Thursday, March 22, 2018

Thursday's New York Times puzzle solved: March 22, 2018

My time: 11:39.

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Ross Trudeau recasts social media phrases as literal wordplay in this puzzle. "One with a lot of likes" is VALLEY GIRL.  "One with a lot of tweets" is "ROCKIN' ROBIN" (the song by Bobby Day includes the word "tweet" a lot).  "One with a lot of shares" is MAJORITY OWNER.  "One with a lot of posts" is FENCE MENDER.  And "one with a lot of followers" is the least clever one, MOTHER DUCK.

Yukons and Envoys are GMCS.  I've heard of the Yukon but not the Envoy.

"Round after the Elite Eight" is SEMIS.  I've never heard of the Elite Eight.  It means the final eight teams in the NCAA basketball tournament.  So the next round is the semifinals, I guess.

"Dutch financial giant" is ING.  It's a banking and insurance concern.  Its logo is an orange lion, alluding to its origins under the House of Orange-Nassau.  ING doesn't appear to stand for anything in particular.

EDM stands for Electronic Dance Music, and techno is a subgenre of it, I guess.

I feel like "YEA big" deserves a little more context in the clue, something like "...how one might informally approximate," or similar.  Also, I'm not satisfied with the spelling, though I also dislike the idea of "yay big."  To Google!  "Yay big" gives 371,000 results, while "YEA big" gets only 265,000, and many of those seem to be someone's hip-hop moniker.

Did you know that a walk is not counted as an AT BAT?  Me neither.

The EPA was established on December 2, 1970, during Nixon's presidency.

In Giacomo Puccini's opera "Tosca," all the central characters die.  It's set in ROME.

Arthur ASHE was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1993 by Bill Clinton.

I've never heard of the cartoon dog McBarker, but I somehow intuited he belonged to Mr. MAGOO.

On the other end of the brow spectrum, "Lucia di Lammermoor baritone" ENRICO is a baffling series of words to the uninitiated like me.  So, "Lucia di Lammermoor" is a tragic opera by Gaetano Donizetti, loosely based upon Sir Walter Scott's historical novel The Bride of Lammermoor.  One of the characters is Lord Enrico Ashton, played by a baritone.

If I watched "Game of Thrones," I would have gotten boy king JOFFREY right off instead of needing a lot of crossfill.

I forgot that Mississippi Masala director MIRA Nair appeared December 17, 2017.

ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference), the "Blue Devils' grp," has come up before more than once, with the same clue on October 29, 2017.

Clever clue: "Thyme piece?" is SILENT H.  I guess that's a "piece" of the word thyme.  Ugh?  "Hard-to-hit pitches" is HIGH CS.

More than A DAB of new and troubling stuff in this puzzle.  I did GNAT do as well as I'd like, but I MAI do better next time there's a question about Lucia di Lammermoor!

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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"...