Friday, August 3, 2018

Friday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: August 3, 2018

My time: 13:25.

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David Steinberg created this themeless, and I have to give props to his mad cluing skills that made it challenging!

I like "four-finger gestures" for AIR QUOTES (great fill, too), and "complains vocally" is brilliant for MAKES NOISE, since it is a usage in that sense ("he's been making noise about our unfair policy"), but only one of many.

Nautical term time!  A SPRIT is a spar that intersects the mast at about a 45 degree angle to support a sail.

Steinberg acts all impressed that WEEZER has four (!) self-titled albums, but so did Led Zeppelin, and  Chicago had something like twenty-four!

A Keogh plan is a pension plan for self-employed people.  An alternative is an IRA.

I've heard of ED SHEERAN --- he's pretty famous --- but I couldn't have named his 2015 Grammy-winning Song of the Year, "Thinking Out Loud."  The video is pretty boring.

For "cab charge," I knew it was a wine pun, but I had *CORKING FEE, when the actual term is CORKAGE FEE.  I'm no oenophile.

I knew that callaloo is a kind of STEW --- actually, I remember the word from Walt Kelly's "Pogo" --- but burgoo is a new one to me.  Callaloo is a Caribbean dish named after the leaf vegetable, also called amaranth or bhaaji.  Burgoo is a dish originating in the southern US and is somethimes called Kentucky burgoo.

Speaking of food, MASA is corn flour in Latin American cuisine.  The corn flour is soaked in an alkaline solution to remove toxins before turning it into yummy tortillas.

"Cosmopolitan feature" is SEX QUIZ.  That's the highest Scrabble-scoring phrase so far!

Did you know Neil SEDAKA wrote "Love Will Keep Us Together," a #1 hit for Captain and Tenille in 1975?  Did you care?

Even though I've read The Once and Future King and am somewhat of a Round Table buff, poor Sir KAY slipped my mind completely.  The son of Sir Ector, he was very tall and apparently had magical powers.

Milanese opera house La Scala appeared on November 25, 2017, and today the puzzle asks for its full name: TEATRO alla Scala.

Clever clues: "Commercial lines?" is STRIP MALLS.  "Stir crazy?" is PRISON RIOT, and to me doesn't quite work.  A "crazy" is not a "riot," and vise versa if riot is used as a verb.  "Turns a corner?" is DOG-EARS; I put *DOGLEGS at first.  "Hamburger, maybe" is HERR.

A good solid themeless Friday.  A TOAST to Brainy Steinberg!  And now I got AGO.

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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"...