Mark Diehl’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
Post needs to be up by midnight, and it’s 11:46. So!
Likes: [Like a Navy seal], note lowercase S in seal, for WATERTIGHT. SUPERSTORE, STONE AGE, bad IMELDA, Janet NAPOLITANO, SMOKY TOPAZ, JOE MONTANA, UPTEMPO, RUMBLE SEAT. GROANER clued with a bad pun [“What do you call a fake noodle? An impasta,” e.g.].
49d. [Lollapalooza], DILLY? Say what? Who uses that?
There are AZALEA TREEs? I always thought they were just shrubs or plants. I don’t live where azaleas are common.
Vocab word: 53d. [Capriole], LEAP. Did not know capriole!
58d. [___ Tower Gardens, National Historic Landmark in Florida], BOK. Whaaa? Don’t know this. Most of your BOK usage is Afrikaans, no?
Raise your hand if you got mired up top with GLUE instead of TAPE for 3d. [Stick with it].
30a. [Girl’s name in which the last three letters are equivalent to the first?], IONE. Meaning Roman numeral I and one? No. Not when you’ve got the other ONE action outlined below. IONE’s not good fill because the last famous Ione, actress Ione Skye, hasn’t done anything notable in years, and was never really a household name.
Dislikes: Arbitrary D-TEN with a dumb spelled-out number (I don’t like it when things that always appear as numerals get spelled out in crosswords). INFANT is clued as [One not yet one, say], which is fine … except it crosses ONE IN FORTY, which both duplicates that “one” and is entirely arbitrary. Two arbitrary number things in one puzzle is at least one two many, and probably two too many. Plural YAYS.
3.5 stars from me. Good night!
Julian Lim’s LA Times crossword – Derek’s write-up
Let me set the stage for you to explain my slowish time: since I get the puzzles early, I found myself with some leisure time to kill before starting my shift on Thursday morning. So I decided, “Why not solve the LAT puzzle right quick?” So I got out my iPhone and started in. There were people milling around, and the buttons on my phone are TINY! At any rate, I plowed through most of the puzzle pretty quickly, but the upper right gave me all kinds of fits. I cannot blame all of the slower time on those little buttons! Once I got ON AN ERRAND, then the corner finally fell. All in all maybe a tad harder than normal, but still a great puzzle. 4.4 stars today.
A few mentions:
- 25A [Sidecar ingredient] TRIPLE SEC – I figured this was talking about the alcoholic drink!
- 44A [Dairy Queen offerings] BLIZZARDS – Amen! one of my favorite indulgences in this world!
- 59A [Grammy-winning Santana song] MARIA MARIA – I remember this song. don’t remember it winning a Grammy!
- 7D [Where Ulysses rests] GRANT’S TOMB – Best clue of the bunch! Nicely done!!
- 11D [Penn, for one] MOVIE ACTOR – Also a great clue! This one is probably the main reason that upper right corner had my stymied!
- 13D [AAPL and GOOG] TECH STOCKS – I knew this was Apple and Google, and I had TECH in there early, but I was thinking it might be referring to the stock symbol itself. Another nice clue.
- 26D [Part of Beverly Hills’ Golden Triangle] RODEO DRIVE – I have driven down this street. Couldn’t afford to stop and shop! Evidently this Golden Triangle is shopping district with boundaries of Rodeo, Santa Monica Boulevard, and Burton Way.
- 40D [“Leaves and Navels” artist] ARP – I don’t get art usually. This is one of those times!
- 47D [Sticky] HUMID – Or like the weather this summer!
- 55D [Singer of complex songs] WREN – Wasn’t thinking birds here!
- 56D [Michael’s brother in “Prison Break”] LINC – Never watched this show. Wasn’t LINC the lead character in The Legend of Zelda video games? I am pretty sure this show is on Netflix!
Will be in South Carolina next week to visit my dad! Enjoy your weekend!
Matthew Sewell’s Newsday crossword, “Saturday Stumper” – Derek’s write-up
I think I have blogged one other Stumper by this constructor. Getting very used to the style of Longo, Newman, Wilber, and Peterson; when a variant has a puzzle appear, it definitely takes one out of any comfort zone, if there even is a comfort zone to be had on a Saturday Stumper! I would be curious to see how much influence Stan had on the cluing in this one, because quite a few of them are really good. Had a few errors in this one. Upper left probably the easiest part, upper right is where I finished up. A solid 70-worder in my book. 4.5 stars.
Here are a few of my favorites. Definitely can’t list every one!
- 1A [The FAA approved it for cockpits in 2011] IPAD – I am curious as to how they are used. I am quite sure they aren’t playing Candy Crush in there! Or are they … ?
- 14A [Literary “greatest schemer of all time”] MORIARTY – I guessed this one early on, and I was right. Moriarty is Sherlock Holmes great nemesis.
- 19A [Production in creases] ORIGAMI – I think this is my favorite clue of the puzzle!
- 27A [Something handled by TaskRabbit] ERRAND – I am not familiar with this service. Pretty sure it is not available here in Indiana! (I checked, it isn’t!)
