Kelly Clark’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
What’s that in the center? 40a [Handyman’s tote] TOOLBOX. What’s that 17-across? [One-by-one formation, as in walking] SINGLE FILE. At 11-down? [Spillane detective?] MIKE HAMMER. There at 64-across? [Manicurist’s target] FINGERNAIL. 29-down? [Honest] ON THE LEVEL.
Good thing there were more than a couple, because someone could get the wrong idea from the NAIL and the FILE alone, especially considering TOOLBOX is not explicitly a revealer.
Saaaayyyyyy, what’s that at one-across? [Mr. __ (handyman)] FIXIT! And complimenting that, over at 71a is … [Goes downhill in the winter] SLEDS. Uhm. >cough< Well, moving on …
From the Not In My Monday department, we get composer Thomas ARNE, antique crosssword stalwarts Mel OTT and the venerable STEN gun (that’s Shepherd-Turpin Enfield, for your information), Nicholas Gage’s (né Nikolaos Gatzoyiannis) 1983 memoir ELENI (also the name of his daughter), and netman ILIE Nastase.
Otherwise the contents are early-week level, both
tooth and claw fill and clue. The expected and acceptable smattering of partials, prepositional phrases, abbrevs.
Brom Hart’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s review
With perspicacious puzzle powers and pedipalp-like grasping conceptual prehensive proclivities, I properly procured the provenance of the prospective proceedings. Pee-pee!
- 17a. [Porky’s girlfriend] PETUNIA PIG.
- 24a. [Feigns sleep, say] PLAYS POSSUM. Perhaps if it were later in the week, the more precise (or at least more original) sense of feigns death would predominate.
- 52a. [Either of two of the Inspector Clouseau films, with “The”] PINK PANTHER.
- 61a. [Yipping adoptee] POUND PUPPY. Prominent p-alliteration in the clue, too, though it’s internal.
I kind of sort of want to maybe think that the crossing of SNIPPY and SPLIT PEA is a tangential theme reference. Who knows? On the other hand, it would be preëminently provocative for the puzzle to proscribe the presence of non-theme Ps in the grid. But that would be asking an awful lot from a Monday offering as well as a possibly (presumably? apparently?) debutant (?) puzzlemaker.
Timely 4d [Semiannual time-change amount] HOUR. Perhaps a factor for some solvers at the ACPT who had to get up an hour earlier this morning (Sunday, 9 March) than their circadian rhythms anticipated for the 7th and final regular crossword. The attendees were wont to 6d STAY AT [Patronize, as a hotel] the Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge.
- 3d [Devices to stop tiny invading armies] ANT TRAPS. Need a lot of traps to stop an army of them.
- Fun clue: 7d [Spot for a cat, or drink like a cat] LAP.
- Cuboid (not that cuboid) action: 56a [Cooler cubes] ICE, 29d [Craps cube] DIE.
- The bibble! 23d [“Dies __”: Latin hymn] IRAE; 62d [“__ Father, who art …”] OUR; 43a [“Exodus” author Leon] URIS; 47d [Gave 10% to the church] TITHED.
- Not sure how well LIPASE, KNESSET, ARETE, Phi Beta KAPPA, and SINN Féin play on Monday, but in truth they seem like things a reasonably-educated (read: crossword solver) person should be aware of. APER is another story.
Modest, decent Monday.
Bob Klahn’s CrosSynergy / Washington Post crossword, “Front Money” – Dave Sullivan’s review
I believe the title phrase refers to a deposit someone makes on something, or perhaps it’s a card game term referring to anteing, but here, Bob takes it a bit more literally and finds four phrases that begin with a type of currency:
- [In the spotlight] was CENTER STAGE – I first tried “celebrated” but it was one letter short.
- [Hard-hitting forecast] clued POUNDING RAIN – can you believe that we are due for another 8-10 inches of snow later this week? I’d take some pounding rain instead!
- The clue [Ping-Pong ball delivery] had me thinking of table tennis not lottery drawings, but I should’ve been thinking of the latter with the entry RANDOM NUMBER – the rand is the currency of South Africa and today is worth about 10 U.S. cents. I see it takes its name from the Witwatersrand, an area in S.A. where gold was discovered.
- Finally, [Hill-top arena] had me thinking of mountains, but I should instead have been thinking of Capitol Hill with SENATE FLOOR – a sen is .01 yen in Japan.
I really enjoyed this puzzle, especially the following clues:
- [Hill-climing gear] was LOW – I got the “hill” part right on this one, but the gear here is one of the PRDNL set.
- [She could make a pig out of you] was CIRCE – literally!
- [Film stars?] were RATINGS – I hope you give this one some good ratings.
- [Title holders?] were SPINES – books not people, people!
- Big love for the crossing of GO GAGA and IN A GROOVE.
Two small concerns, how common is SCHAV or the [Slavic sorrel soup]? Finally, with this theme I think [21 shillings, once] or GUINEA probably should’ve been replaced with a non-currency related entry. Otherwise, this FIEND (who, by the way, is not a [Minion of Satan]) thinks it was [Splendiferous] or A-ONE!
Brendan Quigley’s blog variety crossword, “Marching Bands”
I opted out of the Friday-night official goings-on at ACPT so this puzzle was new to me. There’s not a whole lot to say about a puzzle with 41 entries chosen more for their interlock potential than for their zippiness—although it was a delight to see the time-focused FLAVOR FLAV in Band B. HALF OFF is fresh, too.
Top clue: Band C’s ONE-LINER, [“Childhood is like being drunk, everyone remembers what you did, except you” e.g. (hyph.)]. Although I want to repunctuate: [“Childhood is like being drunk. Everyone remembers what you did except you,” e.g. (hyph.)]
Not sure why Row 3’s EVAC is clued as plural [Relief effort fliers].