NYT – 11:26 (Jeffrey – paper)
CS – untimed (Janie)
Daily Beast – 10:32 (Jeffrey)
LAT – 6:32 (Jeffrey)
BEQ – 6:20 (Jeffrey)
CHE – Published today?
WSJ – Published today?
The Scooby-Fiend team is in full force today.
Paula Gamache’s New York Times Crossword – Jeffrey’s review
Merry Christmas. We’ve got an extra-special holiday puzzle today from Paula Gamache. Its a 15×16, asymetrical Christmas tree shaped grid with an appropriate theme. Oh, and it is Friday level. And I’m Jewish. Oy. This will be interesting.
10D. [1843 work in five “staves”] – A CHRISTMAS CAROL
9A. [One who worked in a “dismal little cell”] – BOB CRATCHIT
24A/35D. [Brother of Master Peter] – TINY TIM
26A/32A. [One subjected to “incessant tortue of remorse”] – GHOST OF JACOB MARLEY
53A. [One who saw his name upon the stone of a neglected grave] – EBENEZER SCROOGE
But wait, there’s more:
25A. [Stocking stuffer] – TOY/48A. [25-Across maker] – ELF
38A. [“Ho, ho, ho,” e.g.] – LAUGH
49A. [Repeated part of “Deck the Halls”] – LA LA LA
60A.[Tannenbaum topper] – ENGEL. Tree topper, angel in English.
1D. [Sung parts, as of carols] – VOCALS
16D. [“And Winter Came…” artist] – ENYA (thanks ArtLvr for catching this one)
27D. [Like Santa’s bag on Christmas Eve] – FULL
32D. [Sleigh bells and such] – JINGLERS
34D. [Iconic flamers] – YULE LOGS
50D. [“The ANDY Williams Christmas Album”]
This puzzle is so 11D. [“super!] – TERRIF! I may convert.
Martin Ashwood-Smith’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post puzzle, “Hidden Calories”—Janie’s review
There’s another full week with the likelihood of holiday indulging ahead, and Martin has given us a puzzle larded with FAT [Calorie source hidden in all three long entries]. Oof! Loosen the belt another notch as you find it embedded in:
- 20A. WOLF AT THE DOOR [Impending danger, proverbially]. Just think “Little Red Riding Hood” in case the meaning isn’t clear. Great phrase!
- 37A. POWER OF ATTORNEY [Authority to act for another].
- 53A. TIMON OF ATHENS [Shakespeare play]. Note that we get more of the bard today by way of [“Say that thou] DIDST [forsake me…” (Shakespeare)] (Sonnet 89). And here’s Ben Jonson’s [Poetic tribute] ODE to the man.
A good way to work off some of those calories may be by doing some TRIATHLON [Summer Olympics event] training. Running, biking, swimming–fun, right? And look, BeginnerTriathlete.com even has a link that tells you why this kind of training is “the practical way to lose fat”… Then again… if page-turning is more your speed, there’s also the suggestion made by TWICE-TOLD [Like the tales in a Hawthorne title].
With 2010 right around the corner, you may be entertaining the idea of a fresh start. Martin gives us a double assist with DAY ONE [The beginning] and ONSET [Beginning].
He also gives us a SCAD [Whole bunch] of clues and fill that are tied in to marine life/mariners. There’s the OTTER [Playful aquatic animal], the EFTS [Young amphibians], DOGFISHES [Small sharks], [Navy] SEALS [(elite group)], and the punny [Place for buoys and gulls] for our old pal SEA.
Two days ago we saw AGASSI clued as [Two-time U.S. Open champ Andre]. He’s ba-a-a-ack, today clued with respect to one of those two occasions: [1999 U.S. Open champ Andre].
It’s a little cold outside. Time for a SHAWL [Wrap] and a nice cuppa hot COCOA [Drink often served with marshmallows]. Enjoy the day!
Matt Gaffney’s “That’s a Wrap” Daily Beast crossword – Jeffrey’s review
Today’s theme entries are gift-wrapped with a BOW added in:
22A. [Golfer who gets to the bottom of things?] – ERNIE BOWELS. Merry Christmas, breakfast test!
34A. [Another weapon Goliath might have been slain by?] – DAVID CROSSBOW
49A. [Awesome neckwwear find at a thrfit shop?] – BOWTIE SCORE
64A. [Assign responsibility for too much color in the sky?] – BLAME IT ON THE RAINBOW. My favorite answer. Milli Vanilli may not have been the real singers, but that doesn’t make the song any less catchy.
