Thursday, November 15, 2018

Thursday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: November 15, 2018

My time: 15:11, far from great but slightly faster than average.

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Mary Lou Guizzo and Jeff Chen owe us big for making us go through this tough Thursday!  I was ready for shenanigans right from the start, however, knowing that dubious honor and why I oughta (oughtta?) were almost certainly the answers to "Making a Top Party Schools list" and "catchphrase for Moe Howard," respectively.  But they didn't fit!

The theme hint is "money to start small businesses."  Even before I figured out MICROLOANS, I knew that the clue meant IOU needed to be in a rebus square to make the themed answers fit.  So they turned into DUB[IOU]S HONOR and WHY [I OU]GHTA, crossed with OUI, OUI ("certainement!") and PREC[IOU]S GEMS.  The other themed boxes are...

ENV[IOU]S ("going green?" --- that's funny) crossed with VAR[IOU]S.
Then OD[IOU]S ("repulsive"), crossed with S[IOU]AN.  This last is clued as "Winnebago, for one."  The Winnebago, apparently properly called the Ho-Chunk people, speak Siouan.
And finally, GRAC[IOU]S ME crossed with the NOTOR[IOU]S B.I.G.  I didn't know his record label was called Bad Boy Records.

We've all heard of Gloria STEINEM.  But did we know she wrote a book called Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions?  It was written in 1987.  This collection of writings includes pieces on topics ranging from love to money and from food to erotica, essays on personal experience as political revelation, and profiles of and interviews.  Today there is a Second Edition available.

The clue "Martini & _____ (vermouth)" puzzled the hell out of me.  The answer is ROSSI.  The name Martini & Rossi is an Italian alcohol company.  It produces a vermouth brand named Martini.  Not the cocktail.  So confusing!  Nobody really knows if the drink was named after the brand, but their adverts were soon claiming "It’s not a Martini unless you use Martini."

Word of the day: ELUTE, meaning "to remove something from an adsorbent by means of a solvent."  I hope to organically work this term into my conversation as soon as possible.

Apparently the capital of Venezuela, CARACAS, is officially known as Santiago de León de Caracas.

SHOSHONE FALLS is a waterfall, near Twin Falls, on the Snake River in IDAHO.  It's the Niagara of the West, they do say!

Zeno of ELEA is back, baby!  Remember him from January 7?

"1970s NL powerhouse" refers to the Cincinnati REDS, the Big Red Machine, as explained on May 5.

"Instrument with a needle" is TACH, for tachymeter, which was last seen on April 22.

Clever clues: "Strike zones?' is LANES.  "Choice of juice?" is AC/DC.  "1990s game disk" is POG --- not a floppy or even electronic at all!  Psych!  "Wind in a pit" is OBOE.  "Keyless" is ATONAL --- I was thinking about keyless entry.

Well, solving this one in the time I did was no great FEAT, but a rebus is extenuating circumstances.

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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"...