Tuesday, 3/20/12

NYT 3:35 
LAT 3:06 (Neville) 
Jonesin' 6:02 (Gareth) 
CS untimed (Sam) 
Celebrity untimed 

Will Nediger’s New York Times crossword

NYT crossword answers, 3 20 12 0320

Not positive my solution is correct because a techno-woe precluded submission of my solution. Look okay to you?

The theme’s all in the clues. A KINDERGARTENER (I prefer the “kindergartner” spelling) engages in finger pAinting, a CRIME LAB ANALYST (is that an actual title?) in fingerpRinting, and a POLICE INFORMANT in finger-pOinting.

You know what I learned this weekend at ACPT? Apparently the movie Tora! Tora! Tora! is abysmal. The “one third of a movie title” crossword answer isn’t so hot either.

Nice long fill here, but also some stuff (like ODENSE) I’m surprised to see as early in the week as Tuesday.

It’s time for bed! ACPT is an exhaustingly fun weekend and I’m exhausted. 3.5 stars.

Updated Tuesday morning:

Gail Grabowski’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Put Up With” – Sam Donaldson’s review

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, March 20

If today’s puzzle was just about all you could tolerate, I’m sure Gail Grabowski would be proud. That’s because the four theme entries in this crossword end in words that are synonymous for “tolerate” (or “put up with”):

  • 17-Across: The [Bucolic stream] is a BABBLING BROOK. I didn’t know until just now that “brook” is also a verb meaning “tolerate.” The example in my dictionary reads, “We will brook no further argument.” (Especially when it’s all stream of consciousness thinking.)
  • 37-Across: A [Surprised second look] is a DOUBLE TAKE. “Take” means “tolerate” as in “Can’t he take a joke?”
  • 44-Across: One [Large Alaskan denizen] is the KODIAK BEAR. Bear with me and I might think of another. Ooh, how about the Orca!
  • 60-Across: An UMBRELLA STAND is a [Container for rain gear]. Fellow natives of the Pacific Northwest don’t own much rain gear–the tourists are the ones with the umbrellas.

Can titles end in prepositions? If they’re supposed to follow the same rules as regular sentences, today’s puzzle maybe should have been retitled “Up With That Which Has Been Put.”

The long Downs are fun–SIDEBURNS, DICK TRACY, I’M TIRED, and RAN A TAB really add some pep. There are 38 black squares in the grid (the typical maximum for a 15×15 themed puzzle), but their arrangement is such that there are only three squares through which one can pass from the top half of the grid to the bottom half (or vice versa). I tend to prefer more open grids, but maybe the addition of two more black squares helped to keep all of the crossings smooth, which appears to be the case here.

My favorite clue was [Sign of spring] for ARIES. I also liked the clue pairings of [Makes out] for NECKS and [Made out] for FARED.

Pam Amick Klawitter’s Los Angeles Times crossword – Neville’s review

Los Angeles Times crossword solutions, 3 20 12

Los Angeles Times crossword solutions, 3 20 12

  • 17a. [*Where some carry keys] – FRONT POCKET
  • 26a. [*Behind-the-scenes area] – BACKSTAGE
  • 37a. [*Peugeot or Renault, e.g.] – FRENCH CAR
  • 51a. [*Campaign in rural areas] – BARNSTORM
  • 60a. [School entrances, or, in a way, what each answer to a starred clue has] – DOUBLE DOORS

Warning: minor ACPT 2012 spoilers ahead! Read on at your own risk!

I like these themes where you’ve got two word phrases and compound words where each component can be preceded or followed by the same word or is a type of something. That’s what’s going on here – we’ve got a pair of doors in each of the theme entries. I like these so much that I was able to run through Ian Livengood’s puzzle four in (personal) record time on Saturday – it followed a similar structure.

This puzzle here has merits of his own. I really liked 2d. [Medium with a lot of talk] – AM RADIO. It first made me think of a chatty seance leader, so it was a nice little misdirect. 44d. [Street opening] for MANHOLE was a nice throw into the third dimension. Overall a nice puzzle, but the three-letter entries in the lower left – C IS, UNE and SAS – don’t do much for me.

Jeremy Lin was at the ACPT this past weekend… but not the one from the KNICKS. It was still a shocker to see his name on the contestant list, though! [The Beatles’] “P.S. I [Love You”] also made an appearance a the basis of a punny answer this weekend – one that really threw Dr. Fill for a loop. Fortunately, its presence today isn’t tricky at all.

Congratulations to ACPT champ Dan Feyer, as well as all of the other competitors, whether they made the finals or not. There’s some tough competition out there!

Randall Hartman’s Celebrity crossword, “TV Tuesday”

Celebrity crossword answers, 3 20 12 hartman "tv tuesday"

Straightforward TV-show theme:

  • 15a. ASHTON KUTCHER, [Actor who succeeded Charlie Sheen on 23-/38-Across: 2 wds.]
  • 23a/38a. TWO AND A / HALF MEN, [With 38-Across, CBS hit sitcom since 2003: 3 wds.]/[See 23-Across: 2 wds.]
  • 27a. CRYER, [Jon who stars in 23-/38-Across]
  • 52a. HOLLAND TAYLOR, [Evelyn Harper portrayer on 23-/38-Across: 2 wds.]
  • 42d. JONES, [Angus T. of  23-/38-Across]

CRYER and JONES count as bonus theme answers, as they sit outside of the symmetrical arrangement of the other theme answers. Sure, you could get CRYER and JONES to pair up symmetrically because they’re the same length, but the fill might’ve been constrained a bit more and that’s not what the Celeb puzzle’s all about.

