Monday, June 8, 2015

NYT 3:20 (pannonica) 
LAT 3:08 (pannonica) 
CS tk (Ade) 
BEQ 4:56 (Amy) 

Peter A. Collins’ New York Times puzzle — pannonica’s write-up

NYT • 6/8/15 • Mon • Collins • no 0608 • solution

NYT • 6/8/15 • Mon • Collins • no 0608 • solution

This is one of those multifarious themes, with entries of disparate lengths cropping up here and there, though they are of course symmetrically distributed.

A three-letter across revealer occupies the center of the grid: 38a [Word that follows each starred answer to complete a film title] MAN.

  • 16a. [*Seizure in a driveway, maybe] REPO.
  • 17a. [*Glass slipper wearer in a fairy tale] CINDERELLA.
  • 25a. [*Valentine’s Day message] I LOVE YOU.
  • 32a. [*Out of juice, as a battery] DEAD.
  • 46a. [*Fe, in chemistry] IRON.
  • 53a. [*26-mile race] MARATHON.
  • 64a. [*Job done with a wrecking ball] DEMOLITION.
  • 66a. [*Drought ender] RAIN.

I’ve seen five of the eight, and my favorite is Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man, followed by the cult staple Repo Man. Of the ones I haven’t seen—Cinderella Man, I Love You, Man, and Demolition Man—I can’t even begin to guess which would be considered the worst, but I suspect that it’s one of the latter two. The remaining three I deem good to well-above-average. If you care.

Good job by the constructor in the exclusion of other Man– following films from the rest of the grid, with the exception of one or two obscurities (One Man, a 1977 Canadian release that was LEN Cariou’s film début, anyone?) (30a).

The short, sharp, shock themers allow for some solid as well as some stellar long verticals. DONE DEAL alongside SIDE ORDER, ALIENATES with ARCADIAN, and the tenners POLO LOUNGE and DIME NOVELS.

Two notable film titles: 50a RAN (don’t like that the clue cross-references a theme answer—no mixing!), 37a MARTY.

Clean fill in general, a welcome Monday.

Gareth Bain’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

LAT • 6/8/15 • Mon • Bain • solution

LAT • 6/8/15 • Mon • Bain • solution

One might say that this crossword is pretty badass or patently beautiful, but I feel those would be overstatements. Yet calling it pleasantly bearable would be damning with faint praise.

60-down explains that PBS bills itself as [“America’s largest classroom” network … or, read as a plural, a hint to 20-, 28-, 46- and 53-Across]. Initials it is.

All those PBs and not a single J. For shame.

  • WIND SOCK and LIBERATE are the long verticals. Solid. STAN LEE and ABRADED are there too.
  • 36a [Bakery fixture] OVEN. Pleased to say that after some years without, I now have convenient access to an OVEN. It’ll be gratifying to start making baguettes, rustic loaves, pies, et cetera once again. Pastries, bread.
  • 1a [Sourpuss’ expression] SCOWL. Hey Amy, have you seen what your man Gareth is saying about you?

Overall, the fill is clean, the theme though unimaginative is not atypical for a Monday, and the cluing workmanlike. Perfectly benign.

Brendan Quigley’s blog crossword, “Themeless Monday”

BEQ crossword solution, 6 8 15 "Themeless Monday"

BEQ crossword solution, 6 8 15 “Themeless Monday”

A bit easier than a standard BEQ themeless, I thought. And that was despite having never heard of 1-Across. 1a. [Reality TV show catchphrase that means “leave”], “SASHAY AWAY”? I’m guessing it’s from America’s Next Top Model, but who knows. Google knows. Google tells me it’s RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Favorite fill: THE WILLIES, CALVINBALL (from Calvin and Hobbes), THINGS TO DO (which, well, is it actually a good crossword entry? I think “places to go, things to do, people to see” takes it there), and SYLVAN (just a pretty word).

Least favorite fill: I LOSE, OCEAN TIDES (the OCEAN seems a bit extraneous), ATIP ([Leaning precariously]) and ASLOPE, ON LEASE (which sounds not remotely familiar as a phrase), ENISLED, IN A TRAP, SET RATE, STEELIE.

Did not know: 31a. [Abstract expressionist ___ Martin], AGNES. I looked up some of her artwork, and see many fine designs for graph paper and ruled notebooks.

Also never heard of 9d. [Flanders red ___] ALE. Stupid sexy Flanders.

Two more things:

  • 46d. [Crashed on the beach?], ENISLED. No, no, no. Don’t give me a question-marked clue that is only going to take me to a word I pretty much never see outside of crossword puzzles.
  • My last square was the P in 11a. [On the cutting-edge, informally], POMO / 11d. [Ricocheting bullet sound], PING. I might’ve opted for a more specifically PINGy clue rather than one that could be a number of sounds.

3.5 stars from me.

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13 Responses to Monday, June 8, 2015

  1. Huda says:

    NYT: I like.
    Nucely done.
    Haven’t seen a single one of the movies…

    • ArtLvr says:

      I’d recommend RAIN MAN — but I don’t recall seeing the others…

      • huda says:

        Sorry, I actually did see RAIN MAN…

        I shouldn’t post when I have a migraine… A typo and a misstatement…

  2. David L says:

    PREMIE seemed strange to me, versus PREEMIE. Here’s the n-gram:

    [edit: well, there was supposed to be an embedded graph here, but it didn’t work. Premie spiked in the 1990s, but then Preemie took over and is much the more common version[

    I’d be interested to know the explanation for this recent change

  3. David L says:

    Also, I think there are many other movie titles in the puzzle:

    STEROID MAN: the Jose Canseco story
    MSDOS MAN: the Bill Gates story
    MACS MAN: the Steve Jobs story
    ALAS MAN: Hamlet, in the style of the Big Lebowski
    POLO LOUNGE MAN: starring Christopher Walken as ‘the continental’…

    etc etc

  4. 26 fpr says:

    Did you need a cheap and chippy chopper for the short sharp shock?!

    Go W.S Gilbert!

  5. PJ Ward says:

    The current offering from Andy Kravis at Cruciverbalist at Law was a lot of fun for me to solve. I see where he used this format about a year ago but I wasn’t working aware of his puzzles then.

  6. Noam D. Elkies says:

    Not sure if it’s good or bad to cross-reference a theme answer in another clue (RAN/MARATHON), but 50A:RAN could also have been cross-clued to 11D:RELAYS.

    —NDE man

  7. Jenni Levy says:

    I saw “Cinderella Man” since a high school friend of mine was in it, and I liked it more than I expected to. It’s the only Russell Crowe movie I’ve ever seen, which is fine with me. I enjoyed the puzzle more than I expected to as well. A nice crisp Monday.

  8. ahimsa says:

    Nice write-up for the LAT, pannonica! I enjoyed the puzzle, as well. (waves to Gareth! hmm, that sounds like I actually know him, which I don’t)

    But now I’m laughing out loud at all those “p b” hover-text/”title” tags/whatever-you-call-them for your links. Like pikibedia.

    Plenty Brilliant, I say.

  9. Papa John says:

    pannonica — Whadda ya mean, no oven for some years? How does that come about?

  10. Papa John says:

    Re BEQ: All I can say about 60D is I doubt boric acid is much of “treat” for ants.

Comments are closed.