Damon Gulczynski’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
Lots of colloquial language in this grid. There’s WELL, SHUT MY MOUTH (I had WELL, I’LL BE DARNED first—I don’t know anyone who says 3d and wonder if it’s a regional or cultural thing), YOU LOOK FAMILIAR, THAT’S A BIG “IF,” and SO SUE ME. You could even throw in the French SALUT. Talky puzzle.
In the edibles department, we have NEW COKE (no, thanks!), ALMOND milk, CHEESE PIZZA (my default, unless a margherita is an option), and MCRIB (nope!).
Other fill I liked: JESSE JAMES with a cinematic clue, SCAM ARTIST, NOSE JOB (though I don’t care for the [Hook remover, perhaps] clue), LOAN OUT (I am 100% fine with loan being used as a verb, and the lend sticklers should consider being more flexible as there is no real reason to insist that they can’t be used interchangeably. Does anyone not understand exactly what someone means if they use loan as a verb?), JUST DESERTS (and not DESSERTS, since this DESERTS pertains to what is deserved), FOG LAMPS, BOOM MICS, and HOT TUBS.
Three more things:
- 28a. [Wrigley’s field], GUM. Wrigley Field has not been owned by Bill Wrigley for a long time, but the name remains. I turned to Wikipedia to see when it stopped being Wrigley’s field, and didn’t find that out but I did learn this: “No batter has ever hit the center field scoreboard. However, it has been hit by a golf ball hit by Sam Snead using a two iron.”
- 7d. [West Coast N.F.L.’er], L.A. RAM. Ha! Damon, did you make this puzzle when that was a retro answer that needed to stop showing up in so many crosswords, or after the team was yoinked back from St. Louis? I still don’t much care for “city + singular team member” entries, as opposed to the more natural plural, L.A. Rams.
- 12d. [Bar activity], KARAOKE. Please tell me that one of you is actually an attorney who has sung karaoke!
Four stars from me.
Patti Varol’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up
The theme is of a clue answer reversal type. The clues are all cutlery or crockery, but the definitions are non-table related. So [Spoon], HUGTENDERLY; [Dish], SPREADGOSSIP; [Fork], BRANCHINTHEROAD; [Plate], COATWITHGOLD; [Bowl], PLAYTENPINS. The middle is the only one still used as a noun, the rest are verbs.
The rest of the grid was pleasant, with long answers like PLEASEHOLD and DEANMARTIN. I tried JANECURTIN there first. Is she a person?
Anyway, I don’t much time today.
Randolph Ross’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post Crossword, “An Actor’s Life” —Ade’s write-up
Good day, everyone! Happy Friday. Also, very appreciative of all of the veterans that are out here in the Fiend sphere as well as abroad. Today’s crossword puzzle, brought to us by Mr. Randolph Ross, are common phrases that, when looking at it in a different context, could be certain things and events that an actor could take along his/her time performing.
- CHANGE OF SCENERY (17A: [Something different])
- WAITING IN THE WINGS (25A: [Getting ready for an opportunity])
- IN THE SPOTLIGHT (40A: [Getting a lot of attention])
- TAKE CENTER STAGE (51A: [Exhibit leadership])
Interesting theme, and I liked it. This grid could have easily been titled “food and drink,” especially with all of the references to having some eats. There’s MUESLI, which I’m sure I haven’t had in forever (5D: [Breakfast cereal]). That answer intersected with MEAL, something that I need to have pretty soon (5A: [Breakfast, lunch, or dinner]). It’s possible that I could go out and get some GRITS (18D: [Southern breakfast dish]), as there’s a couple of places in NYC where you can get a plate of just that (52D: [Big Apple inits.]).Hopefully, during the meal, I don’t show myself to be a BIG EATER since I’ve put on a few more pounds than I would have liked recently (36D: [One who ignores portion control]). Crossing that entry is BREW, and having too many of those never helps in keeping a good figure (36A: [Cold one]). Maybe I’ll have a Lipton BRISK Iced Tea instead when having tonight’s meal (55A: [Lively]). OK, all of this is really making me hungry. Time to head out and get ready for a long weekend ahead.
“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: NORTH (28D: [Needle point?]) – Current ESPN golf commentator Andy NORTH was a two-time major champion, winning the U.S. Open in both 1978 and 1985. North only won three times on the PGA Tour, but two of them happened to be at majors. Hey, if you’re going to win, but not a lot, win big!
Have a good weekend, everyone!