Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Wednesday's puzzle solved: December 20, 2017

My time: 8:55, not too shabby.

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This puzzle, courtesy of Talitha Randall, has the theme of... NINE.  Themed answers include ONE and EIGHT on the same row; FOUR and FIVE on the same row; and SEVEN and TWO on the same row.  Also, SEPT, NEIN and NONA-.  And CLOUD nine.  And nine LIVES.  Well, at least the theme is pretty thorough.  Maybe if this puzzle appeared on September 9 it would tickle me more?  As it is, I find it pretty INANE.  It's a theme without a reason to be.  But then, they can't all be gems.

"Pennsylvania, for example" gave me pause.  It's AVENUE, as in the White House address.  And a green property in Monopoly.

"Game-ending cry at a card table" is GIN, but *UNO crossed my mind.

I've heard of designer MARC Jacobs!

LLCS appeared in the singular this past Sunday.

I knew AD-IN ("possible score after 40-all") thanks to its appearance November 21.

The opera AIDA by Giuseppe Verdi is partially set on the banks of the Nile.  The titualar Aida is an enslaved Ethiopian princess.  In Act 3, she and Radamès, the Egyptian army commander, meet and plan to marry.

SONANT ("voiced") is a word I struggled with.  It means having a sound, but in phonetics, it does mean voiced, and its opposite is surd.  Is a B surd?  No, it is sonant.  But S is surd.  Here's an explainer.

"Sunset's direction, in Sorrento" also stymied me.  It's OVESTSorrento is an Italian town overlooking the Bay of Naples.  I don't parlo Italiano.

INDIGENE is another pretty obscure word for a Wednesday, in my opinion.  Indigenous, yes; the noun form, no.

I've never heard of LUC Jacquet, but I have heard of his famous film March of the Penguins.

I was glad that my original guess for "what transported Dorothy to Oz" --- TORNADO --- was right, and it wasn't the original *CYCLONE.  Glad because it worked out quicker, but slightly sad that it isn't really accurate.

Clever clue: "Gains yardage?" is SODS.  I thought it might be *RUNS, like in football.

Overall a very fine puzzle, the right difficulty for a Wednesday.  I just wasn't wowed by the theme. 

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