Sunday, June 10, 2018

Sunday's New York Times puzzle solved: June 10, 2018

My time: 30:27, about average.

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This one's got a theme, folks.  Ruth Bloomfield Margolin gives us 'Rush Hour Headaches."  Common phrases are replaced with homophones and then clued as they read.  They are all vaguely to do with commuting, though some clues are more... streamlined than others.

"Lane restricted to allow motorcades through?" is CHUTE FOR THE STARS.  Why is lane "chute?"  No one calls a lane of a street a "chute."  Moving on...  "Pressing and shoving me as I enter the subway" is CRAMPING MY STILE.  And so on.

As I say, some of the clues are a bit wordy.  I NEED TO LOSE WAIT implies sitting in traffic, but what does a tollbooth have to do with it ("this tollbooth line will make me late")?  BUSSED YOUR BUTT is a good pun, but that clue is clunky: "took public transportation while one's wheels were in the shop?"  The last seven words are unnecessary and misleading.  ROUTE OF ALL EVIL could certainly work, but "accidents, detours and construction" aren't "evil."

GIMME A BRAKE works, and MAKE THE TEEM is kind of funny.  But this theme needed an editor, badly!

The rest of the fill had its share of problems for me.  I'll try to streamline it.

"Nap for a loafer?" is SUEDE, because "nap" here means the fibers standing up on the material.

"As mine of HERS, so HERS is set on mine" is said by Romeo of his "heart's dear love" set on Juliet, in Act 2, scene iii.

The landmark case Brown v. The Board of Education of TOPEKA struck down the concept of "separate but equal."  Linda Brown was the plaintiff in question, a little girl who lived in TOPEKA.

D-CON is a maker of mousetraps and other types of rodent control.

"Bit of dangly jewelry" is EARBOB, which I've never heard and is just plain silly.

For "shellac and myrrh" I put *ROSINS but it's RESINS; they're nearly the same.  Rosin is a solid form of resin.

"The Music Man," about a confidence man who sells Midwestern townsfolk musical instruments and uniforms, but plans to skip town without giving any lessons.  It was written by Meredith Wilson, based on his boyhood in Iowa.  The locals in the show, therefore, are IOWANS.  The 1962 film version is set in River City, Iowa.

William Hewlett, of Hewlett-Packard fame, was an ALUM of MIT.  He got a Master's of Science in 1936.

"Brave adversary" is MET.  This confused the hell out of me until I realized it was about sports: The New York Mets vs. the Atlanta Braves.  Good clue!

Where San Francisco's public transport is the BART, in Philadelphia the carless masses take the SEPTA, or SouthEastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority.

ARTUR Rubenstein's name is usually transcribed as Arthur.  He was a Polish-Amerian pianist who started as a child prodigy and played professionally from the early 1900s to the 1970s.

I haven't seen "Quantico," nor heard of its star, Priyanka CHOPRA, an Indian actress, singer, and winner of the 2000 Miss World Pageant.  Indians are mad at her because of a TV show she didn't write.

Hawaii's IOLANI palace, royal residence of the Kamehameha Dynasty, appeared on January 4.

Utah's petroglyph-rich SEGO Canyon appeared way back on October 1, 2017.

"Refrigerator handle" AMANA has appeared several times.

Clever clues: "Not taking a bow?" is ASTERN.  "Rule against singing" is OMERTA.  "Matter of interest?" is RATE.  "Canine coat?' is ENAMEL.  "Time release" is ISSUE.  "House work?" is LAWS.  "Help make the bed?" is HOE.

This was SRTA tough!  The fill had good spots (ARMY MOM, SNEETCH) and less than good spots (SEINER, "net fisher").  But the theme was definitely a MESS.

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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"...