NYT Crossword 12-14-20 Complete

The week starts off with a not-so-challenging puzzle. However, it’s got plenty of room for tripping up. Take it from someone who knows.

I pulled out 34D Typical John le Carré work: SPYNOVEL because how the hell did they get him in a puzzle right after he died? Did they have this one ready to go? Was it happenstance?

Now, I didn’t know the name John le Carré until I got the notifications that he’d passed away. But it turned out I wasn’t entirely unfamiliar with his work. That is to say that I’d heard of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

As usual, I didn’t know the theme until the end.

19A Model/TV host on a record five Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue covers: ELLEMACPHERSON. In another sign of how uncultured I am, I had been unaware that she is/was a TV host. But as a former SI subscriber, I found the clue overall to be helpful.
28A “Grey’s Anatomy” actress: SANDRAOH. I tried watching this show but couldn’t get into it. Then I happened upon spinoff series Private Practice on Netflix. I got partway through the first episode and could not bear to continue. Good for them for getting paid and for so long, but I have proved unhelpful when it comes to them collecting residuals.
34A “Full Frontal” host: SAMANTHABEE. I haven’t watched this show, but I liked her on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I was in DC in 2017 when signs were promoting the then-upcoming Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner located at Constitutional Hall, a venue operated by the Daughters of the American Revolution. To be honest, I’m a little creeped out by this organization. It’s not that I’m against celebrating our history and those who fought for our country’s independence but that DAR is a sorority of almost exclusively white women. That they recently let a Black woman join their national board is a good sign for the future(?), but long traditions of exclusion can make joining any organization a deterrent, and that can be a never-ending cycle. I’m not saying that my opinion reflects the feelings of DAR, and I am fully in favor of expanding outreach and making the organization more inclusive.
42A North Carolina senator who unseated Elizabeth Dole: KAYHAGAN. Whenever I hear that name, I just think of The Godfather. I know that it’s Kay who marries Michael Corleone and not Tom Hagen, but it’s like when I see the name Trey Stone, I think of South Park.

53A Female scholars … or a hint to 19-, 28-, 34- and 42-Across: WOMENOFLETTERS. The theme because ELLE (L) MACPHERSON, SANDRA (O) OH, SAMANTHA (B) BEE, and KAY (K) HAGEN.

Finished this one in 6:58.

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About raabidfun

I'm a guy living the #raabidfun lifestyle. I figured I would create a blog about crossword puzzles I do. The idea is to do the NYT crossword and the WSJ crossword daily as much as I can. That includes when I don't finish and have clearly failed. They can be difficult. Also I am not an attorney, and any legal analysis in this blog reflects my interpretation, which means it can be flawed and should not be relied upon for use in legal matters (especially against me).

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