Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Jonesin' 4:18 (Amy) 
NYT 3:43 (Amy) 
LAT 3:00 (Amy) 
CS 11:36 (Ade) 
Xword Nation untimed (Janie) 

Michael Blake and Andrea Carla Michaels’s New York Times crossword

NY Times crossword solution, 5 5 15, no 0505

NY Times crossword solution, 5 5 15, no 0505

Add-an-IE is the name of the game:

  • 1a. [With 20-Across, chocolaty Atlanta treat?], SWEET / GEORGIA BROWNIE.
  • 27a. [One ratting out a group of lawyers?], BAR STOOLIE.
  • 45a. [What the duffer shot on a hole, surprisingly?], RARE BIRDIE.
  • 53a. [Little finger that makes you go “Oh my God!”?] SHOCKING PINKIE. I don’t care to speculate on what would have to be amiss in a pinkie for it to evoke shouts of “Oh my God!”
  • 69a. [Girl’s name that’s a two-part hint to 1-/20-, 27-, 45- and 53-Across], ADDIE, or ADD -IE.

Fair enough. Playful, not too much of a stretch for a Tuesday.

Three more things:

  • 39a. [Grouch of children’s TV], OSCAR. Heard him on the BBC News Hour this morning. There’s a new documentary, I Am Big Bird, about Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer behind both Bird and Oscar.
  • 61a. [Unwanted weight], MILLSTONE. I wonder how many people confidently filled in ALBATROSS here.
  • 7d. [Sanyo competitor], AIWA. Uh, I don’t think so. Aiwa is no longer “just another old Japanese consumer electronics brand that got swallowed up by a bigger company.” It’s now a Chicago-based maker of Bluetooth speakers.

Surprised to see ILO, ESTO, NES, ERI, and ESSE in a Tuesday puzzle.

3.9 stars from me.

Elizabeth C. Gorski’s Crsswrd Nation puzzle (Week 203), “Much Ado About Everything”—Janie’s review

Crossword Nation 5/5 (No. 205)

Crossword Nation 5/5 (No. 205)

Though Twelfth Night regularly gives it a run for its money, Much Ado About Nothing has long-been my fave of the Shakespeare comedies. And while the Bard gets an actual shout-out today by way of PADUA [“Taming of the Shrew” city], that’s where his connection with this puzzle ends. Instead we’re asked to take today’s title quite literally. The word ADO surrounds (is “about”) each of the six (count ’em!) themers—which either start with AD- and end with -O, or start with A- and end with -DO. There are two crossing pairs as well. Nice! Not-so-nice is that two of the themers kinda push the envelope for my taste, but on the whole (thanks to a healthy amount of excellent non-theme fill), this was a happy-making (and sometimes challenging) solve.

  • *18A. AMONTILLADO [Sherry glass contents]. Wow. Now there’s a word you don’t see/hear a lot. But for its ending, it’s a beaut, too. This is one of the two themers that raised a flag for me. To my eye, and within the rules of today’s game, it’s confusing to see a theme entry end with the word ADO in its entirety. Kinda undoes the “about”-ness. Imho. (For the literary-minded, let’s not forget Poe’s short-story “The Cask of …”)
  • *26A. A DAY AGO [24 hours earlier], whose first letter is shared with the superb
  • *26D. “ADIOS, AMIGO!” [Friendly farewell].
  • *46A. ALFREDO [Sauce made with heavy cream, butter and Parmesan cheese], (to be followed by your statin of choice…) and whose last letter is shared with
  • *10D. ADMITTED TO [Acknowledged responsibility for]. Leaving us with the peppy and peppily clued (if flawed, to my mind…)
  • *60A. “ALL I WANNA DO” [Sheryl Crow’s Grammy-winning hit with the lyrics “this ain’t no disco]. See amantillado… But tell me, what’s your feeling about the double ADOs? Am I being too “strict-constructionist”?

Regardless, how could I not enjoy a puzzle with the symmetric “GUNGA DIN” and GODSENDS? Did you remember The Byrds’s recording (of the former…)? New to me—and a great muscular entry to boot. Other fill I loved seeing would have to include AVONLEA, ASININE, SABRINA and (the fabulous) HANGDOG. “I’M DYING…” [Famous last words?]. Is that a reference to Steve Irwin? A little macabre, no? BLOTTO and MEDICI, ARDOR and C-SPOT (which threw me because I was expecting C-NOTE) ALSO enlivened today’s puzz.

