Tom McCoy’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
Colorful idiomatic anatomy is the name of the game here.
- 20a. [Visibly tense] WHITE-KNUCKLED.
- 32a. [Extremely jealous] GREEN-EYED. See also 22d [One of the seven deadly sins] LUST (not ENVY).
- 44a. [In the very act] RED-HANDED.
- 56a. [Deplorably cowardly] YELLOW-BELLIED.
Very consistent constructions and all that.
- 14a [Ogden Nash’s “two-l” beast] LLAMA, 7d [Lima’s land] PERU.
- 17a [ __ nerve (retina attachment)] OPTIC, 9d [Holder of an eye or a light bulb] SOCKET.
- 24a [Crucial biological molecule] DNA, 36a [Characteristic] TRAIT.
- 21d [Prepare to be knighted] KNEEL, 46a [Lancelot’s title] SIR.
- 33d [Florida senator Marco] RUBIO, 61d [Member of Cong.] REP.
- 1d [Snow clearers] PLOWS, 48d [Bombarded, as with snowballs] PELTED.
- 65a [Things in an Easter basket] EGGS, 68a [Supplies for Easter 65-Across] DYES. Seems like an editing slip-up—why repeat ‘Easter’ like that?
- 45d [Blend] AMALGAM. Nice to see a less-common but not difficult word in a Monday crossword.
Very quick solve and a nice, easy way to start the week.
Brock Wilson’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
- 53dR [Ad agency guys responsible for 20-, 38- and 54-Across?] PR MEN. Hence, phrases whose words each begin with that bigram.
- 20a. [Earnings before the government’s cut] PRETAX PROFITS.
- 38a. [Words on a “No Trespassing” sign] PRIVATE PROPERTY.
- 54a. [Invention that revolutionized book production] PRINTING PRESS.
Other protential prossibilities: PRION PROTEIN (12), PRIVATE PRACTICE (15, dupes 38a), PRAIRIE PROVINCES (16), PREDATORY PRICING (16), PRIOR PROBABILITY (16), PRESENT PROGRESSIVE (18), PRELIMINARY PROSPECTUS (21), and more no doubt. Oh, PROLONGED PREGNANCY (18). And more no doubt. As I said.
- 9a [Pancake syrup tree] MAPLE. This clue disturbs me. I appreciate the intent, but (1) “pancake syrup” is what they have somehow decided the inferior HFCS alternative to genuine maple syrup should be designated, and (2) it also coerces me into thinking of a syrup tree (don’t ask me to explain what that might be) made of pancake batter.
- 8d [Piccolo relative] RECORDER.
- 15d [Coleridge’s “The __ of the Ancient Mariner] RIME, 21d [On the Caribbean] AT SEA … hmm, is that good fill? … 43a [Speck in la mer] ÎLE.
- 35d [Drips in a hosp.] IVS, 41d [Surg. holding area] PRE-OP. “Doc, I’ve got acute abbrevitis.” …
- 16a [Partners of pains] ACHES.
- 60d [Va. summer hours] DST. Seems as if the clue wants EDT, else why specify a locale that suggests longitude and time zone?
- 62a [Promises at the altar] I DOS.
(so very ’80s)
Okay, I’ll stop.
Zhouqin Burnikel’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Ilk Conceived” — Jim’s review
Well, the theme didn’t help me solve the puzzle, because it was over before I knew it. And then I had to stare at the grid for a while to find the theme. The title really threw me because it seemed like we would be doing some wordplay in which the starting sound of the second word is added to the end of the first word.
But it’s not that complicated. The first word of each theme answer is a synonym for “ilk.”
- 18a [Disruptive student, at times] CLASS CLOWN
- 23a [Compliment] KIND WORDS. I’m not sure why this and the next entry were made to be plurals. They certainly didn’t need to be. And KIND WORD (as in, something someone might put in for you) sounds better to my ear than KIND WORDS.
- 50a [Layout choices] TYPEFACES
- 58a [Magic or juggling performance, say] VARIETY ACT
Despite the plurals, these make for solid entries. I especially like CLASS CLOWN and VARIETY ACT paired together. Maybe it’s a little light theme-wise, but the spartan theme helps keep the rest of the grid silky smooth.
And I enjoyed that starting NW corner, even if it is proper-name heavy with KAL, OTIS, and JAVA, all crossing KOJAK. Nice and scrabbly.
There’s really nothing worth calling out on the negative side, so I’ll just leave it at that. This was a quick solve, but a pleasure nonetheless.
Brendan Emmett Quigley’s Themeless Monday crossword—Laura’s write-up
[55a: Everything counted]: ALL TOLD, some entries felt so up-to-the-minute that it felt like one of Peter Gordon’s Fireball Newsflash puzzles. Two examples:
- [49a: Award won by Marc-Antoine Fardin in 2017 for his research claiming cats are simultaneously both solid and liquid]: IG NOBEL PRIZE. The Ig Nobel (a play on ignoble) Prizes honor the year’s strangest scientific research that “makes people laugh, then think.” At this year’s awards, held last week in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Brendan’s band, The Boston Typewriter Orchestra, played a concert before the ceremony.
- [8d: Social website with the slogan “Media for the 65.8 million”]: VERRIT. Per its site, “Verrit collects and contextualizes noteworthy facts, stats, and quotes for politically engaged citizens. Each “verrit” is a verified item of information marked with a 7-digit identification code.” (That 65.8 million? The number of people who voted for Hillary in the 2016 election.) The site aims to counter “fake news” by providing authenticated facts. As a Clinton supporter and a librarian, who is professionally engaged in something we like to call “information literacy,” I suppose I’m in the targeted user community for this site. If you have thoughts about Verrit, let me know in the comments along with your 7-digit identification code.
Other interesting stuff:
- [15a: “Cat’s Cradle” substance]: ICE-NINE. That would be Cat’s Cradle, the 1963 Kurt Vonnegut novel, not “Cat’s in the Cradle,” the 1974 Harry Chapin song. If a cat is in a cradle, is it a liquid or a solid?
- [31d: It has both National Cheese Day and National Cognac Day … on the same day no less]: JUNE. When that day comes again, it will be a very fine day.
- [9d: In great haste]: AMAIN. Something feels very archaic about this term, like an 18th-century boatswain yelling “abaft the binnacle amain, ye mateys!”