Saturday, April 14, 2018

Saturday's New York Times puzzle solved: April 14, 2018

My time: 21:28, pretty slow.

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Sam Ezersky constructed this themeless Saturday which gave me a lot of trouble.  I had fun working through it, but it was a real challenge!

I didn't enjoy some of the questionable fill.  I don't think ECOLABEL is a thing.  "Dolphin safe" is a label, but does anyone call it an ECOLABEL?  Also, "used performance-enhancing drugs, in slang" is ROIDED.  Absolutely not.  Unequivocally no.  "ROIDED out" is a legitimate phrase, but no one uses it as a verb, like "He ROIDED during the Tour de France."  Nope.

Similarly, SO LONG isn't really a "departure announcement."  It's not announcing anything, is it?  It's a farewell.

URANIA is the muse of astronomy.  She usually is represented by a globe, which she points to with her little staff.  Also sometimes she is depicted with a compass.

"2016 World Series celebrant" is CUBS FAN, because the Cubs won the series in 2016 for the first time since 1908.

In the Bible, Esau had many grandsons.  One was OMAR, son of Eliphaz, Esau's son by one wife.  He also had another wife and another son.  Omar's brothers were Teman, Zepho, Gatam, and Kenaz.

"Like some laps and raps" is FREESTYLE.  I got the rap part, but I didn't make the connection that the lap refers to swimming in the pool.

Never heard of the album 3 Great Guys by Neil Sedaka, Sam Cooke, and Paul ANKA, but it's sadly not a collaboration, just an album with four solo tracks by each singer.

Did you know O. HENRY called New York City "Baghdad-on-the-Subway?"  (Or possibly "Baghdad on the Hudson" or "Gotham-on-the Subway"?) Me neither, but that's pretty amusing, and sounds like a quip he'd make.

For "salt" I had *SEASON a long time, but it's SEAMAN.  Very tricky!

An OCTILE is basically just one-eighth in statistics.

Robinson CANÓ is a Yankees and Mariners second baseman whom I've never heard of but seems to make 24 million dollars a year, which seems somewhat excessive.

The prefix ENTO- means within, so ENTOdermal, the same as endodermal, just means related to the innermost layer of tissues, such as gut lining.

The ALI PASHA referred to in the puzzle is the one known as the Lion of Jannina, who rules 1788-1822.  referred to in The Count of Monte Cristo and lots of other works.  He was known for rising through the ranks of brigands, his love of law and order, and his religious neutrality.  He was killed at the age of 82 by the Ottoman government, the Sublime Porte.

Jessica BIEL I know, but The Book of Love I don't.  It's a 2016 movie that seems to have the alternate title The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.  Justin Timberlake did the music!  It looks horrible.

I've never heard of Charlamagne THA God, but it seemed like a pretty obvious guess for the middle part.

"Group of notes reflecting a five-sharp scale" is just gibberish to me.  The answer is B CHORD, and I don't really get it despite scanning a few instruction pages.  Its actual name is B major.  It encompasses the pitches B, C♯, D♯, E, F♯, G♯, and A♯.  That's five sharps!

J'aime Paris, and I've been there a few times, but I don't know PARC Monceau.  It has a rotunda!  It was finished in 1779.  It was created as an example of the architectural folly, or fantastic reconstructions of buildings of different ages and continents.  Today, it has free wifi.  That's progress.

Clever clues: "Tabs are kept on them" is SODA CANS.  "D.C.'s D or C" is STREET. "Play stoppers" is RED CARDS --- I wanted to put *LAST ACTS.  "Baby pool?" is SLOBBER.  "Provider of protective coverage" is SCAB.

Well, SO LONG.

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Sunday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: August 2, 2020

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