Friday June 10, 2013 — NYTimes Crossword No. 0506
Where do I even start today? How about at the beginning…
My first answer was wrong, at 5D: CFOS (Some successful Wharton grads, for short), I said MBA’s, which doesn’t make complete sense, I realize, and of course was incorrect. Which also established from the outset sort of an unofficial theme in my solving of today’s New York Times crossword puzzle. Overall time, 50 minutes.
The starting “G” in 12D: GOATEE (Relative of a soul patch) gave me confidence to tackle the long 13-lettered horizontal at 12A, which I then began to boldly mis-fill as “Grey’s Anatomy,” realizing too late that my choice contains only twelve letters…
The correct answer came to me later at 12A: GAMEOFTHRONES (Show with the record for most Emmy’s won in a single year (12)). I don’t watch much TV (almost none at all, unless the Raiders happen to be playing, and even then I don’t manage to see every game), which sometimes is a heavy handicap in completing the crossword puzzle.
In fact, my biggest problem area today was in the East, surrounding 41A: STEPHEN (Big name in late-night). I was pretty sure this clue was a reference to late night television, but with only the final three letters complete, and an incorrect starting crosser, I began to think of sleep remedy medications, night terrors, and any other thing that one might encounter in the after dark hours. And when I finally did resolve STEPHEN, I still had no clue as to its reference. I now know this refers to funnyman Stephen Colbert, but it still feels like this reference is probably much higher in the general cultural consciousness than it is in mine.
I resolved pretty early 1A: CARDCATALOG (Holder of many titles), one of my favorite clues of the day, which also corrected for me my opening error at 5D: CFOS. However, the related clue at 25D: ISBNS (Info in a 1-Across) took me much longer, and I misanswered it (twice). I first put “table,” and then when I was considering drug names where I should have known Mr. Colbert, I re-answered “Tab No.” All wrong.
In the West, I thought 29A: SENEGAL (Home to the naturally pink Lake Retba) might be Senegal, based only on the strength of the starting three letters [never before heard of this lake, it sounds beautiful], but I had misanswered 22D: AGREE (Tally) as “count,” based upon another missed answer at 20A: SEALABS (Locales for deep investigations?), which I had incorrectly completed as “seances.” Errors compounding errors. Much fun!
I finally resolved my differences with Senegal, and came to grips with the incorrectness of Seances, when I realized 23D was probably BANGS (Mamie Eisenhower hairstyle) [it is], not based at all upon my knowledge of the former First Lady’s coiffure, but entirely because it is the only hairstyle I could think of which seemed to fit.
I found helpful 33D: CHASM (It might be yawning), as well as its neighbor 34D: JAGUAR (Luxury car brand since 1935). Though I made another mistake at 35D: CRANKED (Started, as a generator), when I said “fired up.”