Friday, January 25, 2019

Friday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: January 25, 2019

My time: 14:06

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Blame Zhouqin Burnikel for this tough themeless.  Although I did beat my average Friday time, it wasn't a walk in the park.  Lots of initialisms and people I didn't know, coupled with some vague cluing, made time my enemy this time around.

I read "warning about a racket" as something a parent might say to loud kids, but racket here means a con, so it's SCAM ALERT.

TRUE TO SIZE ("not running small or large, in a clothing store") isn't a phrase much in my wheelhouse, but it's definitely an extant fashion term.

And how am I supposed to know that either Neil Armstrong or Steven Spielberg was an EAGLE SCOUT as a teen?  Is that some crucial part of their biography?  "Like many of today’s Scouts, Neil Armstrong kept earning merit badges beyond the 21 required for Eagle.  He finished with 26 merit badges in all."  That's nice.

"Stern competitor, once" also threw me.  It's a long time since I was forced to think about the existence of Don IMUS, and I didn't read Stern as Howard.

"ATTA way!" are "words of congratulation"?  Uh, no.  I object.

I have never heard of ADP, a payroll service company.

Likewise I have never heard of NEC, an information technology giant based in Tokyo.  The company was known as the Nippon Electric Company, Limited, before rebranding in 1983 as NEC.

Even after I had three of the four letters, I held off on COLA as an answer to "Pez flavor."  I couldn't believe it, but there it is.

A-ROD is a "longtime Yankee teammate of Sandman," but who is Sandman?  Mariano Rivera, who pitched for 19 seasons for the Yankees, and named for the Metallica song that he likes as entrance music.

More baseball: RYNE Sandberg, nicknamed Ryno, a second baseman for the Phillies and the Cubs.

Yet more baseball: I didn't know that Willie Mays wore #24.

Meng-TZU is an out-dated way to spell Mengzi, or Mencius as he is sometimes called in the west.  The NYT puzzle is kind of crappy with Chinese names.

The Gulf of RIGA is a bay of the Baltic Sea bordering Estonia and Latvia.

I've vaguely heard of the cookware brand CALPHALON, but it's hard to remember all those letters.

NO PAR value stock is stock that has been issued with no par value.  Par value is the price at which a company's shares were initially offered for sale.

1995 US Open winner COREY Pavin was also PGA Player of the Year in 1991.  A relatively minor sports figure, I think?

Clever clues:  "Covered some ground quickly?" is RAN TRACK.  "Draft pick" is STEIN --- that's a good one.  "Arms provider?" is ESCORT.   "Org chart topper" befuddled me with its lack of punctuation --- it's CEO.

Well, I STAVED off a loss against my average time, but this was still a slog.  Blah.

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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"...