Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Wednesday's New York Times puzzle solved: January 24, 2018

My time: 12:17, just about average.

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This puzzle, created by Kathy Weinberg, is another one with a theme that has no reason to be.  No a-ha moment, no capper.  It's just adding "at" to the ends of phrases and then cluing them literally.

Starting with "Mammoth Cave," the final themed answer becomes MAMMOTH CAVEAT, clued as "big 'but'?"  The second themed answer is ESTATE CARAT ("small diamond handed down to an heir?").  This is a play on estate car, which is the British term for station wagon.  "Fight between two lovers" is the funniest one: HONEY COMBAT.  And then there's "futuristic Volkwagen?" which is FORWARD PASSAT.

So, nice wordplay, but no capper.  Nothing to indicate why this theme, why now.  I enjoy themes more when there's an a-ha clue that ties it all together.

For "BBC sci-fi series, informally" I put DR. WHO.  I don't know why it says "informally."  Isn't that the title of the show?

"Member of a crossword zoo?" EMU.  Why "crossword"?

Totally new to me department: AXIL, the angle between a branch or leaf and the stem from which it originates.  Boy, there really is a word for anything.

Yet another definition of ACRE.  Here, it's the "amount of land a pair of oxen could plow in a day, historically."

Why does "thank you very much" in Danish look like Latin cognates for "eat this?"

EVIE Tornquist, also just known by her first name, is a Christian singer of Norwegian descent who had hits in the 1970s and '80s.  She was nominated for a Gospel Grammy three times.

An ASCOT is a kind of short tie with a special way of tying.  The four-in-hand is the typical style of tying a regular tie that everyone uses.

RONA Jaffe, novelist who wrote Mazes And Monsters, last appeared January 3.  I had the idea it was much longer ago.

Clever clues: "Fashion line?" is HEM.  "Spot from a pot" is TEA.

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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"...