Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Wednesday's New York Times puzzle solved: May 9, 2018

My time: 9:02, two minutes faster than average.

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Jeff Chen has us SEEING DOUBLE in this puzzle --- double letters, that is.  Each themed answer has a double letter, making it not fit the clue.  "Reality TV show, when 59 Across" (that's the placement of SEEING DOUBLE) is AMAZING GRACE.  "Chilled" becomes OVER RICE, "possibly" is rendered as DEEP ENDS, and "aerate" is turned into a VENTI LATTE.

I wasn't charmed by the theme.  It's just some doubled letters, which has been done.  I'd like to have seen some cohesion in the theme; the double letters aren't even in the same spot in the themed answers.  Maybe a little clue tweaking would help?  I can't quite put my finger on it, but just found this theme kind of blah.

I've never heard of Newport steak, which isn't surprising since it seems to have been prepped in the 1940s by a single butcher in Greenwich Village, at Florence Meat Market.  It's a cut from the bottom sirloin, also known as TRI-TIP.  Apparently the name was coined when the butcher decided the steak resembled a Newport cigarette logo.

It's NAS again!  Crossword constructors love NAS.  Here he's noted as feuding with Jay-Z.

Clever clues: "It's gripping" is CLASP.  "Said O-D-O-U-R" is SPELT.  "Line holdup?" is CUE CARD.  "High number?" is EXPONENT.  "Beginnings of some trips" is LSD TABS.

Hmmm.  OMG, there was really only one single solitary item of new material in today's puzzle?  Then why did it take so long??  I'm blaming the theme.  SIGH.

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