Saturday, March 24, 2018

Saturday's New York Times puzzle solved: March 24, 2018

My time: 20:25, oof!

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Byron Walden concocted this rather tough themeless that had me despairing of ever completing it.

I'm not generally a viewer of musicals, so I didn't know what show "Another Suitcase in Another Hall" was from.  It's from "Evita."  I think it could be a number one.  It is sung from the point of view of Juan PerĂ³n's mistress, who is kicked out by his future wife Evita.

For "Little Orphan Annie feature" I tried *BLANK EYES and *WHITE EYES before stumbling into the right answer, EMPTY EYES.

Apparently Dyess Air Force Base is in ABILENE, Texas.

I had never heard that Napoleon II was known as "The EAGLET."  Actually he was not known by that epithet in his lifetime; it was popularized in Edmond Rostand's play "L'Aiglon."

The minor league baseball team the Aces are, of course, based in RENO.  They're an affliliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

I had a hard time with "coffee-growing region of Hawaii."  It's the KONA COAST, famous for its coffee farms.

I have never heard of the FedEx Office competitor SIR SPEEDY!  But it seems to be pretty well known.  Maybe they just don't have them in my state.

For "coin whose name means small weight" I thought of the French infinitive "to weigh," peser, and that made me think, *PESADO!  No, wait, it's *PESADA!  Then I had *PESATA.  Finally PESETA, the Spanish currency replaced by the euro.

For "Darn tootin" I had *YESIREE BOB, but it's YES INDEEDY.

According to legend, Cain and Abel are buried in ADEN, Yemen.

"MEAN" GENE Okerlund is a wrestler and interviewer in the Wrestling Hall of Fame.  I've seen his face many times but didn't know his name, and learning that he is five foot nine, I'm surprised he was a wrestler as well as a commentator.

Another word I haven't heard: MOTTLERS, meaning brushes with large flat heads.  The puzzle is using the word to mean brushes that make something have a mottled appearance, but I'm not sure that's what the painting community at large uses them for.

From the hazy mists of long-forgotten knowledge in my brain steps Ferdinand de LESSEPS, developer of the Suez Canal.  Luckily he is remembered for this and not his failed attempted to construct a Panama Canal at sea level.

I didn't know ROGAINE had the slogan "Use it or lose it," but that's pretty funny.

HEMI, or the powerful car engine known as a hemispherical combustion chamber, appeared December 17, 2017.

A veritable army of jokes and clever clues today: "No bull market?" is CHINA SHOP.  "Mrs. or Mrs. Right?" is GOP'ER.  "Echo preceder" is DELTA.  "And many times in France?" is ETS, which is more of a groaner than a clever clue.  "Has a fit, maybe?" is TRIES ON.  "Ones hanging around haunted houses?' is NOOSES.  "Street sweep?" is DRAGNET.  "Achieved green efficiency?" is ONE-PUTTED, which took longer than it should because I've never heard that term.  "Mobile greeting" is HI, Y'ALL.  "To fix this you need to get cracking!' is OMELET.

I didn't do all that badly on this one!  What a CLEVER DICK. YES INDEEDY.

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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"...