Friday, October 12, 2018

Friday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: October 12, 2018

My time: 21:34, which is three minutes slower than the average

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Ugh, this was super hard for me.  A combination of some very long fill, tough clues, at least one ridiculous neologism, and three sections of self-contained squares combined to make this a real challenge.  Erik Agard and Bruce Haight probably thought they were inspired with this one, but I say, WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA trying to make it hard for me like that?

Anyway, the black squares suggest a LIGHT BULB, which is spelled out at the base.  It's really a charming and fun theme, but I didn't enjoy trying to suss out the rest.

For "bathroom or beach supply" I confidently put *TOWELS but it's LOTION, which is better.  For "___ milk" naturally I put *SOY, but it's OAT --- what?  For "takes off" I put *REDUCES but it's DEDUCTS, which slowed me down.  And finally, I was sure "___" time was *TEA but it's actually TEE.  Golfing, not a nice cuppa!

I didn't know Roger EBERT wrote a book called Awake in the Dark, but it's a clever title once you realize why it fits.

Not in my wheelhouse: Enid BAGNOLD, who wrote National Velvet, the story of a little girl who rides her horse in a steeplechase.

JUBA is the capital of the newest addition to our global family, South Sudan.

The British county ESSEX was in the puzzle on March 27 as the home of Southend-on-Sea.  Today it's Hertfordshire neighbor.

Isn't ESPN Deportes a rather unfortunate name for our LATINO friends, given the current political climate?

ECHO BOOMERSMillennials who espouse Boomer values like buying things, but also are unlike their forebears in various other ways given the shrinking world that technology and a high standard of life bring??

"Hope" and "Friendship" are STATE MOTTOS.  "Friendship" I knew; "Hope" is Rhode Island's.  The seal of RI depicts an anchor; the seal's words and emblems were likely inspired by the biblical phrase "hope we have as an anchor of the soul," found in Hebrews, Verse 6:18-19.

We've all heard of MEGADETH, but we aren't connoisseurs of their discography.  Countdown to Extinction is their fifth album, released in 1992.

"Group running together" is SLATE.  What does that mean?

I've never heard of TED Baker, a British clothing retailer.

AVA DuVernay is a director who is in the puzzle almost as much as Nas.

Here comes the word GAM again, as explained on September 15, 2017.

Jean RHYS and her novel were explored on August 28.

Clever clues: "Provider of a traveler's check" is TSA.  "Tender" is very vague cluing for BID.  "Italian cardinal" is UNO.

Was this puzzle AS EASY AS ABC?  No, it wasn't.  THAT IS TO SAY, I had a hard time with it.

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Sunday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: August 2, 2020

My time: 23:35 , not great but still faster than average. Theme: dropping the final "g" of well-known phrases, moving the "g&...