Friday, July 13, 2018

Friday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: July 13, 2018

My time: 8:54, beating the old record by five big seconds!

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Trenton Charlson may have got us under pressure with this puzzle that celebrates rock band ZZ TOP.  Running across the top of the puzzle are three themed answers that have double-Z: RAZZ (with the frustratingly, delightfully vague clue "ride"), PIZZA ("trattoria offering"), and FIZZ.

That's the end of the theme.  Pretty simple and to the point, just like that trio of reductive, derivative old rock-bluesmen.

I like the juxtaposition of ZOOMS OUT and ZEROES IN.

New to me: OBEAH, a spiritual and healing system (or "sorcery," as the puzzle defines it) originating in the West Indies.  Wiki: "Sometimes spelled Obi, Obeah, Obeya, or Obia, it is similar to other Afro-American religions such as Palo, Haitian Vodou, and Santería, in that it includes communication with ancestors and spirits and healing rituals. Nevertheless, it differs from religions like Vodou and Santeria in that there is no explicit canon of gods or deities that is worshiped, and the practice is generally an individual action rather than part of a collective ceremony or offering."

Note "amorphous mass" is GLOB, not *BLOB.

"Film speed letters" is ISO.  This is the current International Standard for measuring the speed of color negative film, first published in 1979, and overseen by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO in the original French, as it is headquartered in Geneva).

A KETCH is a two-masted boat, rigged fore and aft, similar to a yawl.

Salvador DALI is a household name, but have you seen his painting The Burning Giraffe?  I haven't.

Oscar Wilde is a household name, but have you read his poem "The Garden of EROS?"  I haven't.

A ZOETROPE is a sort of bowl-shaped device with slits placed uniformly around the sides, and a series of pictures depicting an action inside the bowl.  When the bowl spins, if you look through the slits the picture seems to move.  The name is composed from the Greek root words ζωή zoe, "life" and τρόπος tropos, "turning."

Did you know Vivaldi's "Spring" is a concerto in E MAJOR?  That means nothing to me, although I do love Four Seasons.

Fashion maven Geoffrey BEENE appeared on February 4.

Martial art KENDO appeared on May 2.  Here it is clued as literally meaning "sword way."  My infantile knowledge of Chinese helped me here, although it's obviously Japanese.

Bit of hardware T-NUT also appeared on May 2, then clued as "fastener with a flange."

The monetary unit krona and its 1/100th piece ORE appeared on another record-breaking Friday, May 11.

Founder of Stoicism ZENO of Citium appeared on January 17.

Clever clues: "What old records and happy-go-lucky people may do" is SKIP, ha!  "Pink, for one" is POP DIVA.  "Tiny brain?" is WHIZ KID.  "Roosevelt predecessor?" is DELANO.

And that's it for my fastest Friday ever!  So far.  But then, I'm getting AHEAD OF myself.

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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"...