Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

My time: 11:17.

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Today's puzzle, by Erik Agard, has a hidden theme, one in which the capper explains it all.  Four clues are about seemingly unconnected items: SUPREME COURT CASE, MIRACLE MOP, CONTOUR KIT, and the reality series "TEMPTATION ISLAND."

So... What do they all have in common?  The first word is the (singular) form of a MOTOWN act.  (The Contours, maybe the least-well-known of the four, are best known for "Do you Love Me" --- at first I had *PANTONE KIT.)

Another very nice, pleasing theme.

The NE corner was the last to fall and added at least two minutes to my time.  I had no idea that OREO used to have the ad slogan "Oh! Oh! Oreo!"

The CASE in question, Obergefell v. Hodges, by the way, is the famous "gay marriage" ruling.

I've heard of Leon Uris, but not MILA 18.  It's a historical novel about the Nazi occupation of Poland.

Lots of Japanese in this puzzle --- RAMEN, ANIME, UDON, and TAIKO, a Japanese drum.  Kodo is a famous taiko group.

The particle called TAU lepton has a negative charge and has 3500 times the mass of an electron.

I finally figured out otalgia (EARACHE) through my knowledge of languages and roots, and, let's face it, some helpful crossfill.

I'm so utterly ignorant of and uninterested in sports that "they're held at the beginning of the season" baffled me.  What season?  Is it... *TOY FAIR???  No, it's TRYOUTS.

For "hurts" I had *PAINS but that sneaky Erik Agard made it MAIMS.

A LET in tennis is when the ball hits the net.  This may because of a French word for net, "filet," but since it's pronounced totally differently, I have my doubts.

AVA DuVernay is not a very well-known director and producer.  However, I do notice that she produced and directed some episodes of the OWN channel's "Queen Sugar," which was an answer back on September 2.

Clever clues: "What you see when you look up?" is ACROSS.  So meta!  "Ready to retire" is SLEEPY.  "Two-tone apex predator" is a good description of an ORCA.  "Column that leans to one side?" is OP-ED.

OMEN, that's a lot of new clues.  I thought it was tough --- ANJOU?  What did you think?

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