Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sunday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: June 17, 2018

My time: 25:37.


The tricky trio of Amanda Chung, Karl Ni, and Erik Asgard teamed up to make this "Tricky Trios" puzzle.  Playing off of the concept of LAST ONE STANDING ("survivor of an all-out brawl"), they showcase four famous trios, with the final member of the three found in the intersecting Down answer --- "standing" up rather than running left to right, you see.

At first I thought it was a rebus, with the last member of each trio taking up one square, which slowed me down.  But it isn't a rebus; the final word has just been moved to another answer and in the upright vertical position.

"Breakfast trio" is SNAP, CRACKLE, AND [po]P, crossed with POPULAR OPINION, cleverly clued as "in view?"  I was baffled by the puppet trio of KUKLA, FRAN, AND [olli]E when it originally appeared on November 10, 2017, but thanks to that past answer, it came easier.  It's crossed with ROLLIE, which the authors claim is slang for a "certain expensive watch" (a Rolex).  Next is "sailing trio" WYNKEN, BLYNKEN, AND [no]D, crossed with ANNO DOMINI.  (I spelled those first two named with I's originally, which cost me some time.)  Last we have folk trio PETER, PAUL, AND [mar]Y, crossed with MAMMARY GLAND, amusingly clued as "nursing facility?"

In "Otello," the opera by Verdi, Otello is a TENOR role.

Speaking of Shakespeare, IRA Aldridge was a 19th century African-American Shakespearean actor.  He was married twice, once to an Englishwoman, once to a Swedish woman, and had a family in England. Two of his daughters became professional opera singers.  He played Othello!

I didn't know that WNYC was the producer of "Radiolab," but I like answers like this that are easy to guess after a few letters.

I've never seen the ABC TV show "Black-ish."  It centers on the Johnson family, of which the youngest daughter is DIANE, played by Marsai Martin.

I had no idea that HELSINKI was an archipelago with about 330 islands.

I've heard the Righteous Brothers song "Little Latin LUPE Lu" referenced countless times in Jonathan Richman's song "Parties in the USA," but I never really heard it right.  I thought it might be Louie Lou.  Anyway, Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels and the Kingsmen also had hits with the song; Bruce Springsteen even performs it on tour.

Director Taika WAITITI is a new one to me, but he made Eagle vs. Shark and Thor: Ragnarok, both of which I enjoyed.

"Something ratable by number of Pinocchios" is a LIE; this is a reference to the Washington Post's Fact Checker.

We all know what NASCAR is, but we may not know the name of Charlotte Motor Speedway (formerly Lowe's Motor Speedway), an oval racetrack that hosts car racing.

"Upholsterer's fabric" is BROCADE, a silken, usually embossed cloth with silver or gold threads.  Interestingly, the word comes from the same root as broccoli.

TAOS has come up before as a resort, but here it's an "eponymous New Mexico tribe."  They're a Pueblo tribe.

I don't like "have AN IN with."  Bad clue, bad fill.

North Carolina university ELON has appeared several times, but this is the first time the puzzle has clued it has having sports teams called the Phoenix.

I didn't see the 2015 Mad Max movie, so I didn't even know Charlize Theron was in it, let alone that her character's name is Imperator FURIOSA.  Spoilers!

Predominately Canadian tribe the CREE appeared on October 17, 2017.

Did you know Ford made the Mercury, or MERCS as their close buddies call them?  I wrote that exact sentence on October 28, 2017.

"Camera with a mirror" is SLR.  One day I'll know this.

Clever clues: "Fall guy?" is HUMPTY.  "Strip pokers?" is AWLS.  "Goes with" is SEES.

OOF, look at that time.  I didn't exactly kick ASS on this puzzle,  But it did provide a lot of AHAS.  I liked the repeated clue "underworld" for MAFIA and HADES.  I liked TAKE TO THE HILLS and SHRINKY DINKS and POTAGE.  It was edutaining!

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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&...