Friday, February 15, 2019

Friday's New York Times crossword puzzle solved: February 15, 2019

My time: 16:34.

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Wyna Liu brings us this somewhat tough Friday themeless.  The grid holds a lot of long answers, and some pretty fresh fill, like CRAZY RICH ASIANS ("highest-grossing rom-com of the 2010s" --- so far, that is; aren't they still going on, technically?), CATFISHES ("misinterprets oneself to on the internet"), OWN IT ("not shy away from a potential embarrassment"), and OOPS SORRY.

"Titan, once" is OILER, as in the football team from Tennessee.  The Titans were originally from Houston, and kept the now less-relevant name Oilers until 1998.

The clue "keynote" for ORATE bugs me, because using "keynote" as a verb like that just sounds off.

The World Series of Poker takes place at the Las Vegas hotel THE RIO, owned by Caesar's.  I tried to fit in Binion's, because I only know out-of-date things.

New word alert: SPLINES, "thin strips used in building construction."  In mathematics it means a kind of function.

I haven't heard of "Decibel" magizine, but it sounds like it would be devoted to METAL.

Gwen IFILL, who died of cancer two years ago, was an American Peabody Award-winning journalist, television newscaster, and author. In 1999, she became the first African-American woman to host a nationally televised U.S. public affairs program ("Washington Week in Review.")

"1/100 de un siglo" is AÑO.

I didn't know that the TONKA Toy Company gets its name from the Dakota Sioux word for "big," but that's a fun fact.  Their trucks used to be made of steel.  Now they're plastic.  We live in a plastic world of planned obsolescence.

Don PEDRO is a role in Mozart's opera "Don Giovanni."  Pedro is Commandant of Seville and Anna's father, and is sung by a bass. He is often listed as just "The Commandant" in the cast list.

WUSHU is Chinese for "martial arts" and an umbrella term, like Kung Fu, for any hand to hand fighting style.

Things you can't be expected to know and will never care about department: JACOB was the most popular boy's name in the U.S. from 199-2012.  That's nice, I guess?  Is it because of that Twilight saga?

For "be successful, informally" I put *WIN ALL DAY at first but it's WIN AT LIFE.

T-NUTS seems to come up a lot in the puzzle, but today is the first time we've been treated to T-SLOT, the opening where they fit inside.

The athlete named by "Sports Illustrated" as Olympian of the Century is Carl LEWIS, which is probably no surprise.

Khaleda ZIA was the first female Prime Minister of Bangladesh, serving from 1991-96 and again in 2001-06.  In February 2018, Zia was jailed for five years for corruption. She was found guilty of embezzling the funds for an orphanage trust set up when she was prime minister.

Clever clue: "Relief pitcher?" is ADVIL.

Despite this avalanche of new material to cover, I did pretty well on this.  It wasn't the MOSTEST best time ever, but I can SLEEP EASY.

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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"...