Matthew Sewell’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
Sewell’s byline is seen fairly regularly in the Newsday “Saturday Stumper,” and here he brings us an easier themeless—though it still felt closer to a Saturday NYT than a Friday for me.
Fave fill: LAST CHANCE, CRUSHING IT, ANY SECOND, KICKED IN, delicious SAMOSA, KISS-CAM, the dreaded MAN-BUN, ENGAGEMENT PARTY, and STEPMOM.
Because I neglected to go to bed early yesterday after a long day, I’m yawning now. So without further ado, five things:
- 20a. [Having hit successfully, say], ON BASE. The Cubs won today. Could’ve done without the KISS-CAM clue echoing this answer: [What motivates people to get to first base during a game?].
- 34a. [Agenda-topping issue], MAIN ITEM. Is this a solidly in-the-language thing? Doesn’t feel familiar to me. There’s a MAIN-STEM bronchus that’s one letter off.
- 1d. [Moorish castle], ALCAZAR. I figured it would start with AL- but that’s as much as I knew of this one.
- 33d. [Old-fashioned letter opener], MY DEAR SIR. Felt a bit iffy to me, so I Googled it. It’s got Abraham Lincoln cred, so I’ll allow it.
- 44d. [Naturally blind], EYELESS. I’d have preferred a clue mentioning some cave salamanders, cave fish, or whatnot.
The short fill’s not bad. 3.9 stars from me.
Jeffrey Wechsler’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up
In today’s puzzle the digram AR is switched to become RA and the result is reclued. There is no cutesy reveal, so it felt a hair arbitrary. On the other hand, it’s a very specific change, and has a slightly different feel to the addition/subtraction themes that dominate Friday LATs.
We have: G(RA)YINDIANA, B(RA)DOFAVON, W(RA)PSPEED, E(RA)SOFCORN and B(RA)NRAISING. No homerun answers, but all of them work.
It’s Friday so – clue trickery! Was flummoxed by [Road where Mozart was born], STRASSE, not a specific street! [Shakespeare’s jet?], EBON, obvious once it appears!