04.20.08 -- SOLAR SYSTEM

Honey, I Shrunk the Solar System -- NASA
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Sunday, April 20, 2008

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SPACED OUT, Puzzle by John Farmer, edited by Will Shortz
In today’s crossword puzzle, another one of those irreconcilable differences occurs between the electronic and printed newspaper (New York Times Magazine) versions of this puzzle.
Electronic reads SUN (9D. Center of many revolutions) -- Notepad: When the puzzle is done, the letters in the following squares spell a bonus phrase: 7A - 3rd letter, 31A - 5th, 65A - 4th, 104A - 6th, 136A - 3rd, 151A - 1st, 149A - 4th, 133A - 4th, 100A - 1st, 62A - 1st, 29A - 6th.
Printed copy reads SUN (9D. Center of many revolutions [whose first letter starts a bonus phrase reading clockwise around the shaded squares]).
It appears that shaded squares cannot be implemented in the electronic version, hence the long explanation in the Notepad. However, the solution posted here is from the electronic version, so I just shaded them in because it’s tedious to look up all of the notepad letters, e.g.:
S O L A R S Y S T E M.
Now, with that out of the way -- what fun!
Qualify that. It’s fun for the solver of the printed copy, not as much for the electronic solver. In the printed copy, there are those mysterious shaded squares, and in the electronic version, one doesn’t even know they exist -- hence it’s an afterthought instead of a clue or a goal of the solution. Both copies, of course, have the circled squares, which spell out MERCURY, VENUS, EARTH, MARS, JUPITER, SATURN, URANUS and NEPTUNE.
The SUN (9D) presides above center of the puzzle, and the planets in the eight entries follow in order of their proximity to the sun. Alas, however, poor PLUTO (131D. 2006 neologism meaning “to demote”) doesn’t even get a “dwarf planet” mention -- Pluto’s been doubly Plutoed! Credit that as “gone, but not forgotten!”
The entries containing the planet names are as follows: THEAMERICANCENTURY (24A. 1941 Henry Luce article that coined a name for an era); EVERYTHINGMUSTGO (34A. Closeout come-on); THECATCHERINTHERYE (52A. Novel that ends “Don’t ever tell anybody anything, if you do, you start missing everybody”); SMOKEANDMIRRORS (75A. Artful deception); JUMPINTOTHEFIRE (82A. 1972 Harry Nilsson hit); FIVESTARRESTAURANT (107A. Prime eatery); VANCOUVERCANUCKS (125A. Stanley Cup finalists of 1982 and 1994); and INDEPENDENTCOUNSEL (138A. Head of a special government inquiry).
I went on and on about PLUTO in the post of 03.11.08 -- A Shot in the Dark, so I’ll cool it here, ‘cause I already did it there!

Pluto in True Color -- Eliot Young (SwRI) et al., NASA
The verb "to pluto" (preterite and past participle: "plutoed") is a neologism coined in the aftermath of the decision to demote the planet Pluto to the status of "dwarf planet". In January 2007, the American Dialect Society chose "plutoed" as its 2006 Word of the Year, defining "to pluto" as "to demote or devalue someone or something", "as happened to the former planet Pluto when the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union decided Pluto no longer met its definition of a planet."

Beyond the solar system, I found myself wavering on the spelling of AMONTILLADO, ECHT, JETES, HENMAN, VAIL, VIJAY, WOLDS, and others. There were lots of conversational entries and clues -- “Poor venomous fool“; “I’m king of the world!”; “You did it!”, YAY; “Dee-lish!” and YUMMY; “These ARE the times that …”; “ANY takers?”; “NONEOF (either) the above” or “your business”; “So long, dahling” and TATA; “The fix ISIN”; “May IGO now?”; “OUR Father…”

I also exhausted the subject of "The Catcher in the Rye" (here used to give us EARTH in circles) with the post of 03.16.08 -- Solitaire -- the Acrostic -- so, that too, I’ll leave alone -- “Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody”, oops, couldn’t resist!

Never heard of MOTHERNIGHT; didn’t know Sting’s last name was SUMNER; just couldn’t register ROTHKO, There are lots of people in the puzzle -- YAZ, Antony and Cleopatra, Mary URE, ALAN King, Henry Luce, SHOLOM Aleichem; ORR; Celine Dion and RKELLY; Seigneur de Montaigne; Beethoven, ROSSINI, LIV Ullmann; Harry Nilsson, PORTIA; MINEO and Gene Krupa; Lorenz Hart; NAOMI Watts; Charles de Gaulle; STELLA; ASA Gray; LEAH and Judah; IRVS Kupcinet and Cross; Paul Bunyan; YASMINE Bleeth; IDI Amin; Robert URICH; Nick Nolte, Kurt Vonnegut; Jean KERR; Mussorgsky; Miley Cyrus; Emile HIRSCH; EUCLID; Joel and Ethan COEN; and those two standards AYN Rand and EMO Philips. They are all awaiting Gustav Holst, composer of “The Planets”!

Today’s little square box of a crossword puzzle containing so much of our solar system with a vast variety of miscellany is a brilliant composition, and conjures up William Blake -- “To see the world in a grain of sand; And heaven in a wildflower; Hold infinity in the palm of your hand; And eternity in an hour.”

Read Linda at Madness…Crossword and Otherwise.

