Saturday, June 20, 2015

NYT 6:21 (Amy) 
Newsday 35:10 (Derek) 
LAT 10:12 (Derek) 
CS 9:33 (Ade) 

Kyle Dolan’s New York Times crossword

NY Times crossword solution, 6 20 15, no 0620

NY Times crossword solution, 6 20 15, no 0620

Nice to see Kyle’s byline again, and with lots of zippy fill:

  • 1a. [Be successful, well-liked, etc.], WIN AT LIFE. V. nice!
  • 33a. [Like “hostess” and “comedienne”], GENDERED. See also: policeman, cowboy.
  • 38a. [It produces a flavorful crust on some meat], STEAK RUB. Aka a dry rub.
  • 60a. [Kick back while watching the ball game, say], HAVE A BEER. You can’t “have a wine,” you know.
  • 63a. [Hostess offering], OPEN TABLE. Wish this were clued as the website, a “real-time restaurant-reservation service.” A generic “open table” doesn’t feel like a lexical chunk to me, but OpenTable, sure.
  • 65a. [Social media debut of 2010], PINTEREST. Just don’t understand the draw of Pinterest.
  • 14d. [Like some tattooed hands], HENNAED. Henna tattoos, or mehndi, are seen in South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa.

I also rather liked SPANDRELS, flavorful verbs FIDGET and TRAIPSE, ST. JOHN’S and BIG PAPI, TAPAS / BAR, and KATE clued as [Feminist author Millett].

Four more things:

  •  10a. [Brienne of ___, “Game of Thrones” protagonist], TARTH. Needed every crossing to put TARTH together, but she’s one of my husband’s favorite GoT characters.
  • 45a. [Old Crayola color akin to Tropical Rain Forest], TEAL. May I just say that those wordy, newfangled Crayola color names are totally bogus?
  • 8d. [Aid in restoring a crown], FILLING. The crown of a tooth, not an artificial porcelain-fused-to-metal crown.
  • 21d. [Bitcoin, e.g.], E-MONEY. E-money? Are people really using that term?

4.2 stars from me.

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 8.41.46 PMBarry C. Silk’s LA Times crossword – Derek’s write-up

Another toughie.  But not TOO tough.  Lots of great entries in this.  Also a few things I didn’t know!

  • 16A [Graphic with three-digit numbers] AREA CODE MAP – Love this.
  • 22A [Mother of Sam and Charlie Woods] ELIN – Referring to Tiger Woods’ ex-wife, Elin Nordegren, whom he has the two aforementioned children with. Timely with Tiger laying an egg and missing the cut HORRIFICALLY at this week’s U. S. Open golf tournament.
  • 27A [Hearty pastry] MEAT PIE – I think we call these pot pies in my neck of the woods…
  • 29A [Patient of Dr. Liz] ODIE – Garfield and Odie’s vet, and Jon Arbuckle’s girlfriend.Liz_5
  • 30A [Ready to roll]  IN GEAR – This one stumped me for a while.  Nice deception.
  • 31A [Org. with a Retirement Estimator web page] SSA – This stumped me too; thinking more of a financial site, or a site like AARP or something.
  • 49A [7, often] JULY – Fooled by this for a bit, too!
  • 54A [Spotted cat] EGYPTIAN MAU – Definitely in the learn-something-new-everyday category.  I prefer cats to dogs, but I’m not familiar with this breed.
  • 60A [Brand of protective clothing] STEALTH WEAR – Is this two words?  I have NEVER heard of this brand.  Maybe a bit obscure??
  • 7D [Reason for a baseball manager’s challenge] LATE TAG – In recent years, Major League Baseball has instituted instant replay challenges for close or disputed calls.  Great clue.’
  • 9D [Best-selling 2011 comedic autobiography] BOSSY PANTS – By Tina Fey.  I’ll bet it’s funny.
  • 24D [1/100 of a Cambodian riel] SEN – Just about my only complaint.  Seems way too obscure.  Maybe I didn’t like it crossing STAY, MEAT PIE, and IN GEAR, which were also clued quite toughly.
  • 27D [Picture frame feature] MITER JOINT – I loved this one, too.  Didn’t come to mind quickly.  Thinking more of the stand, the glass, etc.
  • 31D [One sitting on a board] STEAM IRON – Bravo!
  • 33D [Airer of classic shows] ANTENNA TV – One could argue that antenna TV STILL exists, since network digital channels are available with an antenna, but who does this??
  • 53D [Tabu creator] DANA – I thought Tabu was by DIOR.  Evidently it has been around a while.

