Friday, April 20, 2018

Friday's New York Times puzzle solved: April 20, 2018

My time: 11:35, not too bad!


A Friday themeless by Joel Fagliano with some quality rare fill: E-COMMERCE ("Net sales" --- a pun!), DEEP STATE, EAZY-E, DECK CHAIR, END OF AN ERA, GLOM, HIS 'N' HERS, WINEGLASS ("household item usually stored upside down") and others.

Oh, and it's apparently the TWENTY-FIVE / THOUSANDTH puzzle published in the New York Times, but I guess that isn't interesting enough to construct a theme around.

"Fastener with a crosspiece" is T-BOLT.

The oddly-spelled APOLO OHNO, eight-time Olympic medalist in speed skating, was a big name in the news in 2002.  His last Olympics was in Vancouver in 2010, where he won two bronze.

THIRSTY is clued here as "desperately in need of approval, in modern slang."  According to all the post-millennial-penned crap I've read on Buzzfeed and its ilk, that word means "horny for men."  But this Merriam-Webster article has a good overview of the word's use.

"Under the specified word, in a reference book" is the definition of SUB VOCE, not to be confused with sotto voce.

I couldn't have told you that KAREEM Abdul-Jabbar has the number 33, or that it was retired by the Lakers in 1989.

"Prefix with -genetic" is EPI-, meaning on, over, before, or near.  Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression (active versus inactive genes) that do not involve changes to the underlying DNA sequence.

I don't think I've ever encountered the mnemonic "Eat An Apple As A Nighttime Snack" for the names of the CONTINENTS.  It's laughably useless, since the list itself is so short you may as well memorize them rather than those seven words.  Why not "Aryans Apply Eugenics Always, North And South?"

I'm familiar with Paul KLEE'S work, but apparently not enough to recognize the names of his paintings Cat and Bird and The Goldfish.

An otter's den is apparently a HOLT, also called a couch or sometimes a hover.

I know who Tycho BRAHE is.  Here he is clued as Johannes Kepler's "contemporary and assistant."  But it's the other way around!  Kepler was hired to be Brahe's assistant!  Tycho died very soon after engaging Kepler's services, and Kepler went on to steal Tycho's work.

Not being a geography buff, I couldn't say what cities are on the Elbe.  Apparently HAMBURG is.

Clever clues: "Class struggle?" is TEST.  "Put in play?" is CAST.  "Pocket of the Mideast" is PITA BREAD.  "Back now after going out?" is RELIT.

YEESH, that's a lot of new and uncertainly-learned material! Still, I didn't do too badly, all things considered.  A good challenge, with nice fresh fill and careful cluing. 


  1. We had fun with this one, except! Had never heard of the Ohno dude -- seriously, speed skating? -- and there was enought randomness in the cross that we spent ten or twelve minutes in the stupid game of "sub out all the letters." We also shared your laugh at a mnemonic for the names of the continents. It would work better as a mnemonic for a healthful eating practice for a night shift employee.

    1. Yes, I had *RESINS for ROSINS at first which gave me APOLO *OHNE. And otter's den and prefix for genetic didn't help much either.

  2. THINKS. "Man, this job is so boring! Can't wait for seven a.m. when I can go home. It's so dead here. What was I supposed to do again? Something about my lunch? Oh yeah! Eat an apple as a nighttime snack! Thanks, mnemonic!"



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&...