I pulled out 50A Deck builder’s tool: NAILER because I have never heard a nail gun called that. Also when building a deck, I recommend screws instead. Now, I’ve never built a deck, but I’ve built other things, and deck screws seem like they’d be way more durable.
This puzzle was shockingly basic for a Saturday.
But I guess when you start out with 1A Popular brand of alcoholic seltzer: WHITECLAW, how can it be anything but?
I like regular seltzer in a few different situations, but seltzer is the best for egg creams and to drink right after eating ice cream.
If you’ve not had an egg cream, you simply gotta.
You mix milk and chocolate syrup together to make chocolate milk. And then you add sparkling water.
This one was tough. It took me a bit to get going. I took stabs, and finally stuff started to fall into place.
I pulled out 21A Bagel variety: PLAIN because I disagree. I don’t consider plain to be a variety. I consider plain to be the opposite. Sure, could one say that bringing both sesame and plain is a variety of bagels? Yeah. But is the plain bagel what causes it to be a variety or the sesame seed bagel that causes it to be a variety?
I guess I would prefer assortment to variety if we’re talking about bringing more than one type, but I still believe that the original (i.e., plain) is not a variety but remixes (e.g., sesame seed) are.
And a quick check of Oxford says: “A thing which differs in some way from others of the same general class or sort; a type.”
So there you have it.
There was no theme for today’s puzzle, but here’s one more thing I found interesting.
15A First name in flight: AMELIA. Now, I had put in WILBUR. As in Wilbur Wright. Wright was wrong.
I hadn’t really studied this picture that is so famous and awesome, North Carolina put it on its statehood quarter two decades ago:
The story by Tom Crouch that goes along with the marked-up photo is amazing. Also Wilbur was 36 and Orville was 32 when this happened.
It is one of the most famous photographs ever taken. The time was 10:35 on the morning of December 17, 1903. The place: The sand dunes four miles south of the little fishing village of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Earlier that morning, Orville Wright had set up the camera on a tripod pointed at the spot where he thought the airplane might be in the air. When three members of the U.S. Lifesaving Service Station at Kill Devil Hills walked up from the beach to help out, Wilbur handed John T. Daniels the bulb that would activate the shutter and told him to squeeze it if anything interesting happened.
I have often thought that being in the darkroom as the image emerged on the fragile glass plate would have been almost as exciting as witnessing the flight. “In the photographic darkroom at home,” Wilbur Wright once explained, “we pass moments of as thrilling interest as any in the field, when the image begins to appear on the plate and it is yet an open question whether we have a picture of a flying machine, or merely a patch of open sky.” With this image, they must have been thrilled indeed.
Experienced amateur photographers, the brothers honed their camera skills as they documented their flight research. By 1902, they were using the camera that would take the famous picture, a Korona-V, made by the Gundlach Optical Company. One of the best cameras on the market, it captured every detail of the flight of the world’s first airplane.
The craft rode down the 60-foot monorail track (A) on one bicycle wheel hub mounted under the forward elevator support and another on a cradle that was left behind when the airplane took off (B). The footprints in the sand (C) outline the spot where the small bench (D) served as a rest for the right wing before the flight. The shovel (E) was used in positioning the rail and burying an anchor that would hold the airplane in place on the rail before takeoff. The coil box (F) in front of the shovel provided the spark to start the engine. The small can (G) contained a hammer and nails for minor repairs.
But does the photo document a genuine flight? Orville Wright was flying into the teeth of a 24- to 27-mph headwind, moving forward so slowly that Wilbur had no trouble keeping up with him. While his distance over the ground was only 120 feet, the true distance flown through the air, because of the headwind, was calculated at 540 feet, well beyond the 300 feet the brothers decided would constitute a sustained flight.
The photo captured a moment when the elevator was at the extreme point. Evidence that Orville was able to recover and continue flying is found in the fact that when the photo was snapped, the airplane had travelled only 20 feet over the ground and had been in the air no more than two or three seconds. Far from being stalled, it is still flying and has to travel another 100 feet over the ground in the next nine or ten seconds. Orville was clearly exercising a measure of control over the craft. Each of the three flights that followed that morning was longer than the one before, culminating in Wilbur’s final flight, which covered 852 feet over the ground in 59 seconds. So the famous photo is just what it seems to be, an astounding image of the world’s first airplane at the outset of its first flight.
This Saturday puzzle looked hopeless. I’m really glad I started Friday when it came out and picked it up again tonight. If I’d had to start it tonight, it would have a severe impact on anything else I’m doing.
I pulled out 1D Computer store: CACHE because I was struggling with that one for so long. I kept going back to it. At first I’d thought APPLE, but that didn’t make any sense because there was no hint that it was that. Nothing else really fit. It wasn’t the last clue I got, but it was close.
The theme also seemed to be long and a little obscure?
1A Goof: CARELESSMISTAKE. Not an early answer for me. 16A Mischievous character in West African folklore: ANANSITHESPIDER. Um, what?
Oh. I’m just uncultured.
17A Hosts: COMMUNIONWAFER. Too Jewish to have gotten this one early. 61A Passive-aggressive tactic: SILENT TREATMENT. 64A Renter’s amenity: PRIVATEENTRANCE. How is this the answer to this clue? 65A Gaze at with appreciation: FEASTONESEYESON.
