Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: June 15, 2018

My time: 16:52, better than average but nearly twice as slow as my record.


Sam Ezersky built this Friday themeless which gave me a bit of trouble, what with its "history" and "culture" questions.  Some of the clues are just plain devious, such as: "like the Trix rabbit."  LOP-EARED.  Way to throw us off the scent.  I like the modern-ish fill DOOMSDAY CLOCK, DNA BANK ("modern sort of Noah's ark"), DO THE HUSTLE, SWOLE, and KYLO REN.

Per Wikipedia, the AGA KHAN is a title used also as a name by the Imam of the Nizari Ismailis, whose holder since 1957 is the 49th Imam, Prince Shah Karim Al Husseini Aga Khan IV (b. 1936).  Four people have used this title since 1800.  The Nazari are a small branch of Shia Muslims, who teach the value of reason and pluralism.

There are several awards for the mystery genre, but the AGATHA has been given out since 1988 by Malice Domestic, a fan convention.

I like how clowns BOZO and BOBO are intersected.  BOBO Barnett came up way back on October 23, 2017.

Did you know Pac-Man was facetiously named "Man of the Year" in 1982 by MAD MAGAZINE?  Me neither.

EL CID famously led the conquest of Valencia, and so was called Prince of Valencia.  He died there in 1099.  EL CID also appeared on December 13, 2017.

In other ancient history, PHONECIA occupied parts of modern-day Lebanon, Syria, and Israel, including Sidon, Lebanon's third-largest city, and Tyre in Lebanon.

A new word to me is ACETAL, an organic compound with two alcohol molecules.  They are apparently used in perfumery?  Organic chemistry may as well be Japanese to me.

"Spanish pro soccer association" is LA LIGA, a.k.a. the Primera DivisiĆ³n, a.k.a. La Liga Santander (because it has promotions with Santander Bank), the men's top professional association football division of the Spanish football league system.

APIA is the capital of Samoa, which I know, but only when reminded.  "Robert Louis Stevenson's burial place" would be a more interesting clue.

"Border river in the Midwest" is the WABASH, which runs from Ohio south to form the Indiana-Illinois border.  It's the state river of Indiana.  Many towns, two counties, two colleges, and a canal are named after it.

In other OHIO news, I-70 and I-75 meet at Dayton.

As I've written before, I don't know anything at all about musical notation.  G CLEFS are also called treble clefs.  I guess they're found "near key signatures?" A much better clue for this word would have been "Do-wop and R&B group of the '50s and '60s."

I haven't heard of the term OTC STOCK, which means a stock traded in some context other than the NYSE or other exchange.

OSLO, Norway, is one of many cities that tries to have a car-free city zone.

The INCUS bone appeared on October 30, 2017.

ION GUN appeared, to my surprise, on December 7, 2017.

Clever clues: "Ones sticking around a desert?" is CACTI.  "1960s TV unit" is F-TROOP, ha! "Places for aces or cases" is COURTS.  "Critic's pick?" is NIT.  "Commercial lead-in to X" is UBER.

This was a pretty tough Friday, but I enjoyed the puzzle.  I liked the tricky wordplay.  This Ezersky fellow's got RAW TALENT!

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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"...