NYT Thursday Puzzle – December 24, 2015

NYT Thursday Puzzle - December 24, 2015

The theme is found at 8-Across: With 58-Across, “Antigone” and others … or, when reinterpreted, a hint to 17-, 31- and 50-Across. Answer: Greek plays. The names of Greek writers are played with so that they become silly phrases apropos of the clues.

17A. Packing boxes for heavyweights? = Hippo crates (Hippocrates)
31A. Order to Onassis to block a brand of underwear? = Ari! Stop Hanes! (Aristophanes)
50A. Shows a Sega Genesis rival at an expo? = Demos the NES (Demosthenes)

The first theme answer I got was Demosthenes. Weird since I did so without actually understanding either the clue or the resulting phrase. By Googling, I have subsequently learned that Sega Genesis is a video games system, and NES stands for Nintendo Entertainment System. Obviously, video games don’t interest me.

The author of Antigone, Sophocles, does not appear in this puzzle, but two other Greeks do: Sappho and Pindar.

I’ve never heard of Daniel or Peter Tosh (1-Down), or of “MMMBop” (41-Across), and I don’t recall ever watching “Top Cops” (1-Across). I’m not familiar with Madonna’s “La Isla Bonita” (29-Across) and didn’t know that the first full-time auto service station was in Ohio (30-Across).

All things considered, it’s amazing that I was able to finish this puzzle without making any mistakes and did it in a little more than an hour.

Addendum (January 6, 2016): This was the last Thursday puzzle I finished with no errors. The statistics for 2015 are as follows:
Finished Perfectly = 16 (Last year 15)
Finished with 1 error = 7 (10)
Finished with 2 or more errors = 5 (6)

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