Friday, November 2, 2018

Friday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: November 2, 2018

My time: 11:00 on the nose.


David Steinberg constructed the Friday themeless, and I just love it!  Check out this dynamic and fresh-faced fill: COME AT ME BRO, OLIVE GARDEN, SLEEP DEBT, THRASH METAL, WET NOODLE, HEATH BARS, VEE DUB ("German wheels"), and NO MEANS NO!

"It might give you a headache" is MSG.  I was expecting a pun, but no.  This is just a straight up dietary warning.

The "ukulele accessory" CAPO is short for capotasto, which is Italian for “head of fretboard”. It is small tool you can strap around the neck of your ukulele to keep all the strings down on the same fret.

In more musical news, a TONE POET is someone who composes a symphonic poem, also called a tone poem.  It is not actual verse, but a piece of orchestral music, usually in a single continuous movement, which illustrates or evokes the content of a poem, short story, novel, painting, landscape, or other (non-musical) source.

In even more musical news, the SAMBA is a Brazilian musical and dance style.  It is clued as "Latin rhythm," which is a bit vague.

"Stubbron Dr. Seuss pair" is THE ZAX, which I am familiar with, but this way of phrasing it gave me some trouble.  I wanted a plural, like Zaxes (?).

I'm not a Harryhead, but I did remember that Harry Potter's girlfriend was CHO Chang from her appearance on January 7.

The ELI Young Band did not sound familiar to me, but lo and behold, their lead singer Mike Eli was an answer way back on January 13!

I first encountered EL-HI on October 29, 2017, nearly exactly one year ago, and I still hate it.

Clever clues: "Tank top" is GAS CAP.  "Belt under the waist?" is LOW BLOW.  "Wasted vacation days?" is BOOZE CRUISE.  "Spot remover?" is AD BLOCKER.  "Establishment to which customers have come for years?" is a rather convoluted way to get to the pun of WINE STORE.  "Clarifier in texts" is more subtle --- it means texts as in scholarly books, so ID EST.

Fun clues, great fill.  This is a premium puzzle, worthy of the New York Times brand.  I'm ready.  GIMME Saturday!

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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&...