Thursday, November 1, 2018

Thursday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: November 1, 2018

My time: 14:34.

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Matt Ginsburg tries to have it both ways (and succeeds!) in this puzzle.  Seven Across answers can be written two ways, because they are two word answers.  Each answer is made of two words that differ by one letter only, but is entered as one word.  Where they differ, that square can contain both letters, because the crossing Down answer is clued in such a way that either spelling fits.

For example: "sound of little feet" is PITTER, or PATTER.  The crossing Down clue is "louver feature," which is SLIT or SLAT.  Another example: "branded candy with multicolored beans" is JELLY or BELLY.  The crossing answer is "take a flier," which is JET, and, also, I learned in writing this, a term that means a BET in which an investor realizes he make take a significant loss.  Final example: "small talk" is CHITTER or CHATTER, and the crossing is "prefix is economics," which of course can be MICRO or MACRO.

The URAL River has appeared a lot in this blog, but today it's clued as "river past Orsk and Orenburg."  Orsk straddles the river, and Orenburg lies on the river next to Kazakhstan.

I did not know that BOA is a genus of snake.  We all know Boa constrictor, but few know Boa imperator.  All hail king boa!

A bridge player's combo is TENACE (spelled like that, all one word!).  I don't know how to play bridge.  A TENACE might not be a ten-ace, but is any combination of two high cards of the same suit separated by two degrees, such as the king and jack of hearts.

McGillin's OLDE Ale House is a historic Philadelphia tavern.  It was established in 1860, making it the oldest continuously operating tavern in Philadelphia.

Did you know that TEA is the chief agricultural export of Kenya?  Me neither.

A TIE ROD is part of a steering system.  Tie rod ends are simple parts that connect the steering rack to the steering knuckle on each front wheel. An adjusting sleeve sits between the inner and outer tire rod ends. When you turn the steering wheel, it transmits that movement through various steering components until the tie rod ends push or pull the wheel and make the wheels turn.

ENRON Field is former home to the Houston Astros.  It is currently called Minute Maid Park.

In the 2006 film Casino Royale, the actress who played Bond's love interest is EVA GREEN, which frankly sounds like the punny name of a Bond girl.  Her actual film name was Vesper Lynd.  Boring!

French artist and designer ERTE last appeared on May 25.

Clever clues: "Something you must be willing to leave?" is ESTATE.  "Them's the breaks!" is ADS.  "3.3, give or take" is B-PLUS.  "Close follower of a team?" is PLOW.  "Something commonly found in a laundry bag" is ODOR.  "Picking up things?" is ESP.  "What's helpful to a degree?" is COLLEGE.

Well, don't I feel like a SCHMO, taking so long to do this puzzle!  Matt Ginsburg, you sure wrote a SPATE of clever clues!

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Sunday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: August 2, 2020

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