Joe Krozel and Timothy Polin’s New York Times crossword
I didn’t pay attention to the theme so I had one incorrect square where a crossing could go two ways. 25a. [Favorable situation for sluggers], MEN ON? I had MAN ON. Neither one feels like a crosswordy phrase. Isn’t it customary to precede MEN ON with a number?
The black squares form misshapen letters in a mishmash of sizes, T, H, U, and S. Four anagrams of those letters serve as hidden clues:
- 1a. [One arrangement of the letters in the grid], CABANAS. Huts.
- 21a. [Another arrangement of the letters in the grid], SEAL. Shut.
- 8d. [Another arrangement of the letters in the grid], REAR. Tush.
- 26d. [Another arrangement of the letters in the grid], ERGO. Thus.
Neat concept, though the T that’s a quarter the size of the S is an odd look. The grid itself looks bonkers as well—a wall of 15s on the right, a 15/14/12 chunk in the middle, lots of half-boxed-off rooms.
Favorite fill: BLEEP OUT, SPINAL TAP, Letterman’s STUPID PET TRICKS, REESE’S PIECES (just remembered I have another package of those on my desk! They’re camouflaged by the Walgreens bag and I forgot I put them there before ACPT), and NATIONAL PASTIME. Not sure about SEASONED TO TASTE (without the -ED, I would love it).
Crosswordese I’ve not seen in ages: 4d. [Tropical palm], ARECA. Partial I don’t think I’ve ever seen, in crosswords or in life: 48a. [___ chief (mag. V.I.P.)], ED IN. We always used EIC when shortening editor in chief. Then there’s PAUPERED, 27d. [Brought to financial ruin]. Not familiar with that as a verb, so I checked all the dictionaries on onelook.com: “Sorry, no dictionaries indexed in the selected category contain the word paupered.” That is not a good sign at all. Also not keen on dull OSSA and ALEE, partials I ME and I TELL (two I’s!) and A TO, plural COCAS, hissy cat’s SSS, and OSSA.
3.75 stars from me. The Scowl-o-Meter went off a few too many times for the showy stuff to rate a 4+.
Trip Payne’s Fireball crossword, “Cuckoo Crossword”
I was so busy today, I didn’t even look at Peter’s Fireball email till tonight. Oh! April Fools Day at Fireball headquarters means a “Something Different” puzzle from Trip, a “Wacky Weekend Warrior.” I love these! Wide-open grid with mostly goofball fill that is not remotely legit.
Starting with the clues for long answers is a fool’s errand. You find a short, straightforward clue and there’s your foothold. I got the IPOD at 16a and that D, of course, gave me RAMADA-ISH for 1d. [Sort of like a particular hotel chain].
Here are the bits I enjoyed most in this fun 52-worder:
- 45a. [Best-selling song about the personal appeal of Betty and Vanna], WHITE CHARISMAS. Nice play on “White Christmas”!
- 36a. [Start of a subject line about a boxer], RE: ALI.
- 3d. [Melodramatic way of expressing weariness], I TIRE. Some of us joked for years after some crossword clued I GO as if it were a stand-alone thing people say when it’s their turn in a game. I’m adding I TIRE to my lexicon.
- 6d. [“Kukla’s friend is sooooo lame,” for example], OLLIE JAB. You can’t go wrong with a Kukla reference, people.
- 22d. [Tax pro who shares workspace with a mechanic], GARAGE CPA. This is analogous to Bob Odenkirk’s character on Better Call Saul, a NAIL SALON CRIMINAL LAWYER.
- 25d. [Eastern European republic whose capital is Zagreb and others], CROATIAS. You can never have too many.
- 26d. [Without a big fuss], ADO-LESS. ADO is in so damn many crosswords. I wish more were ADO-less.
- 35d. [“What I’m about to say doesn’t follow logically at all …”], UN-ERGO. Can we make this a thing?
- 44d. [“There’s no sequel indicator so convenient ___”], AS II. Less convenient but more flavorful is ELECTRIC BOOGALOO.
Five stars. I wish April Fools Day came every month.
Gareth Bain’s LA Times crossword – Gareth Bain’s summary
Sorry, I couldn’t find anyone willing to blog this for me, so here I am.
A puzzle conceived spending time looking for interesting sets of anagrams. Yes, these six letters are all 1-pointers, but I thought a theme of five 6-letter anagrams is quite interesting. The phrases themselves are rather vanilla though, except the central THEPOTATOEATERS. I knew the entry HAPPYEASTER would also pique Rich Norris’ interest as a timely answer.