Favorite clue: 55a: [Place for an iPod “bud”] for EAR.

Matt Jones’s Jonesin’ crossword, “Corner Squares”

Jonesin' crossword solution, "Double Scoop" 3 20 12

Gareth responding to a Facebook SOS from Amy to blog the puzzle (Yeah, I know, you’re sick of me…)

The theme is what I presume are pairs of ice-cream flavours common in the US, “melted together” into portmanteaus.

17A PRALI(NE)APOLITAN “Double scoop that’s part sugary nuts, part three-flavored” – Neapolitan is common here, praline is definitely plausible…
32A CONFET(TI)RAMISU “Double scoop that’s part multicolored, part liqueur” – I know tiramisu as a pudding, I guess you could make an ice-cream that flavour… Confetti appears to be this. You’re all more than familiar with it I’m sure…
38A FUDGERIPP(LE)MON “Double scoop that’s part chocolate, part citrus”. I’m familiar with fudge ripple, but since when is fudge chocolate? The fudge I bake is basically sugar/butter/milk… I had lemon ice-cream once. It was awesome! Not so common here
55A CHEESECA(KE)YLIME “Double scoop that’s part sweet and chunky, part tart”. Key lime pie is as American as, um, apple pie, but not seen so much here. various cheesecake ice-creams have spread to South Africa in recent years because it’s awesome…

So yeah, clever idea. It doesn’t help that the theme doesn’t work for me because most of these flavours aren’t common in South Africa, but would be unfair for me to hold it against the puzzle.

What is impressive, and yet so typical of a Jonesin’ puzzle that one might take it for granted ,is that, despite a 15/14/14/15 theme, we have corners with 2 pairs of tens and two pairs of eights. Among those are some fun answers: NANUNANU (which has that useful property of being lively despite a grid-friendly letter pattern), EYECHART, NOTTHESAME, the, reaching slightly but maybe a bonus answer COFFEESHOP. As part of joon “#8” pahk’s campaign against gratuitous prepositions I must highlight that the ON of DRAWAGUNON seems a bit of a constructor’s liberty, but I’ll let Matt have that one, considering the ambitious grid (and yet I’m normally against lowering the bar…) ]

One last thing to highlight, 59A TOSSER “Caber-___ (Highland games competitor)” is also a British slang word akin to “douchebag” but with an etymology related to the act implied in the song “Turning Japanese”

Gareth over and out. (Abstaining from a puzzle rating today)

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8 Responses to Tuesday, 3/20/12

  1. John E says:

    Looks correct to me. Wasn’t thrilled about the MAB / MAJA crossing on a Tuesday but eventually figured it out.

    Growing up in Chicago, it seemed like every week on Family Classics (with Frazier Thomas), they either played Ivanhoe, Zorro or Tora! Tora! Tora!

  2. joon says:

    i wonder if (either) will remembered merl’s kindergarten crime spree two-part puzzle from two years ago. the punchline of that one was {“And that’s when the ___ began”} cluing either FINGER-POINTING, FINGER PAINTING, or FINGERPRINTING.

  3. Matt Gaffney says:

    That first line above is a garden path sentence, but only because joon wrote it.

  4. john farmer says:

    Grid should have ED WOOD / DUTY. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    Liked the puzzle from the Wills. Nice twist with the theme, open grid, etc. Wasn’t DARWIN kinda big for the Beagle? Survival of the fittest, I guess.

  5. Zulema says:

    The fill was quite interesting. My vote is for more interesting fill early in the week and less abstruse misdirection later, especially the unrewarding type. Welcome MAJA/MAB, ODENSE, LILIES (which didn’t need any knowledge because of crossings anyway).

  6. Jenni Levy says:

    I didn’t like KINDERGARTENER at all. Around here, it’s KINDERGARDEN and KINDERGARDNER (and OK, that may not be precisely correct but we can’t be the only school district that spells it that way).

    MAB/MAJA were both gimmes for me. HUBBUB was a tough place to start but as soon as I had the B from BEER HALL, I got it and was off and running. Felt a little knottier than a typical Tuesday but not remarkably so.

  7. ArtLvr says:

    Still smiling in contentment over the ice cream double scoops. The U of Maryland’s Animal Science Dept. (whose chairman was Dr. Bull, no B.S.) had a dairy operation which would make unusual ice cream flavors for sale to the public, years ago. My all-time favorite was Lemon Custard. Sadly, that project was discontinued even before I moved away..

  8. Zulema says:

    My LILLIES should have read IRISES, in case you cared that you didn’t know what I was referring to. Sorry, and a day late to boot.

Comments are closed.