Andrew Kingsley’s New York Times crossword—Jenni’s write-up
It’s Fruitbasket Upset week here at Team Fiend. Ade filled in for me while we were celebrating Pesach and I’m filling in for Amy, who is traveling. This puzzle seemed a tad easier than the usual Friday to me. Maybe I’m smarter in the evening (I usually solve Friday puzzles in the dead-tree Times over my morning coffee).
I like this puzzle. The Friday challenge comes more from misdirection and wordplay that trivia. It’s much more fun that way.
- 4d [Persian, e.g.] I dropped in RUG as my first answer in the puzzle and then thought “No, it could be CAT” and took it out. Turns out I was right to start with.
- 7d [Opportunity], in the era of Hamilton, can only be SHOT.
- 8d [Place where people make the rounds?] reminded me of The Cosby Show. On more than one episode, Dr. Huxtable announced that he was going to the hospital to make “the rounds.” We don’t make “the rounds.” We make rounds. No article necessary. I have been told the term comes from the circular shape of the wards at the original Johns Hopkins hospital, the domain of William Osler and birthplace of academic American medicine. Anyway, that’s got nothing to do with the answer, which is TAVERN.
- Related clue: 35a [Brewski] is TALL ONE. I tried COLD ONE first. Nope.
- I like the juxtaposition of SOUND ASLEEP and CATNAP.
What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: that there are 16 ARIAS in Don Giovanni.
I will leave you with some ARENA ROCK, a term I have never heard outside of crosswords.
Mark McClain’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s summary
NOPE is repurposed to be NO/PE and so PE is removed from answers and new “wacky” ones are made. Oddly for this theme variant, there are two downs and two acrosses. CA(PE)DCRUSADER and FLYINGCAR(PE)TS go over the plate. The THE in THEPA(PE)RCHASE, but apparently it’s an old book/film/TV show, so… SINNERSRE(PE)NT was similarly puzzling as a base phrase. It’s a sentence, but so are a lot of things.
In the rest of the puzzle, I appreciated the quirky TUMTUM and its symmetrical partner RAHRAH.