Saturday, February 10, 2018

Saturday's New York Times puzzle solved: February 10, 2018

My time: 15:41, edging out the old record by about half a minute!

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I failed to finish Friday due to a busy schedule and my inability to know the things they were asking.

Today's themeless by Finn Vigeland has some really modern, fresh fill, three of which stretch west to east: LIN-MANUAL MIRANDA, IN ALL PROBABILITY, and ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE.  There's also the rarely seen SOLO CUP, AS IF TO SAY and WHAT A TRIP.

I didn't know "Serial" podcast host Sarah KOENIG.  At first I had the idea that it was PRI's Sarah *VOWELL, author and a contributing editor to "This American Life."  Then through crossfill I had *HOENIG, and still couldn't figure it out (which cost me some time).  Finally, I realized that the crossfill "your point being..." is OK, SO? and not OH, SO? which gave me the right answer.  Koenig is a producer of "This American Life."  So I guess my initial guess wasn't too far off!

I read Tender is the Night in tenth grade, about a thousand years ago now.  I remembered Dick Diver (who wouldn't?) but not NICOLE Diver, his wife.  I should reread that novel.

For "painter's undercoat" I put *PRIMER but it turned out to be SEALER.

I had a hard time remembering the Tex-Mex chili pepper ANCHO.  Fun fact: an ANCHO is a dried ripe Poblano pepper.  Also, ancho means "wide" in Spanish.  Why?  Do they get wider when you dry them?

THESSALY is a region in Greece, both ancient and modern.  The northern tier of Thessaly is defined by the Olympus range that includes Mount Olympus, close to the Macedonian border.

We all know the font FUTURA, but did we know that its German designer, Paul Renner, based it upon the Bauhaus design philosophy?  No, we didn't.  Fun fact: Futura was the first typeface on the moon; it's on the commemorative plaque left there in 1969.

"Odysseus' rescuer" is INO, yet another new one in my ostensible wheelhouse.  INO is many things in Greek mythology, most famously a queen who is jealous of her husband's first wife's children, Phrixus and Helle, and plots to kill them.  Through a complicated series of events, she is later chased over the cliff into the sea.  However, in terms of Odysseus, INO has become a sea goddess, and she's the one who gives him a magic scarf which prevents him from drowning after Poseidon sinks his ship.

I could not figure out why FLIED was "popped (out)," but I'm guessing it's a baseball thing.

Apparently there's a Temple of ISIS in Pompeii.  It is almost fully intact.

The TATE Modern, a museum in London, came up on November 19, 2017, but here it's the answer to where Rodin's The Kiss is located.  According to their website, "Rodin considered it overly traditional, calling The Kiss ‘a large sculpted knick-knack following the usual formula.’ Harsh!

"Adjective on Tex-Mex menus" is ASADA.  I've seen the word often but never really thought about it.  It means roasted or grilled.  I had also forgotten that this came up on November 26, 2017.  This was not a good day for me and Tex-Mex menu items.

Clever clues: "Player in a baseball stadium" is ORGAN.  "Remote area?" is DEN.  "Letters that come before AA?" is DTS, ha!

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Sunday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: August 2, 2020

My time: 23:35 , not great but still faster than average. Theme: dropping the final "g" of well-known phrases, moving the "g&...