Thursday, January 25, 2018

Thursday's New York Times puzzle solved: January 25, 2018

Today's time: 13:54, not bad at all.


Alex Eaton-Salners constructed a puzzle based around a "yachter's itinerary," ISLAND HOPPING.  This means that in the themed answers, you must "hop over" the island name found in the answer to see the "real" answer to the given clue.

For example, "smelled" is SCUBA TANK and if you eliminate the Cuba you get its real definition, "stank."  "Poetry" is "verse" wrapped around Bali: VERBALISE.  "Hayloft item" is BALTIMORE, or "bale."  And of course, "they're not pros" is CONCRETES.

(This all seemed very familiar.  It turns out that Chuck Deodene did a similar puzzle on October 3, 2017, and even used the same Timor/Baltimorean wordplay.)

"Group of football blockers" is O-LINE, which stands for offensive line.

Here's John Lennon and Yoko ONO's song of off the 1972 album Some Time in New York City, "We're All Water."  Not too bad at all, except when she makes those weird animal shrieks.

PHI is the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet, of which there are 24 letters.  Still, "#21 of 24" is fairly abstruse for a clue.  Phi is also the symbol for the Golden Ratio.

Not that I'll ever be able to master it, or probably ever have a need for it, but here's a clove hitch KNOT.  After all, as the site says so well, "Better to know a knot and not need it, than need a knot and not know it."

The rapper NAS comes up a lot in crossword puzzles.  I don't even know the album Illmatic, but I saw three squares and just put it right in.

I've never heard of LES Échos, a French economic and stock information daily paper.

I feel like RICOLA cough drops, made by an herbal lozenge company from Switzerland, taste too medicinal.  I guess that's ironic.

Robert Schumann was a German composer who wrote four symphonies and many Lieder.  I'm not sure he's widely known for his ETUDES.  Wikipedia says, however, "In 1837 Schumann published his Symphonic Studies, a complex set of étude-like variations which demanded a finished piano technique."

I did not know that L.A. also had a neighborhood called NOHO, but of course it's a pet name for North Hollywood, not North of Houston.

Also is Los Angeles: the OTIS College of Art and Design.  Edith Head graduated from there, maybe.

I've heard of one of the two KEVINS: Durant, but not Love.  He's a 6'10" power forward.  Yikes!

Clever clues: "some metal bands?" is ORE.  "Lush" is WINO.  "Part of España" is TILDE.  "Person with an inverted morality" is EVIL TWIN.  "Things with entrances and exits" is SCRIPTS.  "Ball boy?" is DESI.

Well, gee, IDA moved faster if I'd known I was doing so well.  OH SNAP!

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