Saturday, December 2, 2017

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Today's time: 28:14.

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Mark Diehl tried to stump me with this tough themeless, but I ended up the winner after nearly giving up.  It has some great long fill, like DOUBLE DOG DARE, BARNYARD ANIMALS, ONE THING AT A TIME, and ELLEN DEGENERES.

I had trouble spelling ENNIO MORRICONE (at first I tried *ENRICO MORRICONE), but he's got to be one of the best-known composers in film.

I have not heard of Philadelphia's Allegheny AVE or Aramingo AVE.  Are those really famous streets?

For "Specs spec" I was thinking of the liquor store Specs, but it's spectacles, so they want the TINT of the lenses.

Another conductor clue: Hungarian Georg SOLTI, of whom I have never heard, has thirty-one Grammys.  Solti's Ring cycle has twice been voted the greatest recording ever made, in polls for Gramophone magazine in 1999 and the BBC's Music Magazine in 2012.

Did you know StubHub is owned by EBAY?  Me neither.

The first vice president not to become president was Aaron BURR.  He probably shouldn't have killed Hamilton I guess.

For "ones involved in forensics" the answer DEBATERS bemused me, but also rang a vague bell.  Forensics can also be the art of orating.  The National Speech and Debate Association used to be called the National Forensic League.

Never heard of Sam LOYD, author of the classic Cyclopedia of 5,000 Puzzles.

For "opening at work" I had *SPOT but it's SLOT.  I like spot better.

For "alphabetical" I had *IN ORDER but it's the same-length ORDERED.  Yet another vague trick by Diehl; this puzzle had several of those.

I misread "bubblehead" as "bobblehead" and put *DOLL; when I realized my mistake, I put *DOPE.  But it's DODO.

The GRACE CUP is a term and tradition I am not familiar with.  I guess that's because I'm an ungodly apostate.  "Grace cups were passed round when a traditional grace (a prayer of thanksgiving) was said to give thanks for the food eaten," per Wiki.

I am the single-most clueless American male about sports, an ongoing series: SAL BANDO, a three-time World Series champ, I could never have named in a million years.  Actually I had the baffling *SAP BANDO at first.  I knew that didn't look right.

I know JOAN MIRO (though I stupidly had *JUAN MIRO at first), but I don't know Triptych Bleu I, II, III.  Sort of... blobby and similar, isn't it?

I didn't know Mama Cass' real last name.  She was born Ellen Naomi COHEN.

I guessed Haiphong holiday was TET from how it sounds, but never heard of Vietnam's third largest city and major economic engine.  Hey, I'm an American!  If it isn't in North America, it's not worth knowing!  [guns firing, eagle screams]

Clever clues: "not let" is UNRENTED.  "Lush" is DIPSOMANIAC; I kept thinking, vivid something?  "Something read with a scroll?" is EMAIL.

Whew!  At first I wasn't sure I'd even put a DINT in this puzzle, and I'd be ENABLE to finish.  But I made it!

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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"...