Sunday, September 9, 2018

Sunday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: September 9, 2018

My time: 18:55.

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I had no "Mixed Feelings" about this one by Hal Moore.  I posted a very good time, and I loved the inventive theme.  Playing off the grid-spanning phrase LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIPS, he arranges for four squares to have words that contain [LOVE] going across but read [HATE] going down.

For example, "neighbor of Hungary" is S[LOVE]NIA.  But it crosses with "why am I not surprised?" which reads as W[HAT E]LSE IS NEW?  In another square, CALIP[HATE] crosses with the pun "pair of diamonds," which is BATTING G[LOVE]S.  Perhaps the most impressive instance of the theme is ROL[L OVE]R IRA ("option for moving an investment") crossed with WORDS TO T[HAT E]FFECT ("basically what was said").

In addition to the theme, there was some little-seen and interesting fill: TOTAL RECALL ("result of a photographic memory"),  AMPERSANDS ("parts of many law firm names"), and IDIOT LIGHTS ("dashboard warnings, informally"), among others.  Even THE FAR SIDE!

My hat's off to you, crossword maven!  Let's have a Hal of a lot Moore by you!

I like "so long, dear boy" for TA-TA.

I didn't know what TD Garden is, but it's an ARENA in Boston, named after its sponsor, Toronto-Dominion Bank.

Although I'm familiar with them, I guess I never knew for sure that Chevy makes the 'VETTE.

The term for an amateur sports group REC league is not one I've heard before.  It is also known as a REC team.

The BOLERO is a dance that is in 3/4 time, at least in the Spanish form.  In the Cuban form it is traditionally in 2/4 time.

For "______ bien!"  I put *TRES but it's ESTA.  Whoops, wrong language!  Ha ha!

"Certain break point" confused me with its laconic vagueness.  The tennis score ad in appeared way back on November 21, 2017, but I don't remember having seen AD OUT before. This means that, at deuce (that is, a tied score of 40-40, or three points each), if the server loses the next point, it is called ad-out as the advantage is out of the server’s favor. If the server loses the next point, the server loses that game, because you must win by two points.

In other tennis news, a "court do-over" is a LET.

"Cries of approval" was YAYS for once instead of the too-common oles.

I have seen movies with the bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld, but I didn't remember him wearing a MAO SUIT.  According to Wiki, "he often wears a jacket without lapels, based loosely either on the Nehru jacket or on the Mao suit, a feature which is used in spoofs like the Austin Powers series, though in his early two appearances on film he wore a black business suit."

Philip AHN is a Korean-American actor who played all types of Asians in TV and movies.  He played Master Kan in the TV series "Kung Fu."

The OSAGE were a supposedly warlike Great Plains tribe, related to the Sioux, who were said to be typically six feet tall.  They flourished in the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys.  The name we call them comes from "warlike," but they call themselves "mid-river people."

A Bali Hai cocktail contains RUM, as one might guess from the name.

TESSA Thompson, who appeared in Thor: Ragnarok as Valkyrie, also appeared here on May 13.

The camera setting F-STOP was discussed (but not actually in the puzzle) on August 30.

Golfer ISAO Aoki last appeared on January 12, but I still needed help with his name.

ACER was clued as "Taiwanese computer giant" as recently as August 5.

Actress NIA Long last showed up on February 21.

Clever clues: "Whopper inventor" is LIAR.  'Minor's opposite" is ADULT (not major, tricked ya!).   "man just after kneeling?" is SIR.  "One smoothing the way?" is PAVER.  "Chocolate chip cookie starters?" is CEES.  "Mustard and saffron" are not spices here but YELLOWS.  "Score starter" is OVERTURE.  "Composes" is CALMS.

This original and fun puzzle did not just METE expectations; it surpassed them!  I've got a YEN for more!

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Sunday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: August 9, 2020

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