Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tuesday's New York Times puzzle solved: April 24, 2018

My time: 6:51, faster than my Tuesday average.

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I haven't been as delighted with a theme in a long time as I have with this one by Peter Gordon.  Some famous people are clued up: BRET EASTON ELLIS, CUBA GOODING JR, and IDRIS ELBA --- all three terrific fill on their own --- proving with the punchline capper that John Donne was wrong when he said "NO MAN IS AN ISLAND."

Extremely clever theme, terrific aha moment when you get the joke, just beautiful fill.  Plus there was some good non-theme fill like BRAZILIANS, DR. MOM, and HD TV SET.  An all around exciting puzzle, really.

I've seen and maybe even played, once, the game Rummikub, an Israeli game in which numbered TILES are played in sets or runs.

Here's how little I know about basic world geography: I've heard of GDANSK all my life, but never stopped to learn that it's a Baltic Sea port in Poland.  It has good crossword structure.

"What's your sleep number?" I had to remember that tagline to have the penny drop on "company with numbered sheep plush toys."  It's SERTA, of adjustable mattress fame.

The eldest of Chekhov's "Three Sisters?"  That's OLGA, the workhorse of the family.  She takes care of the two younger sisters, Irina and Masha.

I can't say I've listened to a lot of Patti Page, and her song "I CRIED" ("it was winter when you told me you were leaving") is unknown to me.  She was known as "The Singin' Rage, Miss Patti Page."  She released three #1 hits between 1950 and 1953: "All My Love (Bolero)," "I Went to Your Wedding," and "(How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window."

Did you know that LACE is the 13th anniversary gift?  Me neither.  Actually I detest clues like this. It's not something people generally know, and it's not clever, and it's not guessable.

Bloggers who ride bikes all over creation may not have been briefly stymied by TOECLIP, as I was.  I guess they're just devices that fit your toe on a bike pedal, like a shoe, so your foot doesn't slip off.

The 1971 Pan American games were held in CALI, Colombia.  The USA won.  Yaaayyyy!

I've never seen a production for "Cats."  The character that sings "Memory" is GRIZABELLA, "the Glamour Cat." Interestingly, she was not a character in the book of poems, as her part was considered too sad for children.  Eliot's widow Valerie gave the poem to Andrew Lloyd Webber and he included the character in his musical.

In the crossword's quest to include every single California city beginning with some form of "San" or "Santa," we now have Santa ANA, the county seat of the O.C. and the fourth-safest city in the US according to Forbes.

Emmy-winning actress SELA Ward last appeared on a very recent Tuesday: April 10.

Clever clues: "Sessions of Congress" is PETE.  "They're likely to get into hot water" is TEA BAGS.  "Hammered" is LIT (coulda been *HIT).

Well, that's ENDED for the NONCE.  SEE you next time, BROS.

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

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