Thursday, August 16, 2018

Thursday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: August 16, 2018

My time: 16:09.


Alan Arbesfeld probably wishes this puzzle would have run tomorrow, because it celebrates the work of ROBERT / DENIRO, "born 8/17/1943."  If only Will Shortz had held it for the next day, when it would have made sense!

Several of the theme clues are DENIRO's movies, including CASINO, RAGING BULL, The DEER HUNTER, and TAXI DRIVER.  That's some impressive fill.  There's also "employer of [DeNiro]," not a person but the generic FILM STUDIO.  The weakest theme-related clue is COMEDY CLUB, "venue for a [DeNiro] movie of 2016."  This being one of his lesser-known (and more widely panned) works, it's an odd choice.

In all, a very nice tribute to a great (if somewhat sloppy, nowadays) actor.  In the fill, there was approximately a metric truckton of stuff I'd never encountered before or had forgotten.

"Rolled fare" is BURRITO.  That's a nice vague clue.

"As You Like It" hero is ORLANDO, the youngest son of his late father, left in poverty by his nasty big brother.  He falls in love with Rosalind, who disguises herself as Ganymede, a boy.

Did you know OBERLIN was the first coed college in America?  Me neither. It was coed from it's 1833 founding and began accepting black students in 1835!  Very progressive.

For "current measurer," I put *AMPETER for an embarrassingly long time.  It's AMMETER.

RIGA is the largest city in the Baltic States, with a population of 641,000.  The second-best contender, Vilnius, has 547,000.

Actor Edd Byrnes has appeared in the puzzle, but not EDD Roush, a center fielder who played with the Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds, among others.  He was on the winning team, the Reds, in the 1919 World Series, and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

The SCOTUS justice with the longest tenure is William O. Douglas, who served 13,358 days, or 36 and a half years.  Douglas is known for introducing the idea that trees might have standing in court.

We all know agricultural giant DOLE, but I've never heard of mascot "Bobby Banana."

"It ended in 1806" is a deliberately vague clue for HRE, or Holy Roman Empire.

Sticking with the Roman theme, ITER is the Latin word for "road" or "course."  I suppose we get our word itinerary from the same route.

Not being a cosmetics expert, I haven't heard of the Revlon brand ALMAY.  Their logo has uncrossed A's!  How minimalist.

I didn't remember the name of Obama education secretary ARNE Duncan, the man who pushed Common Core on unsuspecting private schools.

Never heard of science fiction series "Time TRAX," a kind of "Quantum Leap"-like show.  A policeman is sent, with an AI that of course takes the form of a prim but feisty woman, two centuries into the past to capture escaped prisoners from 2193.

Last and most embarrassing, I was utterly stymied by "canon offering, briefly."  I was for whatever reason convinced that "canon" referred to the priest and put *SER (for sermon).  It's Canon, the company, of course, and the answer is, once again, SLR.

I remembered that the "title lover in a 1922 Broadway hit" was ABIE from its appearance on May 30.

OISE appeared on February 4; today it's clued as "Seine tributary."

Baghdad suburb SADR City appeared on December 24, 2017.

Clever clues: "Revivalists, for short?" is EMTS. "Snake target" is CLOG.

Well, this was a slog for a Thursday. Veni, VIDI, but no vici.  I'd like a REDO.  

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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"...