Timothy Polin’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
- 62aR [Ancient dream of humanity that’s hinted at by the starts of 17-, 24-, 37- and 53-Across (in Hawaiian, Hebrew, Latin, and Russian, respectively)] WORLD PEACE. A mighty didactic clue, what with that parenthetical.
- 17a. [Colorful top often worn with a lei] ALOHA SHIRT.
- 24a. [Tel Aviv skyscraper that was the first to be built in the Middle East] SHALOM MEIR TOWER. Not something I’d ever heard of, but readily gettable with crossings + obvious theme.
- 37a. [Long, tranquil period ushered in by the emperor Augustus] PAX ROMANA.
- 53a. [Orbiter from 1986 to 2001] MIR SPACE STATION.
Very quick solve, very smooth crossword.
- 3d [Fuel-efficient vehicles] ECOCARS. We give this the ol’ side-eye.
- 64d [Period on Venus that’s longer than a year on Venus (!)] DAY. I once knew that.
- 20a [“Attack, Bowser!”] SIC ’EM / 18d [God of love] AMOR / 21a [Part of a grove] TREE.
Hmm. Haven’t much else to say. Good flow through the grid, substantial corners. Solid theme. Maybe a few things on the edge of tough for a Monday (e.g., SLOVENE, BALI HAI, CIRRI) but the crosses compensate adequately.
Ruth Bloomfield Margolin’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Flip-Flops” — Jim’s review
The hidden word of the day is OUT, as identified by 63a‘s INSIDE OUT with the clue [2015 Pixar film, or what the starred answers have in common].
- 17a [*Home of Brigham Young University] PROVO, UTAH
- 24a [*Parental warning to squabbling twins] STOP IT, YOU TWO
- 39a [*Rule on most freeways] NO U TURNS ALLOWED
- 51a [*Classic name for a movie palace] BIJOU THEATER
I’m sorry to say that most of these didn’t work for me. NO U TURNS is sufficient on its own; the ALLOWED is entirely superfluous. Similarly, STOP IT isn’t strictly necessary, although YOU TWO isn’t a strong enough standalone answer. And finally, BIJOU THEATER feels awkward as the answer to that clue. I’ve often heard “The Bijou,” but not the “BIJOU THEATER.” Googling tells me I may be wrong, and that’s fine, but BIJOU THEATRE gets twice as many hits as BIJOU THEATER.
To be fair, all the OUTs span multiple words instead of being hidden within words as in, say, “mouthwash.” So kudos for that bit of consistency, especially given that those particular letters are difficult to do this with.
Note however that an extraneous OUT snuck into the grid at 42d in the word LOUT.
And then there was some rough fill, especially for a Monday when newcomers to crosswords might hope to find clean fill. But there were too many things like NCR, AT.NO., A-POS, and PENNA (26d, [W. Va. neighbor]), which I have never seen before. Hardest for some to parse might be 41d‘s [Home of the NCAA’s Longhorns] which looks like UTAUSTIN in the grid but is actually U. T. AUSTIN (or Univ. of Texas at Austin). And then there’s a pretty hefty handful of partials: IN ONE, AS NOT, A HINT, and I SHOT.
By far though, my favorite entries are PRUNE JUICE and NAPTIME. Oh crap. I’m old.
These two entries went a long way toward redeeming the grid and getting me to root for it, but in the end, while I liked the theme and the revealer, it felt like the rough edges needed a good bit of smoothing.
George Jasper’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
- 61aR [Period after young adulthood … and a hint to each set of circles] MIDDLE AGE.
- 17a. [Beverage from a German vineyard] RHINE WINE.
- 27a. [Unauthorized recording] BOOTLEG ALBUM.
- 44a. [Nuclear power] ATOMIC ENERGY.
New age, legal age, ice age. Little distracting in 44a that there is also an Atomic Age.
Not overstuffed with theme material, so the grid doesn’t get awkward.
- 30d [South Pacific resort island] BALI. No. No, no, no, no. The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical notwithstanding—it isn’t referenced here, anyway. The real Bali is in Indonesia, southern and central, northwest of Australia. If you’re going to assign it to one of the world’s oceans—rather than a more localized body such as the Bali Strait, Bali Sea, or Java Sea—you would choose the Indian Ocean. This is a horrendously inaccurate clue.
- 26a [Anteater’s slurp in the comic “B.C.”] ZOT. I’d believed it was also the character’s name, but apparently not.
- 66a [Small hippo type] PYGMY. *Relatively small.
- 1d [Verbose] WORDY. 53a [One of a group of versifiers that included Wordsworth] LAKE POET. Shoulda picked Coleridge.
- Favorite clue: 40d [“Baa Baa Black Sheep” wool unit] BAGFUL.
Okay Monday which would’ve benefitted from more rigorous editing.
Brendan Emmett Quigley’s website crossword – “Themeless Monday #422” — Jenni’s review
A smooth, snappy puzzle for a warm summer Monday!
I loved 1a [Dudes who get offended easily]. I suspect this is the first appearance of BROFLAKES. I sincerely hope it’s not the last.
- Up-to-the-moment at 1d: [CDC director Fitzgerald] is BRENDA.
- 10d [“Yer makin’ me blush”] is AW GEE, which should always be accompanied by a downcast gaze and the twisting of a toe in the dirt.
- 13d [Harry Styles, e.g.] wasn’t a gimme even though I have a teenager. He’s a TEEN IDOL and a member of the band One Direction. My kid is more of a Belieber.
- I liked the juxtaposition of 21d [Celebrity tape shower] TMZ with 27a [GI-free buffer] DMZ.
- 32a [“I’ve got a bad feeling here”] spans the grid with THIS WON’T END WELL.
- 40a [“Luther” star] gives us a nice fresh way to clue the crossword stalwart ELBA. Able was I ere I saw Idris.
What I didn’t know before I solved this puzzle: that there was a propaganda radio announcer on Hogan’s Heroes named AXIS ANNIE.
I leave you with the title track from 7d.