Kristian House’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
- 58aR [Children’s game … or the circled words in 20-, 28- and 48-Across] DUCK DUCK GOOSE.
- 20a. [“Bowiemania” and “Come Together: America Salutes the Beatles”] TRIBUTE ALBUMS.
- 28a. [1948–94, in South Africa] APARTHEID ERA. The Times needs to use an en-dash here in the clue, not a hyphen, And oh yes I checked the newspaper version .pdf.
- 48a. [Bitter rivals] SWORN ENEMIES.
Teal, eider, and nene. That’s … a kind of cute. And it’s a compact crossword theme. The wink-wink of it is that those are three fairly common examples of cruciverbal avifauna. However, explicitly acknowledging that would take it out of the Monday realm. So it’s a soft-boiled easter egg.
- I liked both of the long downs. 11d [Dressed to the nines] GUSSIED UP, 34d [Baddie] NOGOODNIK.
- 63d [“__ Thurman” (Fall Out Boy song)]. That’s … a risible attempt at some sort of hipness. Possibly 7d [Klein of Vox.com] EZRA is another?
- 9d [Flower that’s also a girl’s name] PETUNIA. Oh there’s hardly any of those.
Liked the theme. A smattering of questionable-Monday fill (e.g., ATRA, A B OR C, EDUCE, ENACTOR). Still, a solid offering.
Ethan Erickson’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Cyber Monday” — Jim’s review
Homophones. Can’t get more straightforward than this. Today’s puzzle is urging you to get online and do your bit for the economy.
- 18a [Like Popular Science] BI-MONTHLY. Shouldn’t that magazine title be in quotation marks?
- 27a [“Put on a Happy Face” musical] BYE BYE BIRDIE. We get a bonus BYE in this one.
- 42a [Exactly as rules dictate] BY THE NUMBERS. Nice one.
- 54a [Treat everyone at the bar] BUY A ROUND. Not the strongest “BUY” phrase. I’d’ve preferred BUY THE FARM paired with BIPARTISAN.
I finished with an error because CLOSED ON seemed just as good for 9d [Prepared to capture, perhaps] as CLOSED IN (though ICE ON didn’t make much sense).
Good fill: MONEYBALL, GET OVER IT, PETER OUT, and SMUSH (as opposed to SMASH) for [Flatten, informally].
Uncommon proper names: 14a [Celebrity lawyer Melvin] BELLI and 46d [Psychic Edgar] CAYCE. Needed all the crossings with that last one.
Overall, a rather standard, unexciting Monday outing.
Jake Braun’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
American professional football players from the Golden State, in the singular.
- 57aR [Home of the player at the ends of the answers to starred clues] CALIFORNIA.
- 17a. [*Power source that plugs into a computer port] USB CHARGER. San Diego.
- 23a. [*”Airplane!” flight number, to the control tower] TWO ZERO NINER. That’s rather obscure. Also, NINER is a shortening of Forty-Niner. San Francisco.
- 36a. [*Carl Icahn or Michael Milken] CORPORATE RAIDER. Oakland.
- 46a. [*Castle gate-busting weapon] BATTERING RAM. Los Angeles.
That’s a complete set. All four of the teams from that state.
- Football! 49d [Player referenced in 57-Across’ clue, briefly] NFLER. 26a [Punt or field goal] KICK. 28d [One of 100 between end zones] YARD.
- 1a/10d [“Get lost!”] SCRAM, BEAT IT.
- 22a [Make amends (for)] ATONE, 38d [Regretful sort] RUER.
- Cinema! 2d [Film credits list] CAST, 15a [They may clash on a movie set] EGOS, 45d [Blue or black water of filmdom] LAGOON, 59d [Old studio letters] RKO.
- 13d [Roundheaded Fudd] ELMER. Factette: the character’s original incarnation was “Egghead”.
- Baseball! 10a [Ruth with bats] BABE. Basketball! Cleveland cager, for short] CAV.
- 39d [Bulleted list entry] ITEM.