Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wednesday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: July 18, 2018

My time: 10:55.

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David Steinberg dug deep to bring us this puzzle, a rebus where each shaded square represents a FOSSIL (cutely intersected with DIG SITE).  In these shaded squares are two letters, and read from left to right, top to bottom, they spell out TY/RAN/NN/OS/AU/RU/S R/EX.

So, there's that.

This was a hard puzzle for a Wednesday, and not only because of the rebus theme.  I was held up right at the outset by "big name in French perfumes," which is CO[TY].  I've never heard of this apparent conglomerate, which owns makeup, hair coloring, and nail beauty products as well as fragrances.  It's named after Fran├žois COTY, an early 20th-century French perfumer and... fascist organizer and vicious anti-Semite?  SHEESH!  (This word is clued as "enough already!" which to me isn't quite parallel enough.)

I was never a Ringhead, so I didn't know that ORCS are wolf riders in The Lord of the Rings.  These wolves are called Wargs.  Send out your Warg-riders!

"Workout-obsessed sorts" gave me a bit of trouble.  I've heard of gym rats but not GYM BU[NN]IES.  By the time I was filling out this part of the grid, I knew two letters had to go in one square but couldn't figure it out.  *GYM BU[DD]IES?  That didn't seem right.

I was also hampered by "suddenly attack," for which I put *LAY IN even though that's not quite right.  It's FLY AT.

We've all heard of Willie MAYS for sure, but I didn't know he made "The Catch" in the 1954 World Series.  Apparently he caught a ball that might have been a homer in other fields, but the Polo Grounds where this game took place was longer than other ballparks.

Apparently Southend-on-Sea is in ESS[EX].

"Locale of a 12/7/41 attack" is OAHU, which I guessed fairly easily but didn't know for sure.

I don't see how most Americans are supposed to know or make a reasonable guess as to what school "The Cavalier Daily" is the paper for.  It's at the UVA, or University of Virginia, and is Virginia's oldest collegiate daily.

The BART stops at SFO, which I recognized from its appearance on December 21, 2017.

I put SLR in this time without hesitation!

Streaming giant I HEART [RA]DIO appeared on September 9, 2017.

ENOKIS were explained on November 15, 2017.  Here they're clued as "mushrooms in miso soup."

Clever clues: "Movie villain with a red eye" is a great clue for HAL.  "When said three times, good name for a crew fraternity?" is pretty belabored and wordy, but still kind of amusing for RHO.  "+ and = share one" is a good way to clue KEY.  "Burned, in a way" is ON CD.  "Baby bump" is OWIE.  "Feeling in the long run?" is ACHE.  "Source of inside info?" is MRI.

SHEESH and HOO BOY!  This was hard for me.  And while the theme didn't exactly wow me, I like tackling a rebus.  It's not a SHOWY puzzle today, but then I'm not too CHO[OS]Y.

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