I pulled out 8A Bright night lights: NOVAS because my friends Cat and Nick have a dog named Nova. Nova is very big and very friendly. If Nova ever sees this blog post, hiiiiiiiiiiiiii!
Honorable mention clue: 15A “Sorry if you were offended,” e.g.: NONAPOLOGY because Calah and I were talking today about nonapology apologies and how annoying they are.
No theme for this Saturday puzzle, but the time was something exciting for me. I bested my personal record of 20:12 on July 24, 2021 with a new record of 20:11. I had to scramble to find when the prior record was, but I got there. So it bears mentioning again:
I pulled out 57A Shapes of some dog treats: STEAKS because I didn’t know this. I thought dog treats were in the shape of bones. That’s what dogs like, right? Bones? Why would treats be in the shape of steaks? What do dogs know about steaks?
The theme of this puzzle seems to be baseball? Dodgers won tonight, by the way. Great game. And lolz at the Giants shift. Didn’t work! ROFL.
15A Its national animal is the beaver: CANADA. They have baseball in Canada. 26A Baseball team whose mascot is Screech the eagle, familiarly: NATS. 27A Sinking fastballs: SPLITTER. The Vulcan Change may be my favorite pitch name.
33A Start of a count: STRIKEONE. Sometimes Angel Hernandez gets it right. Hey, it could happen! 34A Conductor’s cry: ALLABOARD. Bases loaded. 35A Popular podcast genre: TRUECRIME. I’m looking at you, Houston Astros. 44A Sticky candy?: LOLLIPOP. Like a big curveball. 54A Place: ORIENT. I mean we call it Asia now, but sure.
I pulled out 30A Accords, e.g.: SEDANS because I drive a Honda Accord. My Accord is not a sedan. My Accord is a coupe. I like having two doors. I like my V6 with 271hp. I like that I can use my paddle shifters on the 405 when I see an opening to get in front of that Prius. So get outta here with the assertion that all Accords are sedans.
No theme today, but here’s a thing:
20A Pearl Harbor hero for whom a future U.S. aircraft carrier is scheduled to be named: DORISMILLER.
On December 7, 1941, Mess Attendant Second Class Doris Miller was collecting soiled laundry just before 8:00 A.M. When the first bombs blasted his ship at anchor in Pearl Harbor, Miller went to the main deck where he assisted in moving the mortally wounded captain.
He then raced to an unattended deck gun and fired at the attacking planes until forced to abandon ship. It was Miller’s first experience firing such a weapon because black sailors serving in the segregated steward’s branch of the navy were not given the gunnery training received by white sailors. Although news stories have credited Miller with downing from two to five airplanes, these accounts have never been verified and are almost certainly apocryphal. Miller himself told Navy officials he thought he hit one of the planes. Navy officials conferred the Navy Cross upon Miller on May 27, 1942, in a ceremony at Pearl Harbor.
Following a Christmas leave in 1942, when he saw his home and family in Waco for the last time, Miller reported to duty aboard the aircraft carrier Liscome Bay (or Liscomb Bay) as a mess attendant, first class. During the battle of the Gilbert Islands, on November 24, 1943, his ship was torpedoed and sunk in the Pacific Ocean, and Miller perished. At that time, he had been promoted to cook, third class, and probably worked in the ship’s galley. In addition to conferring upon him the Navy Cross, the navy honored Doris Miller by naming a dining hall, a barracks, and a destroyer escort for him. The USS Miller is the third naval ship to be named after a black navy man.
The USS Miller was decommissioned a couple decades ago, and this new aircraft carrier will be the second ship to bear Dorie Miller’s name. The USS Doris Miller is still more than a decade away from being commissioned.
I pulled out 40A Shipping option for books: MEDIAMAIL because I used to sell books on half.com back in the day and shipped lots and lots of books media mail. Sure, the speed was slow, but (a) if the buyers wanted it faster, they’d have opted for expedited shipping, and (2) sometimes I wrapped the books in thick cardboard kinda like a present but in a Postal Service-acceptable way.
This puzzle was bananas. Really, bananas. I though things were all crazy until I saw the link at the bottom of the page:
18A Greek goddess of memory: MNEMOSYNE. 33A Site of the impact of the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago: CHICXULUBCRATER.
I pulled out 56A File type: RASP because rasps and files are not the same thing. Really disappointed here.
