Thursday, April 26, 2018

Thursday's New York Times puzzle solved: April 26, 2018

My time: 12:18, close to my record but but no cigar.

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Alex Eaton-Salners connects us with a meta puzzle, in which the number of a clue, and another answer in the puzzle, make up the clue.  Examples:

22 Across, "without stopping," is ENDLESSLY.  Right across from that the clue: "22 Across, with respect to this answer's location" (which is 24 Across).  This means that ENDLESSLY is defined as "24 ________."  It's 24/SEVEN.

46 Across is "in fairness," EQUALLY.  Next to it is this clue: "46 Across, with respect to this answer's location" (50 Across).  Thus EQUALLY is defined as "50 _______."  It's 50/FIFTY.

Similarly, NAP is 40 (Across) WINKS, while BOGEY is 1 (Across) OVER.

Brilliant idea, with extremely precise construction, since the linked answers are so close to one another.  I really enjoyed this puzzle.  I might even have gotten a speed record on this one, except for the northwest corner which I spent at least two extra minutes on.

The main problem was OVER, in the northwest corner.  When I got to the BOGEY theme clue, I didn't yet understand how the theme worked, and I kept wanting to put *FOUR for the answer at 1 Across.  My thinking was that if you got a BOGEY on 5 (because it's at 5 Across), the other answer would be par, in this case four.  I hadn't quite gotten the "previous answer is defined as [number of the clue] plus this new word" idea yet.

As for the rest of the fill...

Today I learned that pyriform (sometimes spelled piriform) means "shaped like a PEAR."  From now on whenever one might normally say "this is going pear-shaped," I'm going to say, "this is going pyriform."

Also in the northwest corner is ANSE Bundren, the name of the father in As I Lay Dying, which I read about 35 years ago.  He is an awful, lazy, selfish man.  Interestingly, this name appeared on November 25, 2017, as the real-life head of the Hatfield clan.

We all know William the Conqueror, but we don't all know that his dad was ROBERT I, Duke of Normandy.  His bastard son William succeeded him as Duke at the tender age of 8, and would go on to do great things.

I've never heard of NARITA airport, Tokyo's international airport.  It's named after the city in which it's located.

Rembrandt's name is usually spelled van Rijn, not RYN, right?

NIMBI are large greyish-black rain or storm clouds.  Geez, get your clouds right, Michael.

Did you know ESTONIANS are "citizens of the only country that relies significantly on online voting in elections?"  Are you ashamed that you didn't?

"Prefix with law or label" is ECO-?  "Ecolabel" appeared April 14, and I didn't think it was a thing then either.  ECOlaw?   Are we just adding the prefix to anything?  I enjoyed my ecosandwich.  It was made with dolphin safe tuna.

I know who Scottish pirate Captain William KIDD was, but not the legend that his treasure is buried on Oak Island.  But it may not be.  Indeed, the Oak Island mystery has many theories as to what treasure may be buried there, and whose, if any is at all.

INGA Swenson is an actress known from her roles in "Soap" and "Benson."  Interestingly, even though the latter is a spinoff of "Soap," she played different characters on the two shows.

I don't yet have my Monopoly properties memorized.  I know.  It's pitiful.  Anyway, the three yellows are Marvin Gardens, Atlantic Avenue, and VENTNOR Avenue.

I guessed "Debussy's La" MER pretty easily, but I'm not familiar with the work.

Never heard of LENE Hau, Danish physicist who apparently stopped the movement of a beam of light with her arcane eldritch powers.

I've seen IDA many times in the puzzle (Ida Lupino, short of Idaho, a Polish film), but I don't believe it's been clued as MT. IDA, the Greek peak on which Zeus was hidden as an infant.  He was hiding from his baby-eating dad, Cronus, and fed by the goal Amalthea.

Gum wall city San LUIS Obispo last appeared September 30, 2017.  Additional previously-learned fact: it is home to Cal Poly.

I could probably count the number of KIA models I know on one hand; the Rio is not one of them.  It's a cheap subcompact.  For "Rio producer," I was trying to think of Spanish words for "water" or "lake" that might fit.

Bell Atlantic acquisition GTE appeared on November 24, 2017.

Australian boot UGG appeared December 19, 2017.  It's clued as "Australian boot brand" but that's not technically correct; the company Ugg was founded in California.  The item, an ugg, no capital, is an Australian style of footwear, not a brand.

Clever clues: "Decked out?' is DEALT.  "Bolt of lightning speed" is USAIN.  "What might follow suit?" is TRIAL.

Well, this puzzle was overall a PLEASER.  I really ran through it quickly, but for that block at the top left, which was a huge SNAG.  OH, FUDGE!

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