Thursday, June 28, 2018

Thursday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: June 28, 2018

My time: 12:51.

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Jeff Chen has the keys to a crafty puzzle this Thursday.  "Key that moves the cursor to the next line" is ENTER, and that's the clue to solving five themed clues.

Two of those clues were obvious and so I knew right away there would be some missing letters.  "In sci-fi, it had the registry number NCC-1701" is nerd 101, and I'm not even much of a "Star Trek" fan.  It's USS / [Enter]PRISE, in which the second word, PRISE, is underneath USS, and the [enter] is implied, because that word is represented by the PRISE being on the next line.  In short, USS plus PRISE on the next line = USS [Enter]PRISE.

I also knew "classic Scott Joplin rag" THE / [Enter]TAINER right off.  So with the capper solved, I didn't have much trouble with the rest of the theme.

"Assume a leading role" is TAKE C[enter] / STAGE, "insects that nest in deadwood" is CARP[enter] / ANTS, and "fowl tasting Japanese dish" is CHICK[en] / [ter]IYAKI.

I've been to India and I'm a fan of mythological stories from all cultures, but the sun god RAVI didn't come to me.  It's one of the many names for Surya, who rides a chariot pulled by seven horses.

PETRA, Jordan, is a city in the southwest that has likely been settled for over 11,000 years. It's a UNESCO World Heritage site and a major tourist attraction.

I've never read The Hunger Games and so had no idea about the 12 "tributes" in the book or movie.  Are they items?  The answer is RUE.  How do you ship a tribute of regret to someone?  It turns out RUE is a 12-year-old girl from District 11 who gets killed.  I guess I see the appeal of these dystopian books, but for us older folks it's such an old, old trope.  Remember the Minotaur?

"Pheromone, notably" is ATTRACTANT.

Never heard of actress Anouk AIMÉE (whose name I assumed was the other way around before I looked her up).  She's a French actress who was in Lola, A Man and a Woman, and La Dolce Vita.

ANIL, aka Indigofera suffruticosa, Guatemalan indigo, small-leaved indigo, and West Indian indigo, is a flowering New World plant.  It is used to make indigo dye.

It turns out that Great EGRETS are also called common EGRETS.  It's like a contronym!

Fascinating Fact time!  US president Chester A. ARTHUR never had a Vice President!  He ascended to the office upon the assassination of James Garfield (the only sitting House member to be elected president).  The 25th Amendment, dealing with the line of succession, was not ratified until 1967, so Arthur's VP position was ever filled.  Bonus fact: When Arthur was a junior partner at Culver, Parker and Arthur law firm, he successfully represented Lizzie Jennings, who was forcibly removed from a New York City streetcar in 1854 because of her skin color. The day after a jury awarded Jennings $225.00 in damages, the Third Avenue Railway Company had its streetcars desegregated.

Journalist and author Gail SHEEHY's books include Passages, on aging; Hillary's Choice, on Clinton; and The Man Who Changed the World, on Gorbachev.

For "baseball highlight" I put home run *REEL, like an actor's best-of compilation, but this doesn't mean a recap on TV.  It means what the player actually does: the home run TROT.

Also for "pull in" I put *REEL, because apparently I love that word.  It's REIN.

The subatomic particle TAU lepton appeared on November 29, 2017.

The assistant in Young Frankenstein played by Terri Garr, INGA, was spotlighted on September 30, 2017.

It's KAT Dennings again!  She was just here, on June 22.

Hip-Hop Is Dead!

Clever clues: "Met people" is OPERA STARS.  "Shortening in the kitchen?" is TSP.  "Ones going down the tubes?" is OVA.  "Bread common to many countries" is EURO.  "Building of interest, maybe" is ACCRUAL.  "Chest protectors?" is ATTICS.
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This was a very satisfying puzzle.  I didn't fly through it like I did the first half of the week, but I enjoyed the clever theme.  And now it's time to CEASE.

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

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