- [Holy woman sculpted by Bernini], SAINTTERESA
- [It may call for lateral thinking], BRAINTEASER
- [Van Gogh painting depicting peasants], THEPOTATOEATERS
- [Many a sofa], THREESEATER
- [Words spoken often this time of year, one of which is anagrammed four times in this puzzle], HAPPYEASTER
The puzzle shows the typical signs of heavy “theme-age”. There is probably little outside the theme that was particularly exciting. The corners are 3×6, but even so. There are also some ugly spots, but hopefully spread widely enough not to cause too much anguish.
Here’s some Nick Cave to listen to.
Sarah Keller’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Where the h…?”—Ade’s write-up
Good morning, everyone! Hope you all made out ok after April Fool’s Day, and that you weren’t on the receiving end of some devious pranks. If so, then I guess you had it coming, huh?!?
Today’s crossword is brought to us by Ms. Sarah Keller, and in it, each of the four theme answers are puns created by removing the beginning “h” from the beginning of one of the words in those original terms. Interestingly enough, a couple of the terms from which the puns are derived from aren’t all too common at all, in terms of its usage…well, unless you regularly frequent beauty parlors or shady restaurants.
- FROSTED AIR (17A: [Low windchill factor?]) – From “frosted hair.”
- EATING PLANT (30A: [Venus flytrap?]) – From “heating plant.”
- STACKED EELS (48A: [Sushi bar pile?]) – From “stacked heels.”
- ASH SLINGER (65A: [Careless smoker?]) – From “hash slinger.”
For some reason, ANAT didn’t come to my mind at all when reading the clue, though, now thinking about it, it should have been pretty obvious (7D: [Art school subj.]). That was pretty important because I was not too sure of the second part of frosted hair. Had the frosted part down, but then was like, “frosted what?” But hair frosting popped in my head, and all I had to do was invert what I had I’m my mind to get the second part of that theme. Are there any other famous people with the first name spelling of AIMEE outside of Anouk and Mann (38A: [“A Man and a Woman” star Anouk])? I think this is the first time I have seen/heard the term ITUNE, without the ‘s’ at the end (31D: [Downloaded ditty]). Underneath “iTune,” there’s the “missing S,” and it starts the word SHAD – albeit there’s a black square separating them (59D: [A source of roe]). Now that’s what I call a broken connection while trying to download a music file!
“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: ELIE (11D: [“Night” author Wiesel]) – Here’s a story of perseverance and triumph. Former NBA player and current assistant coach Mario ELIE is a three-time NBA champion whose career didn’t start so glamorously. After being picked 160th out of 162 players in the 1986 NBA Draft, Elie played professionally in Ireland, Portugal and Argentina, as well as lower leagues in the US before finally making his NBA debut in 1990. Elie became a key role player and sharpshooter on the Houston Rockets’ back-to-back title teams of 1994 and 1995, as well as the San Antonio Spurs’ championship team in 1999.
TGIF is tomorrow! Have a great day, everyone!
Brendan Emmett Quigley’s website crossword – “He is Risen” — Ben’s Review
How has it already almost been a week since the ACPT? Besides having my best tournament, competitively, it was nice to connect with people I only get to see a few times a year for puzzle things.
Have you signed up for BEQ’s Marching Bands Kickstarter? You should sign up for BEQ’s Marching Bands Kickstarter. He’s a good dude and his Marching Bands are routinely one of my favorite variety puzzles to solve. He’s already hit his goal, but if we make the stretch goal, even more puzzles can be on their way to your inbox.
Speaking of BEQ puzzles, let’s get to talking about this week’s Thursday puzzle, “He is Risen”. I liked this one a lot, and not only because I had the trick to this one figured out from the title. The theme entries in this puzzle all have a “HE” that’s risen from the appropriate phrase and been added to the entry that appears above it
- 20A: Tabby perched atop an IRS return? – C[HE]AT ON ONE’S TAXES
- 35A: Cassette emporium? – PLANET OF T[HE]APES
- 51A: Paranoid Labour opponent? – CONSPIRACY T[HE]ORY
Lots of fresh-feeling fill in this puzzle – my time felt pretty fast (which I’m counting entirely as a post-ACPT related thing) ben though I wasn’t feeling like I was dealing with the standard crosswordese. AERIES, PIE PAN, ARIANA (Grande, although I’ve subbed the Hozier cover of “Problem” below), and SEXTON were particular favorites on the crosses, while the downs had PITA CHIP, ALOHA OE, and LYE SOAPS (which I initially tried to make BLEACHES).
The only parts of the puzzle that managed to slip me up this week were from my own brain – overall, this was a pretty clean solve. Well done, Brendan!