Thursday, October 12, 2017

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Today's time: 19:15, which was a pretty dismal year for peace.

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This was a puzzler by Alex Eaton-Salners, a real head-scratcher, but not a slog.  In fact, it was quite enjoyable had a lot of a-ha! moments.  The theme: all the across clues are one word homophones of the intended clue.  So you get, for example, "mined" meaning "mind," which as a verb means CARE.  Or "meet" meaning "meat," which gives the answer HAM.  One more: "wring," meaning "ring," which as a verb clues the answer PHONE.  Get it?  Clever and keeps you thinking.

Some solvers are probably whining even now that "handsome" and "hansom," or "clothes" and "close," aren't exact homophones ("I pronounce them differently, for I alone speak God's true original English as taught to me by Mrs. McFullister out of the English as She is Goodly Spoken Primer, 1912 edition!").  But those people are pedantic killjoys.

For "we" (wee), I had *LITTLE at first, but it's PETITE.  For "lickers" (liquors) I had *RUMS, but it's RYES.  Crossword constructors love to pluralize things with no plurals.  I'm looking at you, DRY ROTS.

"Re," answer GLIMMER, was a tough one to parse.  It means "ray," as in a ray of sunshine.

"Missal" (missile) is ATLAS, which I didn't know is a missile and rocket type.  In fact the SM-65 Atlas was the first ICBM developed by the US.

I am the single most clueless-about-sports American male, an ongoing series:
CAM Newton is a quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, won the Heisman trophy, broke a lot of records, and makes over 20 million dollars a year.  Sigh.

Broccoli RABE, also spelled raab, a.k.a. rapini, is a bitter cruciferous vegetable.  I had the vague idea that it was a way to prepare broccoli, possibly au gratin?  Nope, it's its own thing, related to the turnip.

Only yesterday I was reading a pulp noir from 1960 and it mentioned EDITH Sitwell, and I looked her up then, which is the only reason I answered that one quickly.  She is best known for "Still Falls the Rain," about the Blitz.

The "army award" known as the DSC is the Distinguished Service Cross.  I didn't know America gave those out.  I thought it was a UK thing only.

ARAL Sea, "body greatly diminished by Russian irrigation projects" was not on the tip of my tongue.  Apparently it was one of the four largest lakes in the world.  The eastern bank is now known as the Aralkum Desert.  Proof, if any were needed, that humans can change the landscape and climate.  Anyway, I initially had *URAL Sea, which isn't anything, but I figured mountains and seas could share a name.

I haven't heard of AMANA, the appliance brand.  Apparently they've introduced a great many innovations in appliances over the years.

No one's heard of this: BISTRE!  It's a brownish-yellow pigment.  It isn't very common, even in puzzles.

Clever clues: "priest from on high?" is LAMA.  "Bills that one doesn't mind piling up" is CASH (I initially thought maybe *TENS).

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Sunday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: August 9, 2020

                              My time: 19:28 , not too shabby for a Sunday! Theme: SHIPSHAPE, as shown when you connect the "dots"...