Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Wednesday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: December 5, 2018

My time: 12:56, two minutes slower than average.

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Alan Arbesfeld brings us this sophisticated and worldly Wednesday challenge.

Despite my slow time, I loved this puzzle.  What a clever and funny theme!  "Organization honored on October 24" is UNITED NATIONS, so some themed answers are country names.  But not just any series of country names: as clued, they spell out funny phrases!  So IRAN OMAN ICELAND is clued as "you can't bring in a crazed antelope, Mr. Glass!" so you read it as IRA, NO MANIC ELAND!  That's hilarious.

"Wrigley Field's beer boycott goes into effect" is CUBA LEBANON, or CUB ALE BAN ON.  "Mother isn't straight with actress Vardalos" is MALI ESTONIA or MA LIES TO NIA.   Last and perhaps most clunkily, "suffering caused by reader prejudice" is PERU SERBIA SPAIN, or as clued, PERUSER BIAS PAIN.

For "title woman in a 1976 Dylan song" I put *SARA and felt very smug for being a Bob-lover from way back, but it's ISIS.  "Sara" is from Desire, the same album as "ISIS."  So close!

For "couples" I put *PAIRS but it's DYADS.  This was beginning to be a bit hard for a Wednesday.

We all know Amenable Ed Koch, but I didn't know he wrote a memoir called Mayor.

"Venetian basilica eponym" is ST. MARK's, located at the eastern end of the Piazza San Marco.  Adjacent and connected to the Doge's Palace, it was originally the chapel of the Doge, and has been the city's cathedral since 1807.

One of the main characters in the book Uncle Tom's Cabin is ELIZA Harris, a devout Christian slave who runs away when she hears her son is to be sold.  Her crossing of the Ohio River, leaping from ice floe to ice floe, is one of the most memorable images in the book.

Never heard of Dame CLEO Laine, British jazz and pop singer famed for her scat singing.  Laine is the only female performer to have received Grammy nominations in the jazz, popular and classical music categories.   As of this writing she is still alive at age 91.

Jackie Robinson's alma mater is UCLA.  That's nice.

"Stat for which lower is better" is ERA.   This was discussed on February 22.

Civil rights activist LANI Guinier appeared way back on November 12, 2017.

IONIA, that "ancient land on the Aegean Sea," last appeared on September 3.

"Big Island coffee" is KONA, which was last seen on July 9.

Whew, this one took a while!  Even so, I really enjoyed finishing it.  I made a few mistakes trying to solve it.  UGANDA blame me?  NAH.

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

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