Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Tuesday's New York Times puzzle solved: March 27, 2018

My time: 8:42, pretty slow for a Tuesday!

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Peter Koetters plays with geography names in this puzzle.  Creating imaginary taglines for tourist boards, he gives us four themed answers: "Explore Alaska! It's" MORE THAN JUNEAU!  "Writers and photographers will find Michigan a great place for" FREE-LANSING!  "Blow into Maine on" AUGUSTA WIND!  And "I was afraid to ski, but in New Hampshire I" CONCORD MY FEARS!

Ha!  Map puns.

I like the clue "hoot" for RIOT.

For a three-letter word for "john," it's either going to be *LOO or LAV.  The latter this time.

I got Southend-on-Sea's county, ESSEX, right off from the crossfill.

"Key with three sharps" is A MAJ.  The three are C#, F#, and G#.  I really don't understand music scales and signatures an chords and tones and sharps and keys.

I've never heard of Fijian-born golfer VIJAY SINGH.  He was number one with 32 weeks in 2004 and 2005.  He has won three major championships.

"Family Ties" mom ELYSE Keaton really stymied me.  With my brain not yet fully engaged, I had the themed pun written "correctly" (therefore wrong) as FREELANCING, which gave me *ELYCE, which to me looked just as good as the actual spelling.

For "northern achipelago dweller" I had *INUIT but it's ALEUT.  An easy mix-up, useful for clever constructors wanting a trap.

For "what drones collect" I put *HONEY but it's INTEL.  I should have remembered that drones don't collect pollen, but only mate with the queen and do no work.

For "conscript" I was thinking of the verb and put *DRAGOON but it's the noun, DRAFTEE.

I'm not too familiar with Susa, ancient city located in what is now Iran.  It was home to the ELAM civilization, known for their cylindrical seals, metalwork, and royal incest.

I know of the place, but obviously, I couldn't have told you that Mikhail Baryshnikov was born in RIGA.  But he was granted Latvian citizenship in 2017 for it!

Silent film actress Pola NEGRI appeared November 4, 2017, with her first name as the fill.  Somehow, I retrieved this tiny fragment from the dustbin of my mind.

Clever clue: "Fixer at a horse race?" is VET (I put *BET at first, not really thinking and conflating the ideas of betting and match-fixing). "Belted one out of this world?" is ORION.  "Green party honoree" is ST. PAT.  "Baby sitter?" is LAP.

Well, I wasn't exactly ACES at this one.  There's no RIME or reason to it; some stuff just STYX in my head and some doesn't.

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