Monday, November 12, 2018

Monday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: November 12, 2018

My time: 6:33.

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This puzzle, lovingly arranged in place by Kathy Bloomer, has a theme based around setting a table.  I found it to be somewhat difficult for Monday and in at least one instance misleadingly clued.

"Declare something completely finished" is the clue for STICK A FORK IN IT, which... it isn't.  Sticking a fork in it isn't declaring it done.  That is, you don't actually stick a fork in something.  It's the thing that you say, not an action meaning declaration.  It's akin to having the clue "Say it's coming down hard" for rain cats and dogs.  A better clue for this would be a parallel equivalent, like "'Now that's completely done!'"  The two phrases are identical.  Or, on the definition side, "Comment from someone who's finally completed a project."

The other two themed answers are GAG ME WITH A SPOON and GO UNDER THE KNIFE.

The capper is "show up for negotiations," which is COME TO THE TABLE.  So, ha ha!  Utensils, and the table.  This is only "a hint" for the three themed answers above in a very oblique and unclever way.  You know what would have been much better?  The clue "the things you contribute to the goal," for the answer what one brings to the table.

I couldn't have named the LA Sparks or NY Liberty, but easily guessed they are WNBA teams.

OGLE is "give the glad eye."  That's not an expression I use very often!

Band leader ARTIE Shaw was also a clarinetist and author.  His big breakthrough was his 1938 recording of Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine."

I disliked a few clues and answers.  "Delete from a manuscript" is the too-wordy EDIT OUT.  I think ACERB ("sour") is a rather abstruse for a Monday.  And "equal to face value" is a very inelegant clue, giving the clunky AT PAR.

Way back on October 24, 2017, I said I was surprised to see SOU in a Tuesday puzzle.  Here it is in the ancient, obsolete, and very much non-American expression "not worth a SOU" on a Monday!

"QB's mistake" is INT, which has come up a few times but still gave me pause.

I may be turning into a regular Rex Parker, but I didn't like this puzzle.  It's a blah Monday with bad editing.  I don't mean to PUT ON AIRS.  I'll be better tomorrow.

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