Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Wednesday's New York Times puzzle solved: January 31, 2018

My time: 8:18.

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Josh Radnor and Jeff Chen put their minds together to give us a PREMEDITATED theme.  Punnily enough, they added OM (ॐ) to the beginning of several phrases and then clued them literally.  Pre-meditation, get it??

So add om to "aha moments" and get "some wonderful times in Nebraska," or OMAHA MOMENTS.  "Makes an unabridged humor book?" is OMITS NO JOKE.  "Portentous fashion magazine?" is OMEN VOGUE.  And "good name for politico Martin's jazz band?" is O'MALLEY CATS.

Before I understood the "meditated"/"om" joke, I thought these were just portmanteaus, and I tripped myself up on the clue "small version of a popular cookie."  Believing it to be one of the themed answers, I put *JUNIOREO, as a blend of Junior Mint and Oreo.  The crossfill at the J was "juice brand with a distinctive bottle," so I thought the word ending with-OJ would work.  But actually, the small cookie is MINI OREO, and the crossfill is POM, the pomegranate juice with those bulbous bottles.

For "extraction target" I kept thinking of a *VIP in a bad spot needing paramilitary rescue, but it's actually the extraction of ORE.  This is verbatim what I wrote on December 14, 2017, the last time this happened.

Len CARIOU is an actor who has been in Thirteen Days, Spotlight, and "Blue Bloods."  Crossword creators love little-known character actors.

"Important stat for QBs" is TD PASSES.  I didn't think of that.

Gotta admire Radnor and Chen for fitting in SNOOP LION.

I got fooled by "court officials whose jobs have now been replaced by technology."  I kept thinking of legal courts.  But it's about tennis courts.  We no longer use NET JUDGES.  Read this quaint article about the transition, from 1996.

If I knew even the rudiments of Spanish, I'd have known that SER is the infinitive of "to be."

Never heard of ERMA Franklin, Aretha's older sister.  She originally recorded "Piece of My Heart," made famous, of course, by Janis Joplin.

Clever clues: "Women rush to get in it" is SORORITY.  "Extremely fancy?" is COVET.  "It has no point" is INTEGER.  "Symbol for the resistance?" is OMEGA.

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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"...