*Note from Amy: Skipping the puzzle since it’s a rerun that I presumably solved and blogged the first time around.
D. Scott Nichols and Zhouqin Burnikel’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
60-across: [What the ends of the answers to all the starred clues are] PALINDROMES. Had I not rushed to PALINDROMIC, neglecting to check crossings, my time might have been under two minutes. In any case, here’s the lineup:
- 17a. [*Youngest French Open champion] MONICA SELES.
- 39a. [*”Double Fantasy” singer] YOKO ONO.
- 11d. [*C.I.A.’s second-longest-serving director] GEORGE TENET.
- 24d. [*”Splash” star] DARYL HANNAH.
This is that rare crossword where, when the theme answers are people, there are more female than male entries. Three-to-one, here. That still counts as an imbalance in my ledger, though. And I prefer my themes to have equanimity.
On the subject of the theme, how lame is this? 32a [Peter, Paul or Mary] NAME. Feh.
Um. The rest of the crossword is … completely unremarkable. Nothing egregiously good or bad. Just clean fill with a modicum of perhaps slightly more difficult stuff, all readily gettable via crossings. Nothing particularly clever, nothing particularly sparkly, nothing off-putting.
I’ve just reviewed the clues and answers twice more. Still nothing meaningful that I can think of to say here. Nothing.
C.W. Stewart’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
Benign little theme to open the week. 36-across has [Reading aids, whose parts include the ends of 17-, 23-, 45- and 57-across] LAMPS. Those parts are bulb, cord, shade, and socket.
- 17a. [Dutch bloom-to-be] TULIP BULB.
- 23a. [Supply for a knotting craft] MACRAMÉ CORD.
- 45a. [Blind alternative] WINDOW SHADE.
- 57a. [Pelvic opening] HIP SOCKET. Opening, or depression, or concavity? See acetabulum.
Interesting that none of the four parts are strictly required for a lamp to be a lamp. Also, there’s neither a base nor a clamp.
- Liked the long acrosses stacked with two of the theme entries, SEABORNE and EMINENCE. Also good are GAS STOVE and PASSPORT.
- Nice dupe-avoidance with 53a [Takes weapons from] UNARMS and, directly beneath, [Pie chart dividers] RADII.
- Non-Monday fill, or is everyone who solves the NYT expected to know a certain amount of Hebrew? 14a [Purim month] ADAR, 5d [Native Israelis] SABRAS. See also 41a [Passover feast] SEDER. (47d [Low point] NADIR derives from Arabic. See also 21a [Orbital high point] APOGEE.)
- More: POMES, STEN?
- 1a [Lickety-split] FAST, 24d [“Stat!” relative] ASAP.
- Confession: I almost completed 2d [“I challenge you to ___!”] with A DARE. Ha, ha.
- Least favorite clue and answer: 57d [Sounds from Santa] HOS.
Solid Monday overall.
Bob Klahn’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “In Your Dreams”—Ade’s write-up
Good day, everybody! My apologies for the delay, and trust me, it wasn’t because of the difficulty of today’s puzzle, brought to us my Mr. Bob Klahn! (Trust me, it wasn’t.) But it was another tough Klahn, as a few of you have mentioned already in the comments If you’re still stumped by the theme, each of the four theme answers are two-word entries in which the first word has the letters “AS” consecutively contained in the word, while the second word has the letters “IF” consecutively. The reveal, ASIF, let’s us all in on the trick (59A: [“In your dreams!,” words hidden in this puzzle’s four longest answers]). Toughie…
- CAST ADRIFT (17A: [Abandoned])
- FANTASY LIFE (27A: [Walter Mitty had one]) The answer that gave me the “a-ha” moment as to what may be happening in today’s theme.
- ASIA PACIFIC (46A: [Large geographic area whose definition is context-dependent])
- BREAST LIFT (61A: [Implant alternative, perhaps)]) – Perkiness is key, I guess!
I can’t remember too many Klahn crosswords that have a reveal clue/entry in the grid, but, thank goodness this had one. I believe I’ve also seen a clue to MATE similar to the one today, so I just took a stab at that, hoping that my hunch was correct (1A: [Do more than check]). And thank goodness I know my Jungle Book characters, which made AKELA pretty easy for me (28D: [“The Jungle Book” wolf]). Those two, more than any other entries, opened things up, yet, even with “Akela,” there was no way in the world that ESPOO was coming into my mind anytime soon (39A:[Finland city where Nokia is headquartered]). Once I saw that clue, and saw that the accompanying entry wasn’t eight boxes (to fit ‘Helsinki’), I pretty much was screwed on that one! Some entries were brilliant and lively, like GARIBALDI (34D: [19th-century patriot known as the Liberator of Italy]). Others, like Espoo, were head scratchers, with SHOJI (29D: [Rice paper screen]) and DEFLEA being at the top of the list (8D: [Rid of pests, in a way]). This one kicked me in the fanny harder than recent Klahn puzzles, but, hey, we all need a sick kick in the rear now and then!
“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: PRADO (5A: [Home of “The Naked Maja”]) – He’s not from Spain, but Venezuelan Major League Baseball player Martín PRADO is currently an infielder/outfielder for the Miami Marlins. Prado has spent most of his Major League Baseball career with the Atlanta Braves, where he made his one and only All-Star Game appearance back in 2010. Valued because of his versatility defensively, Prado has started a game at every position on the diamond except pitcher, catcher and center field. It’s more than likely that before the end of the week, Prado will be traded to a contending baseball team.
Thank you for the time, and I’ll see you tomorrow!