Patrick Berry’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
Okay! Long day (but not a BAD DAY), I’m tired, I’ve waited too long to start this post about Patrick’s latest 66-worder.
Likes: O’TOOLE (more for my BFF than for actor Peter), FUNHOUSE, DUNCAN HINES (no idea he was a restaurant critic!), TALKING HEAD (mainly because I enjoyed the Talking Heads song that was cranked way up at the Filipino restaurant I picked up carry-out from this evening), DOUGHNUT (though I dispute the clue: [Ring for dessert]? Who eats a meal and then has a donut? Donuts are breakfast, donuts are snacks), the SPANISH MAIN, FAITH NO MORE (whose music I don’t know at all), and DEADBEAT.
Five more things:
- 14a. [Oriental blossom], TEA ROSE. Raise your hand if you’re Asian or if you otherwise shake your head at such uses of the word “Oriental.” If it’s after 1970, it’s time to move on from that old usage.
- 3d. [Ring for dessert], DOUGHNUT. While I dispute that categorization, I would love to be able to ring for dessert and have someone bring me pastries on demand.
- 23d. [Gave a leg up to?], KNEED. Does anyone ever get kneed somewhere other than the groin?
- 45d. [Gather together for stitching], SHIRR. Shirring: It’s not just for breakfast anymore, it’s also for sewing.
- 50d. [1977 horror film set in Newfoundland], ORCA. I actually saw this Jaws knockoff in the theater.
Super smooth fill, 4.25 stars.
Alan Arbesfeld’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Calendar Girls” —Ade’s write-up
Hello there, everyone! Hope you all have a good weekend in store! Today’s grid, brought to us by Mr. Alan Arbesfeld, involves famous actresses whose first or last names are also names of months on the calendar.
- ELAINE MAY (17A: [Mike Nichols’s comedy partner])
- JANUARY JONES (29A: [Actress who portrayed Don Draper’s ex on “Mad Men”])
- JUNE LOCKHART (45A: [Actress who played the mother in the TV series “Lassie” and “Lost in Space”])
- JANE MARCH (62A: [Bruce Willis’s costar in “Color of Night”])
Once seeing what was going on with the grid, which didn’t take too long, this turned out to be one of my more fun solves this week. Always have to try and resist just going down to each theme entry and just filling it in once you get the first one, though that’s pretty much exactly what I did. Took a little longer to get June’s last name, though, so had to use its crossings to help me out there. Wasn’t the biggest of fan of seeing REECHO, but that was my only real gripe with the grid (31D: [Bounce around a canyon, say]). Though clued in a different way, seeing CREAM has now given me an earworm, as “White Room” is playing in my head as I’m typing this very sentence (44D: [Beat soundly]). With baseball season being back, we couldn’t go too long without seeing ALOU in a grid (35D: [Baseball family name]). Oh, and then there’s the cluing for BASE to really get you in the baseball spirit (57D: [It might be stolen on a diamond]). Then there’s AFRO, which might not elicit thoughts about baseball…unless you thought about former Major Leaguer Oscar Gamble, who rocked one of the all time great afros in sports (53D: [Bushy hairdo]).
“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: YALE (1A: [Ivy in New Haven]) – In the recently completed 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, one of the schools that had the one of the biggest headline-grabbing victories was YALE, as the Bulldogs won their first-ever NCAA Tournament game by upsetting Baylor University 79-75 in a first-round game in Providence. How do I know it happened? Because I was there! Here’s an interview with one of the players after the game, Brandon Sherrod. If you don’t know his story by now, Sherrod left the basketball team last season to travel and perform with the Yale Whiffenpoofs, the oldest collegiate a cappella group in the world. He returned to the basketball team this season, and was an integral part of the Elis winning the Ivy League title this season and making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1962. He’s as interesting a person as you’ll ever talk with, and you’ll notice that a good part of the conversation isn’t spent on basketball.
Have a great weekend, everybody, and I’ll see you tomorrow!
MaryEllen Uthlaut’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up
Today phrase with the pattern “X for Y” change their meanings, either by changing the meaning of Y (#1) or X (#2, #3, #4) and creating wackily clued phrases! Fun! WORKFORPEANUTS, PASSFORTWINS, WATCHFORDEER (Is this a genuine US sign, or do they just use a silhouette, like we do for kudu?) and ROOMFORDISPUTE is the set.
Several excellent clues today:
- [Modern reaction to a riot?], LOL. Laugh riot.
- [Converse, e.g.], SNEAKER. The shoe. It looks like it wants to be SpEAK something…
- [It may be skilfully created by one who’s all thumbs], TEXT – as a lot of people type on their phone using their thumbs.
Also: [“My vegetable love should grow / ___ than empires…”: Andrew Marvell.] Whut? I’m afraid to look this up.
Jim Holland’s Chronicle of Higher Education crossword, “Performing Arts”—Amy’s write-up
What sort of verbs are performed by various artists? These ones:
- 17a. [Can the metal sculptor looking to network ___?], FORGE AN ALLIANCE.
- 31a. [Can the woodworker in need of steady customers ___?], CARVE A NICHE.
- 48a. [Can the textile expert making the magic carpet ___?], WEAVE A SPELL.
- 64a. [Can the whiz with the sketchpad put two and two together and ___?], DRAW A CONCLUSION.
It’s good to see the Department of Studio Art get its due in the academic crossword. The theme doesn’t grab me too much, though.
Four more things:
- 44a. [The Brady bunch, e.g.], OCTET. It’s a nonet if you include housekeeper Alice in the bunch.
- 52a. [Seafood often smoked], EEL. Put that in your pipe and smoke it! It’s probably not good for your lungs.
- 71a. [Periodical with clickbait, maybe], E-ZINE. No, no, no. The websites that are modern enough to have clickbait are not likely to call themselves “e-zines.” The corner could be purged of EZINE if editor Brad can tolerate a partial and a somewhat dated abbreviation: PUB/DRAW A CONCLUSION/A DRAG/SURGE crossing PDAS/URDU/BARR/WAG. This also gets rid of ADZE, which I’m never excited to encounter.
- I’ll travel in STEERAGE so long as there’s plenty of COLESLAW. I like both entries.
3.4 stars from me.