Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sunday's New York Times puzzle solved: January 21, 2018

Today's time: 29:37, less than average by just a bit.


Today's puzzle has a theme that's not immediately clear, or at least it wasn't to me.  Constructed by Victor Barocas and Andy Kravis, it has some linked entries.  For example, 23 Across is PLAY FOR TIME.  Connected to it is 95 Across, "play of Shakespeare (remember 23 Across)," and that's ELIZABETHAN ERA.  Because you swap out the "play" in the later clue for the word "time" so it reads "time for Shakespeare."

Then we have 33 Across, NOT SAFE FOR WORK.  Connected to it is 111 Across is "not safe at home (remember 33 Across)," and that's TELECOMMUTE.  Because you swap out the "not safe" in the later clue for "work" so it reads "work at home."

Last example: CRY FOR HELP is the answer referred to in "seasonal cry (remember 43 Across)."  Swap one word for another and you get "seasonal help."  That's TEMPORARY EMPLOYEE.

I'll grant you that this little trick takes brains to execute.  But it's a little laborious for wordplay, and for me there was no a-ha moment.

ALOP ("off-kilter") is not a word that I'm familiar with.

The seat of Lewis and Clark County, in Montana, is also that's state's capital, HELENA.

For "cosmic bursts" I had *NOVAE until I realized that gave us *TESLAE on the crossfill, which I think would be a bit much for the doughtiest classicist.

I was a little puzzled by "recipe that entails a lot of shaking" for EARTHQUAKE, but it turns out there is such a thing as earthquake cake.

Beethoven's PIANO TRIO, Op. 97, is known as the Archduke Trio, because it was dedicated to Archduke Rudolph of Austria, the youngest of twelve children of Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor.  Beethoven dedicated fourteen works to the Archduke.

The TOTE BOARD at a racetrack is a big board that displays the odds or payouts of a horse.

I'm hopeless at geography. The EDO River, which I've never heard of, is in Japan's Kantō region.  It forms the border between Tokyo, Chiba, and Saitama prefectures.

"Ancient land where the Olympics began" is ELIS.  It was an ancient city-state on the Peloponnese, south of Achaea.  Olympia was located there, a sanctuary that housed a Temple of Zeus, among other things.

I've heard that idiotic "watch me NAE NAE" hundreds of times from kids, but I didn't connect it with "hip-hop dance move."  Ugh.  Apparently it was begun by a rap group called We Are Toonz, as a sort of homage to Martin Lawrence's cross-dressing character on his show "Martin."

I knew that the Castro was one of many San Francisco GAYBORHOODS, but I didn't know that Chelsea is also known for its gay population.  Maybe that's changing.  Good fill, anyway.

SEAN YOUNG starred in Blade Runner as Rachael, the Tyrell corporation secretary who turned out to be not human.

ADELE has a song called "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)," apparently.

Remember EDY, from October 4, 2017?  It's back, as a clue: "Edy's onetime ice cream partner" is DREYER.

I filled in ORD pretty quickly, thanks to its appearance on January 17.

And EMI shows up again, as "old Parlophone parent," last seen November 28, 2017.

Lots of clever clues: "Enjoy some rays?" is SCUBA, especially paired with the later "enjoys some rays" (BASKS).  "It's said to cause a smile" is CHEESE.  "Campus grp. that organizes marches" is ROTC.  "Leader in a red suit" is ACE OF HEARTS.  "Goofy drawing?" is CEL.  "Holding charge" is RANSOM.  "Lose one's shadow, say" is SHAVE.

Well RAH and OLE!  I got through this.  It was enjoyable but tough.

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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"...