Saturday, May 12, 2018

Saturday's New York Times puzzle solved: May 12, 2018

My time: 7:26, another record, the fourth this week!  This time I beat my old record by four minutes!  Lawdy!


Anyhoo, Alex Eylar constructed this whorl-shaped themeless.  I was just in tune with this one; every time I put a maybe answer down, like HOEDOWN for "event with fiddling," or LOWLIFES for "riffraff," it turned out to be right.  Lucky.  Saturdays are not usually this forgiving of the first go-round.  I liked the answers NO-TELL / MOTEL, MOONIE, FALSE BOTTOM, LOOK BACK ON, and HORSE HOCKEY.

I didn't know who said the H.L. MENCKEN quote at first, of course.  But the idea that puritanism is "the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy" sounds like him.

I wanted to put *PYRITE for "faux gold" but it's OROIDE, a new one on me.  This term just refers to an alloy of copper and zinc or copper and tin

Place of eternal happiness isn't *HEAVEN but AVALON, of Arthurian legend, where Excalibur was forged.

Jamaica's St. ANN'S Bay is a town most famous for being the birthplace of Burning Spear and Marcus Garvey.  The parish of St. Ann was named after Lady Anne Hyde, the first wife of King James II of England.  So what happened to the E??  A mystery that applies equally to Massachusetts' Cape Ann.

We've all heard of the play "The Vagina Monologues," but the author, Eve ENSLER, is not a household name.  She seems to be a bit of a one-hit wonder.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.

My weak geography-fu fails me again, as I have never heard of BELEM, Brazil.  It's the capital of the state of Pará, and an important port, the gateway to the Amazon River.

I had forgotten about Lake Superior's SOO Canals, or SOO Locks as they are sometimes called, despite encountering them as recently as January 10.

Clever clues: "They may hold the solution" is BEAKERS.  "The last pair you'll ever wear?" is CEMENT SHOES.  "Something the Netherlands has that Belgium doesn't?" is CAPITAL N.  "Beat someone" is KEROUAC --- that's a good one.

I very much enjoyed this puzzle!  It wasn't TOUGH at ALL for me; I was just in sync with Alex Eylar, I guess.  Such a quick solve is definitely an ANOMALY for a Saturday.

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