Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Tuesday's New York Times puzzle solved: April 3, 2018

My time: 7:37, quite slow for a Tuesday.

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Damon Gulczynski revisits the theme of words that sound like letters (I swear I've seen this theme before, though not this exact puzzle).  The themed answers are NETFLIX QUEUE, YES YOU, MY EYE ("balderdash!"), DEAD SEA, MARY KAY, KAL-EL, and BUT WHY.  Read the last words together and you spell out the second word in THINK QUICKLY.

There was a lot, a lot of new-to-me stuff this time around.

An interesting tidbit is that the much-used Twitter symbols, ATS, have no commonly accepted English term other than "at sign."  Although I would endorse "ampersat."

It's been a long, long time since this old man and former French literature student heard the name Gil Blas, a 1735 novel by Alain-René LESAGE.  he is apparently better known for one I've never heard of, The Devil Upon Two Sticks, which sounds much more interesting.

I'm not familiar with the SUNDEW, a carnivorous plant that is not a fly-trap.  A member of genus Drosera, it resembles a thin frond of a fern with stalks that end on sticky globs.

Also new to me is LASSE Hallström, Swedish director of What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Chocolat, My Life as a Dog, and The Cider House Rules. Also he is married to Lena Olin.

I've vaguely heard of IRENE Cara, who sang "Flashdance... What a Feeling."

In more high culture trivia, it is the Flavian Emperor TITUS who is best known for finishing the Colosseum and for his humanitarian aid after the 79 AD eruption of Vesuvius and the burning of Rome the next year.

The muscle below a delt, or deltoid (shoulder muscle), is a latissimus dorsi, basically the side muscle, abbreviated LAT.

For "lead-in to ops" I had *PSY but it's SYS.

Ned YOST is a former baseball player and current manager of the Kansas City Royals.  He has been to two World Series, one as a player and one as a manager.  Never heard of him.

Another athlete I don't know is George "Papa Bear" HALAS, football player, coach, and founder of the Chicago Bears.

And, again in sports, the Cyclones ("of the Big 12 Conf.") are the sports team for Iowa State, or ISU.  It's so odd to me that so many millions of people care so deeply about unimportant things like this.

Nearly lost to me from my school days is the very pleasant poem "ABOU Ben Adhem," by Leigh Hunt.

I have never heard of the website KAYAK, an online travel site like Orbitz and Travelocity.

Obama's mother ANN Dunham hasn't appeared such that I've noticed so far, but she did pop up when I researched his stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, on Februrary 21.

The "Seinfeld" character Uncle LEO was played by Len Lesser, as we learned on October 13, 2017.

Our old friend EMI, Electrical and Music Industries, shows up again.

OH NO, this was a tough one.  But I pulled through.  YAY, ME.

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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"...