Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Wednesday's New York Times crossworld puzzle solved: June 27, 2018

My time: 6:33.

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Ned White gives us the genuine article with this puzzle.  It's all based around the capper, the big punchline.  That's "Sean Parker's famous advice to Mark Zuckerberg in naming The Facebook:" DROP THE THE.  Crosswords always add "...and a hint to" the clued entries, but this time it actually is the solution to solving the four themed entries.

Four phrases leave out the definite article and then are clued as is.  For example, CUT TO CHASE is defined as "early 'Saturday Night Live' camera command?"  POP QUESTION is "you want Pepsi or Coke?"  BRINGS HOME BACON is of course about chauffeuring the actor Kevin around, and WHAT'S MATTER is a basic question for a physicist.

Pretty funny and clever, all four of them.  And the capper helps a lot.  Five star, A+ clue writing, would solve again.

Plus the fill has a few interesting bits: S-SHAPE, TRANQ, LATE LATIN, SKEIN.

Did you know AFLAC is based in Columbus, GA?  Me neither.

"Hits into the outfield" is SWATS.  Babe Ruth was the Sultan of Swat.  I wasn't aware it was a technical term.

Speaking of baseball, "1953 AL MVP Al" is Al ROSEN, whose nicknames were "Flip" and "The Hebrew Hammer."

"Big name in foil" is ALCOA, the Aluminum Company of America, the world's sixth-largest producer of aluminum.

I couldn't figure out "prefix with comic."  It's SERIOcomic.

The wording of "Ike's charge in WWII" stymied me for a while, but of course it's ETO.

Tennis champ HANA Mandlikov√° is a Czech-Australian with four Grand Slam singles titles.  She won titles on grass, clay, and hard court.  She had a career high singles ranking of number three, and was ranked in the world top 50 from 1978 to 1989.

The ETS in the film Arrival landed on May 4.

Clever clues: "Sites for development" is UTERI.  "Sharp footwear" is ICE SKATES.

I was pretty TAKEN with this puzzle.  The theme was clever and amusingly clued.  Well, AISLE see you later.

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