Timothy Polin’s New York Times crossword — Laura’s write-up
It’s a theme for the ages! Words ending in –age are clued as if they were two words, making them terms for a particularly wacky historical period.
- [17a: Period dominated by the likes of Dan Rather and Peter Jennings?]: ANCHOR AGE
- [26a: Period when every car was a junker?]: WRECK AGE
- [39a: Period known for its 007 movies?]: BOND AGE
- [41a: Period of fuzzy sweaters?]: PILL AGE
- [50a: Period when tribute bands thrived?]: COVER AGE
- [64a: Period when psychiatrists ruled?]: SHRINK AGE
Many possibilities for a theme like this: [Period in which Oliver Twist was set?]: ORPHAN AGE. [Period known for its premium tequila?]: PATRÓN AGE. [Period when William Carlos Williams ate the breakfast you were saving in the icebox?]: PLUM AGE. [Period when duvets were popular?]: BLANKET COVER AGE.
VERBIAGE: Liked [25d: Stepped tower of ancient Sumer]: ZIGGURAT, [47d: Home mixology station]: WET BAR, [3d: Hunter’s hiding spot in a marsh]: DUCK BLIND, and [45d: Specialty bakery]: PIE SHOP. Like the clue for ALPHA: [11d: A, as in Aristotle]. Feel like [12d: Kerchief worn as headgear]: DO RAG may be falling out of parlance except for grid fill; ergo, it is no longer [21a: Cool, in 90s slang]: PHAT. Is [51d: Prepare for a bodybuilding contest]: OIL UP a thing?
TUTELAGE: I wasn’t familiar with [54a: Flees]: LAMS as a verb. “Al Capone LAMS from the g-men during the Prohibition Age” — doesn’t really sound right. I thought “the lam” was something that one was “on.”
APPENDAGE: [52d: “And there it is!”]: VOILA!
Brendan Emmett Quigley’s Themeless Monday crossword—Laura’s write-up
[1d: “This is probably going to be a bust, but…”]: HUMOR ME for this write-up, because I pretty much TOOK A DIVE [60a: Threw, in boxing] in solving it. I won’t DO A DANCE [52a: Show off one’s moves] but rather offer some [10a: Brief and to the point]: TERSE comments on a few entries. IN A WORD [2d: Briefly] (hmm, do I see a clue dupe?), a bulleted list:
- [17a: Madame de ___ (Louis XIV’s second wife who name looks like a major ligament]: MAINTENON (get it? like main tendon)
- [23a: Execute a document without reviewing its contents first]: ROBOSIGN. Apparently robo-signing was a major factor in the 2010 mortgage foreclosure crisis.
- [28a: Money needed for repairs, in real estate]: COST TO CURE. If you want to sell your house as-is, but it needs a new roof, the cost to cure is the price of the roof. (I think? Someone with a real estate background should jump in here.)
- [34a: Bacon of Bacon’s Rebellion]: NATHANIEL. Bacon’s Rebellion was a 1676 uprising of indentured servants allied with enslaved Africans against the governor of the Virginia colony. It resulted in the massacre of an entire Native American village and the burning of Jamestown.
- [46a: Touching way to send cash?]: NFC PAYMENT. NFC as in near-field communication. Like when you tap your phone on another device in order to pay for something.
- [8d: 2016 Grammy-nominated Radiohead album]: A MOON-SHAPED POOL. With the astonishing video for Burn the Witch.
- [40d: You might remember him from such movies as “The Contrabulous Fabtraption of Professor Horatio Hufnagel” and “The Boatjacking of Supership ’79”]: (Troy) MCCLURE. I also remember him from “Gladys, the Groovy Mule,” ” P Is for Psycho,” and “Get Confident, Stupid!”
Debbie Ellerin’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Look Out Below” — Jim’s review
Only a quick recap today since the puzzle posted much later than usual.
A good example of the word-to-follow-another-word theme type. Today’s episode: Words preceding “rock.”
- 3d [*”Here we go again!”] EYE ROLLING. Rolling Rock, the beer. I’m not enamored of the gerundized “EYE ROLLING,” but obviously it was necessary for the theme.
- 24d [*1969 role for Robert Redford] SUNDANCE KID. Kid Rock. BCatSK is one of my all-time favorite films.
- 15d [*Doomsayer in a children’s story] CHICKEN LITTLE. Little Rock. My wife is from Little Rock, so I know it well. Also, cruciverb legend Judge Vic Fleming hails from there.
- 8d [*Apple polisher] TEACHER’S PET. Pet rock. Fun entry.
- And you’re revealer: 30d [Lowest level, and a hint to the asterisked answers] ROCK BOTTOM. That is, the second word (the bottom word since the theme answers are vertical) is one that can precede “rock.”
Brand new to me: 17a KREPLACH [Deli dumpling]. Is it lunchtime yet?
Other likes: DOWNERS, LONESTAR, CYBORG, RECESS. Typical crosswordese: AIME, ETRE, EL AL.
Overall, a fairly clean grid with mostly fun theme entries. A smooth start to the week.
Jeff Stillman’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
- 59dR [Consumer protection org., and a hint to the answers to starred clues] BBB (Better Business Bureau). For theme purposes, the relevant aspect is triple-B phrases.
- 20a. [*A little bit at a time, to a mason] BRICK BY BRICK.
- 32a. [*Next step up after a crib, for some toddlers] BIG BOY BED.
- 40a. [*Hit by *NSYNC about the end of a relationship] BYE BYE BYE.
- 50a. [*Iconic refrain from the Trammps’ 1976 hit “Disco Inferno”] BURN BABY BURN.