Yeesh is right. A 50-second finish for a Tuesday.
I pulled out 27D “Can we talk privately?”: AREYOUALONE because it made me think of what could be a terrible pickup line at a bar for a mortgage broker: “Can I get you a loan?” Awful and creepy. Anyway, remember going to bars? Yeah, so do I. I haven’t been to a bar since last year. Friends of mine keep getting covid, and it’s like oh snap. Stop it with the covid already, you know?! I wanna go do fun stuff again without seeing new record hospitalizations on the regular.
17A With 18-Across, Emmy-winning “Ugly Betty” actress: AMERICA FERRERA. Also was very good in Superstore.
23D Oscar-winning director of “Get Out”: JORDANPEELE.
36D Grammy-winning singer of “Little Things”: INDIAARIE.
26D Grand Ole Opry performer … or a hint to 17-/18-Across and 23- and 36-Down: COUNTRYSTAR. Because they’re celebrities whose first names are countries. Good one, Ross!
Finished this one in 8:23.
I pulled out 6D Bond is a special one: AGENT because Calah and I have been going through the series, and we’re now on Casino Royale from 2006. We started at the beginning and have watched them in the order of release, including the original Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again. Calah’s assessment of Pierce Brosnan as James Bond: “He has no chill.” It’s true! He’s too easily rattled.
19A Start of an optimistic quote by 57-Across: YOUCANTTHINK.
29A Part 2 of the quote: OFYOURTROUBLES.
35A Part 3 of the quote: WHILESOLVING.
54A End of the quote: ACROSSWORD.
57A First puzzle editor of The New York Times: MARGARETFARRAR.
As someone who has a solve streak now of 98 days and has solved 867 puzzles, I can attest without reservation that this is just straight bullshit. And can we not be stressed out about things while also thinking about answers to things? Aren’t we so capable? If this is what Will Shortz’s predecessor said, it makes sense how he acts like he’s a gift to the world if this is his role model.
Finished this one in 15:19.
I pulled out 61A “Make it _“: RAIN because that’s what’s going on in Los Angeles right now. And in a big way.
Our streets weren’t built for rain. I was driving around in it Thursday night on roads that are pretty new. The lane lines either aren’t reflective, or the dirt blocked out any reflectiveness. And there were no reflective buttons.
This video never can get too much play. Also shoutout to my sister for this.
20A Food topping used at Abe Lincoln’s birthplace?: LOGCABINSYRUP. Because Abe was born in a log cabin.
28A Dairy product used at the Seven Dwarfs’ dwelling?: COTTAGECHEESE. They did live in a cottage.
48A Turkey stuffing used at the Ewings’ Southfork?: RANCHDRESSING. A Dallas reference?
56A Spreads using 20-, 28- and 48-Across?: HOMEMADEMEALS. It’s good that Calah and I both cook. Otherwise one of us would be beyond overworked and with food to make on top of it all. Hooray for teamwork!
Finished this one in 7:07.
I pulled out 47D Prepare, in a way, as chicken: DEBONE. Why do boned and deboned mean the same thing? I got a pair of boning knives at Costco Business Center years ago. They are thin and sharp. Now I have a bunch of cutting boards, as you can read about in my woodworking blog. I finished another one this evening.
48A Display of mentalism … or a hint to this puzzle’s shaded squares: SPOONBENDING. I don’t know that to be mentalism. Is it mentalism? I mean, maybe. I don’t know. Seems more like telekinesis, but maybe that falls under the umbrella of mentalism. I’ll check with my sources and get back to you on that.
Finished this one in 7:54.
I pulled out 23D Got married in Vegas, perhaps: ELOPED because during the 517 day of our engagement, Calah and I wished that we could just do that and get the wedding over with. We wanted as nice a wedding as possible, but COVID. It was difficult for sure. Ultimately, it worked out that we just had a small wedding, and December 15 marks four months. It was an ordeal and feels like a lifetime ago, but it was an experience worth waiting for.
