Monday, June 10, 2013

NYT 3:44 (pannonica) 
LAT 3:47 (pannonica) 
BEQ 4:37 
CS 4:58 (Evad) 

Zhouqin Burnikel’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

NYT • 6/10/13 • Mon • Burnikel • 6 10 13 • solution

59-across gives up the game here, [Casino cry  … or a hint for 16-, 23-, 37- and 45-Across] COME TO PAPA, the PAPA being the pivotal part. Those other entries are two-word names and phrases, each component beginning with the letters PA-.

  • 16a. [Comedian with a mock 1968 presidential campaign] PAT PAULSEN. Not only 1968, but also 1972, 1980, 1988, 1992, and 1996. He died in ’97.
  • 23a. [Money that doesn’t completely satisfy a debt] PART PAYMENT. Sometimes called “partial payment”?
  • 37a. [Tricky task in a driver’s test] PARALLEL PARKING. You know, I’ve never understood the difficulty some people have with this (seemingly) simple task. My spatial skills are better than average, I am forced to conclude. And I don’t feel I’m boasting here.
  • 45a. [Event that might have a pillow fight] PAJAMA PARTY.

 The longdowns are a pair of phrases: CUTS SHORT [Truncates] and LIKE I CARE, the emphatic [“Whatever!”]. Both good.

Surprising cluing for a Monday: 56a [Psychologist Alfred] ADLER, not the Holmesian Irene? 48d [Renaissance painter Veronese] PAOLO, not Brazil’s SÃO? (edit: that’s São Paulo, as per Hiram’s comment, below.)

As for the rest of the fill, it isn’t particularly remarkable, just medium-quality mid-length Monday fare. I swear, there really isn’t much more to say about this puzzle. It’s a moderate Monday, but I won’t go so far as to call it milquetoast. Good puzzle.

C.C. Burnikel’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

LAT • 5/9/13 • Mon • Burnikel • solution

Well, this is kind of awkward. Very similar themes by the same constructor appearing in the two ostensible premier crossword outlets on the same day. Ms Burnikel’s NYT puzzle featured names/phrases beginning with a particular bigram.

The paired entries across the eighth row comprise the revealer to the theme. 34a [With 36-Across, agenda that consists of 17-, 24-, 51- and 59-Across] TO-DO LIST. Appropriately, those named entries consist of names and phrases whose two parts begin with TO- and DO-.

  • 17a. [’70s–’80s Dallas Cowboys running back] TONY DORSETT.
  • 24a. [The highest price] TOP DOLLAR.
  • 51a. [“Hang down your head” guy in a Kingston Trio #1 hit] TOM DOOLEY. Kingston Trio? Here’s the Smothers Brothers.
  • 59a. [Comes in for a landing] TOUCHES DOWN.

 No stellar non-theme entries, in terms of length. We see the middling GAS HOGS, SKETCHY, VANILLA, HAN SOLO, with nondescript clues. The northeast and southwest corners feature triple-seven stacks, with the rather flaccid BRAILLE, OOH-LA-LA, ADHERED, and CD TOWER, EROTICA, DOMINO’S.  As some wag (and numerous others) quipped, “it is what it is.”

Oh, I’m going to spotlight this one: 21a [Shade of color] HUE. A close second to 33a [Sandwich loaf] BREAD. Gasp! Really?

It’s a Monday, what’re you going to do?