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For today's cartoons, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.
Click on image to enlarge.
Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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Across: 1. Thing in a case; 4. 1960s-’80s Red Sox legend, informally; 7. In the cellar; 11. Org. that promotes adoption; 15. “Poor venomous fool,” in “Antony and Cleopatra”; 18. Pumpkin-picking time: Abbr.; 19. “Sons and Lovers” Oscar nominee Mary; 20. Expected; 22. King of comedy; 23. Going rate?: Abbr.; 28. Barcelona Olympics prize; 29. Tevye creator ___ Aleichem; 30. Eight-time Norris Trophy winner; 31. Protein acid, informally; 32. Have __ to pick; 33. Celine Dion’s “I’m Your Angel” duet partner; 39. Designated driver’s drink; 40. Badges, e.g., in brief; 41. ___ candy (some pop tunes); 42. Work of Seigneur de Montaigne; 43. “Your Moment of ___” (“The Daily Show” feature); 45. Truncated cones, in math; 49. Streaming; 61. Not to mention; 62. Atlas section; 63. “Roll Over Beethoven” band, for short; 64. 1990s-2000s English tennis star Tim; 65. Rocky Mountains resort; 66. Wide-eyed; 67. First principles; 70. “I’m king of the world,” e.g.; 71. Exceeded the speed limit?; 72. “Tancredi” composer; 78. State quarters?; 80. Actress Ullmann; 81. Suffix with billion; 90. Windsor, e.g.; 95. Switch finish?; 96. Absorb a loss; 97. 1984 Heisman winner; 99. Orient; 100. Chickadees kin; 101. Laughing gas and water, chemically; 103. Mess up; 104. Lover in “The Merchant of Venice”; 106. Genuine: Ger.; 111. Sloughs off; 113. You can’t take it with you; 114. Upstate N.Y. sch.; 115. Tribute in jest; 118. Managed; 119. Sneak a peek; 121. Boot part; 131. Couple; 133. Long-legged wader; 134. He played Krupa in “The Gene Krupa Story:; 135. “You did it!”; 136. Lorenz Hart specialty; 137. Pricey sports car, informally; 143. Hard wood; 144. Math. Class; 145. Actress Watts; 146. Home on “Gilligan’s Island: 147. Inflation meas.; 148. On the other hand; 149. Charles de Gaulle alternative; 150 Varsity QB, e.g.; 151. Sign at a smash; 152. Possessed. Down: 1. “Number 10” Abstract Expressionist; 2. Made a comeback?; 3. “A Streetcar Named Desire” role; 4. “Dee-lish!”; 5. “These ___ the times that …”; 6. Closed (in on); 7. Money; 8. Botanist Gray; 10. Certain X or O; 11. Subbed (for); 12. Dive; 13. Glances; 14. “___ takers?”; 15. Spanish sherry; 16. Offshoot; 17. Snap; 21. Mother of Judah; 25. Popular portal; 26. Kupcinet and Cross; 27. Application letters; 29. Some namesakes: Abbr.; 32. Without obligation; 35. Change of a mortgage, slangily; 36. Paul Bunyan story; 37. Ministry of ___, in “1984”; 38. Ryder Cup team; 40. Time ___; 43. Tase; 44. When many get a St.-Tropez tan; 46. Biblical queendom; 47. Joint part; 48. Royal Navy foe of 1588; 50. Willow used in basketry; 51. Hills of Yorkshire; 52. Spree; 53. Monster hurricane of 1989; 54. Libido; 55. Lowly workers; 56. Do voodoo on; 57. Skull and Bones members; 58. Latitude; 59. Bleeth of Baywatch”; 60. Unabridged; 67. Executive’s charter, maybe; 68. Infiltrator; 69. Flat-bottomed boat; 73. Despot ___ Amin; 74. Lead-in to “the above” or “your business”; 76. Like some twins; 77. ___ center; 79. Mystery element; 82. Leaps across the ballet stage; 83. “Vega$” star Robert; 84. Nick Nolte movie based on a Kurt Vonnegut novel; 85. Some advanced researchers, for short; 86. Traditional almanac data; 87. Bikini blast; 88. Sorry sort; 89. Parisian “to be”; 91. Jean who wrote “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies”; 92. “So long, dahling”; 93. “The fix ___”; 94. Virginie ou Pennsylvanie; 98. Subject of the book “Many Unhappy Returns”: Abbr.; 102. ___ Zagora, Bulgaria; 104. Infant’s food; 105. “Certainement!”; 108. Mussorgsky’s “Pictures ___ Exhibition”; 109. Contact lens solution brand; 110. Venture; 112. ___ Miguel, Azores island; 116. Sting’s last name; 117. “Hannah Montana” star Miley Cyrus, for one; 119. 32-card game; 120. Charges (up); 121. “Into the Wild” actor Emile; 122. Home of Gannon Univ.; 123. Author of the “Elements,” ca. 300 B.C.; 124. Past records?; 125. Singh on the links; 126. Demean; 127. Bad guys; 128. Name; 129. Filmmaker Joel or Ethan; 130. Jaded figure; 132. Author Rand; 138. “May ___ now?”; 139. Bust; 140. ___ Perignon; 141. Comic Philips; 142. “___ Father …”

1 comment:

Renard said...

Great write-up and pictures. I also could not get Holst's The Planets out of my head. Jupiter is playing in my head Planets Op. 32.