Monday, May 8, 2017

BEQ untimed (Jenni) 

 


LAT untimed (pannonica) 

 


NYT untimed (pannonica)  

 


WSJ untimed (Jim)  

 


Zhouqin Burnikel’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

NYT • 5/8/17 • Mon • Burnikel • № 0508 • solution

Quick take tonight.

  • 55dR [Modern movement initialism … or a hint to the starts of 18-, 24+, 40-, 52- and 61-Across] LGBTQ.
  • 18a. [“Super 8” actress, 2011] ELLE FANNING (Elle = L).
  • 24a. [“Thanks, Captain Obvious!”] GEE, YA THINK? [gee = G).
  • 40a. [Flower that attracts pollinating insects] BEE BALM (bee = B).
  • 52a. [Whistlers in the kitchen] TEA KETTLES (tea = T).
  • 61a. [Order to get a soundtrack ready] CUE THE MUSIC (cue = Q).

These are not all the ‘standard’ spellings of the letter names, but phonetically they’re AOK.

More ambitious than your typical Monday theme, and it’s executed very well.

  • What’s with the poker subtheme? 43a/66a [Money in the middle of a poker table] KITTY, ANTES (plural!), 50d [Groups of poker chips, typically] STACKS.
  • Speaking of stacks, longest verticals are 11d [Dish in a bowl often served au gratin] ONION SOUP, 12d [Tinkler on a porch] WIND CHIME, tee-hee. 32d [Singer with the 1972 hit “Heart of Gold”] NEIL YOUNG—singer, songwriter, guitar hero— 33d [One-on-one talk]  TÊTE-À-TÊTE.
  • 54d [Less than 90­°] ACUTE, 60a [Each one in a square is 90°] ANGLE.
  • Not part of the theme: 39a [“Get the picture?”] SEE.
  • Not typical Monday fare: 16a [Ancient land near Lydia] IONIA, 6d [Fútbol score]  GOL, 53d [Locale of a film “nightmare”: Abbr.] ELM ST.
  • More colloquialisms, like themer 24a: 1d [Not hold back] GO BIG (“… or go home”), sarcastic 8d [“That sounds good … NOT”] OH FUN.

I liked this crossword, but strangely… no ESKIMO.

Kevin Christian and Andrea Carla Michaels’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Hmmm…” — Jim’s review

Vowel progression theme which goes the extra step to include Y.

WSJ – Mon, 5.8.17 – “Hmmm…” by Kevin Christian and Andrea Carla Michaels

  • 17a [Clobbered] HAMMERED
  • 26a [“The Sun Also Rises” writer] HEMINGWAY
  • 36a [Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” addressee] HIMSELF
  • 38a [Won, for one] HOMONYM
  • 48a [Figurative dish for the shamed] HUMBLE PIE
  • 58a [Choir member’s need] HYMN BOOK

I don’t recall ever seeing a vowel progression that included the Y, so that’s a nice touch in an otherwise standard theme.

What’s notable here are the good-sized corners filled with 6s and 8s. I especially like ROOTLETS because it sounds like a kids cover band.

Not a big fan of AA CELLS because (1) it’s somewhat random and (2) who ever says that?

But otherwise everything else felt solid, and the clues felt fresh and interesting.

Steven L Zisser’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

LAT • 5/8/17 • Mon • Zisser • solution

A counting sequence.

  • 17a. [Mega-mall convenience] ONE-STOP SHOPPING.
  • 25a. [Small-time bad guy] TWO-BIT GANGSTER.
  • 42a. [Office attire with a vest] THREE-PIECE SUIT.
  • 56a. [Barbershop quartet blend] FOUR-PART HARMONY.

Two fifteens, two fourteens.

An added stipulation is that these opening numbers are all hyphenates. I appreciate that sort of rigor in a theme. Would have been even spiffier if all four clues also began with hyphenated constructions; as it is, just the first two do so, which toyed with my expectations.

Some fill doesn’t seem Monday-level, including 16a ELIA Kazan, 29d ELIHU Root/Yale, 48a [Part of many old German duchy names] SAXE, and 52a ATRA.

On the whole the fill is solid and the clues are competent, often engaging. This is a nice Monday crossword.

 Brendan Emmett Quigley’s website crossword – “Themeless Monday #413” — Jenni’s review

Very late, and thus short so at least it gets posted.

A lively puzzle that was a bit more difficult than the last few of these I’ve done. No complaints. Here’s what I liked:

BEQ 5/8, solution grid

  • 5a [Dolphin’s smarts] has nothing to do with that very intelligent mammal. The answer is FOOTBALL IQ.
  • 19a [Punish the bad behavior of] would be TEACH A LESSON. Not a fan of “punishment,” myself; I’m one of those annoying parents who talks about consequences instead.
  • 37a [Bureaus] is a short clue for a long answer – CHEST OF DRAWERS.
  • 44d [Middle name in poetry] is BYSSHE, an odd combo of letters that just looks wrong but is, of course, correct.
  • 63a [Crossword answer that, while definitely a real thing, feels a bit contrived] is so meta. The answer is GREEN PAINT.

What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: I had never heard of LAURA Prepon.

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8 Responses to Monday, May 8, 2017

  1. chris says:

    five stars for the heathers reference

  2. arthur118 says:

    C.C.’s imagination knows no bounds as she gives us another brilliant puzzle.

    But things move quickly in today’s world and I’m told the group has added two more initialisms to their identity and are now using the identifier of LGBTQIA, (I for Intersex and A for Asexual).

  3. Lise says:

    What would we do without UMA Thurman?

    • David L says:

      Also ENYA, who I haven’t heard of in years except for crossword references.

  4. Papa John says:

    Jim, I think the WSJ’s theme is a bit more that “progression that included the Y”. As the title alludes to, the vowels are ensconced between H and M in each theme answer.

    • Jim Peredo says:

      Sometimes I fail to point out the obvious, but you’re right, I should have mentioned it.

  5. Steve Manion. says:

    While KITTY is indisputably an acceptable term to refer to a poker pot, I do not think I have ever heard it used in a poker game in which I have played. I would not hesitate to use it in a game like MICHIGAN RUMMY, where the pot for certain cards and sequences can accumulate over a series of deals.

    STACKS is a term that refers generally to the number of chips any given player has in front of him. So and so is the BIG STACK; Steve is SHORT-STACKED. In the center of the pot, chips are never stacked in hold’em, but they are always stacked in hi-lo games like 8 or better hi-lo stud and Omaha hi-l0. The reason for this is that there is usually a single winner of a hold’em pot and the chips are pushed over to him, while the hi-lo split pot games progress faster as stacking them makes it easier to split the pot.

    Fun puzzle.

    Steve

  6. Bret says:

    In the BEQ: I thought cluing Arab through Fertile Crescent was a bit of a stretch. Fertile Crescent was Mesopotamia, modern day Iraq, north of the Arabian peninsula. I mean, it overlaps Arabia a little, but the geography nerd in me was a bit thrown.

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