Friday, June 8, 2018

Friday's New York Times puzzle solved: June 8, 2018

My time: 10:07.

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I didn't finish Thursday's puzzle, thanks to a particularly devilish theme and some names I simply didn't know.

Caleb Madison is responsible for this themeless which features some fresh modern fill: BEATS BY DRE, TRANSGENDER ("taking on a new identity, in a way"), GO COMMANDO, SEES ACTION, THE MET GALA ("annual fashion event since 1948" --- I guess it's not that modern), and CINNABON.  Even GINORMOUS!

The Romanian currency unit leu appeared on December 19, 2017, but this is the first time the plural LEI has appeared.  Currently 4 LEI will get you one U.S. dollar.

"One taking a survey" gave me too much pause because I was reasonably expecting pollster and not the little-used POLLER.

I guessed the clue pretty easily, but I couldn't have told you beforehand that Beethoven wrote not one PIANO SONATA, but thirty-two of them.

Guess who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980?  Edwin Donald "Duke" SNIDER, that's who!  He played for the Dodgers and was known as "the Silver Fox" and "the Duke of Flatbush."  Never heard of him.

An OSSICLE is any tiny bone, but usually the three bones of the ear: the anvil (incus), hammer (malleus), and stirrup (stapes).

New to me: James F. BYRNES, Truman's secretary of state.  On balance, I don't care for him at all.   He supported a lot of FDR's economic policies, but opposed anti-lynching laws and fair labor laws.  As governor of South Carolina, he opposed Brown v. Board of Education and was a proponent of "separate but equal" policies in schools.  He even supported Strom Thurmond's switch to the Republican Party in 1964.

I once again accidentally put *YENTL for YENTE in the clue "to whom 'Matchmaker, Matchmaker' is sung," despite going over the same ground on May 4.

Clever clues: "Sellers of buckets" is KFCS.  "One hanging around in a deli?" is SALAMI.  "Fifth place?" is BOTTLE.  "Stone that's cast" is EMMA.

After a week of tough stuff, I did pretty well on this Friday!  There were a few BITS that needed adjusting, but mostly I did it SPEEDILY.

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