Monday, December 3, 2018

Monday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: December 3, 2018

My time: 4:27.

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After a crushing week of Did Not Finishes and Could Not Finishes, it's a new day and a new month here at My New York Times Crossword Puzzle Times.  Lynn Lempel starts us off with a puzzle that attempts to be a feat of derring-do but appears to put its foot in deep doo.

I'll explain.

The four themed answers ostensibly all end in homophones of the word do.  SCOOBY DOO, MORNING DEW, NO CAN DO, and POSTAGE DUE.  But last comes PAS DE DEUX, which ends, of course, in the sound /deuh/, not /dū/.  So that's kind of a fail.

The only totally new thing featured in today's puzzle is the Indy racers Al and Bobby UNSER.  They are part of a large and long lineage of racecar drivers.  Bobby UNSER is the son of driver Louis Unser (1896-1979).  He is one of ten drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 three or more times and one of only two to have won the 500 in three different decades (1968, '75, and '81).  He has a brother named Al UNSER, who in turn as a son and grandson also named Al, who are also racecar drivers.

Another sort-of-new but easy-to-guess word was BIMODAL, meaning "having or involving two modes, in particular (of a statistical distribution) having two maxima," or in other words, "like a probability curse with two peaks."

On January 3, we learned that William INGE won a Pulitzer for his play "Picnic."  Today we learn that he also wrote "Bus Stop."  Talented fellow, that INGE.

A SINE, as everyone knows if they read this blog on November 15, 2017, is the ratio of the length of the side opposite one of the acute angles of a right triangle to the length of the hypotenuse.

The ASCOT racecourse is south of Windsor Castle, as noted on January 16

TV journalist ANN Curry appeared on August 13

And we're off to a fast start this week!  Let's see if I can keep up this pace, like an Unser.  I'm AZURE as can be that tougher puzzles are around the BEND.

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