Thursday, October 25, 2018

Thursday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: October 25, 2018

My time: 23:13, a full six minutes slower than average.

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I nearly gave up several times on this puzzle by Neville Fogarty.  The theme eluded me, the answers baffled me, and I just couldn't get a toe hold.

Finally, finally, the penny dropped and I saw the theme.  This is a meta theme, or rather a rebus disguised as a not-rebus.  17 Across is "footnote info," PAGE.  The next clue is "see 17 Across," which is not, as it appears, an indication to look at and consider the answer at 17 Across, but rather a rebus: the word see + [17 Across answer].  Looking at it in this way, the clue becomes see+page, which is LOST LIQUID.

"See 29 Across" is see+THE, or DO A SLOW BURN.  "See 45 Across" is see+SAW, or GO UP AND DOWN.  (This particular themed answer is tough because of the vague clue for SAW, "oft-repeated words.")  And "See 61 Across" is see+KING ("bed selection"), which is IN SEARCH OF.

Whew!

"Rough spots?" is ACNE, which took me a while even though I considered that answer early on, because, is acne particularly rough?

We've all heard of Salt-n-PEPA, but I sad no idea her birth name is Sandra Denton.

"Neighbor of a jayhawker" is OKIE.  A jayhawker is someone from Kansas; the origins of the term are unclear.  Some do say the first jayhawkers were anti-slavery Kansans, and the term was thought to have been inspired by a cross between a hawk and a blue jay, taking on the predatory habits of the former, and the noisy nature of the blue jay.  They fought the Bushwhackers, or the pro-slavery faction.

Dutch artist Jan van der MEER is also known as Jan Vermeer van Haarlem, and is not the famous Vermeer who preceded him, but a lesser Dutch dabbler.

New word alert!  The tail of a rabbit has its own term: SCUT.  I like it!

I think the answer at "gobbled (up)" is unfairly devious: SNARFED.  *SCARFED is more common and means the same thing.

George Bernard SHAW wrote a 1923 play about Joan of Arc called "Saint Joan," considered to be "a tragedy without a villain."

The rapper AKON appeared on January 26 as the distinguished author of the #1 2007 hit "Don't Matter."  Today he is noted as the genius behind the 2006 hit "Smack That."  Featuring Eminem!

ANGOLA was noted to be a member of OPEC in this blog on April 13.

Deep blue dye ANIL last appeared on August 12.

Clever clues: "Something that's tailor-made" is HEM.  "What may blossom from buds?" is BROMANCE --- that's a good one.  "Worker in a chamber (abbr)" had me puzzled for a while; it's SEN.  "Tears for Fears, e.g." is a devilishly devious one that got me good.  It's TYPO.  Wow.  "Boots" is POWERS UP.

Whew!  This was a tough one.  I NEED to lie down.

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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"...