The terms file and rasp are often confused and many times interchanged. However, a file is intended to be used on metal whereas a rasp is a tool specially meant for wood. Each of these comes in a variety of different grades that determine the degree of fineness or coarseness.
I pulled out 46A Home of the only world capital to border two other countries: SLOVAKIA because I’d put in DJIBOUTI initially (hoping it was right and half-expecting to boast about it being so), and I was surprised when it was a place in Europe.
It turns out that the bottom part of Bratislava is on the Hungarian border, and the left side is on the Austrian border.
1A Cause for alarm?: BURGLAR. Be careful out there! 15A Work on some issues together?: COEDIT. Co-edit. 20A Old-fashioned endings?: DEES. Because both parts end in the letter D. 33D One who puts down a few chips?: SNACKER. Who has just a few? 40D Puts down a few chips, maybe: BETS. Let’s go, $MMAT!
I pulled out 22A Govt. plant inspector: OSHA because I had put USDA there. For a couple years I was on an audit client in El Segundo. Not far from that client was a US Department of Agriculture Plant Inspection Station & Animal Import Center. I’m not saying the clue is wrong because they’re talking plant like concern, but I always kinda hoped to see some lions or whatever being brought to that office while I was on an afternoon walk. I started going on those walks when my pants stopped fitting due to the long days, bad eating habits, and lack of exercise. I never saw lions there, but I did lose some weight.
No theme this puzzle. But it was obscure in a not-fun way. I guessed a lot of this puzzle, and things fit. Not the most fun. The NYTXW has been overall disappointing as of late.
I pulled out 36A Spam might be kept in it: TIN because I had put CAN early on, and it stayed in awhile. The late legendary test pilot Chuck Yeager referred to astronauts in the Mercury program as “spam in a can” due to their roles as riders rather than pilots, and he had no interest in participating in that way. He was the one who broke the sound barrier in 1947 while hiding that he’d broken some ribs after falling from a horse a couple days before that flight. No one completely sane signs up to be a test pilot.
Still no theme, and there aren’t enough long answers to dedicate space to them, so I’m opting to highlight another clue.
I pulled out 15A Auto parts giant: OREILLY because I had been assigned to an inventory observation at an O’Reilly Auto Parts store almost a decade ago. During my time as an auditor, I don’t even know how many inventory observations I did. But it was a lot. For some reason–and I don’t recall why this was–someone else was assigned the inventory observation instead. I didn’t complain. I did try to take a Christmas inventory observation from someone, but the scheduler didn’t allow my coworker to trade it away. I don’t understand the move, but OK. So my coworker had to work on Christmas and be away from her family, and I ended up with a New Year’s Eve and a New Year’s Day (7am!) inventory observation. New Year’s Eve was in like Oxnard, and the New Year’s Day was in Palos Verdes. I left the NYE party at like 10:30pm so I didn’t oversleep. Glad those days are behind me.
There was no theme today, and based on how I was doing early, I really thought that many letters shared a square. Clearly that wasn’t the case.
I was happy that I got long answers very quickly. Sort answers were harder.
19A Short spiel: ELEVATORPITCH. These get easier the more you do the thing you’re doing. 31A Unpredictable: FULLOFSURPRISES. Like the Taliban and how they took over Afghanistan so fast. You know, except if you’ve ever played the game Risk. 46A Program that a 2011 global commission officially declared a failure, 40 years after its launch: THEWARONDRUGS. Hooray for more bad policy. 3D What sunlight and wind provide: RENEWABLEENERGY. Though I had thought it had something to do with plants. Also Calah is has been having a lot of fun with succulents. Here’s to hoping she’ll share with us in blog posts every so often. 12D “Ahhhh!”: THATSTHESPOT. It really is.
I pulled out 19A Its flag features a pine and the North Star: MAINE because It took me a while to get there. I kept wanting to put in Libya because it fit, even though it’s Lebanon that has a tree on it, and that tree is a cedar because the cedar of Lebanon is a big deal.
Libya’s flag does have a star on it, but that star isn’t a star but the planet Venus. With Lebanon and Libya ruled out, it had to be Maine, and it was.
No theme this puzzle, so here’s more fun:
Another thing about Maine is that the first time I saw Maine coon, I thought that it was a racoon from Maine. How silly I was two years ago!
It’s just a normal giant cat. But it is from Maine.