Time to brag on Evad’s terrific marathon performance last Sunday: He finished in 3:35:58, in the top 15% of all runners (beating thousands of younger runners). He may be the single fastest crossword constructor/webmaster there is.
Pete Muller’s New York Times crossword
If someone had asked you to come up with six phrases or compound words that have a PJ combo, could you have done it? Running the alphabet in my head, the only one I came up with that Pete doesn’t have is clip joint, though that would duplicate the J word in 17a, HIP JOINTS. The theme also includes 21a: PROP JET, 33a: SNAP JUDGMENT (my favorite of the set), 41a: STUMPJUMPERS (term for [Classic mountain bikes] that doesn’t ring a bell—turns out it’s a trade name from Specialized), 54a: TIP JARS, 59a: FLAPJACKS, and the unifying 26d: PAJAMAS. There are a lot of extraneous plurals in there to pad entry lengths and pair up symmetrically. Hmm.
Likes: TRIBECA, ANGELINA, SHOCKS to the TICKER. Dislikes: That [Defensive excavation], the GUN PIT (is that really a thing?); partials USE AS and ONE IS; the bad crossing of AS BAD and BAD JOKES; abbrevs/ugly bits GRO, TDS, STS, STL, SRO, INSP, SFPD, EMT, MSS, CIA, ATM; and the plural first name STANS.
Donna S. Levin’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “P&L Statement” – Sam Donaldson’s review
The corporate boardroom has its own P&L statement, but this puzzle has four of them. Each of the theme entries is a two-word term with the initials P.L. Here, I’ll prove it:
- 17-Across: A PILOT LIGHT is an [Igniter of a sort]. Of a sort? Is that part really necessary to the clue? It serves as a distraction of a sort.
- 26-Across: PETTY LARCENY is the [Small-time thief’s crime]. When someone steals your idea for a great wardrobe, you’re a victim of pretty larceny.
- 43-Across: Ah, PENNY LOAFERS, the [Slip-on shoes endorsed in “The Official Preppy Handbook”]. Those bring back memories of the mid-1980s. I never owned a pair, but I certainly know plenty of people who did.
- 58-Across: PANTY LINES are the [Fashion faux pas addressed by Spanx]. Love the entry and love the clue.
The PARTY LINE is to denounce fill like MTGE, MME, IS TO, and PICK A, but to the extent those entries allow for others like STOP BY, LAID LOW, CATS EYE, HOME EC, HUBCAP, GLINDA, and LINCHPIN, I’m all for keeping them on the PLAY LIST.
GLINDA is the good witch, right? I admit I’m within walking distance of the PUBLIC LIBRARY and could easily look it up, but I’m too busy dreaming about the PORK LOIN I plan to cook up later today. All of the ingredients in the recipe have me drooling like I’m experiencing PUPPY LOVE. I think I’ll even skip my PIANO LESSON so I can get to the cooking that much sooner.
Favorite entry = DOT THE I’S, to [Attend to details]. Favorite clue = [Good place to find a date?] for PALM. He knows the intended context, but Inner Beavis enjoys this greatly.
Matt Skoczen’s Los Angeles Times crossword — Gareth’s review
This is going to be fairly quick. Simple enough theme to explain the TEAR of TEARAPART is hidden in another 5 answers, making for a very dense theme indeed. Also worth noting is that 4 of the 6 theme entries run down, an unusual feature! The entries – WYAT(T EAR)P, PLA(TE AR)MOR, LA(TE AR)RIVAL, RABBI (T EAR)S, PLANE (T EAR)TH – make for a pretty interesting, unimpeachable set.
Sometimes simple clues can delight. Exhibit A, 1A [Aphid’s meal] is really nice. Ditto its entomological echoer [Beetle juice?] that isn’t really about insects at all, but instead Volkswagen Beetles! I also liked [Opposite of apres] just because I’d never connected those two dots myself. The EMU is a [Source of lean red meat]. If you get in touch with Deb Amlen I’m told she may know some recipes?
Matt Jones’s Onion A.V. Club crossword
So, 54a: AD ADDS ([One way to describe the theme answers?]) means take an ADvertising slogan and ADD a letter to get something new:
- 18a. [With 19-Across: “Coffee you can enjoy ’til you get really saggy…”], GOOD TO THE LAST DROOP.
- 28a. [“It builds strong bones, but who cares in this dark, dark world…”], GOTH MILK.
- 34a. [With 41-Across, “Buy her a ring, but make sure she agrees before necking …”], EVERY KISS BEGINS WITH OKAY.
- 49a. [“This rental car commercial would be better with an eclectic soundtrack and Bill Murray …”], WES, TRY HARDER.
If you got a kick out of adding a letter to ad slogans, you’ll probably like changing or deleting a letter too. Patrick Blindauer, in his position at the Puzzlewright puzzle-book publisher, is running a contest until October 15: add, delete, or change a letter in an ad slogan. Go to the Twitter page for the hashtag #adpuz for the details and to read the submissions that have been tweeted thus far. My favorites: Joon Pahk‘s “it’s not nice to foul mother nature” and his “there are some things money can’t bury. for everything else, there’s mastercard”; Catherine Martin‘s “Calgon, take men away”; and Andy Arizpe‘s “Molts in your mouth, not in your hand.”
Back to the crossword. Favorite bits: LEMON LAW clue, [Used protection?]. LOLSPEAK, [Lingo heavy on pluralizing with Z’s]. SMOOSH, [Mash down]. And BLATHERS, [Speaks foolishly].
Unfavorites: LGL, -OUS, VBS, ISAO and OONA, WDET, KESSEL ([Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil]—who??), MISACT ([Behave badly]—this is a word?), RIT, DNCS.
2.75 stars, owing to the clunkers in the fill.