Friday, July 20, 2018

Friday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: July 20, 2018

My time: 16:07.

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Robyn Weintraub gives us this challenging themeless with a lot of fresh fun fill, like BARBIE DOLL ("Dreamhouse resident"), LIVING WAGE ("it gets you what you need" --- I took a stab at *LIVING WELL at first), NOSE-TO-TAIL ("like cooking that goes whole hog?"), ROLLER RINK ("place to spin your wheels") and others.

The challenge factor is upped here by the plethora of deliberately vague clues.  EGG HUNT is "activity for a basket holder," SPAM is just "food portmanteau," and SEA TURTLES is "creatures that divers sometimes swim with."

The Secretary of State after Edmund Muskie (our fishiest Secretary of State, under Carter) was Alexander HAIG, a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars, under Reagan.

A SABRA is a term for a Jew born is Israel.  The term alludes to a tenacious, thorny desert plant with a thick skin that conceals a sweet, softer interior. The cactus is compared to Israeli Jews, who are supposedly tough on the outside, but delicate and sweet on the inside.  I wonder if those cacti pass laws saying no other plants in Israel have rights?

I'm not sure RURAL means the same thing as "not built up."

DONA is the feminine form of dom, which is Portuguese is a title of nobility.

We last saw "hydroxyl-bearing compound" ENOL on September 24, 2017.

Oregon-based running shoe company AVIA last appeared on July 11 (and before that, also on September 24).

Clever clues: "He's nothing special" is AVERAGE JOE (I had *AVERAGE GUY at first).  "Stole, maybe" is FUR.  "What can get batters out?" is SPATULAS, ha, tricky!  "Chad's place" is BALLOT.  "Warning from one holding an iron" is FORE, ha, tricked you again!  "One who's happy about acquiring a few extra pounds" is BRIT, which I knew right off.

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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"...