81A. [“Cereal”, “spoon” or”soup”?] – THE BOWL WORD. Now this passes the breakfast test, although I don’t think any clips from “The L Word” would.
95A. [Nudge a Mexican singer out of the way?] – ELBOW MARIACHI
109A. [Finish wrapping a Christmas present – or, the theme of this puzzle] – PUT A BOW ON IT
52A. [Westlife’s “If I LET You Go“]
63A. [Adams or Cooke] – SAM
85A. [Hedging letters in a for sale ad] – OBO. Or best offer.
88A. [Tiger’s Mrs.] – ELIN. Is this clue still valid?
98A. [Toy that elicit an “oy”] – DREIDEL . If you are actually reading a crossword blog today, you already knew this.
106A. [It gets people dancing] – PARTY SONG
119A. [Send a dirty message to] – SEXT. Not in your dictionary (yet).
6D. [Tony Orlando group] – DAWN
11D. [Capital of Canada?] – Ottawa. Wait. HARD C
33D. [“Not to step on anyone’s toes here…”] – BUT IF I MAY. 9 letters, 4 words. Cool.
68D. [“WE ARE the Champions“]
40A. [Good way to live] – IN PEACE. A good way to end this review.
Dan Naddor’s Los Angeles Times Crossword – Jeffrey’s review
The Christmas “ANCE” is tacked on to the end of the theme answers:
16A. [Communist revenue management?] – RED FINANCE
21A. [Atonement from a soda jerk?] – FOUNTAIN PENANCE
32A. [Love that blossomed in a music store?] – CD ROMANCE
48A. [Voice of choice?] – FAVORITE SONANCE
55A. [Square up with actor Jack?] – PAY PALANCE)
Tack on 18 seven or eight letters words in the fill and you’ve got one cool puzzle.
A few more:
28A. [Mike famously bit him in a 1997 fight] – EVANDER. Bet you haven’t seen that clue before.
39A. [Old Dodge] –DART/14D. [Old Ford] – PINTO
51A. [Waitress at Mel’s] –FLO. Kiss My Grits!
1D. [Some wine containers – CARAFES
10D. [1982 Eddie Rabbitt/Crystal Gale duet] – YOU AND I
4A: [Exhausted, with “out”] – WIPED. I’m WIPED out but there may be more to come.
Brendan Emmett Quigley’s “Returning Gifts” Crossword – Jeffrey’s review
Enough with Christmas! Enough with the breakfast test! Bring on Brendan Emmett Quigley!
Four hidden-backwards-in-circles gifts that bring the cry “I don’t want these anymore”.
20A. [Impossible, like an upset victory] – AGAINST ALL ODDS (DOLL)
25A. [Billboard or The Hollywood Reporter, e.g.] – TRADE MAGAZINE (GAME)
46A. [Traditional Provencal stew] – BOUILLABAISSE (BALL)
54A. [Squelch] – PUT THE KIBOSH ON (BIKE)
53A. [Just read the post and comments, say] – LURK. This was me, once.
67A. [Salinger character who says “I’d be extremely flattered if you’d write a story exclusively for me sometime”] – ESME. A little longer clue next time, please.
3D. [Google competitor] – BING. Wonder if there is a Christmas clue that would have worked here.
7D. [“The Great Gatsby” setting] – EAST EGG. Didn’t know. Too long since I read it.
Hide the children department (yes, I’m editing):
60A. [Retailer whose “Gutvik” children’s bed translates to “good f-ck” in German – IKEA
9D. [Kind of sex] – ORAL
52D. [Hurls] – PUKES
Wait, I can’t end with that.
35D. [“Here we go!”] – WHEE! Enjoy the day.
Thanks, Jeffrey — Add one more plus at 16D “And Winter Came” artist: I was trying painters like Goya, but found the right answer at the end! Thought the puzzle was neato, even knew the Tannenbaum topper! Good one, Paula G.
Oops, good catch ArtLvr. I’ve updated the post.
Is there a WSJ today? The paper isn’t being published today, so unless they put it in the Weekend Journal there won’t be one.
Oh, my. She’s an artist now? (Next thing she’ll be a decent singer.)
Thanks Scoobies and merry Christmas! I’m off to enjoy my Christmas ance.
very good site well done