Friday, June 29, 2018

Friday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: June 29, 2018

My time: 14:56.

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David Steinberg built this fun, challenging Friday themeless.  I enjoyed a lot of the fill.  The one that made me the smile most was BADA-BING, BADA-BOOM ("voilà!"), but IMAGINARY FRIENDS, MASTER CONTROLLER ("overseer of all other systems"), CAST LOTS, AARGH ("this is killing me!"), PSHAW ("phooey!"), and NAWLINS ("where po' boys are eaten") are also all great.

Crossword creators love ELO.  This time their clue is the song "Telephone Line." I don't think I care for this band.

Crossword creators also love the GTO.  Here it is part of the lyrics to Ronnie & the Daytonas' "Little GTO."  This song was also a clue on January 13.

"Package of Linux software, informally" is DISTROS.  I don't think I'll pretend to understand that.

Fifty Shades of Grey is nowhere near my cup of tea, so I have no idea who Anastasia STEELE is.  It seems she's the protagonist?  That's nice.  What a subtle name choice!

Did you know that Madiera Airport, in Santa Cruz, Portugal, was renamed Madiera International Airport CRISTIANO RONALDO in 2016?  He was born there.  But he plays for Real Madrid!  The airport is ranked as the ninth most dangerous airport in the world because of wind conditions.

It's new to me: I've never heard of this fascinating place, GRETNA Green!  It's a village in Scotland famous for being an elopement destination.  This is due to a few reasons, one being a good place for lovers who lived on opposite sides of the border to meet, another being to escape a 1754 Marriage Act which allowed parents to veto a proposed marriage.  To me the most interesting is that according to Scottish law, if a declaration was made before two witnesses, almost anybody had the authority to conduct the marriage ceremony. The blacksmiths in Gretna were charmingly known as "anvil priests!"

The song "Ain't It Fun" won the 2014 Best Rock Song Grammy.  It is by Paramore.  I have never heard of it.  I'm old.

I didn't know EGYPT was referred to as Mizraim in the Bible.  A search for the term in a concordance reveals a lot of BEGETs and sons of (he was a son of Ham), but nothing about a land.  In some translations of Genesis we read "When the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, 'This is a grievous mourning for the Egyptians.' Therefore the place was called Abel Mizraim, which is beyond the Jordan."

Everyone knows SNL, but do we know it's filmed at Studio 8H?  No, and I'm not sure we care.  AT one time, 8H was the world's largest radio studio.  It was originally constructed for Arturo Toscanini's NBC Symphony Orchestra in 1937.

Lamborghini is owned by the Volkswagen Company through its parent company, AUDI.

ERICA Hill is a CNN journalist.

"Knesset assembly" is ISRAELIS.  Knesset is Hebrew for "gathering," but it's also the name of the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Jerusalem.

I thought "shutdown alternative" referred to a government shutdown, but it's the computer type.  RESTART is another option.

Hungarian conductor Georg SOLTI appeared on December 2, 2017.  Here he is clued as being a knighted conductor.  He's a KBE!  When I first read the clue Ringo Starr popped into my mind; he's a knight too, and he played a conductor!

2014-15 dance craze NAE NAE appeared on January 21.

Clever clues: "Head of Napoleon's army?" is TÊTE.  "They provide quarters for dollars" is INNS.  "Features on some jackets" is BIOS.  "Dope" is INFO.  "Middle of a dash?" is ODOMETER.  "Memorable line?' is SCAR.  "Pot grower?" is ANTE.

This was a refreshing challenge.  I thought the difficulty level was right ON TARGET. 

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

My time: 23:35 , not great but still faster than average. Theme: dropping the final "g" of well-known phrases, moving the "g&...