said...

Fun read - thanks for the comments!

I look forward to your take on my upcoming work. And thanks to Peter for the recluing (and for accepting the puzzle in the first place, since he's very picky). Fwiw, I think my submitted clue for UTERINE was [IUD part].


Norrin2 said...

Thanks, Peter, looking forward to your next one.