Bruce Haight’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
Simple set-up. Two word phrases whose components both begin with ‘S’ (voiceless alveolar sibilant).
- 17a. [Touchy subjects] SORE SPOTS.
- 21a. [Beginning that doesn’t go smoothly] SLOW START.
- 27a. [Leave port] SET SAIL.
- 34a. [Lighten one’s portfolio, say] SELL STOCKS.
- 43a. [Comes to rest too soon] STOPS SHORT.
- 49a. [Something to take and “make it better,” in the Beatles’s “Hey Jude”] SAD SONG.
- 58a. [Quits fidgeting] SITS STILL.
- 66a. [Reels from a haymaker] SEES STARS.
- 4d. [What a nearly vertical hill has] STEEP SLOPE.
- 9d. [Winter attire in Vail] SKI SUIT.
- 32d. [Best black female friend] SOUL SISTER.
- 44d. [It’s left when ocean water evaporates] SEA SALT.
That’s a whopping 12 theme entries, which must be some sort of record. It also suggests a slightness to the theme.
Nevertheless, the fill throughout is pretty clean, and that’s what counts most in a Monday.
Summarized, with a selection of clues and answers: 6d [Noah’s Ark groupings] TWOS, 2d [Sufficient, to a bard] ENOW, 67d [Signal from a marooned sailor] SOS!
Scot Ober’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
Fittingly, the constructor’s last name is akin to the German ober, meaning “top”. The revealer appears vertically in the lower right: 47d [*Typewriter area, letterwise, for the answer to starred clues] TOP ROW. We’re talking QWERTY here, rather Dvorak or some other alternative layout.
- 4d. [*Compete, as for a role] TRY OUT.
- 18a. [*Pickled peppers picker] PETER PIPER.
- 37a. [*Miss Manners’ concern] PROPER ETIQUETTE. The marquée entry, obviously.
- 59a. [*Clog-clearing company] ROTO-ROOTER.
Nifty how the revealer is autological, or is at least reflexive in that it’s a member of the group it describes.
I was going to commend the crossword for excluding top row only entries from the non-theme fill, but I noticed 27d TIE, and 31d WEEP, and 38d PET, and 40d QUE., and 56d TORT. Hmm. Perhaps it’s too great a challenge, especially when trying to keep the overall fill Monday-appropriate. In fact, there are signs of strain even as it is: AN ACE, ENTR, ERAT, AMTS, IT ON, RCAS, and so on.
No exciting cluing, so overall kind of a blah crossword.
Brendan Quigley’s blog crossword, “Themeless Monday”
I want to know what answer Brendan previously wanted to use the clue 15d. [Cinderella was one, famously] for. Here, it’s a HAIR METAL BAND. This puts me in mind of another crossworder’s video of his toddler this weekend—the kid was listening to Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” via the TV, which displayed a picture of the band. “Are those ladies gonna take it?” the kid asked. (Note to those who don’t know: Dee Snider et al are not ladies. They are dudes with big hair.)
- 28a. [Arab Spring year], MMX. No cue that the answer is a Roman numeral? I mean, not that a four-digit numeral would fit here, but…
- 35a. [In the style of], IMITATIONAL. Uh, I think the word you’re looking for here is imitative. Have never seen IMITATIONAL.
- 44a. [AA co-founder, familiarly], DR. BOB. Who? I know only Bill Initial.
- 48a. [Removes, as a threat], DEFANGS. Pairs well with the ASP at 18a.
- 55a. [Homers], GOES YARD. “I’ll take Unfamiliar Sports Terms for $800.” “Uh, Unfamiliar Sports for $1,000.” 6d. [Fans of the Olde Towne Team], RED SOX NATION. Never heard of “Olde Towne Team.”
- 10d. [Chipped in?: Var.], ANTEED. Ouch. Been doing crosswords for 35 years, don’t recall seeing this spelling variant before.
- 20d. [Complete unmitigated disaster], DUMPSTER FIRE. Haven’t heard this as a metaphorical term before. New?
- 25d. [“For what matters most” medicine], TYLENOL. For some people, what matters most is their liver, and those people are not taking much Tylenol.
3.4 stars from me. More iffy fill than I like to see.
Bruce Venzke’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Enough Already”—Ade’s write-up
Hello everyone! Hope you all are doing well to begin your week. Today’s crossword, brought to us by Mr. Bruce Venzke, has three theme answers in which the first word of each is a gerund that also indicates a conclusion.
- CLOSING ARGUMENT (20A: [Highlight of many a trial])
- ENDING INVENTORY (39A: [Final count of goods or stock])
- FINISHING SCHOOL (52A: [Place to learn the social graces])
I’ve been described over the years as very nerdy, but happy that I’ve been never called a DWEEB before (25D: [Dorky sort]). Very interesting to see the archaic form of Jesus, JESU, in the grid (29A: [Proper name in Masses]). I don’t I have seen that spelling since my elementary school days in Catholic school. Nothing really that really caught my eye in the grid. Solid, straightforward, and able to complete it in the time that I should complete this type of puzzle.
“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: PACKER (49A: [Favre, for 16 seasons]) – The Green Bay PACKER referenced in this clue is Brett Favre, longtime quarterback in Titletown (nickname of Green Bay, Wis.) from 1992-2007. What most people forget is that Favre, despite being a longtime Packer, did not start his career in Green Bay. He was drafted in the second round of the 1991 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.
Thank you for your time, and I’ll see you tomorrow!