Saturday, November 17, 2018

Friday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: November 16, 2018

My time: 16:06.

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I had a really hard time with this themeless by Kyle Dolan.  Wrong answers that I wrote in kept leading to more wrong answers.

Some things I put in right off, like WHITE BLOOD CELLS and RIDE SHARE.

But for the Down clue "edge" I put *RIM.  Another Down clue, "what a politician's promises and actions should do," had me guessing.  I put *MATCH and then *AGREE.  With this M and E intersecting, I put *STAMPEDE across for "faster, faster!"  But it turns out "edge" is LIP, the politician's acts and words should ALIGN, and that makes the Across answer STEP ON IT.

For "precisely" I put *ON TARGET but it's ON THE DOT.  I also wanted "challenge for a mover" to be *PIANO, and then *CHINA, and got so stuck on the idea that it took me a great while to get COUCH.

I didn't know Captain Von Trapp's name in The Sound of Music.  It's GEORG.

On March 20, I learned that a SUMO ring is called a dohyo.  Today I was reminded (it sounds vaguely familiar) that the participants are called rikishi.

You know who else sounds vaguely familiar to me?  Elizabeth ARDEN.  She is the founder of a makeup and cosmetics company.  Apparently she said, "There's only one Elizabeth like me, and that's the queen."  She also said "To be beautiful is the birthright of every woman."

Arthur ASHE comes up a lot in the puzzle. Today we learn that the ESPY Courage award is called the Arthur ASHE Courage Award, given since 1993.

According to today's puzzle, "torah" means LAW, but according to Wikipedia, "The word Torah in Hebrew is derived from a root meaning to guide or teach. The meaning of the word is therefore 'teaching' or 'doctrine.'  The commonly accepted law gives a wrong impression."

I used to know all the capitals of Australia.  ADELAIDE is the capital of South Australia.

Brie LARSON won a Best Actress for her role as the mother in Room.  And she's going to be Captain Marvel, yay!

Never heard of HEIDI Heitkamp, the Democratic senator from North Dakota from 2013-18. 

"Young prey for a bobcat" is such a weird clue for OWLET.

I had no idea that there are two breaks in a cricket test match: a lunch break and a TEA break.

Oh boy, the topic most near and dear to my heart: college sports!  "Bulldog's NCAA rival" is GATOR.  That's the University of Georgia Bulldogs and the University of Florida Gators, who have played a game every year since 1915.  "My local academic institution offers more enticing packages to people who can run and catch than your local academic institution!  Extremely localized region pride!"

A SLIME MOLD is not a creature from the Fiend Folio, but one of several kinds of unrelated eukaryotic organisms that can live freely as single cells, but can aggregate together to form multicellular reproductive structures.  Once classed as a fungus, it is now thought of as protista (the catch-all for those not in the Big Three).

"Period of great climate change" is EOCENE, a geological Epoch that occurred in the Paleogenic period of the Cenozoic era.  So, 56 to 34 million years ago.  It is marked by a wide variety of different climate conditions that includes the warmest climate in the Cenozoic era and ends in an icehouse climate.  The epoch ends with an extinction event.  Just like ours will be!

"Windmill blades, essentially" turned out to be RADII, which is pretty devious.

Because I'm old, I've never heard of all of these current hitmakers.  BEBE Rexha had a #1 hit in 2017 called "Meant to Be."

The Greek island IOS appeared on January 9, noted as being in the Cyclades and being famed for its cheeses.  Today the island is clued as a neighbor of Santorini.

The Parisian street RUE de Rivoli is named after the Napoleonic battle cited on November 9, 2017.

"Raiders' org." is DEA.  On May 27 it was ATF.

Clever clues: "A chorus line?' is TRA LA LA.  "Key in?" is TAB, I suppose because it makes you move "in" along a line?

This was a very tough Friday!  Is it a THREE STAR puzzle?  Out of four, I guess.

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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"...