Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Tuesday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: August 21, 2018

My time: 6:09.


John Leib and Andrea Yanes made this puzzle which celebrates DARWIN.  Five Across answers have circled letters which show the name "evolving" down the puzzle.  The circled letters are D, DA, DAN, DARN, DARIN, and then finally DARWIN.  A visual pun!

But what's even more impressive is this ultra-modern, cutting-edge fill!  We've got so many answers that enrage the highbrow crowd: TENACIOUS D, DA ALI G SHOW, STEELY DAN, IRON MAN, and even DARN TOOTIN' ("abso-lutely!").  While I wouldn't want the puzzle to become a pop culture cesspit, I do enjoy a few nods to phrases and concepts introduced after 1968. I also like the retro stuff like BIG APE ("galoot").

Are you a golfer?  Are you aware that Augusta National is a golf course?  Would go so far as to say that its 12th hole is "infamous?"  That hole is called the Golden Bell, and is hard to play because of swirling winds.  Did you know it was a PAR THREE?  ...You did?  Huh.  Did you know that the club barred African Americans until 1990 and women until 2012?  And that it required all caddies to be black?  What a terrible, backward, odious place.

For "Schubert's 'The ____ King,'" I wanted to but *ELF, but realized pretty quickly that this left me with *SNF for "TV Funhouse" show SNL.  It's actually the ERL King, from the original German, meaning Alder King.  Schubert took it from a poem by Goethe, who took it from an earlier source.  So, that's a new concept.

Also, in hockey (of course), here's one of many rules I've never heard of: an overtime LOSS counts as a team point.  A team that ties also gets one point. 

Kid ORY was a trombonist and band leader from Louisiana.  Louis Armstrong joined his band in 1919.

I recently encountered the Indian dish BIRYANI, rice mixed with meat, spices, and sometimes egg.  It's hard to spell, though.

"Self-important minor official" is TIN GOD.  That's not a widely-used expression.

Ski lift type T-BARS came up on November 27, 2017.

Disney CEO Bob IGER was showcased on October 27, 2017.  I had forgotten his existence.

Clever clue: "Deal breaker?" is NARC.

This was a fun Tuesday.  The theme was clever and to the point, and I was just bowled over by that newfangled fill.  I've got a YEN for more like this!

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Saturday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: August 8, 2020

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