Another great Saturday puzzle.  A solid 4 stars!

imageBrad Wilber’s Newsday crossword, “Saturday Stumper” – Derek’s write-up

Great puzzle.  Again this week, I started sailing through the grid.  Got the upper left corner with almost no problem, the center was easy (mostly), and the lower left began to fall….

…and then reality hit.  Total of 35 minutes! And that’s with Google open in a browser right in front of me! A couple of incorrect answers didn’t help: I had AZTEC for OLMEC, I had BUDDY for BUCKO, SATURN for EUROPA, BEAR for BOOR, and maybe one or two others.  But as usual, there hardly an entry worthy of a complaint.  And the entries that are common?  They are clued freshly and masterfully.


      • 19A [State capital founded as a penal colony] HOBART – Were you thinking of a United States state capital, and not one from Australia??
      • 32A [Language once written in Cyrillic] ALEUT – One of the common answers clued freshly.  A little thought and this becomes clear.
      • 48A [Statue in the Fortress of Solitude] LARA – The Fortress of Solitude, if you don’t know, is Superman’s sanctuary somewhere in the remote arctic.  Lara is his biological mother. I was a DC Comics fiend in my early days…
      • 59A [Ancient American pyramid builder] OLMEC – Constructor just toying with me at this point; as mentioned, I wrote AZTEC almost immediately, and paid the price when the corner became convoluted.  I don’t know 56A [Southeaster equestrian mecca] OCALA, because I don’t watch sports with animals!  Inferable, I suppose, but not with all the wrong answers I had down there!
      • 3D [Ralph Nader, ethnically] ARAB – I had this quickly too, but thought it was wrong because I had 1D wrong.  I had GASP and GAZE in there at first!
      • 6D [Resin in Turkish delight] MASTIC – Wha?  I’ll chalk this up to learning something new. MASTIC sounds good; I’ve never had Turkish delight.
      • 12D [Racer of yore] CHARIOTEER – My favorite clue/entry.  Again, with incorrect entries, I thought it might be THE SOMETHING.  Now I feel like watching Ben Hur
      • 47D [Fox series with a 14-year run] MAD TV – One of my favorite shows when it was on.  As a UPS driver, the skits with the UBS driver had me rolling.  The skits are actually truer to life than one might realize.  Enjoy!

    • 53D [ Japanese zither] KOTO – Didn’t know this either.
    • 54D [Its limited editions have included Watermelon and Gingerbread] OREO – A GREAT clue for a common entry.

Awesome puzzle.  Loved the torture.  Ready for the easier Sunday Newsday…

4 stars!


Alan Arbesfeld’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Moving Violations”—Ade’s write-up

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 06.20.15: "Moving Violations"

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 06.20.15: “Moving Violations”

Hello once again! When I saw the title of today’s crossword puzzle, brought to us by Mr. Alan Arbesfeld, I thought about how he could have made a puzzle about traveling violations in basketball!! But this is about sinners on the run, as each of the theme answers in today’s grid are aligned so that the word “SIN” progresses from the left to the right on the grid while making your way down the grid (58A: [Violation that moves through 17-, 23-, 36-, 48-, and 59-Across]).

