Friday, September 21, 2018

Friday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: September 21, 2018

My time: 20:06, a minute and a half slower than average.

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Zhouqin Burnikel created this themeless, which gave me a lot of trouble with its unusual fill and vague clues.  I have to admire the inclusion of CRIME BOSS ("El Chapo, notably), DUDE RANCH, STALIN ERA ("1924 to 1953"), ICE PALACE ("skating site"), and others, often with punny clues.

TAOS has come up several times, but here it's TAOS Ski Valley, "one of the highest municipalities in the US" at 9,200 feet.

We all know Fibonacci was an Italian, but did you know he was a PISAN?  Another fun fact: that name was made up in 1838, 600 years after his death.  His real name was Leonardo Pisano Bigollo.

In addition to being fantastic fill, a TATAMI MAT is a rice straw and rush mat covering the floor of a Japanese house or restaurant.

I think "unwanted messages" is a bit deceptively mild for HATE MAIL.

IDA Tarbell was a journalist and lecturer, a muckracker who "took on" Standard Oil by writing an exposé in 1904 called The History of the Standard Oil Company, a book which discussed the corrupt inner practices of the massive trust.  Her book would also lead to the Hepburn Act in 1906 to oversee the railroads, the 1910 Mann-Elkins Act which gave the Interstate Commerce Commission power over oil rates, and the creation of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 1914.

I did not know that Sandra Day O'CONNOR wrote a boom called Out of Order: Stories From the History of the Supreme Court.

I also didn't know DRAKE had an 2015 album (called a mixtape by he man himself) called If You're Reading This, It's Too Late.

GOP org. is RNC, also clued as "letter after Senator Richard Burr's name," because he's the Republican senator from North Carolina, in which case it's written R-NC.

MIA is a brand of facial care product made by Clarisonic.

Clever clues: "Gas" is EMPTY WORDS.   "Effect of surplus oil" is ACNE -- I was tricked and thought about shale oil.  "Took courses under pressure" is a very amusing way to say "STRESS ATE."  "Core group?" is SEEDS.  "Baby carriers" is MAMAS.

Well, like yesterday, this one took way too long, but I SUPPOSE at least it didn't come to DEAD END.  At least I finished, so I made it out with my pride INTACT.

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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"...