Angela Olson Halsted’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
Hooray! A January 20 event we can all celebrate—the publication of this lovely themeless puzzle by Angela, aka PuzzleGirl. (Thanks for covering for Janie for the last two weeks, PG.)
This 70-worder has a 15 across the middle crossing stacked 10s and a staggered 11/9/11 center. THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is not always better than the one you don’t, particularly if the one you know is terrible—but it’s a good entry, as are TOY SOLDIERS, TONY SOPRANO, EXHAUST FAN, PIED-À-TERRE, “DREAM ON,” MR. RIGHT, AFROPOP, and so on.
- 19a. [Like pork pie and clotted cream], ENGLISH. My gosh, that couldn’t sound less appetizing.
- 46a. [Brownies with cookies, maybe], TROOP. Girl Scout cookies, that is. Revelation this week: While I like supporting the Girl Scouts of America, Thin Mints are stickier and saltier than they ought to be. But! A delicious alternative is the Hint-O-Mint Newman-O’s.
49a. [Turnovers, e.g.], STAT. I know Angela’s a sports junkie, but I really wanted this to be pastry.
- 2d. [Postal sheet], PANE. I went a little nuts ordering stamps from the US Postal Service website a few weeks ago. Quilled hearts, ice cream sundaes, national parks, winter songbirds, Wonder Woman …
- 13d. [Cape Ann’s area], NORTH SHORE. Not sure which state this is. New Jersey? Chicago’s North Shore comprises ritzy suburbs like Highland Park and Lake Forest.
- 14d. [It’s capped and often slapped], KNEE. Cute clue.
- 53d. [Scores of these may plague high schoolers], SATS. You wanted ZITS, didn’t you?
- 56d. [Chat, across the Pyrénées], GATO. Chat is French and GATO is Spanish for “cat.”
Nothing in this puzzle made me RETCH in the slightest. 4.2 stars from me.
Robert H. Wolfe’s Chronicle of Higher Education crossword, “January Thaw” — pannonica’s write-up
The ice —not precisely in cube form—has melted away from the five theme entries in this crossword.
- 17a. [Where one learns about running?] POL ACADEMY (police …).
- 37a. [Payment for promotions?] PR CHECK (price …).
- 58a. [“Refrain from going forward!”] ADVANCE NOT (… notice).
- 11d. [One in charge of bringing the bug spray?] OFF HOLDER (office …).
- 33d. [Gym-goer who criticizes everyone’s physiques?] BOD RIPPER (bodice …).
The tally: four first words, one second word. Not that big a deal, though. Not exactly thrilled that two of the themers invoke political office while another suggests kind of rapey physical violation, but I’m sensitive to that, especially today.
Not going to add much more.
- Tough sequence in the top center: odd construction ACER at 7d [Tennis opponent who’s hard to break, say], endonymic HAMELN at 8d [Town in the Pied Piper legend, to locals], and then 9d [Parisian’s pen] STYLO.
- 29d [Chevy subcompact of the 1970s] VEGA, but my first try was NOVA, which made 39a [Cadbury Creme __ ] as –V– and I nearly put in OVA. (It’s EGG.)
Debbie Ellerin’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up
Today’s theme features homophones that are past tense verbs. The first example was the most opaque. Its crossing with REDS (still don’t understand that clue) was the last letter to fall. DUCTWORK becomes DUCKEDWORK. Similarly RUDEAWAKING becomes RUEDAWAKENING and ROADTORIO becomes ROWEDTORIO (the best answer). I’m not convinced that PASTHISTORY is a phrase, because HISTORY is by definition past; nevertheless, that answer becomes PASSEDHISTORY.
Plenty of lively fill around the grid: DOOWOP, WEBINAR, FETISH and TRYONE are my picks.
Donna S. Levin’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post Crossword, “Make An Angle” —Ade’s write-up
Hey, everyone! Busy day and evening for me, so only can really post the puzzle now. Ms. Donna S. Levin brought us today’s grid, where the letters “GLE” are added to the end of phrases to make puns.
- IRISH JIGGLE (17A: [Reason for the high ratings on the Celtic version of “Three’s Company”?]) – Irish jig.
- CINNAMON BUNGLE (26A: [Failure to add the spice when making Red Hots?]) – Cinnamon bun.
- ORIGINAL SINGLE (43A: [Adam?]) – Original sin.
- WING SPANGLE (59A: [Bit of glitz on an aileron?]) – Wingspan.
See you all on Saturday!