Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Wednesday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: January 30, 2019

My time: 9:20.

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Blame Emily Carroll for this extremely tough Wednesday puzzle (it certainly can't be my fault; I'm a teacher).  I quite enjoyed the theme, which is FRUITLESS ("unproductive").  This means that several themed answers feature fruit and then a synonym for "taking away."  The best examples of this, and I'm sure the first ones Carroll thought of, are GRAPE LEAVES and BANANA / SPLITS.  After that it gets less clever: LEMON / DROPS and ORANGE PEELS (as in peels out, maybe?).

Aside from the theme, I had some trouble.

Things started off badly after I stupidly put *ABU for "Aladdin prince."  Obviously, it's ALI.

I had to guess at sandal feature T-STRAP.

I've never heard of science and engineering school RPI, or Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, located in Troy, New York.  The institute was established in 1824 for the "application of science to the common purposes of life" and is described as the oldest technological university in the English-speaking world.

Wedding gown designer INES De Santo is not in my wheelhouse.  The fashion line was founded in 1984.

The clue "_____ Beanies (bygone toys)" made me think of Beanie Babies, but I couldn't make any connection past that.  It's TEENIE Beanies, which are a small version of Beanie Babies.

"Seaport near Buenos Aires" had me drawing a total blank.  I had to guess at the letters.  It's LA PLATA, capital of Buenos Aires Province.  This city is drawn up as a rectangular grid with diagonal streets, and so is known as "city of diagonals."

More South American information I had no idea about: AREPAS, a kind of corn cake popular in Columbia and Venezuela.

"Add, as an extra" turns out to be TAG ON.  I didn't like this answer at all.  Tack on, I've heard of.  TAG ON doesn't seem to mean added on.  And yet, there it is.

"Air race marker" was just three unrelated words to me.  Turns out to be PYLON. These are used to define the course in the Red Bull Air Race.   Here is an explainer.

SHAD as a fish ("roe source") appeared on August 18, 2018.

Judges' seat BANC appeared on October 29, 2017.

Clever clues: "Something divided in WWII" is ATOM.  "Body image, briefly" is TAT (I thought it might be *MRI).  "Super conductor?" is MAESTRO.

Whew!  This had a few too many unknowns for my comfort.  I DID NOT speed through this one.

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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"...