  • SINE CURVE (17A: [Wave in a math class])
  • RAP SINGERS (23A: [Ice-T and Ice Cube]) – Furthermore, controversial rap singers turned into fairly lovable actors.
  • ROAD TO SINGAPORE (36A: [1940 Crosby/Hope/Lamour comedy])
  • GARY SINISE (48A: [“Forrest Gump” costar])
  • RUM RAISIN (59A: [Häagen-Dazs selection])

The design of the puzzle, I guess, necessitated all of the long down answers in the Northeast and Southwest, and I didn’t mind that at all, given the strong fill. Outside of the overused MRS. O’LEARY clue/entry (12D: [Infamous Chicago farm owner]), the liveliness of entries like VACANT LOT (32D: [Future building site, perhaps]) and SO HELP ME were fun, even if the puzzle was good enough that I didn’t need to exclaim, “So help me!” to the heavens (13D: [“I swear…”]). I’ve had a few friends tell me about the great times they have had when they had traveled down to COSTA RICA, and that definitely should be on my list of must-go places (31D: [Nicaragua neighbor]). But, in a few hours, I’ll be traveling to another amazing and exotic place: New Jersey. Oh, well, we can’t have it all, right?! Didn’t know about CESAR, at least as it pertained to its clue, but good to know, especially with the propensity of mine to have frequency illusions happen to me (1D: [French equivalent of an Oscar]). Fun puzzle.

“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: ASTROS (45D: [First baseball team to go undercover?]) – If you got lost by the misleading clue, just know that the Houston ASTROS became the first baseball team to play its home games exclusively in a domed/indoor stadium, when it moved into the Houston Astrodome in 1965.

See you all for the Sunday Challenge!

Take care!


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43 Responses to Saturday, June 20, 2015

  1. Zulema says:

    I really liked this puzzle but no more than I did Friday’s. Not sure I like the put-down of CPAs. I have a wonderful son-in-law who is one but I am not sure what college he went to, and yes, it was not Ivy League.

    • Evan says:

      I’m not seeing where the put-down is; B-school is a shortened term for Business School.

      • Zulema says:

        Sorry, I took it to mean B school, as in ranking

        • Norm says:

          I thought that was a lousy clue. Do many CPAs actually go to business school? Or, put another way, how many MBAs have the skills to be a CPA.

          • Martin says:

            An MBA is one of the three recommended paths to the CPA education requirements. CPA’s need more business training every year because the burdens of compliance are increased every year. I’m the treasurer of a a little non-profit water company and, as of this year, we have new audit requirements that require a CPA to practically understand more about the business than I do. And there are a bunch of new reporting rules that the CPA is held personally liable for if we screw up. I predict that more new CPA’s will have MBA’s and that they will charge even more than they do now.

          • Gary R says:


            “B-school” does not necessarily mean an MBA. There are many, many schools in the US that offer undergraduate degrees in accounting (as well as other business specializations). An undergraduate degree in accounting is a common first step in becoming a CPA.

            As the link Martin provides indicates, additional education beyond the bachelor’s degree is required for a CPA. An MBA is one option, but my guess is that relatively few CPAs have an MBA unless they became a CPA first and then decided to get an MBA to move up and/or move into a different functional area of the business.

  2. Evad says:

    Got Naticked at the crossing of TARTH and RACE CAR. A PACE CAR seemed a more reasonable [Pit sight] and I’ve not caught the GoT wave.

  3. Avg Solvr says:

    With the exception of a letter in a cross of two factual answers I didn’t know (don’t want to spoil anything) I completed The Stumper. Proficient? Not at my pace. But this week’s references were not completely unknown to me so I was able to plod through. Found the LAT more difficult than the NYT.

    • David L says:

      I got the left-hand side of the puzzle pretty quickly then took forever to see the rest of it. I don’t know if your unknown spot was the same as mine, but I filled in the ‘O’ of the MON/TWOFOOTER only because it seemed like the only possible letter. But I don’t have any idea what these two answers mean.

      MON: “longer version of M”
      TWOFOOTER: “You’d probably be putting it mildly”

      Can someone explain?

      [PS: Now it occurs to me that the second one has to do with golf — a two-foot putt. But c’mon, no one ever talks about putting “mildly” for a tap-in. That’s just silly.]

      • Amy Reynaldo says:

        MTWTF, M = Monday or Mon.

      • Avg Solvr says:

        I didn’t know the “s” in LUNES/AYSIR and got the north part of the grid relatively quickly for a Stumper, but it was tough and slow the rest of the way. My limited knowledge base creates problems for many tougher puzzles unfortunately.

