Thursday, February 8, 2018

Thursday's New York Times puzzle solved: February 8, 2018

Today's time: 10:32, beating the old record by over a minute!

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Erik Agard, clearly the secret identity of a Norse god condemned to wander Earth, mixes things up a bit with this puzzle that uses anagrams of movie star names for four of the clues.  The hint, or capper, on this theme, is "1987 Robert Townsend satire" HOLLYWOOD / SHUFFLE, a film about a black actor, typecast as a variety of ethnic stereotypes, who dreams of being taken seriously as a respected performer.

The themed clues are "Germany" for MEG RYAN, "steady gig" for TAYE DIGGS, "it's-a me, Mario!" for MARISA TOMEI, and "Ernest Gallo" for ANSEL ELGORT, the star of superb crime film Baby Driver and also the proud owner of a name which also sounds like it's an anagram of something more normal.

Once I figured out the theme, I filled in some of those answers by just plugging in the unused letters from the anagram clues.

Shawwal is the tenth month in the Islamic calendar.  I've never heard of it, but it sounded Islamic so it seemed pretty obvious to try RAMADAN.

"Starships' second #1 hit, after 'We Built This City'" is "SARA," which isn't my cup of tea, thank you.  Eighties histrionics.  Ick.

The URI URL ending is .EDU, because URI means University of Rhode Island.

ELIA Martell is the princess called for in "Game of Thrones."  Never read it or seen it!  I thought it was an actress' name who played her.

You know who won four Cy Young awards?  GREG Maddux!  Never heard of him.  He pitched for the Braves and the Cubs.  His somewhat contradictory nicknames are "Mad Dog" and "The Professor."  Sounds like a pair of rogue private eyes.

ROLEX is one of the many companies with a crown logo.  There are some theories about why there's a crown but Rolex doesn't tell why, if there is an official reason.

The capital of BOTSWANA is Gabarone.  A crossword maven should really memorize all world capitals.  Bots wanna take over, and all you do is Gab-a-roni!

Clever clues: "Feature in 'People'?" is SILENT O.  "Actress Elisabeth who's been on the cover of Rolling Stone, ironically" is MOSS, heh.  "Band not known for music?" is AM RADIO.  "Hair pieces?" is HANKS.

Man, I really did well on this one!  Not sure why, as it was a strange theme and a big handful of stuff I didn't know right off the bat.  But I beat it good, and that's no LYE!

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