Ignore the 1 DAY STREAK badge. It’s now 10pm on Saturday, but since it’s tomorrow in New York, the system doesn’t show the actual streak. Sunday’s will show the actual streak count, assuming I finish it.
I pulled out 48A McCarthyite called out in Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire”: ROYCOHN because every so often, I’ll do my best Donald Trump impression and demand of Calah, “WHERE’S MY ROY COHN?!” This can be triggered by one of us (usually me) being unreasonable, discussions about a third party being nonsense, especially as related to wedding stuff, or that I hadn’t said it in a while. Now I know where my ROY COHN is: today’s NYTXW. Luckily for me, I’ll have a couple months till Calah catches up to this blog post. Hooray for grad school and studying and being a nurse.
Since tomorrow’s a packed day, I’m going to start on the Sunday so I can get that done. I’m hoping for a theme there I can write about in tomorrow’s timed post.
Finished this one in 32:21, which is right in my Saturday range.
Woohoo! Three Saturdays in a row! It says 1 DAY STREAK, but that’s nonsense. I finished at about 11pm here in LA, and that’s well into Sunday in New York, but I still get my Saturday as a Saturday.
I pulled out 7D Tropical island whose name comes from the Spanish for “snows”: NEVIS because I hadn’t known what Nevis was. Other than the partner of St. Kitts, of course. Now I know. But only kinda. I don’t have time to look into it and write about it right now. I’ll get around to writing about it later.
There wasn’t a theme I could detect in this one, but there were some all-the-way-across answers.
15A Hyperbole from one approaching the buffet: ICOULDEATAHORSE. Confused at this. I thought that’s a thing you say when you’re hungry and are asked to what degree. It also would be weird to say, “I could eat a moose,” because mousse is meh. Go for the ice cream and brownies for dessert. 17A Literary team playing in front of “ten thousand eyes”: THEMUDVILLENINE. There was no joy, though. 34A Like popping bubble wrap, for many: ODDLYSATISFYING. Maybe watching someone finish a long bubble wrap sheet is oddly satisfying. Doing it yourself is fun as shit! 55A “Can you be less cryptic?”: CARETOELABORATE. I think this is the second time in recent weeks that this passive-aggressive statement has been in the crossword. I don’t like it. 58A Times when NPR listeners are engrossed enough to linger in their idling cars. I had never heard this phrase before.
Wow! Two Saturdays in a row! And this Saturday puzzle was substantially faster than yesterday’s Friday was. And it’s a new PR for a Saturday.
I pulled out 16A “You caught me”: I LIED because it took me a long time to get there. It’s not what I had expected that answer to be. It’s kinda lame? I think that a better clue would be Busted!
The theme of this puzzle was not-as-hard-as-Friday?
There were a lot of long answers.
1A Take pregame shots?: TRASHTALK.
15A Person who will do anything for you, in modern slang: RIDEORDIE. Calah got this one immediately.
17A Cold, caramel-colored concoction: ICEDLATTE. 61A Firewall target: ADULTSITE. 65A Leave space for someone running late, say: SAVEASEAT. Saving seats soon will be a thing again. And then immediately outlawed again. 67A 2004 comedy written by Tina Fey: MEANGIRLS. I hadn’t realized that was her thing! 12D It goes for a short run: MINISERIES. Or the show Pitch. I hate Joe Buck. And the show was terrible. 13D “Can’t argue that”: SEEMSLEGIT. Checks out. 14D Something released while skydiving: ADRENALINE. This one was difficult for me. EXTRALINE? PARACHUTE? 26D Nintendo offering with more than 10 installments: MARIOPARTY. I am terrible at Smash Bros. Always have been. Mario Party has a lot of different games. 27D “Lemme see!”: IWANNALOOK. 28D Del Monte or Green Giant product: CANNEDCORN. I had CANNEDPEAS for a while.
Argh! I excitedly hit the thing too early, and the finish screen went away! But I finished a Saturday, and it said I’m on a one-day streak, despite it actually being a six-day streak. See, it’s 10pm here in LA, so it’s tomorrow already in New York. For streak purposes, it’s still Saturday in LA, so tomorrow should show a seven-day streak if I solve the Sunday puzzle. I got a more generic image, but at least it shows that it’s a six-day streak.
I pulled out 32A Fragrant rice: BASMATI because it’s pretty much the only rice I buy. Do I sometimes want short grain rice? Maybe. Do I find Basmati rice to be fragrant? Not really. Do I wash Basmati rice three times like it says to? Oh absolutely not. I just know it’s fragrant rice because it says so on the bag.
I was really hoping for a theme in this one, but it doesn’t have one. I had thought that 6A Stick around on July 4?: SPARKLER would be FCRACKER or something fun like that so I’d know that letters were missing. IRE is a word. But no such luck.
Finished this one in 37:43. That’s actually my only Saturday score. I used to do the Saturday crossword with friends Tuesday nights. We just started doing board games in person again after more than a year online for covid safety, but we haven’t done the Saturday crossword together in a while. When we do it together it takes like six minutes. Alone is slower.