  4. pannonica says:

    I can easily imagine a great, forgotten doo-wop group called the SPANDRELS.

    cf: the Spaniels, the Crests, the Contours, the Channels

    Not to mention ’70s funk outfit Mandrill, country-pop family the Mandrells. ’80s new wavers Spandau Ballet.

  5. huda says:

    Oh, Amy, PINTEREST is wonderful–at least to me. We spend so much time with words, it’s nice to have imagery. And it can be used in so many ways– I shared a board with my daughter and her maid of honor during her wedding planning, with them on the West Coast and me in the midwest. I’m planning a little enclosed garden area and I have collected a bunch of images that I love and showed them to the landscaper to describe what I mean. I have food and travel boards. I’m planning to do something about butterflies and other critters with my grandson when he comes to stay. But my favorite collections are just because I love to look at beautiful things— Nature, creatures, architecture, art glass… It relaxes me to just look at them, and I have learned a lot about myself in doing it– things that draw my eye, colors and themes that I was not conscious of. And amazement at the range of things that people seem passionate about.

    • Deb Amlen says:

      I didn’t understand the mesmerizing allure of Pinterest either, until a young friend got me into it. Now it’s definitely eye porn, and of so many different categories.

      I also use it as sort of a runner-up to Google when I need to figure out how to do something. So much great information!

  6. ArtLvr says:

    The LAT stumped me at the bottom, wanting DIOR & not knowing DANA, MAU or HAUER.

    • Jim Q says:

      You forgot HEM IN and DARIEN… add to that the (could be anything) calendar abbr, (OCT) and the it’s-definitely-not-Rhode-Island-but-could-be-many 7th largest state clue (NEV) and the tough down clues there- got virtually nothing in that corner! Loved the rest though-

    • Molson says:

      The MAU/HAUER crossing was brutal – I had no idea on that U. Pulled DARIEN out of who knows where, and had DIOR in there for a long long time… The whole of the SW was really tough.

  7. ktd says:

    Thanks for the write-up Amy and to the commenters who’ve chimed in so far! Indeed, my original clue for OPENTABLE was “Site of many bookings”, referring to the restaurant reservation service. Unfortunately, it didn’t make the final cut.

  8. Bit says:

    LAT: Maybe it’s just the way I worked it, but having to fill in PEERS so soon after PEER AT caused me to scowl a bit… I almost would have rather seen SEERS, ARGOT, and SADO (“Beginning of masochism”) :)

    • e.a. says:

      i was going to suggest the same revision, but for a different reason.

      • Bit says:

        Yes, I don’t see how PEER got past the “repeated word” test… and PEDO also doubles as slang with a bad connotation…

        • Paul Coulter says:

          Yeah, sad to say since Barry’s puzzles are almost always among my favorites, but pedo’s in very questionable taste. Tarty also has a far more common meaning. I didn’t like it crossing with dashy, which I suppose Barry meant as a synonym for dashing, but I’ve never heard it used. On the other hand, “peers” as aristos has a different etymology than “peer at.”

          • Bit says:

            The whole ARTY TARTY FLESHY DASHY nexus seemed a little suspect. Not the “smooth as Silk” experience I’ve come to love…

          • Eliza says:

            Agree 100% on the LAT. I have an English niece who’s a child-doctor (in the GOOD sense), what I would call a pediatrician, but they spell things weirdly there. I never expected it to be Pedo, however. Really?

            As fashionable as I am, there is no way dashy is in the language for chic or stylish. Nope.

            And yes, tarty means something else in these parts.

            I did nail Darien at first go, though. It’s possibly the preppiest place in CT, and will never have a “Real Housewives” series named after it. Because they aren’t real, and they sure as hell are not housewives.

            That said, I think B Silk’s reputation stands for itself. I suspect the editing.

          • Derek Allen says:

            PEDO as in pedophile is what I thought. Not a pleasant thought…

            I should have noticed the PEER repetition. It does seem a bit unnecessary.

