Thursday, July 5, 2018

Thursday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: July 5, 2018

My time: 17:17.

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Randolph Ross has his eye on us with today's secretive rebus.  Four squares are rebus squares, each holding the name of a three-letter acronymic agency.  So we have DATE O[F BI]RTH crossed with BAY O[F BI]SCAY.  Then there's GARDE[N SA]LE ("spring event at a nursery") crossed with BEA[N SA]LAD, ENUN[CIA]TION crossed with OJ Simpson prosecutor MAR[CIA] CLARK, and MA[DE A] SCENE crossed with ART [DEA]LER.

What do they all have in common?  They can WIRETAP us!  The Fourth of July is over.  Put away the hotdogs and resign yourself to another year of having no privacy or civil liberties.

Did you know ARABIA is the world's largest peninsula?  It's by far the biggest, at 1,250,000 square miles.

Despite having been a Pacific Northwest resident for a good long time, I have not heard of Hells Canyon.  It is a ten-mile wide canyon carved out by the Snake River, located on the border of Oregon and IDAho.

"Low draw" confused the heck out of me.  It means a score that is low in value and tied.  ONE-ALL, for example.  In tennis that's usually called 15-all but I guess you can use one also.

The Oldsmobile ALERO appeared on June 20 as the automaker's last model.  Here it is clued as "successor to the Cutlass."

The BAY OF BISCAY is called the Golfe de Gascogne in French.  Forming the west coast of France, it is what the Loire empties into.

Tennessee Williams' 1948 play "Summer and Smoke" is about three women and how they perceive and deal with matters of the heart and flesh.  ALMA Winemiller, the daughter of a minister, is the main character; she begins the play very modest and asexual and at the end of the play is transformed. 

I don't follow sports, as I mention ad nauseam, so TERESA Weatherspoon, who played in the WNBA for the New York Liberty and Los Angeles Sparks, is unknown to me.  She is apparently one of the all-time greats of her league.

For "poor woodcutter of folklore" I'm sure we all wanted to write Geppetto but it doesn't fit!  It's ALI BABA.  I had no idea he was a woodcutter.

This puzzle had a couple of abstruse words.  "Lumpy" is NODULAR, while "pleasant glance" is GLAD-EYE.  I've never heard that phrase.  And "gene mutation results" is ALLELES.

"Once In Love With AMY" is a song by Frank Loesser.  Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra both sang it.  It originally is from a 1948 Broadway musical called "Where’s Charley?" which is based on an 1892 play, "Charley’s Aunt," by Brandon Thomas.

For "iceberg's cousin," I put *MORAINE right off and considered myself such a clever fellow!  Turns out it's ROMAINE.  I'm too vocabulary-rich for my own good.

Clever clues: "Something good to be under" is BUDGET. "Ain't right?" is ARE.  "This pulls a bit" is REIN, which is quite cryptically clever.  "Chest thumper, for short?" is EMT.  "Corn site" is TOE (and not *EAR or *COB).  "A couple of bucks?" is DEER.  "Be against" is ABUT.

This was a pretty good puzzle, not great but fun.  I always like an unexpected rebus, but I do wish there had been some kind of punchline to this one.  The capper, WIRETAP, didn't relate to the theme answers' placements or anything.  But it was fun and challenging enough.  KENYA give me an AMEN??

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

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