Frederick Healy’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
I’m disinclined to spend much time blogging at the moment. So:
I like LASER TAG, newsy SQUIBS, SPIKE LEE, YOWZAH, an Iowa HAWKEYE, GEEK CHIC, WENDY’S, GEE WHIZ, BAD KARMA.
Not keen on RATED A (what??), RED HAT (would work better with a Linux clue, IMO), V-TEN, -EAN, plural DREWS, ALTHO, LEHI ([City on Utah Lake]? You don’t say), ONE LAP, SEINED, “WHEN, THEN?”, “DO SAY” (“do tell” is far more familiar), plural WAHOOS, ITEA.
I like the NAACP Image Award clue for SPIKE LEE, the verb clue for DOCKS, [Something needed to raise the bar?] to clue a TOLL at the tollbooth, the seemingly nautical clue for SALAMI, and [Things weighed in pounds?] for PUPS.
3.25 stars from me. How’d you like it?
C.C. Burnikel’s LA Times crossword – Derek’s write-up
Quick writeup today; I am sick as a dog! Jammed through this one in just under 6 minutes, but I am used to solving C.C.’s puzzles at this point! A 72-worder with virtually all easy fill! A solid 4.4 stars from me!
Just a few notes:
- 1A [Bar line] WHAT’S ON TAP? – Great 1-Across entry. Not in the mood for a beer, though, as my stomach is in knots!
- 23A [County in Ulster] TYRONE – Really? This is tough, but informative, since I had no idea.
- 45A [Bug zappers?] SERA – I need some “sera” to cure what ails me!
- 48A [Green smoke product] E-CIG – The name evokes something environmentally friendly, but I am pretty sure these are still not good for you.
- 65A [Cell notice] E-MAIL ALERT – If you get as much email as I do, you had better turn those alerts off!
- 6D [“The Barefoot Contessa” Oscar winner Edmond] O’BRIEN – Just go with Conan!
- 12D [Poker telecast equipment] POCKET CAM – Is this the little camera that shows the players hands? Nice.
- 13D [Metaphor for obvious protrusion] SORE THUMB – Very nice!
- 32D [They’re high on the Scoville scale] HABANEROS – Scoville scale should tip you to the fact that we’re looking for a pepper. Ghost peppers I believe are the hottest!
- 37D [“Well, well!”] I DECLARE – This entry is in today’s NYT!
- 39D [Carrier to Beijing] AIR CHINA – Never flown Air China!
That is all. Going back to bed!
Frank Longo’s Newsday crossword, “Saturday Stumper” – Derek’s write-up
Tried my own advice: just relax and concentrate! I still fought this for over 20 minutes, but solved without any references or Googling! Not as bad as some other Longo solving experiences I have had in the past, but still a good puzzle by Frank. A couple of fairly difficult entries, and some brutally tough clues, but I enjoyed this solve. 4.5 stars.
A few notes since I am sick:
- 5A [Group with the “Our Wild America” campaign] SIERRA CLUB – Totally clueless with this one at first; after a few crossing letters it became obvious. Great clue!
- 31A [Pouty pose] DUCK FACE – This seems like a requisite for a female selfie. I would post an example picture, but I don’t want to see anymore!
- 36A [All-time top-selling trio] BEE GEES – This made sense after I got it, but better than the Supremes?
- 39A [Total heat of a thermodynamic system] ENTHALPY – One of those really difficult words. Unless you’re a physicist!
- 52A [Treat with orange pieces] CARROT CAKE – Great clue! And getting hungry …
- 56A [Original Soft Spread purveyor] BLUE BONNET – They still sell this brand? I remember their commercials when I was a kid!
- 4D [Skeptic-stunning success] LAST LAUGH – My favorite clue/entry in the puzzle!
- 7D [Moved items on a page] E-TAILED – This is a close second!
- 20D [Compact contract] CAR LEASE – This is also good! We’ll call it #3!