17A Northern European region: SCANDANAVIA.
30A Its flag has a blue 61-Across: FINLAND.
48A Its flag has a white 61-Across: DENMARK.
25D Its flag has a yellow 61-Across: SWEDEN.
32D Its flag has a blue-and-white 61-Across: NORWAY.
61A Flag symbol seen twice in this puzzle’s grid: NORDICCROSS.
Finished this one in 9:09.
I pulled out 45D 8 or 9, but not 10: DIGIT because it reminded me of something that happened at the Magic Castle last week. A magician asked a volunteer to pick a number between 1 and 10, suggesting that the card she had selected would appear in the deck at the number chosen. The volunteer, flustered, picked 2, to the disappointment of the audience. After revealing her card in the second position, the magician asked her to pick a two-digit number. She picked 10 or 11. More groans from the audience. The poor volunteer started to say something that sounded a lot like, “I don’t many two-digit numbers,” which can’t possibly be true. Stagefright is a real thing.
18A One remedy for a hangover, supposedly: PICKELJUICE.
23A Place to pick up a pepperoni pie, perhaps: PIZZAJOINT.
37A Close follower of the “horse race”: POLITICALJUNKIE.
48A Aircraft that’s 1% full?: PRIVATEJET.
57A Some Xmas card attire … or a hint to 18-, 23-, 37- and 48-Across: MATCHINGPJS.
Finished this one in 8:33 (mostly on my phone).
I pulled out 43D Notoriously fast starter: HARE because the first-ever place I ever performed for anyone at the Magic Castle was at the Hat and Hare Lounge. Some people absolutely love performing there. I prefer the Cellar. I think I like the Palace Bar as the second-favorite place to perform, but I’ve performed there the least. Weird.
The theme is all what the games really are.
20A Sign outside a Stratego tournament?: CAPTURETHEFLAG.
25A Sign outside a Scrabble tournament?: SITFORASPELL.
48A Sign outside a Taboo tournament?: DONTSAYAWORD.
56A Sign outside a dominoes tournament?: CONNECTTHEDOTS.
Finished this one in 8:02.
I pulled out 18A Font akin to Helvetica: ARIAL because it’s not exact, but it’s kinda close? They’re both sans-serif fonts that are clean and easy to read. I also prefer Arial to Calibri. I don’t know if it’s because I was raised with Arial or what, but it’s true.
Also the #raabidfun T-shirts are in Helvetica.
Theme! Today’s has down clues rather than across clues. Weird.
3D M.L.B. record-holder for most career home runs: BARRYBONDS. *
11D Singer profiled in the biopic “Walk the Line”: JOHNNYCASH.
29D N.B.A. commissioner starting in 2014: ADAMSILVER.
20A Sort of investment suggested by the ends of 3-, 11- and 29-Down: PERSONALFINANCE. Bonds, cash, silver.
Finished this one in 4:25–a new record! The old record was 5:22 that I had set back in July of this year.
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I pulled out 60A Question of apathy: DOICARE because this is a big thing when it comes to magic. Someone can be very skilled in terms of technique, but if nobody cares, what’s the point? There are many ways to alienate an audience, and one of those ways is for the magician to care more about doing a thing than having people be entertained. From my perspective, it’s way better to put in the extra effort to make the audience feel than to just do something no one cares about simply because it’s difficult.
25A Author of “The Bell Jar” (1963): SYLVIAPLATH.
38A Author of “Black Beauty” (1877): ANNASEWELL.
52A Author of “Wuthering Heights” (1847): EMILYBRONTE.
18A With 63-Across, “The end” … or what can be said about the novels in the clues for 25-, 38- and 52-Across: THATSALL.
63A See 18-Across: SHEWROTE.
On the topic of women in media, a Frida Kahlo painting just sold for $34.9 million.
Finished this one in 10:51.
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