NYTimes Crossword, Uncategorized

May 17, 2016 — Tuesday Crossword — NYTimes No. 0412 (originally published 4/12/16)

May 17, 2016 — Tuesday Crossword — NYTimes No. 0412 (originally published 4/12/16)

That was much more difficult for me than I would expect on a Tuesday morning. There were a number of words I didn’t know, and one square was a total guess (I guessed right — I checked after). Took me 23 minutes to solve. Definitely not fast. 

I didn’t bother to think through the inner puzzle until very late. It was kind of cute, but by then it didn’t help me much in solving the crossword. 57A: HAMONRYE (Common deli order … or a literal occurrence five times in this puzzle). I’ve circled the five examples of a ham on rye in the solved puzzle below. 

So what did I not know? Let’s start with: 1A: ATHOL (Playwright Fugard), sorry, never heard of him; and the crosser 4D: OME (Kipling’s “Follow me ___”), which is equally unfamiliar to me. That I also struggled with 5D: LURED (Brought in — which made sense to me, but I didn’t love it, and I was hesitating on the “L” because I was so uncertain about “Athol”) wasn’t helping. Finally, I grew a set and placed the “L,” leaving me with a hole at the intersection of: ATH_L and _ME. I was sure it had to be a vowel, so knew I had five choices (AEIOU and sometimes Y). “O” seemed the only palatable choice, and I went with it. (Correct, it turns out.) Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. 

I had a similar problem in the SE, but not nearly as vexing. 46A: ROOTLE (Look for truffles as a pig might) is foreign to me. I was questioning 35D: DIO (One worshipped in Rome), I knew it had to be right, but “Agnus Dei” was in my mind, and I was unsure. Then, for some reason, 47D: THREADS (Clothes, slangily), 48D: LAYETTE (Complete outfit for a newborn), and 49D: EMERSON (Poet/essayist who wrote “To be great is to be misunderstood”) all gave me problems. 58D: ORFEO (“___ ed Euridice” Gluck opera)) is also unknown to me, which only compounded my issues in the quadrant. And I had misanswered 61A: EER (Always, poetically) as “e’en,” which makes no sense, but hey. It’s been one of those days. Finally when Emerson dawned on me, the corner came together, and I made peace with “rootle” (still, rootle?! On a Tuesday?).

I started at 30D: MAI (___ tai), because although I may not drink alcohol, that doesn’t mean I never did. Followed that up with: 29A: LOAMY (Like good soil); and 26D: SYNDROME (Pattern of symptoms). So I felt pretty good at the start. Then as I ventured into the NE, I encountered 9D: ACCRA (Capital of Ghana), which as of this moment I still cannot tell you if that means it is the seat of the country’s political power, or its currency. 

As I’ve said, so far, it has been one of those days. I guess I had fun doing the crossword puzzle today, but right now my head hurts, and I need to set for a moment and think about it….