Peter Collins’ New York Times crossword
Okay. I am in no mood to do crosswords, much less write about them. Long day.
Theme is TAKING THE STAIRS winding diagonally down the grid, with two Down answers offering reasons for doing that: BROKEN ELEVATORS in the plural, and NEEDING EXERCISE, which is awkwardly worded.
I can’t help feeling there were approximately 30 names in the puzzle. Let’s count the propers and see: THAIS (clued, once again, as a Massenet opera that is perhaps not really all that famous rather than as those people in Bangkok and environs) OSKAR ERA BERNINI SAN UTE LETO EDDIE ANN ORR PSYCHE ESME ERSE ETON NIRO BEENE ATARI ELI (Wait, who?!? ELI Bobby or Bobby ELI? Never ever heard of him, and there are so many ELIs I do know) ENOS RYDER. Shoot, only 20. (Ahem. Once you hit about 14 names, the puzzle has gone off the rails.)
The ELI/TEE crossing (the latter clued as a three-way joint) was a slow spot for me. And I could see a great many solvers out there in Solverland not really knowing BERNINI or BEENE and being stuck on that B.
Patrick Berry’s Celebrity crossword, “Wayback Wednesday”
Do you know your This Is Spinal Tap trivia?
- 17a. NIGEL TUFNEL, [Lead guitarist of Spinal Tap: 2 wds.]
- 23a/32a. DAVID ST. / HUBBINS, [Lead singer of Spinal Tap]
- 35a. DEREK SMALLS, [Bassist of Spinal Tap: 2 wds.]
- 44a. BREAK [“__ Like the Wind” (1992 Spinal Tap album]
And who was the drummer?
Lots of names in this one—ILSA, LIL Wayne, David MILCH, FESS Parker, Mt. ARARAT, MILEY Cyrus, Ashton KUTCHER, AMY Poehler, IMAN, LILI Taylor, SEAN Penn, PETER Dinklage, RAHM Emanuel, LARA Croft. Thirteen names in the fill plus three theme names occupying four long spaces probably made this puzzle a tough nut to crack for solvers who aren’t pop culture buffs.
Kurt Krauss’ Los Angeles Times Crossword – Jeffrey’s Review
Theme:36A. [They’re not in the in-crowd … and read differently, what each starred answer has two of] – OUTSIDERS/ OUTSIDE “R”s. Each theme answer begins and ends with the letter R.
- 17A. [*Classic little red wagon] – RADIO FLYER
- 30A. [*Memorable, as a day] – RED LETTER
- 48A. [*One seeding clouds] – RAIN MAKER
- 61A. [*Knee-slapper] – RIB TICKLER
- 2D. [*Nuclear plant sight] – REACTOR
- 6D. [*Suitcase lugger’s aid] – ROLLER
- 12D. [*Rosie’s role] – RIVETER
- 41D. [*Broke up late, as a meeting] – RAN OVER
- 46D. [*Short-antlered animal] – ROE DEER
- 50D. [*One paying a flat fee?] – RENTER
Including the reveal, that’s 11 theme answers, representing 42% of the white squares, including at least 2 squares in every row and column.
- 7D. [“Shepherd Moons” Grammy winner] – ENYA
- 32D. [Busy employee of a paranoid king] – TASTER. Do these still exist? By “these” I mean paranoid kings.
- 42D. [3-Down’s region] – MIDWEST. Always amused how the area a couple thousand miles east of me is called the MIDWEST.
Stuff to make the rest look good:
- 25D. [“Mi casa __ casa”] – ES SU
- 57D. [Tequila sunrise direction] – ESTE
- 61D. [Indian rule from 1858 to 1947] – RAJ
- 62D. [__ de la Cité] – ILE
- 63D. [Hosp. heart ward] – CCU
- 64D. [Ring victories, briefly] – KOS
Rather super. Rocking puzzler. **** stars.
Patrick Jordan’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Medicine Ball” – Sam Donaldson’s review
Don’t worry, this won’t hurt a bit. Today’s puzzle makes us “take our medicine,” so to speak, in four different ways. Each theme entry ends with a word that is also a common form of medication:
- 17-Across: A [Container for cultural curios] is a TIME CAPSULE. Most time capsules are much too large to ingest, however, no matter how much water you take with them.
- 29-Across: An [Electronic graphics gadget] is an ART TABLET. I’ve never used one before, but it sounds like it would be such a pill to master.
- 43-Across: An ELBOW DROP is a [Professional wrestling maneuver] that tends to get a unique nickname for each wrestler that uses it. The Rock’s version is called “The People’s Elbow,” Abdullah the Butcher’s version was the “Meat Cleaver,” and Randy “Macho Man” Savage’s elbow drop…well, it never had its own name, but it was a thing of beauty. (Diary of a Crossword Fiend. Come for the crosswords, stay for the professional wrestling talk.)
- 57-Across: The [Final insult] is the PARTING SHOT. We have to end with my least favorite way to receive medicine? Parting shot indeed.
I really liked all the five- and six-letter entries in the grid. They help the grid seem more open than it really is (note only two entry points into each of the northwest and southeast corners). I love any puzzle with GAME SHOW as an answer (clued as [It may feature an isolation booth]), but I also liked JUMP ROPE, ATE AWAY, RIB STEAK, UPHILL, and the college dinner combination of RAMEN and COKE.
Matt Jones’s Onion A.V. Club crossword
Instead of an add-a-letter theme, Matt goes with add-the-sound-of-a-two-syllable-word. That makes it rather harder to piece together the theme answers, doesn’t it? Once they’ve all Tebowed, we get this:
- 19a. [Surplus of pleasure yachts?] clues SPARE PARTY BOATS (spare parts + Tebow).
- 37a. [Name for a chain of Shirley Temple-themed drinking establishments?] clues PRETTY BOWS ’N’ BARS (prison bars).
- 53a. [Next to these dog treats, or those over there, or those…?] clues BY ANY MEATY BONES (by any means).
- 1a. [QB whose name is added phonetically to the middle of the three long entries] is Tim TEBOW.
- 68a. [Acknowledged a touchdown like 1-Across] clues KNELT. Tebow may be losing his Most Prominent Christian Athlete title now that Jeremy Lin has bounded into Knicks fame as a non-demonstratively devout Christian.
Five more clues:
- 65a. OAKEN seems like a boring word to clue, but Matt went with [The Old ___ Bucket (Indiana-Purdue trophy, slangily)]. Never heard of it, but it’s cute.
- 28d. [Stuck-at-home-in-a-snowstorm feeling] is CABIN FEVER.
- 18a. [Blue W for Word, e.g.] is a fresh clue for an ICON on your screen.
- 44a. [Paws at the door and whimpers, say] clues WANTS IN. It’s casually in the language, and yet I don’t know that I’ve ever seen it in a crossword.
- 38d. TETANUS is [What some shots prevent]. Public service announcement! If it’s been more than 10 years since your last tetanus shot, you ought to get another one. Your upper arm will hurt like a mofo for a couple days, but if your tetanus shots are up to date, the next time you have a big cut, the doctor won’t want to stab you with a needle and make you hurt in two places instead of one.