Friday, September 7, 2018

Friday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved September 7, 2018

My time: 13:32.

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Josh Knapp served up this themeless, which stymies the solver by virtue of its vague and misleading cluing.  There is also a good bit of relatively little-used fill like LUNCH MONEY ("demand from a school bully"), IN A HOLE ("owing money"), BALD PATE ("chrome dome, so to speak"), and ON THE CLOCK ("getting paid, say").  Oh, and DIVING BELL is a great inclusion.

There was a lot of troublesome fill today.

"Stories with many chapters" is SAGAS.  I'm not sure if that's technically true of a saga in the original sense (did the Old Norse authors use chapter breaks?), but I guess in the more figurative sense of just "a long story" it can be true.

I had trouble with the vague "part of a Central American grove;" it's the unexpectedly specific PAPAYA TREE.

A VOLE is known as a "field mouse," but it isn't quite a mouse.  It is a rodent.

A phrase previously unknown to me (or more likely just forgotten) is the Latin IPSE DIXIT ("he said it himself"), which means an assertion made without proof.

I didn't know there's a magazine called "ELLE Decor," but it makes sense and is pretty guessable.

"Place to fish from" turns out to be DORY, as in the type of boat, a traditional fishing vessel.

We've all heard of Fall Out Boy, but we aren't at all au courant with the band's oeuvre.  "Sugar, WE'RE Goin' Down" is a song by them.

For "go on a tweetstorm, say" I put *RANT but it's VENT.

I didn't know Christian DOPPLER was an Austrian physicist, but that he "studied waves" made the answer clear, as that immediately bring to mind his eponymous Effect.

ST. PAUL'S Cathedral, on Ludgate Hill in London, is the burial place of John Donne and Horatio Nelson, it turns out.  Also, Christopher Wren and Alexander Fleming!

"As CHASTE as unsunn'd snow" is a line spoken by Posthumus in Act II of "Cymbeline."  He is ranting about how all women are deceitful.

PILSNER is a beer,  but also a type of tall, skinny beer glass.  Never heard of it, but then, I don't drink beer and never have.

The Egyptian deity Ammit was a crocodile-headed goddess and demon, who also was part lion and hippo, and devoured the SOULS of those were not pure of heart, a qualification measured by weighing the heart against the feather of Maat, goddess of truth.

"Comfy safari digs" is TENT BED.  Is this a real thing?

A WET CELL is a type of rechargeable and high-power battery powered by a liquid electrolyte or other acid, as opposed to a dry-cell battery.

HOBBIT is clued here as "fictional figure whose name means hole-dweller."  According to Wiki: "Tolkien set out a fictional etymology for the name in an appendix to The Lord of the Rings, to the effect that it was ultimately derived from holbytla (plural holbytlan), meaning "hole-builder" (and corresponding to Old English)."

The ARIA Hotel in Vegas came up on January 2.

Clever clues: "It takes time to sink in" is QUICKSAND.  "Fate worse than a ticket" is TOW.  "Pipe sellers" is HEADSHOPS, a term I haven't heard since the '80s when I lived in New York City.  I thought it might be *VAPE SHOPS.  "Tombstone figure" isn't about statuary found on cenotaphs but the Old Western town figure, EARP.  "Leg up" is EDGE, as in an extra bit that helps you win, a leg up on the opponents.  "Resource for an artist to draw on?" is SKETCHBOOK.  "What a colon might denote" isn't a *LIST but EYES, as when in an emoji :) --- that's clever. "Like some fish and olives" is SPEARED.

Well, I didn't do too badly this GO-ROUND.  Remember, doing difficult crosswords keeps your mind JUNG!

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