Sunday, November 25, 2018

Sunday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: November 25, 2018

My time: 26:09.

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Joon Pahk celebrates "Silent Finales" (that is, "Silent Final E's" at the ends of CVC words) with this puzzle.  Several well-known phrases have E added at the end, changing their meanings and clued as they now read.

For example, "dropping the baton in a relay race, e.g." would be a RUNNING LAPSE.  The rather prolix clue "photo caption for the winning team's MVP being carried off the field?" is A STAR IS BORNE.  "Warning not given on a golf course?" is UNCALLED FORE.   "Two things you might find in Sherwood Forest?" is COPSE AND ROBBERS.  Maybe the best one is "hematite, magnetite --- take your pick," which is EITHER ORE.  And so on.

Once I got that the themed answers all ended in e, it helped a bit.  Still, I struggled some with this one.

"Place for bears or villains" is a great clue for LAIRS.  I also liked "scads of" for UMPTEEN.

I got tripped up on "first-generation Japanese-American."  I thoughtlessly yet confidently put *NISEI, which is of course second-generation Japanese.  The correct answer is ISSEI.

Arthur ASHE comes up an awful lot in the puzzle.  Today he's clued as "longtime athlete on the US Davis Cup team."  In 1963 Ashe was the first African-American chosen to play Davis Cup for the United States, and in ten years representing his country, helped the US win five championships (1963, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1978).

For "capital of Albania" I wrote *TIRANA which is the properly spelled way but for some reason the puzzle has it spelled TIRANE, which almost no one does.  This is annoying.

Atlas and Titan are both names of US-made ICBMs.

Steven CHU was a terrific energy secretary under Obama.  An educated man, an actual scientist, in the government, making responsible decisions about fuel and power!  Remember those?

"First leg of an itinerary" is ATOB.  Atob?  Oh, it's A TO B.

La STRADA is a 1954 drama directed by Frederico Fellini.  The film portrays a naïve young woman (Giulietta Masina) bought from her mother by a brutish strongman (Anthony Quinn) who takes her with him on the road.

For "blues legend Waters" of course I put *MUDDY, but it's ETHEL Waters (no relation), a blues, jazz, and swing singer.  Waters was the second African American to be nominated for an Academy Award (for Pinky in 1949). She was the first African-American to star on her own television show ("The Ethel Waters Show," 1939), and the first African-American woman to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award, in 1961.

Another less-famous female version in this puzzle is SHARI Belafonte, daughter of Harry and an actress and singer.

I don't know how to spell ENSENADA, a city in Baja California, 78 miles south of San Diego.

Did you know LA BREA is next to Beverly Grove?  Me neither!

"Nail polish brand with the colors Teal the Cows Come Home and Berry Fairy Fun" is OPI.  Never heard of them!  My wife's favorite color by them is I'm Not Really a Waitress.

ELSIE Hughes is a main character on "Westworld."  She is a programmer for the hosts of the theme park Westworld on the show.  She is played by Shannon Woodward.

A BRIG is a vessel with two masts, not just the clink on the drink.

Halle Berry was the 1986 runner-up MISS USA.  She was Miss Ohio.  Now that you know that, you are ready to participate in the Halle Berry Trivia Championships.

Today's clue and question combo that wins the "most initials" award, LL Cool J starred in the spinoff "NCIS LA."

I couldn't quite remember how to spell ADELIE penguin.  I knew it wasn't Adele.  They are named after Adélie Land, in turn named for Adèle Dumont d'Urville, the wife of French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville, who discovered these penguins in 1840.

De bene ESSE is a Latin law phrase meaning ex parte or provisionally, in anticipation of future need.  For example, "in certain cases, the courts will allow evidence to be taken out of the regular course, in order to prevent the evidence being lost by the death or the absence of the witness. This is called taking evidence de bene esse."

Never heard of Tommy HAAS, an injury-prone German-American tennis player.  He won one silver medal at the 2000 Olympics.

Actress NIA Long has come up quite a few times, and I keep writing her name as *MIA at first.

The ARAL Sea was clued on October 12, 2017 as being greatly diminished.  It was once the world's second-largest freshwater lake!

The DALI painting "The Hallucinogenic Toreador" was examined on September 17, 2017.

The KSU Wildcats came up on December 7, 2017.

The Washington Capitals of the NHL were showcased on August 5.

Clever clues: "Get an F in physics?" is MISSPELL.  "Place for a stud to go" is EAR.  "Moon race?" is EWOKS.  "Bit of ink" is TAT (not *DOT).  "Spike" is LACE.  "Page of a movie script?" is ELLEN.  "Something on the rise today" is SEA LEVEL.

Whew!  That's a boatload and a half of new stuff.  It took a while!  Maybe I was too LOGY.  Anyway, ALBEE back.

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Sunday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: August 9, 2020

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