- 36A [Comic interpreter for “No Drama Obama”] ANGER TRANSLATOR – This is from last year’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner. If you haven’t seen this before, enjoy! It is hilarious!!
- 54A [Literature Nobelist 23 years after GBS] TSE – As in T. S. Eliot. and George Bernard Shaw. Shaw in ’25, Eliot in ’48.
- 65A [AT&T Park “splash hits”] HRS – As in home runs that go out of the park and into McCovey Cove in San Francisco. Barry Bonds hit several of these!
- 11D [Helmeted harvester] APIARIST – A fancy word for a beekeeper. They definitely wear some sort of headgear, which is evidently called a helmet!
- 26D [Kimchi quesadilla category] ASIAN FUSION – I liked this clue as well. Not in small part because it sounds delicious!
- 36D [Scottish form of a “Great” ruler’s name] ALISTAIR – I assume this is a translation of ALEXANDER the Great. Nice clue!
Again, these are but a few of the good ones. Great puzzle! Enjoy your weekend!
Gabriel Stone’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Comparatively Silly” — pannonica’s write-up
Step 1: Take common word or phrase. Step 2: Add -er (suffix indicating comparative form, cf the superlative form, -est) sound to the end of phrase. Step 3: Change spelling of affected word as necessary to form a homophone (all happen to be nouns rather than adjectives). Step 4: Create clever clue. Step 5: Repeat 9 times. Step 6: Put into crossword grid, sprinkle rest of grid with letters, words, etc., then bake at 375ºF for 55 minutes.
- 23a. [King Midas’s pet reptile?] GOLDEN GATOR (Golden Gate).
- 25a. [Fill for a Holstein’s stein?] COW LIQUOR (cowlick).
- 35a. [Bitterness among the troops?] MILITARY RANCOR (military rank).
- 50a. [The incomparable Caruso?] PERFECT TENOR (perfect ten). Incomparable, ha.
- 63a. [Basement with a cement floor?] HARD CELLAR (hard sell).
- 67a. [Kid in the funny papers?] STRIP MINOR (strip mine).
- 82a. [Seaman whose boat’s in the repair shop?] GARAGE SAILOR (garage sale). See also 90a [Berth place] MARINA. If only DRYDOCK were also lurking about.
- 93a. [Best of the fragrant trees?] NUMBER ONE CEDAR (number one seed).
- 110a. [Grimly ominous bit of gossip?] DARK RUMOR (darkroom). Not dark rum, essential in a Dark and Stormy.
- 112a. [Utensil at an extraterrestrial barbershop?] COSMIC RAZOR (cosmic rays). See also 11a [Shaving mishap] NICK.
Cute enough gimmick, even though the -er suffix is used on other parts of speech, and to indicate different things—there isn’t anything here that explicitly reflects the comparative adjective sense, as promised by the crossword’s title. Regardless, it’s executed more than well enough. I think I might have liked this puzzle better if the ballast fill had been devoid of -er sounding suffixes. ANGLER, NINER, ISOMER, USURER, and probably GAINERS. (6d, 19a, 12d, 94d, 83d)
The grid’s artfully basted with middle length entries to hold it together. REDEFINE, NAVAL BASE, KILL SHOTS, PARAMEDIC, DESTITUTE, DRESSAGE.
- 24d [Cruiser’s home] NAVAL BASE, 76d [Cruiser letters] USS. (Do not see also 41a Banana Boat letters] SPF.) 51d [Cries from the bleachers] RAHS, 64d [Cheering loudly] AROAR. 44d [“Tiny Bubbles” singer] DON HO crossing 62a [Hawaiian howdy] ALOHA. There are more, but I have no desire to be more tedious.
- 97a [Julius, in Gaius Julius Caesar, and others] NOMINA. Praenomina, nomina, cognomina. The Roman tria nomina.
- Ah, misfills. Had a few good ones during the solve. 98d [Augurs] BODES; I had BORES initially. 104a [Moonshine container] JUG, not JAR. 115a [Share in a business] STAKE, not STOCK.
- 89d [Ocean Spray tidbit] CRAISIN. That’s a portmanteau of cranberry and raisin. Just a dried cranberry, though. Nothing transgenic about it.
- Upper left: 3d [“__ fair in …”] ALL’S. Lower right: 109d [War loser, usually] TREY.
Good crossword, but I’ve seen better.
Gail Grabowski’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post Crossword, “Hang-Ups” —Ade’s write-up
Happy Saturday, everyone! Just came back from DC, so just really posting today’s grid, brought to us by Ms. Gail Grabowski, before catching up on some more rest. Her grid today has theme entries in which the first word is also an object that can be hung.
- FAN CLUB MAGAZINE (20A: [Publication for groupies of the Beatles, e.g.])
- MIRROR LAKE (25A: [Body of water that once filled most of Yosemite Valley])
- LIGHT OPERA (49A: [“H.M.S. Pinafore,” for one])
- PICTURE OF HEALTH (54A: [Perfect example for being robust])
See you all for the Sunday Challenge!