In a perfect world, [Fed. publishing house] would not be the clue for GPO. GPO stands for United States Government Publishing Office, so it’s less than optimal to have a word in the clue replicating the abbreviated word in the fill. Even if the word doesn’t encompass the full range of meaning as “publishing,” [Fed. printing house] woulda done it for me. And (among other sources) it seems to work for thesaurus.com, too.

But it’s still a fine world, indeed, when FUTON is clued as [Bachelor pad?] and TIME comes to us by way of [It’s served in prison?]—although I imagine SPAM, that [Ingredient in Army Base Stew] is something else that’s served there. Possibly even the stew itself.

Hope spring has **really** sprung where you are. The colors and fragrances in this neck o’ the woods do a lot to make the memory of that protracted winter a mere blip in the past.

And just because I liked it so much the first time, “Adios, amigos!”—until next week!

And this ain't the half of it!  ;-)

And this ain’t the half of it! ;-)

Marti DuGuay-Carpenter’s Los Angeles Times crossword

LA Times crossword solution, 5 5 15

LA Times crossword solution, 5 5 15

It’s all tied together by 60a. [Philatelist’s pride, and what the first words of 17-, 22-, 39- and 51-Across can be], STAMP COLLECTION:

  • 17a. [Inevitable future event], DATE WITH DESTINY. Date stamp.
  • 22a. [Slicing-dicing appliance], FOOD PROCESSOR. Food stamps.
  • 39a. [What an ant can’t move, in song], RUBBER TREE PLANT. Not sure I recall this song. Rubber stamps are awesome, though.
  • 51a. [1983 Murphy/Aykroyd comedy], TRADING PLACES. Trading stamps—I remember the S&H Green Stamps from my childhood, but I don’t know if this concept endures in the US.

Overall, the fill had a retro flair to it—AGHA, MEESE, BARA, LINC, PELEE, ERES, DEY, ERICA, and so on.

Three more things:

  • 8d. [French red wine], MEDOC. I’m not a red wine drinker, but I feel like Medoc is all but invisible on American wine lists.
  • 35d. [All-purpose vehicle, for short], UTE. Still never hear anyone refer to an SUV or any other vehicle by this name. In what circles does this happen?
  • Foreign vocab here includes Italian AMORE, Spanish ESOS and ERES, and French GAI and REINE. Too many foreign words for a Tuesday puzzle?

3.5 stars from me.

Matt Jones’s Jonesin’ crossword, “MashQuote—–my first (and probably last) quote mash-up”

Jonesin' crossword solution, 5 5 15 "MashQuote"

Jonesin’ crossword solution, 5 5 15 “MashQuote”

The theme is a mash-up of unrelated quotes: 20a. [With 25-Across, 37-Across, 48-Across and 57-Across, late night partier’s quote] clues THE ONLY THING WE / HAVE TO FEAR / IS GOING / EARLY TO BED / AND EARLY TO RISE. Now, the quote doesn’t parse because while you can GO / TO BED / EARLY, you can’t GO / EARLY TO RISE. The GOING bit doesn’t work with the EARLY TO RISE bit at all. I’m afraid Benjamin Franklin would be disappointed.

Three more things:

  • The last square I filled in was the M in 60a. [1960s Olympic track star ___ Tyus], WYOMIA, crossing 43d. [He can’t be whacked without a sit-down], MADE MAN. Is that Sopranos/Goodfellas-speak, the “sit-down”?
  • 13d. [Line former], QUEUER. The Oxford dictionary folks suggest that’s not an established form of the word.
  • 28d. [Bygone rechargeable bike brand], ETOUR. So bygone, I don’t remember ever hearing of it in the first place.

3.25 stars from me for the brokenness of the theme.

Todd McClary’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Glass Menagerie”—Ade’s write-up

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 05.05.15: "Glass Menagerie"

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 05.05.15: “Glass Menagerie”

What’s up there, everyone! First of all, let’s lift a glass to Mr. Todd McClary, who has delivered to us his first CS/WaPo puzzle of the year today! It just so happens that the theme to his puzzle is…glasses! Each of the four theme answers are multiple-word offerings in which the final word also happens to be a type of glassware. Drink up, ladies and gentlemen!

