NYT 3:08 (pannonica)
LAT 3:26 (pannonica)
CS tk (Ade)
BEQ 5:33 (Amy)
Lynn Lempel’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
Tidy little gimmick here. Adverbs and adjectives that have been formed by adding an a- prefix (any of the various meanings, save the one that means “not” or “without”) are torn asunder, the extracted a becoming an indefinite article and the root becoming (or reverting to) a noun. The senses arising from the dissected versions are then clued.
- 17a. [Decline to use a golf cart?] WALK A ROUND.
- 25a. [Design the lav?] PLAN A HEAD.
- 36a. [Accept one of the acting roles?] TAKE A PART.
- 51a. [Pass the coleslaw or potato salad?] MOVE A SIDE.
- 60a. [Pan the boxing match?] KNOCK A BOUT.
A cute idea, huh? Somewhat more nuanced than the typical early-week offering.
The grid features dense corners, vertical triple-stacked sevens in each—and all with good-to-very-good fill.
- Not part of the theme: neither of the neatly crossing 15a [“Farewell, Françoise”] ADIEU and 6d [Bustle] ADO.
- Marriage! 37d [Spot to tie the knot] ALTAR, 24a [“Here’s to the happy couple!,” e.g.] TOAST.
- 47a [Drawings that deceive] OP ART. More likely to be paintings, actually.
Ballast fill is squeaky clean—no dross—but none too exciting either. Ergo, not much to extemporize on, positive or negative. Just solid, solid Monday-level stuff. Time I was moving along.
Gareth Bain’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
Terribly basic theme to begin the week. 60-across indicates a [Diagnostic skin injection, and, based on the initials of their answers, what the starred clues represent] TB TEST.
- 18a. [*Military bigwigs] TOP BRASS.
- 58a. [*Home mortgage payer’s benefit] TAX BREAK.
- 6d. [*Off-road two-wheeler] TRAIL BIKE.
- 10d. [*Fairy tale porridge eaters] THREE BEARS.
- 27d. [*Salon device for one who wants color but not sun] TANNING BED. Melanoma risk either way.
- 35d. [*”Beetlejuice” director] TIM BURTON.
Six medium-length themers, not including the revealer. Très bold!
With so much real estate apportioned to theme material, not much space is available for longish non-theme fill. All there is, basically, is 31a [Triteness] BANALITY (which has a nod—probably unintentional—to TB-dom) and 43a [Roll call setting, for most teens] HOMEROOM.
- 27a [Marching band member] TUBA. I believe sousaphones are more prevalent, but could very well be wrong. More tibness in 30d [Taboo] NO-NO.
- 14a [Post office patron] MAILER. Clumsy clue, and I have to think it was changed in editing. What, multiple-Pulitzer- and multiple-National-Book-award-winning Norman Mailer too obscure for a Monday?
- Favorite clue: 15a [Guacamole ingredient] PEA.
- Least favorite fill: 44d [Heart exam: Abbr.] ECG. I prefer EKG, though Google’s Ngram suggests the former is more common.
Factette: Legend has it that the studio musicians at the recording session for Van Morrison’s epochal, notorious 1967 track, “TB Sheets” were so stunned by the wrenching emotionality of the song and the vocal performance that the entire place was dead silent afterward, and that no-one could bear to play further that day, that they all had to go home. But alas, that’s just tall tales, if not total bullshit. The logs show that a bunch of other stuff was recorded more or less immediately subsequent. Neat story though.
(Rather) tepid, (rather) banal crossword. Just another Monday.
Brendan Quigley’s blog crossword, “Themeless Monday”
Solid 72-worder. Not a lot of sparkle aside from AQUAFRESH toothpaste, BIKE SHARE, SAM MENDES, and FITBIT, but solid.
- 1d. [Smith and Wesson, e.g.], LAST NAMES. You wanted something gun-related, didn’t you?
- 50d. [Young, notably], NINER. Steve, Forty-.
- I like the country duo in the grid, MARTINA McBride and Dwight YOAKAM.
- 31a. [Cookie with a chocolate center], MILANO. Yum!
- 27a. [E.T. maker], ATARI. Is this about that video game with the “we buried thousands of unsold cartridges in a desert landfill” deal? (Editorial note: Yes, prevailing style is to not italicize or put in quotes the name of any game. Just straight text.)
Could do without: Morse code DAH (would have accepted [Lah-de-frickin’-___], though), IN ESSE.
Patrick Jordan’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Gust List”—Ade’s write-up
My apologies for not putting this up earlier, as I somehow thought I did and lost sight that I hadn’t when I was posting for Tuesday. Anyways, this puzzle from Mr. Patrick Jordan is a pretty straightforward grid, with the reveal, BLOWER, telling us what’s going on with the theme (47A: [Word that can follow the ends of 17-, 28-, 41-, and 55-Across]).
- PHILIP GLASS (17A: [Co-composer of the score for “The Truman Show”])
- GOLD LEAF (28A: [Pricey decorative sheet])
- HANK SNOW (41A: [Country crooner of “Hello Love”]) – Nope, not up to date on my country enough to know him.
- WOLF WHISTLE (55A: [Sound from an ogler])
After going my first 20 years of my life as a total non-drinker, I’m now a sucker for PALE ALES (4D: [Medium-colored brews]). I actually like it pretty much when types of trees are spelled out AND have the word “tree” in it, so OAK TREES was fun (50A: [Acorn droppers]). Word that I couldn’t get without its crossings in the grid? MANGROVE (36D: [Swamp plant with many roots]). Fun grid, and my apologies this was up late.
“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: CHI (19A: [Vital force, in feng shui]) – If I haven’t done so already, let’s celebrate CHI-Town’s hockey team, the Chicago Blackhawks, for winning the Stanley Cup for 2015. They took home Lord Stanley after a six-game series win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final last month.
Thank you for your time and your patience! Have a good day/evening!
BEQ’s fondness for proper names got me again, at the BAR_ARO/_ARA crossing. I thought of Irene CARA, not Theda BARA. There’s no rhyme or reason to racehorse names, so that letter could have been just about anything.
BARBARO is one of the most famous racehorses of the last 40 years, although for a sad reason. He won the Kentucky Derby in 2007 and was heavily favored to win the Preakness (and the Triple Crown), but he broke his leg in the Preakness and eventually had to be put down.
ugh, i had BARNONE and couldn’t let it go and none of the starts of any of the three long downs were coming. eventually googled to confirm my horse name, corrected my mistake and finished right after that.
BEQ IS NOT WORTH THE TROUBLE—HE’S ANOTHER BOB KLAHN—TWO OF THE WORST
YO, SEMINOLE, I’M REALLY HAPPY FOR YOU IMMA LET YOU FINISH BUT I JUST HAVE TO SAY BOB KLAHN WROTE THE BEST CLUES OF ALL TIME! OF ALL TIME!!
I enjoyed Lynn’s NYT and Gareth’s LAT — well done! Especially liked that BANALITY in the latter! I struggled with names in the BEQ: JONZE? YOAKAM? (but I knew the racehorse). Who’d have guessed SUSHI RICE was prepared with vinegar?