Updated Monday morning:

Patrick Jordan’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Home Tweet Home” – Dave Sullivan’s review

After reading the title of today’s CrosSynergy/WaPo puzzle, I wondered what theme idea could be expressed in 140 characters or less? But, once I saw the clue for 53-Across, [1996 Robin Williams film, and a hint to this puzzle’s theme], which was THE BIRD CAGE, I knew it was the more traditional meaning of the word “tweet”:

CrosSynergy / Washington Post crossword solution – 06/10/13

  • [Operating at peak capacity] is IN FULL SWING
  • [Seafood selection from the North Atlantic] is OCEAN PERCH – I know I’ve had this before, but not often enough to distinguish it from other types of fish. I want to say the flesh is orange-tinged, not so much like salmon, but not white either.
  • [Deteriorated] is GONE TO SEED

Since the revealer doesn’t mention the clue numbers for the other theme entries, I made sure the middle entry didn’t have anything to do with the others, as I missed the “van” of VAN GOGH last week. It’s just the unassuming [Conquered insomnia] or SLEPT, which seems innocuous enough. Looking at the other three theme entries, I first thought we were supposed to use the WING part of IN FULL SWING, since that was part of a bird. But, looking at SEED and PERCH, I began to see these are things found in a bird cage, and a SWING certainly is one of those things. The only other possible theme entry I could imagine would be SAME OLD SH-T, but we run a family-friendly blog here, so let’s move along.

With regard to the rest of the puzzle, I felt it was very clean and had lots of fun entries. Hard to pick a FAVE among them, but I’ll go with MOLLIFY for [Appease] as I think that’s just an interesting word and certainly one used in everyday conversation. LEG PULL for [Humorous hoax] is my UNFAVE as I’m not sure that’s a thing in itself–“you’re pulling my leg” is certainly idiomatic, but can that person be said to be doing a “leg pull”?

Brendan Quigley’s blog crossword, “Themeless Monday”

BEQ 6 10 13 solution

Short on time today—

JACKIE MASON is clued as [“Eighty percent of married men cheat in America. The rest cheat in Europe” comic]. I think of him as the “I’m just looking for a good item” guy, ever since he wandered around California Pizza Kitchen looking at people’s food to find something he’d like. Never seen anyone do that before or since.


  • 24d. [Brave turns?], AT-BATS. Atlanta Braves.
  • ALOO GHOBI (we would also accept ALOO GOBI and, of course, CHANNA MASALA), FALSE ALARMS, SKANK, BEATBOX, PUTSCH, MR PIBB (isn’t it just called Pibb now?), and X AMOUNT.
  • 26d. It might be tossed out while picking up a blonde], DART. A blonde ale at a pub with a dartboard, that is.

3.75 stars.

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21 Responses to Monday, June 10, 2013

  1. Hiram says:

    Sao Paulo, not Paolo.

  2. Huda says:

    NYT: My fastest Monday ever. So, pretty smooth, unless you don’t know ADLER.

    The 2 puzzles by the same constructor appearing on the same day with a similar motif made me chuckle. Sometimes in publishing our work, we worry about scooping ourselves– i.e. having 2 papers covering different facets of a discovery and not knowing which one will show up first and make the other seem less exciting. Now, I’m not sure that showing up at the same time helps…

    Off to Morocco tomorrow… Hope I’ll be able to see you all from there.

  3. Gareth says:

    @Pannonica: Speak for yourself. I passed my driver’s first time, but nearly failed parallel parking. I’ve since parked up to a kilometre away to avoid having to ever parallel park again…

    Liked CC’s LAT way more than her NYT. On both occasions I had no clue on the first entry, but a more apt revealer and much snappier fill! Plus TOMDOOLEY is strangely sentimental for me. It was, inexplicably, my grandpa’s favourite song…

    • Loren Smith says:

      Pannonica and Gareth – Sign me up for Gareth’s club. It just seems every time I have to parallel park. . .

      a. Cars are waiting because I’m blocking the street
      b. People in restaurants are watching out the window, sipping Malbec, and enjoying the spectacle of my trying to park a Ford Excursion, which is longer than a pontoon boat.

      I’ll happily hoof it, too. Miles.

      • Huda says:

        There’s a trick to it, and it’s not obvious to most mortals but learnable. I could not parallel park to save my life until I came to the US, had to learn to drive over again since I did not know rules and freeways (and you can’t ignore them in LA). So, I used my food money to pay for some driving lessons. The guy was a genius and bingo, it’s been in place ever since.