  • ROCK TUMBLER (17A: [Mineralogy hobbyist’s machine])
  • SPORT COUPE (29A: [Sleek two-door automobile])
  • MAGIC FLUTE (45A: [Enchanted instrument in a Mozart opera])
  • PAINTED PONY (59A: [Small, patchy-colored horse])

This was a pretty fun solving experience, even if I had a flashback to being such a bad Battleship player with MISS (42D: [Reply to some Battleship guesses]). For some reason, I was never any good at that game. Wanted to fill in ‘fire away’ for the clue to ASK AWAY, but obviously, that wasn’t going to stick (4D: [“Keep those questions coming”]). Nice clue for AV CLUB, and it also can/will act as a shout out to Ben Tausig and the amazing constructors who continue to provide amazing weekly puzzles on their platform (21A: [Entertainment magazine whose name references high school film projector fans of yore]). Oh, and are you in the mood for a “sports…smarter” bonus today? I know you are! Seeing UNESCO probably wouldn’t make you think sports, but the organization also happens to the the sponsor of the soccer jerseys of the Spanish top-division soccer team, Málaga CF (18D: [Gp. that designates World Heritage Sites]). Here’s a gander at the choice of uniforms this season for the Andalusians:


“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: GARR (1D: [“Tootsie” actress Teri]) – Former Major League Baseball player Ralph Garr was one of the best hitters and fastest players during the 1970s, playing mostly for the Atlanta Braves and Chicago White Sox. In 1971 and 1972, as a member of the Braves, he finished second in the National League in batting average. In 1974, he won the NL batting title with a .353 average. Also in 1974, Garr appeared in his only All-Star Game, entering the Midsummer Classic with 149 hits, setting a record for the most hits in the first half of a season – a record stands to this day and might never be broken.

See you all on Hump Day! Have a good rest of your Tuesday!

Take care!


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12 Responses to Tuesday, May 5, 2015

  1. Evad says:

    Surprised at the somewhat negative (and very negative) tone of the reviews here and at Rex’s…I thought this to be a very humorous theme and a perfect Tuesday offering. Thanks Michael & Andrea!

  2. Huda says:

    NYT: loved the revealer and the reme entries made me smile. The two non-theme entries– SWAPMEETS and MILLSTONE are excellent, and there’s a certain fun vibe to the whole thing with a sweet brownie, a cafe, trivia night in a pub, a little porn and a dipso. ADDIE is a cute name and an apt revealer that actually help me at one point. My favorite corner was the scrabbly NE with DOZE, AXIS and ZITI.
    JANIE, thanks for sharing that great photo. We’re getting here and it’s such a good feeling.

    • janie says:

      this year’s arrival of spring colors in central park has been breathtaking. even the groundcover! or maybe because of the groundcover. all that green and cornflower blue/lavender, and green and yellow. enjoy it all as it arrives in ann arbor!

      and yes — put me in the camp that had a *fine* time solving andrea and michael’s latest. smile-making puzzles like this one always sit well w/ me!


  3. David L says:

    Ade — thank you for the explanation of the WaPo theme, which went over my head. I know TUMBLER and FLUTE as kinds of glassware, but I thought a PONY was one of those small beer bottles, and COUPE was new to me completely.

    I liked the NYT, although ECCLES for Ecclesiastes made me laugh. In the old days of listening to the Goon Show on BBC Radio, Eccles was the name of the village-idiot character voiced by Peter Sellers, I think. He was always bursting into scenes with dim-witted and often double-entendre remarks… Quite unlike the gloomy voice of the bible book.

  4. Papa John says:

    Yesterday Amy asked, “RUN THE JEWELS. Does their name mean something, slangwise?”
    From Urban Dictionary: An expression used when robbing someone to denote the desire that he or she relinquish the jewelry that he or she posses.

    You’re welcome.

    • Papa John says:

      As you may have guessed, I’m a day late on the BEQ puzzle, so forgive this tardy post.

      In my continuing effort to understand why BEQ puzzles don’t sit well with me, I dissected yesterday’s fare and came up with the following: 5 pop music or rap reverences (can we call it a rapper mini-theme?), 9 abbreviations or “for short(s)”, and a walloping 11 proper nouns/names. Among the good clues – some really good clues – were a few that made me cringe. It had its fair share of crosswordese, too.

    • Norm says:

      I think Urban Dictionary is full of it. “Break yourself” — yes. “Give me your shit” — yes. “Run the jewels” — I have never seen that in 30 years of criminal cases. Maybe it’s an East Coast thing.

  5. Margaret says:

    Amy, that ant has High Hopes! You might know the song from the chorus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-bD0ZG5_2w

  6. Gareth says:

    LAT: I’ve wanted to work RUBBERTREEPLANT into a puzzle for a good while. Nice centrepiece!

  7. Younger crossworder says:

    FYI, for 53 across:


    See the play with 53 down!

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