NYT Sunday Puzzle – June 24, 2012

NYT Sunday Puzzle, June 24, 2012

Title:  Element of Surprise

Determining the meaning of the title goes like this:

42D. Global warming calculation whose shape is suggested by connecting 14 squares in this puzzle in a closed loop based on the appropriate 23-Across.

Answer to 42D: Carbon Footprint
Answer to 23A: Atomic Symbol

So, the element is carbon. But what about the surprise? I figured it had something to do with accomplishing the second part of the clue. But I had no idea how to go about it. Fortunately, Rex Parker did:  “What is ‘surprising’ is that when you connect all the Cs in the grid, you get the rough outline of a human footprint.” Aha! “C” is carbon’s atomic symbol.

The rest of the theme clues are environmental terms and phrases.

40A. Worrisome Arctic and Antarctic developments = Ozone Holes
69A. Conservationist’s catchphrase = Save Water
94A. Arborits’s catchphrase = Plant a Tree
117A. Conservationist’s catchphrase = Conserve Fuel
14D. Atmospheric worries = Greenhouse Gases

A few interesting answers:

27A. “Tough-actin” medication.  Answer: Tinactin

46A. Sue Grafton’s “___ for Outlaw.”  Answer: O is.  I’m a huge Sue Grafton fan, she of the alphabetically titled mysteries. I’ve read them all in order.  Most recently finished V is for Vengeance.

51A. “___ 1138” (1971 sci-fi film).  Answer: THX. Not much into sci-fi. Never heard of this movie.

74A. Falls for married women?  Answer: Niagara.  Give me a break!!

48D. 1998 Alanis Morissette hit.  Answer: Thanku.  Though I’ve heard of her, I don’t know her music.

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