Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Wednesday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: November 14, 2018

My time: 6:21.

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The manly and hirsute Sam Trabucco teaches us how to GROW A BEARD in this puzzle.  The grid itself shows us how in five easy steps: B FLAT MAJOR ("key for five Mozart piano concertos" --- the type of clue I hate the most), BE YOURSELF, BEA ARTHUR, BEAR TRACKS ("worrisome sign around a campsite"), and the final product.

I didn't know there was a muse in Xanadu.  I've never seen it and knew nothing about it.  It seems to be about a frustrated artists who falls in love with an actual muse, played by Olivia Newton-John.  However, she is called Kira in the movie and seems to be maybe Terpsichore.  That said, all nine muses are characters in the movie, so ERATO is technically true as an answer, but the question is quite misleading. 

Today we have both "letter-shaped beam" I-RAIL and "letter-shaped fastener" T-NUT.

Another bridge clue!  It's 2018.  Anyway, apparently a SPADE beats a heart?  Surely this explanation for dummies will make things crystal clear!

I vaguely know the name JANELLE Monáe as a rapper or singer, but apparently she also played Mary Jackson, one of the mathematicians in Hidden Figures.

The terms OATER and SNARFED are the types of words you see pretty much only in crosswords.

The fairy queen in "Romeo and Juliet" is MAB, though I put *MAG, half-remembering this answer from December 6, 2017.

"Benson" actress INGA Swenson last appeared on April 26.

Clever clue: "It might require antiviral treatment to beat" is MALWARE.

This was a fun puzzle!  I liked the theme.  I don't want to be THAT GUY, but to me it was pretty easy for a Wednesday.

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