Today's time: 37:17. Man, I'm having some very slow end-week times lately.
George Barany and Michael Shteyman team up to deliver this VETERANS DAY puzzle that is way too hard and doesn't have much of a theme except that answer and ELEVEN.
I got stuck right away with "arrays in ancient battles," for no reason at all thinking about formations of troops (like tortoise, phalanx, wedge), rather than an array of SPEARS. For "hot beverage" I couldn't get CHAI for the longest time, even though I've been to India and am a tea drinker (I was thinking, *COCO??). My brain was just failing to engage.
For "What 'It' is" I was thinking, killer clown?? Shape-shifting alien? It's HORROR FLICK.
"Bradford and Bradshaw, for two" are QBS, which I knew. Bradshaw is the so-famous-even-I-know-him Terry Bradshaw, who played for the Steelers and won four Super Bowls. Bradford is Sam Bradford who plays for the Vikings and was born in 1987, which seems ridiculous to me.
Did you know that UGANDA is the world's second-most populated landlocked country, after Ethiopia? Uganda remember that?
"Old union member" is SSR, which baffled me because I was thinking Wobblies, not Soviet unions.
"Comments like 'yer joshin'!" is AWS, which still baffles me. Huh? Even the usually utterly thorough and erudite master at http://nytcrossword.com fails me here.
AMICO is "friend" in Firenze, which is the Italian name for Florence.
I've heard of PUSSY GALORE, but it eluded me that her portrayer is Honor Blackman.
A SHTETL is a Jewish-populated town or village in Eastern Europe. One such is the setting for the film Yentl.
"Agatha Christie once described him as a 'detestable, bombastic, tiresome little creature.'" Against all rationality, I wanted this to be *CAPOTE, but it's her own creation, of course, POIROT.
ROBERT STACK was the star of The Untouchables, the TV show. He played Eliot Ness. You may also remember him from such square-jawed roles as Captain Rex Kramer in Airplane!.
"Dances done in 2/4 time" are SAMBAS. Waltzes are 3/4 time. And those are the only time signatures I know.
The ancient Romans called the Mediterranean MARE NOSTRUM, which means "our sea." Apparently this term was hijacked by the Fascists to promote a unified Italy, just as sad little white nationalists in their mom's basement have hijacked Taylor Swift as their aegis.
"Cost" as clue for ARE is weak sauce.
Chicago's AON Center is a supertall skyscraper in the Loop. At 1,189 feet tall, it is nowhere to be found on a list of the tallest buildings in the world. However, it is the 7th tallest freestanding structure in the Unites States.
A RIN was a coin worth 1/1000 of a yen and is no longer used.
DPI is a print quality measure meaning, as you may have guessed because I did, dots per inch.
Clever clue: "Go hand to hand?" is CLAP. "Like home, on rare occasions" is STOLEN.
That was ONE hard puzzle. I'm a TWIT.
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