Friday, November 10, 2017

Friday, November 10, 2017

Today's time: 29:09, not the finest hour.

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Patrick Berry serves up a big slice of tough crossword pie that I just barely choked down.  No theme, just a lot of vague clues and new-to-me fill.  It took a long time, but it wasn't a slog; the cluing was mostly quite neat and clever.

I've heard of OSCAR / DE LA RENTA, but I didn't know he was Dominican.

"Uffizi work" is a misleading clue, because it only wants the general descriptor OLD MASTER; the singular "work" implies they want a specific work of art.  I don't think general descriptors should clue other general descriptors, as a rule, especially in singular.  The Uffizi is a museum in Florence that houses The Birth of Venus, Judith Slaying Holofernes, and many others.

Did you know that TULSA straddles the Arkansas river?  Me neither.

For "leaves penniless" I had *BANKRUPTS, then quickly saw that didn't fit.  I ended with *BLEEDS OUT which just looked wrong.  It's CLEANS OUT.

For "bird called a 'diver' in the UK" I guessed *TERN but it's LOON.

"Great American Ball Park team" is the Cincinnati REDS.

Josip Broz TITO was not only the dictator of Yugoslavia, he also led the Partisans in WWII, meaning the Communist forces fighting the Nazi occupiers.

We've all heard of DION, but I have never heard of his 1962 song "Lovers Who Wander."  He got his heart broken ("I was born to cry") and now he's the Wanderer and he is a playa, baby.  He sleeps around.  Just keep him away from Runaround Sue, because he doesn't understand double standards.

For "set forth" I couldn't get some form of departing out of my head, but it's DECLARE.

Jason ALDEAN is another country boy with a #1 hit ("Dirt Road Anthem").  Not my thing also.  He's the one who was playing when the Las Vegas shooter killed so many people with the only solitary thing that US lawmakers refuse to legislate or regulate in any way.

I'm proud of myself for recalling the name LAMAR Odom, retired Lakers player and former Khloé Kardashian hubby.

Totally new to me (and baffling) department: "Human member of an old TV trio" is FRAN.  It took a bit of Googling to reveal the '40s and '50s TV show "Kukla, Fran and Ollie," in which human Fran Allison interacted with two puppets, Kukla, some sort of clown, and Ollie, a dragon.

I had an extremely vague memory of STEUBEN, an old New York company (now revived) that makes artistic glass ornaments and wares.

We all know the Edict of NANTES, but could we say what it was for?  It helped end the Huguenot Wars, being a step in the direction of tolerance for Protestants in France.

I haven't seen the 2016 film Lion, but it apparently stars Dev PATEL and is based on a true story of an Indian urchin.  Patel was the star of Slumdog Millionaire.

W.B. YEATS wrote the line "Horseman, pass by!" which is from his poem Under Ben Bulben.  The last three lines of the poem are Yeats' own epitaph.

Clever clues: "Standard position?" refers to a flag standard and is HALF-MAST.  "Where people mix at parties?" is WET BAR.  "It's often read metaphorically" is RIOT ACT.  "Ward bosses?" is DOCTORS.  "Shake" is ELUDE.  "Marker writing" is EPITAPH.  "Final outcome of a firing" is POTTERY.

In all, a very fine crossword, if devilishly hard. 

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

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