        On another front, seems like CC is very well known by LA Times solvers. Is this the first NY Times appearance? Must be cool to have a double header, be the queen of crosswords for a day..

        • pannonica says:

          A toy car with accurate steering helps in explaining the concept(s) and action(s) to people, I find.

    • Doug P says:

      Gareth & Loren, I’m with you. Parallel parking is on my anti-bucket list. Things I never want to do again before I die.

      • Amy Reynaldo says:

        We Chicagoans have to hone our parallel parking skills. Luckily, technology has made it so much easier now—my car has a rear camera and I can keep backing up till I’m only an inch away from the car behind me, no scratches and no bumps. The key, with or without the camera assist, is to get yourself aligned pretty close to the car in front, and know when to straighten out the wheel before you bonk the curb.

  4. sbmanion says:

    t was fun to see the mention of Pat Paulsen. Some of his mock editorials on The Smothers Brothers could have been written yesterday.

    I wonder if even Martin can justify today’s golf gaffe. Augusta National is not affiliated with the PGA and is not a PGA org. The humor in this is that the PGA had a rift within its own membership between the Tour Players and the Club Professionals, who cannot get along. Imagine how the Tour must feel about The Masters. Augusta National makes its own rules and has a long history of screwing pros while promoting amateurs, the most recent example being the 14-year old Chinese boy. Winning on the PGA Tour does not automatically qualify a player for an invitation to the Masters, a source of continuing (muted) complaint by the Tour, which has about as much chance of influencing the Masters as Martha Burk did.


    • bob stigger says:

      Steve, I’ve sworn off fretting about golf gaffes in crosswords. You just have to forget what you know and answer based on the crossers. I can understand (though not excuse the editor for) failure to understand the distinction between the PGA and the PGA Tour, but when it comes to the majors, it would be nice if someone would fact-check. We routinely see gaffes equivalent to calling Steve Jobs the founder of Facebook. Bob

      • CMD says:

        The clue is even worse because the Masters isn’t associated with the PGA Tour or the PGA. It is it’s own event run by Augusta National. The PGA Tour recognizes it as an event for its money list but I think the members of Augusta National would be horrified to think of themselves as a “PGA Org.”

        For a few years the Masters did change the rule that winning a PGA Tour event automatically earned an invitation to their tournament. However within the last few years they changed it back so anyone who wins a points-earning PGA Tour event does get invited.

        I’m not sure why you think the Masters screws the pros. They do include a fair number of amateurs but there are 14 different ways for a pro to play his way into the tournament so I don’t think too many deserving players are losing out because of the amateurs. I don’t think the 14 year old Chinese golfer thought he was getting special treatment when he was penalized for slow play at this year’s tournament..

        • sbmanion says:

          The Masters is a major championship. The Masters tournament staff wants to keep the field under 100. I haven’t checked, but the normal tournament field is closer to 156. Every slot that is not awarded could have gone to a deserving pro. And there are many, many more great players today than there were even 20 years ago.

          A quick check of this past year’s field indicates 91 players including 4 amateurs and at least 5 former champions who had no shot to win.

          The Masters is the most watchable tournament on the best tournament course imaginable, but the field is by far the weakest of the four majors. Ironically, the best field of the year, The Players, is not a major.

          My major objection to the clue was “org.”


  5. Papa John says:

    Where are you guys getting the LAT? It’s not on Will Johnston’s archive.

  6. pannonica says:

    BEQ: Have almost exclusively seen it spelled ALOO GOBI, perhaps once as ALU GOBHI, but never as G-H GHOBI.

    • Martin says:

      Elaine made tandoori chicken for dinner, and was going to make a potato dish and a cauliflower dish. I took the BEQ as an auspicious sign and we made a small change to the menu. The aloo gobi is spectacular. Can’t wait.

  7. chefbea says:

    Two great puzzles today by the same person and similar themes. Loved them both

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