Longtime NBC newsman Roger / MON 5-30-16 / Showtime's serial killer protagonist familiarly / Lover of Tristan in legend
Monday, May 30, 2016
Constructor: David Woolf
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: TOSSED SALAD (62A: Common first course ... or what's literally contained in 17-, 23-, 32-, 44- and 49-Across) — circled squares in the theme answers contain are scrambled versions of the word "SALAD"
- PIÑA COLADAS (17A: Tropical drinks often served with umbrellas)
- SALSA DANCING (23A: Spicy ballroom activity?)
- DEAD LAST (32A: Finishing eighth out of eight, say)
- ROAD SALT (44A: Application to highways before a winter storm)
- DOUGLAS ADAMS (49A: "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" author)
Red is the fourth studio album by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. It was released on October 22, 2012, by Big Machine Records, as the follow-up to her third studio album, Speak Now. The album title was inspired by the "semi-toxic relationships" that Swift experienced during the process of conceiving this album, which Swift described the emotions she felt as "red emotions" due to their intense and tumultuous nature. Red touches on Swift's signature themes of love and heartbreak, however, from a more mature perspective while exploring other themes such as fame and the pressure of being in the limelight. The album features collaborations with producers and guest artists such as Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol and Ed Sheeran and is noted for Swift's experimentation with new musical genres. Swift completed The Red Tour in support of the album on June 12, 2014, which became the highest-grossing tour of all time by a country artist, grossing over $150 million. (wikipedia)
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PIÑA COLADAS is a yucky outlier in this regard. Should've been chucked. Boo. But overall, the puzzle was fine. I like how timely the puzzle is—at least for me, personally. As I write this, I am at the end of a Very LAZY SUNDAY (29D: Relaxing time after church, say), with a G&T in my rearview mirror and homemade mint chip ice cream (with mint from the garden) waiting for me when I'm through here. Hiked in the woods with dogs much earlier in the day, but the rest of the time I spent organizing my comic collection (which I'd let get disgustingly disorganized over a period of many years) and listening to music. If it were a tad less, uh, sweaty, today would've been perfect.
I thought I was gonna come close to my Monday NYT record solving time (which ... I actually don't remember, though I think it's 2:36. I've been faster on other easy puzzles, but not the NYT). And I would've gotten it, too, if it weren't for those meddling kids, by which I mean a Taylor Swift album name I totally blanked on and a "Longtime newsman" whose name I am never going to remember no matter how many times I see it in puzzles. Roger O'NEIL? Sure, why not? Not in my time, but great—his name crossing "RED" meant a hiccup of untold seconds, resulting in a final time of 2:45, which is still fast, but ... it's infinity far from from 2:36, in my experience. I see 2:40s a lot. I see 2:30s virtually never. I have dumb fat clumsy fingers, too, which ... don't do me any favors.
That's all. Stay authentic, colloquially! See you tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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