Sunday, August 19, 2007

Monday 8-20-07

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 -- No, you know what, they're better. That's right, I said it, the New York Sun's puzzles are better than the New York Times's puzzles, and I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to be Peter Gordon and to keep putting out this superior product and have everybody just blog, blog, blogging and yak, yak, yakking about the Times, Times, Times. Look, if you don't have time for two great puzzles a day, do the better one, do the SUN -- (we now return you to your regularly scheduled spoiler warning) -- 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.

"Slice of Hamlet" is by Curtis Yee. 7D: With 39-Down, Hamlet quote indicating what can follow the first parts of 19-, 24-, 46-, and 52- Across THE PLAY'S (39D:) THE THING. The full quote is "The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king." Hamlet utters these lines when he strikes upon the idea of staging a play that shows how he thinks his Uncle Claudius killed his brother, Hamlet's father.

19A: Politician's source of influence (POWER BASE) A power play in hockey is when you've got more players than the other team because they've got a guy in the penalty box. They have power plays in other sports too such as football, but I don't know how that works.

24A: Street Sense's sport (HORSE RACING) Street Sense is the reigning Kentucky Derby champion, a granddaughter of legendary stud Northern dancer.

46A: Computer program that kicks in after a set time of idleness (SCREEN SAVER) 52A: Cruciverbalist (WORDSMITH) I think we all know about wordplay.

Other entries of interest:

9A: Dance in Rio (SAMBA) I need more dance knowledge. These South American dances are always 5 letters long and I never know if it's SAMBA, SALSA or MAMBA.

16A: Saddle-shaped brand of potato chips (PRINGLES) Not the only ones anymore, now that Lays has ripped them off with their Stax brand chips.

34A: Clio relative (ERATO) As I mentioned a couple of days ago, Erato is hands-down the most popular muse among crossword constructors. Maybe it's the verb-consonant-verb-consonant-verb layout of her name and maybe they just really like erotic poetry, which is what Erato is the muse of.

51A: Savion Glover's specialty (TAP) I have TEP. Whoops.

20D: Nintendo game system (WII) Go here to read about a woman who died of water intoxication while trying to win a "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" contest sponsored by a Sacramento radio station. She drank two gallons of water and held her wee as long as she could. Not a good idea. But who knew there was such a thing as water intoxication. I guess there's many a SOT (38A: Tippler) who'd like to know that.

That's all for today. See you Tuesday.


Howard B said...

Hamlet as drawn by Don Martin. Now I've seen everything - that's just classic. Always did like his style.

Tip of the day - remember, a MAMBA is a deadly snake, a MAMBO is the dance. Although maybe that dancing reality show would be even more popular if they threw a mamba or two in their mambos.

Oh, the puzzle - pretty tricky for a Monday. Has the Sun seemed to have amped up the difficulty level lately, or is it just me?

Orange said...

I was just coming here with Wikipedia links for the mambo and the highly venomous mamba, but Howard beat me to it. The money quote: "Mambas, of the genus Dendroaspis, are fast-moving tree-dwelling snakes of Africa. They belong to the family of Elapidae which includes cobras, coral snakes, kraits and, debatably, sea snakes, all of which can be extremely deadly." I'm torn: which strikes more abject terror in my heart, tree snakes or sea snakes?

Norrin2 said...

I think that would depend on whether I was in a tree or in a sea.
I appreciate all the snake knowledge. Is there a way to tell samba from salsa?
And Howard, I think the Sun might have amped up the difficulty level just a notch.

Orange said...

Samba is never a condiment, whereas salsa can be. Does that help? No?

I think the Monday Suns have gotten easier in the last month or two, but the non-Monday puzzles sure haven't.

A heads-up, Robert: This Friday's puzzle (which I haven't seen yet) is apparently an asymmetrical themeless by Frank Longo.

Orange said...

Er, uh, never mind what I said. The Thursday puzzle is themeless, not Friday, and while it's by Longo, it's not the asymmetrical one. I think that one's a couple weeks off yet.

Linda G said...

It's Wednesday. I did this on Tuesday but didn't get here until just now.

And I didn't even notice the connection between PLAY and the theme answers...

Norrin2 said...

Don't feel bad, Linda. I usually do today's Times, tomorrow's Sun and whatever puzzles I've stashed away for a free moment. I'm never sure what day it is.