Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Wednesday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: October 10, 2018

My time: 12:56, nearly three minutes slower than this day's average.

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Alex Eaton-Salners must have been humming when he made this puzzle.  I did not find it as easy as A-B-C, but it focuses on the ALPHABET song.  Four themed phrases start with words that correspond to scale notes, which happen to be the first notes of the sung song (which is also "Baa Baa Black Sheep" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," by the way).

DODO BIRD ("onetime resident of Mauritius," a rather oblique clue for this answer), SO-SO REVIEWS, LA-LA LAND (the movie that was incorrectly announced as Best Picture winner in 2017, until it was revealed that Moonlight was the actual winner), and SO HELP ME GOD ("swear words?") are the four important answers here.  SO you we get do do, so so, la la so.  A B, C D, E F G.  Ta-da!

I correctly guessed BRAE for "highlands hillside" early on, but I don't think I could have told you what it means without any other context.

I never knew RIHANNA's first name is Robyn!  He last name is Fenty. Her middle name is Arabic and means "sweet basil."

Senator Daniel INOUYE has a name that is hard to spell just right.

We've all heard of EDSELS, but I didn't know that they manufactured a make called Corsair.  It had a short-lived existence, from 1958-59.

Bob GRIESE was a quarterback who played for the Dolphins and won two Superbowls, in 1972 and '73.

Everyone is talking about JODIE Whittaker, the new Dr. Who, but I kept thinking her name was Sophie or *SOFIE or something.

HILLEL is an international Jewish campus group.  Their mission is to enrich the lives of Jewish students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world.

"Volcanic discharge" is ASH PLUME, which is apparently something volcanologists say.

I am not a video gamer so I had to guess at KOOPA Troopa, which it turns out is not a specific Mario foe but rather the entire "race"(?) of little turtles he is always thumping and kicking around.

"Diamond VIPs" is GMS, which means General Managers.  I'm so removed from sports lore and concern that this never occured to me as an answer.

"Some stoves" is so brief and laconic that I had a very hard time figuring out it was a brand that was wanted.  It's AMANAS, which has come up so often that I really ought to know it by now.

Hall of Fame inventor Elisha OTIS rose to prominence on September 11 of this year.

Clever clues: "Podded plants" is OKRAS.  "Canal zone?" is EAR.  "How you can count up to five" is ON ONE HAND.

I'm not sure why this took me so long.  Yes, it was troublesome IN SPOTS, but there wasn't too much new information.  It also had some words that I know but are outside my usual go-to wheelhouse, like DAYBED and IMAGINEER.  But in the end, I just wasn't running at 100% brainpower, I guess.  Like, I stewed over "alternative to paper" for too long, not realizing it was a simple reference to "PLASTIC or paper?"  I kept thinking, what do you write on besides paper?  Papyrus?  A tablet??

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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&...