Peter Gordon’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
Departure Monday. Left-right symmetry, 15×16 grid. Theme is reduplicative names and phrases.
- 28a. [Ramen product] OODLES OF NOODLES.
- 56a. [“Sesame Street” Muppet with wings and a magic wand] ABBY CADABBY.
- 6d. [Competing with the goal of victory] IN IT TO WIN IT.
- 7d. [Daredevil in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame] EVEL KNIEVEL.
Well that was different. Yet also, strangely, the same.
Not sure if 1d [Celebratory shout] WOOHOO is supposed to be part of the theme; there’s no similarly constructed entry on the other side. In fact, that one has a rather grim ‘clever’ clue: 12d [Opposite of a life coach?] HEARSE.
Along the way we get some beefy supporting fill. Midsize stacks in the upper corners: WASABI/FOREMAN/RONZONI, EN-DASH/VAUNTED/EVEN PAR. Stilts on the bottom: AIR TRAVEL/TACO BELL, SHEBOYGAN/SLABBING. Okay, SLABBING is a bit odd (clue: Applying thickly, with “on”).
Echoing the theme: clue for 13a FOREMAN [Boxer George who lost the Rumble in the Jungle].
- 38d [Wisconsin city on Lake Michigan] SHEBOYGAN.
- 50a [Buyer’s bottom line] NET COST. Also the name of a newish (I think) Russian supermarket here on the East Coast. I of course call it “Nyet Cost” because I’m, y’know, clever. Can find some really interesting and good foodstuffs there. Take heed, though: they often seem to experience inexplicable problems, snags. Especially at the checkout. Not quite the Soviet experience of waiting the better part of a day for bread on near-empty shelves, but enough to float cartoon question marks over your head. Shelves are always well-stocked, let me be clear.
Refreshing change in a Monday offering.
Zhouqin Burnikel’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Shower Room” — Jim’s review
There’s only one joke to this puzzle’s theme (“shower,” as in something that shows), so once you get it, the rest of the theme answers fall into place without much fanfare. But it works pretty well, and as usual with a Burnikel grid, the fill is smooth and fun.
- 17a [Meteor shower?] EVENING SKY
- 28a [Cold shower?] WEATHER RADAR. Hmm. Does radar actually show temperature? I wouldn’t have thought so.
- 44a [April shower?] WALL CALENDAR. Strictly speaking, most any type of calendar will do.
- 59a [Baby shower?] ULTRASOUND. I like this one because most of the times people show you an ultrasound, it generally has a baby in it.
A couple glitches in the theme, but hey, it’s Monday, so we’ll move on to the fill.
We get good stuff in FAKE NEWS, JAMES DEAN, NAILBITER, ORLANDO, and BATSMAN.
I’m not an artist, so is OIL COLOR [Medium for Matisse] legit? I’ve heard of watercolor, of course, but as far as oil paintings, I thought “oil” itself was the medium. It’s not like you can have oil with no color.
Other than that question mark, there’s very little dreck in the fill, and even the short stuff is fun, e.g. ALEXA, ATHENA, L.L. BEAN, MORON, PRAWN, etc.
In the end, this may not be my favorite of Zhouqin’s grids, but it certainly isn’t a bad one by any stretch. It’s light and fun, and that’s just about right for a Monday.
Robert E Lee Morris’ Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
Standard approach to crossword thememaking here. Initials.
- 35aR [Anthology of personal writings … and a phonetic hint to what’s literally comprised by the answers of 17-, 23-, 46- and 56-Across.] ESSAY COLLECTION. “S-A”
- 17a. [Wise guy] SMART ALECK.
- 23a. [Original “Tonight Show” host] STEVE ALLEN.
- 46a. [Home safety feature] SMOKE ALARM.
- 56a. [Home of the NBA’s Spurs] SAN ANTONIO.
There are so many good essay collections out there. I keep borrowing them from the library and not reading them.
Was really going to say some more, but there is (another) flooding situation here. Sorry, apologies!
Summary appraisal: good Monday, but nothing super amazing.
Brendan Emmett Quigley’s website crossword – “Themeless Monday #424” — Jenni’s review
This week’s BEQ themeless features a central triple-stack, which fell easily for me because for the first time EVER the music clue was a gimme. I feel cool and hip and in the know. Brendan probably feels like he missed his demo by a loooong way.
We also have two triple-stacks of 10-letter words in the NE and SW which are very satisfying (with one exception; we’ll get to that).
The NE stack is GLASSMAKER/PARTIALITY/ANNE BRONTE, which brings to mind a persnickety Victorian artisan. The clue for GLASSMAKER is [One whose job blows], which made me giggle.
In the SW, we have AVON LADIES/RINSE CYLCLE/PAST MASTER. It’s the third one that gives me pause. The clue is [Old hand] and it makes sense, but I’ve never heard the phrase PAST MASTER. The Google Ngram graph hugs the X-axis pretty closely.
On to the center stack!
- 32a [Pump selection] is PREMIUM UNLEADED, which went in easily with about three crossings.
- 38a [2016 album with the song “Immigrants (We Get The Job Done),” with “The”] and it is, of course, HAMILTON MIXTAPE. For those who haven’t seen the show, this is taken from a line that brings the house down with cheers and applause; when we went last summer, the actors had to wait a good thirty seconds before they could say anything.
- 39a [They work with drips] are ACUTE CARE NURSES, and I have another quibble with this. I’ve never heard anyone identified as an ACUTE CARE NURSE. ICU nurse, surgical nurse, pediatric nurse, inpatient nurse, med/surg nurse, office nurse, sure. But not ACUTE CARE NURSE. Of course, all nurses are able to work with drips, so it’s not wrong…just a smidgen off to my ear.
What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: that OneRepublic had a single in 2016 called “Wherever I GO.” So only one music clue was a gimme, but that’s one more than I usually get in Brendan’s puzzles!
ICYMI (CW for language):