          • Amy Reynaldo says:

            PEDO should never appear in a crossword, given its slang usage for “pedophile.” There aren’t a zillion medical words with the pedo- prefix, either. Pedodontics is pediatric dentistry, but most other peds words start with pedi-.

          • Barry S says:

            My original submission for this puzzle was DADO at 46-Across, not PEDO. I assume Rich changed it to avoid DEERS at 46-Down. I was as surprised as others to see that in a puzzle.

  9. Papa John says:

    Hey, Derek, Antenna TV is the name of a cable channel that shows stuff from the “50s.

    • Derek Allen says:

      Well that makes more sense then! Still never heard of it. Boomerang, Nick at Nite, and others are more familiar. At least to me.

      • Amy Reynaldo says:

        I never heard of it, either. It seems to occupy channel 353 on my cable, it’s showing “Doogie Howser” right now (1992 shows are retro now too!), and the picture is not remotely HD.

        Nick at Nite, Boomerang, and ME TV, I know.

  10. Bit says:

    The whole ARTY TARTY FLESHY DASHY nexus seemed a little suspect. Not the “smooth as Silk” experience I’ve come to love…

  11. Slow Stumper Solver says:

    Stumper – 1.5 hrs, no google. Satisfying to finish. Had the entire bottom half quite quickly for me. Then the entire upper half was slow, needing to ponder for HIBISCUS, BACCHUS/BUCKO, and the NW was last since I had COSTARICA instead of GUATEMALA for the longest time.

    Favorite clue: [They’re handled in the air], RIPCORDS.
    A-ha moments on (as others mentioned) TWOFOOTERS for golf putting, not the other putting, and with [Pristine],EDENIC. Not sure I remember ever seeing edenic before, (I had scenic at first) and surely “pristine” is stumperic way to clue it. Good stuff.

  12. Howard says:

    took half a day no google ever, no offense but I don’t understand how you can post a time Derek and use Google. without it you could still be trying to solve.

    • Amy Reynaldo says:

      I typically include an asterisk on the solving time if I’ve Googled something.

      Would you rather have a puzzle write-up sooner or later, though? If Derek were still solving hours later, you wouldn’t have had a Stumper write-up. Readers are much better served by a Google-assisted write-up than a blank space in the blog.

      • Derek Allen says:

        Exactly. I enjoy the challenge, but I had places to be! I should just mark as untimed, like Pannonica often does, but even with Googling the time gives me an indication of how hard the puzzle is. Not really trying to race.

  13. Gareth says:

    DNF on the LAT too… SS?/DARIE?/NEB/V and ?TNEN?AT? – no hope in hell.

    The MEATPIE is about the number one take-away (take out) food in South Africa: cheap, tasty, filling, instant (pie warmers!), can be eaten using only the hands – it’s about the perfect take-away. (Health aside, but if you’re eating take-aways for the health…)

  14. bob says:

    This makes two strikeouts in a row for the LAT Saturday entries (the only LAT entry I can do). Spent 3 hrs and had no luck. Guess I’ll have to cancel my subscription.

  15. sbmanion says:

    I was surprised to see no comments on the answer EAGERLY for the clue ON TENTERHOOKS. I suppose it works, but to me there is a sense of being agitated and on edge about something or someone, words that are not communicated with the positive feel of EAGERLY.

    Fairly easy puzzle for me. I guessed on the first T in TARTH as I did not know TAPAS for sure.


    • Eliza says:

      @sbmannion: I share your confusion about the clue for “On tenterhooks.” That to me means a nail-biting situation. Nothing positive about it. You might have a positive outcome – say, you’re waiting to see if you got accepted to college, or got that job, or if the biopsy is clear, etc. – but to me, it means “on edge, and more than a little concerned” and there is nothing eager about it. Since I admire B Silk’s puzzles, I will again blame the editor for that one.

      As a clue, it’s wrong.

      • John Haber says:

        I couldn’t make sense of it either, although it obviously fit. Never heard SOG as a verb either.

        And re E-MONEY, sure does seem that Shortz thinks that he can attach E to anything and call it a fill.

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