Friday, October 19, 2018

Friday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: October 19, 2018

My time: 9:19, just 25 seconds slower than the record!

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This one's a themeless, courtesy of Trenton Charlson.  It has some remarkable fill: BODY SURFS, ON VACAY, NEXT-GEN ("cutting edge"), X-RAY SPEX, PO-PO ("law enforcers, in slang"), ATE CROW ("suffered humiliation"), RIPPED ("seriously muscular") and even FRAT BRO ("alpha male, perhaps?").  Fun, fresh stuff.

Some of the clues are perfectly crafted into tempting vagueness, like "participate in quid pro quo" for LOGROLL, "tubes" for TVS, and "Chihuahua, for one" for STATE.

R&N singer NE-YO appeared on July 16, but this time it's for his hit "Let Me Love You."  Crucially, the Times crossword left off the parenthetical subtitle (Until You Learn To Love Yourself).

Know your world capitals!  Hagatna is the capital of GUAM.  Formerly Anglified as Agana and properly written Hagåtña, it is located at the mouth of the Hagåtña River on Guam's west coast.

Know your world regions!  ASHANTI is a modern-day region in Ghana, the most populated in the country, known for its gold bar and cocoa production.  It is also the name of a tribe of people, who populated an African empire from about 1670 to 1895.

In craps terminology, a roll of 4 and 6 is an EASY TEN, while two fives is a hard ten.

In computer terminology, a PC modem and a drive are examples of an IO DEVICE, which stands for input/output device, meaning any hardware that sends and receives data.

I knew Isak Dinesen was a pen name, but I couldn't remember her real name, KAREN Blixen.

I'm so, so tired of clued about who is an AFC East team and who is an AFC North team and all that crap.  I really don't care.  Why not give some interesting trivia about a team instead?

"Notable ring bearer" is SMEAGOL, whom we know better as Gollum.

The official birds of Quebec are SNOWY OWLS.  Unlike other owls, the snowy owl isn’t exclusively nocturnal. It hunts both day and night, surviving mainly on lemmings. Quebec decided to select the snowy owl as a symbol of the province’s support for wildlife protection.

It's quadruple-platinum 2001 album J.LO, once again, last heard from on December 29, 2017.

Eric BANA was in Munich, as shown on April 17.

Clever clues: "Objective worked toward during crunch time?" I thought for a brief second might be *SWALLOW but it's SIXPACK, which is great.  "Cliff notes?" is YODEL.  "Pound, e.g." is POET (and not, say, coin).  "Nip in the end" is EDGE, as in edge out. 

What a fine, fun puzzle!  Interesting fill and some amusing clues.  Trenton Charlston deserves some PATS on the back.

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