Kyle Dolan’s New York Times crossword
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 opentable.com 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.
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.
- 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!
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…
Alan Arbesfeld’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Moving Violations”—Ade’s write-up
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!