Monday, July 27, 2015

NYT 3:01 (pannonica) 
LAT 2:56 (pannonica) 
CS 27:46 (Ade) 
BEQ tk*(Amy) 

*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

NYT • 7/27/15 • Mon • Nichols, Burnikel • no 0727 • solution

NYT • 7/27/15 • Mon • Nichols, Burnikel • no 0727 • solution

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.

So, good Monday?

C.W. Stewart’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

LAT • 7/27/15 •  Mon • Stewart • solution

LAT • 7/27/15 • Mon • Stewart • solution

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

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 07.27.15: "In Your Dreams!"

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 07.27.15: “In Your Dreams!”

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!

Take care!


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18 Responses to Monday, July 27, 2015

  1. merlbaby says:

    while i’m coming out of lurking mode i thought i’d just mention two things about this puzzle — 1) i liked the fill quite a lot — the 3-letter entries are actual real-world words, for the most part — and 2) it might have been a nice touch to get JEREMY RENNER into the grid, perhaps as symmetrical 6-letter pairs. he’s been a pretty big star since ”the hurt locker” and his inclusion might have added a breath of recent-star air to the generally older-star feel. still, i definitely liked the puzzle. –MR

    • Paolo P. says:

      If the grid were reflected horizontally, JEREMY and RENNER could fit in the slots for NIMROD and BANGOR. I have no idea how the rest of the fill would work, though.

  2. sbmanion says:


    Good luck in your surgery. I hope you have a speedy recovery. My mother had major kidney problems (nephritis, etc,) when she was in her 30’s and lived a long and healthy life. The humorous consequence for me was that she had to live on a salt free diet after that and while my sisters poured salt on everything, I just ate what was in front of me and didn’t have salt for years and years.


  3. Evad says:

    George SOROS might’ve tipped the scales toward the men as well.

  4. Sarah says:

    Those CS ratings look mighty suspicious to me. 6 1’s out of 8?

    • David L says:

      It was a Bob Klahn puzzle. Apparently there is a conspiracy afoot to give low ratings to Mr. Klahn’s puzzles, because that will certainly change his mind and force him to make easier puzzles

      • Dave S says:

        While I’m sure that theory is well-supported, perhaps – just maybe – a lot of solvers simply don’t like Klahn’s puzzles.

    • Shawn P says:

      I saw polarized ratings as well, and although I haven’t done the CS in a while, figured it had to be a Klahn. Who would put out a Klahn on a Monday?

      BTW, great comment David!

    • Tracy B says:

      I’m a fan of the Klahn genre, or the Klahnre, if you will, of clues that are more than once-removed and that make you think (and smile, if you’re me).

      In this particular offering I didn’t enjoy imagining a BREAST LIFT or its alternative, silicone implants… but if anything, the theme not thrilling me would knock it down to a 3, if I did ratings, which I usually don’t. A “1” is just silliness, but what can you do? Haters gonna hate.

      • Rock says:

        Yes! I love Bob Klahn, (Kramer says hey buddy), his aha moments far outweigh some of the roughest toughest clues ever. Sometimes I cave, like his last “hat” puzzle, but thats ok cause now I love him even Meaux!!

        Amy, warm wishes to you and your family

    • Avg Solvr says:

      Wasn’t an easy puzzle. And if my understanding of the CS difficulty level is accurate (I stopped doing them because they seem too easy) a very hard one at that. I can’t say I’ve done many Klahns but he’s a devilish cluer and look forward to them. I think 1s are usually given out of frustration which is understandable if not fair.

  5. David L says:

    How come there are these alter egos C.C. Burnikel and Zhouqin Burnikel? When is she one and when is she the other?

    Anyway, nice puzzle. I had NITWIT for NIMROD but ERROL Flynn caused me to rethink. I was going to provide a long explanation for why I don’t think “best effort” is quite the same as AGAME, but I decided it was too tedious and nitpicky even for me.

    • Doug P says:

      She is C.C. in the L.A. Times and Zhouqin in the N.Y. Times.

    • Gareth says:

      Yes. CC is the name she uses when blogging the LA Times, and thus she stuck to it when she became published there. She uses her real name for the NY Times. I have never read a reason for this, but she’s not the only constructor who does this. Usually, the difference is merely the inclusion or omission of their initial or whether or not half of their double-barreled name is included though.

  6. Gary R says:

    Enjoyed the CS today – it’s nice to have something a little meatier than the NYT on a Monday.

    The center of the puzzle caused me some trouble. I recognized AKELA, but couldn’t recall the spelling, and ESPOO and SHOJI were both unfamiliar, so those crossings were tough. I guessed the “O” in SHOJI, but went with AKiLA for the other. Oh, well – fun anyway.

    For the folks who don’t like Klahn puzzles, why not just skip it when you see his by-line? I do that with a couple of constructors in the NYT.

    • Norm says:

      Because some of us (me at least) don’t pay attention to the byline, but I can almost always tell a BK puzzle when I hit WTF three times in the top two rows. And, my OCD won’t let me give up. BTW, I don’t rate his puzzles any more, because I’m not sure I can be impartial. Whatever.

  7. claudia says:

    Oh, BobKlahn, I’ve said nice things about you here on the blog — and then you hit me with this … THING… on Monday morning! It didn’t help that my husband gave me “whale” for “Jonah follower” — that took awhile to get rid of, because he’s a very smart guy (perhaps not crossword-savvy enough for BK). “Shoji” wasn’t a problem, and I’m still stuck on “container with two lids” and the surrounding real estate. I hope that “not well written” is NOT “ill edited,” as I see those as two different tasks.
    OK, BK, you got me.
    No no no, don’t back off on the degree of difficulty!

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