- 32D [Alternatives to handlebars] FU MANCHUS – Awesome. I figured out we were dealing with mustaches, but which other one? Nicely done!
- 45D [Drum heard in Shankar recordings] TABLA – Another tough word. Clue actually fairly revealing, so you realize you’re looking for an Indian percussion. Still a fairly uncommon word.
Stopping here. Have a great weekend!
Dan Fisher’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “A+” — pannonica’s write-up
Theme here is kind of like Pig Latin, without the relocation of the terminal phoneme to the front of the word. It’s just the long-a stuck on the end, though the spellings change.
- 23a. [Crusoe’s profound companion?] DEEP FRIDAY (… fried).
- 25a. [Proscription from a chef who can’t stand eel?] NEVER MORAY (nevermore).
- 37a. [Craft services spread?] MOVIE BUFFET (… buff).
- 62a. [Perfumed pouch for counteracting odors from the outside?] WINDOW SACHET (… sash).
- 68a. [Masterwork by a French painter?] LEADING MANET (… man).
- 90a. [Cup before the barista fills it?] VACANT LATTE (… lot).
- 108a. [Authorization for the exterminator to employ rodenticide?] POISON OKAY (… oak).
- 110a. [Attack that brings the war to a close?] FINAL FORAY (… Four).
- 36d. [Insignificant bit of prestige?] PETTY CACHET (… cash).
- 43d. [Alight in an Asian island capital?] TOUCH TAIPEI (touch-type).
No -eighs or -eys, but a fairly inclusive array of spellings. Four -ays, four -ets, one -e, and one -ei. And they all work.
- 97a [Neckline shape] VEE followed by 99a [Queen Anne’s line] STUARTS. Nevertheless, I am now imagining a top with a lacy, white v-neck.
- 12d [State to be the case] AVER, 32d [Confess openly] AVOW.
Sorry to cut this short, but I’ve got to run. Fine crossword, but nothing super-special.
Brad Wilber’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post Crossword, “Con(s)-Descending” —Ade’s write-up
Good afternoon, everyone! Have a lot of catching up to do on here, but, thank goodness, I get to start with today’s puzzle, brought to us by Mr. Brad Wilber. In it, each clue to the 15-letter theme entries is the same, capitalized one-letter word, CON. The answers, all going down – or descending – are a coming together of different types of words describing the act of conning someone. Very nice concept.
- FLEECE BAMBOOZLE (4D: [CON])
- BILK DUPE DEFRAUD (5D: [CON])
- TRICK ROOK CHISEL (9D: [CON])
- SWINDLE FLIMFLAM (10D: [CON])
It took longer than I thought to untangle myself in this grid, especially when I Was trying to figure out what was going on when coming across those “CON” clues. Absolutely drew a blank for a while on C.O.D., and that didn’t help things either in breaking into the grid (21D: [“The Bride Came ____” (Bette Davis movie)]). I thought o knew my Cagney/Davis movies, but, obviously, that wasn’t the case! Oh, and I have never watched 101 Dalmatians, so PONGO was not going to come to me without its crossings (36D: [Canine dad in Disney’s “101 Dalmatians]). Sounds like it’s time to watch a few more movies, huh?! Did you know that fact in the clue to EDIBLE (45A: [Like some glitter])? Wait, I take that back. Of course I know, as I’ve eating my fair share of cupcakes with, I believe, glitter on them. For those who are big in math, there’s the abbreviations of DIAM (42A: [Circle meas.]) and TRIG in the grid (52D: [Math subj. where tangents are relevant]). This added up to one fun, yet challenging grid.
“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: KNORR (30D: [Soup-in-an-envelope brand]) – Former Major League Baseball catcher Randy KNORR was a member of the Toronto Blue Jays during their runs to both the 1992 and 1993 World Series titles in a backup role. Knorr also spent time with the Houston Astros, Florida Marlins, Texas Rangers and Montreal Expos in his 11-year MLB career, from 1991-2001.
See you all for the Sunday Challenge!