Sunday, October 7, 2018

Sunday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: October 7, 2018

My time: 26:10.

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This one was a doozy!  Tom McCoy instructs us to "Mind the Gap," because several key phrases containing words that mean something like "interrupt" are in fact interrupted by an extra, circled letter.  The best part is that the other word is interrupted, making the whole clue very meta, defining itself, almost.

So, for example, "another nickname for Old Abe... or a description of the circled letter?" reads as R(S)AIL SPLITTER.  The circled letter, S, "splits" rail.  We also have OUT(Q)ER SPACE, where the Q fills in a space in outer.  Nest is RO(U)OM DIVIDER, NA(A)SAL CAVITY, and so on to the last answer, GRAN(G)D OPENING.  The circled letters, read together, spell square peg.  Because they don't fit!  Now that's some clever puzzle making.  That's the real McCoy!

On to the fill!

I don't watch modern network TV, so I didn't know that "FBI" is a show now.  It started this year, and was created by "Law & Order" GURU Dick Wolf.

There is a caramel candy called a SLO-poke.  I don't think they sell them in my neck of the woods.  Or my in my chronological era.  The original Slo Poke Caramel Pop was first introduced in 1926 by the Holloway Candy Company.

"Part of an auto garage's business" is TOWAGE, not *TOWING.  Ugh.  No one says TOWAGE. This old semi-words make me all AGLARE.

Spidey villain DOC OCK doesn't look as good written out with no spaces.

In baseball terms, a "singleton" means a SOLO HOMER.  That means that Marge is out with the kids for the night.  No, actually it's a home run hit with no one on base.

ERNST Mach was was an Austrian physicist and philosopher, noted for his contributions to physics such as his study of shock waves.

Giuseppe Verdi wrote the 1859 opera Un ballo in maschera, or A Masked Ball.  The plot concerns the assassination in 1792 of King Gustav III of Sweden who was killed as the result of a political conspiracy against him. He was shot while attending a masked ball and died of his wounds thirteen days later.  But I digress.  In the opera, there is an aria called "ERI tu" ("it was you"), sung by Renato as he forgives his wife.

"Like carbon 12, but not carbon 14" is STABLE.  Carbon-12 is of particular importance in its use as the standard from which atomic masses of all nuclides are measured.  Carbon-14's presence in organic materials is the basis of the radiocarbon dating method because of its unstable nature.

The eyeball layer SCLERA was uncovered on June 1.

Clever clues: "Venus, but not Serena" is PLANET.  "A lid usually covers it at night" is IRIS.  "Is on the up and up?" is ASCENDS.  "Experts in the field?" is UMPS.  "Visits a school, maybe" is SCUBAS.  "X isn't really one" is BRAND.

This one took a long while because of the inserted letters!  A challenge --- indeed a real bear --- but OSO fun.  In short, AARGH! but also NEATO.  Now I PLAN TO rest until Monday.

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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"...