The Davids Phillips & Steinberg’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
Standard Friday-level difficulty for me, and lots of lively fill working its way through the 13/14/15 stacks. Who doesn’t love cozy PAJAMA BOTTOMS? IMAGINE DRAGONS is a current music reference. 16a. [Celebrity with the fashion line “V.”] turned out to be VANESSA WILLIAMS, but did you know that VICTORIA BECKHAM is also 15 letters? That misstep didn’t slow me down too much, luckily.
Other good stuff: SICHUAN, MAKE MINE A DOUBLE, ATTACK AD, GET BACK AT, ODWALLA juice, and a piddly little SMARTCAR.
The [Celebrity whose name sounds like a drink] is on my TV right now—ICE-T.
Fill I didn’t like: E-ZINE (such a dead term) and DATING AGENCIES (“dating service” is far more familiar).
Three more things:
- 41d. [Some beachwear], THONGS. Remember when those rubber sandals with the strap that goes between two toes were called thongs instead of flip-flops, and the butt-floss variety of thong was a niche garment not sold in regular lingerie departments?
- 44d. [Source of the words “curry” and “pariah”], TAMIL. This listing suggests that those two words aren’t specifically taken from Tamil. Who knew catamaran came from Tamil?
- 32a. [Tigerlike], FIERCE. Was this F****E spot supposed to lure solvers into writing FELINE?
Four stars from me.
Lee Taylor’s Chronicle of Higher Education crossword, “Remember Your Manors” — pannonica’s write-up
Oh look, it’s me again. Hello.
Here’s a puzzle. It’s a crossword puzzle. With a literary theme, as befits the Chronicle. The longest entries are clued simply, naming the named edifices from classic literature, and are answered with the relevant homeowners and/or significant inhabitants. Tempted to invoke the term bildungsroman, but it isn’t quite accurate for all of the answers, and the etymology becomes interestingly convoluted. How? Let it be an educational exercise, Reader.
- 17a. [WUTHERING HEIGHTS] HEATHCLIFF. Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights (1847).
- 23a. [MANDERLEY] REBECCA DE WINTER. Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca (1938).
- 36a. [THORNFIELD HALL] EDWARD ROCHESTER. Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847). Definitely a bildungsroman. See also 45-down.
- 48a. [LONGBOURN] ELIZABETH BENNET. Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813). The archetypal novel of manners?
- 59a. [MISSELTHWAITE MANOR (and garden)] MARY LENNOX. Francis Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden (1911).
- 50d [“You may have the universe if I may have ___” (Verdi opera line)] ITALY; sung by EZIO in ATTILA. 41a [Part of 50 Down where Reggio Calabria is, metaphorically] TOE, 56a [Part of 50 Down where Bari is, metaphorically] HEEL. 24d [Europe’s tallest volcano] ETNA.
- 20a [Measure based on the length of a typical human arm] ELL. Not exactly standardized, eh? Check it out. Originally a cubit.
- 6d [Fluvial plains] DELTAS. Terminology here. Fluvial, alluvial, estuaries at the mouth, and sometimes the floodplain and tributary system is called a delta (as in Mississippi Delta (of blues iconography)). So confusing.
- 18a [Wake-up call issuer, of a sort] COCK.
- 32d [Groucho Marx role in Otto Preminger’s “Skidoo”] GOD; did not know this. 33d [Bygone Pontiac muscle car] GTO; intending to soon rewatch Monte Hellman’s Two-Lane Blacktop—a personal favorite—with audio commentary track(s).
All in all, a well-crafted and pleasing offering to return to crossword-solving with.
Tony Orbach’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Once in Love With Her” —Ade’s write-up
Happy Friday, everybody! Hope you all have a fun weekend planned. Today’s crossword, brought to us by Mr. Tony Orbach, probably should have been blogged by Amy (Reynaldo), since other famous Amys were featured in the grid as puns, resulting in common phrases with not-so-straightforward clues.
- GRANT MONEY (17A: [Concert take for “The Next Time I Fall” singer Amy?])
- SMART CAR (24A: [Vehicle for “Crank” actress Amy?])
- TAN LINE (39A: [Short except from author Amy’s “The Joy Luck Club”?])
- CHOW CHOW (49A: [Grub for gold medal-winning gymnast Amy?])
- ADAMS APPLE (62A: [Fruit choice for “American Hustle” actress Amy?])
So we have all these famous Amys, and then we also have AMI in the grid as well (63D: [French friend]). I think I have two friends names “Ami,” spelled in that way. Haven’t heard/seen CHURCHIFY before (auto-correct was activated as I typed the word just now), but it definitely stands out in the grid in a good way for me (33D: [Christianize, slangily]). Had a couple of multiple-word entries that started with articles, including A LIFE (1A: [Words found in biography titles]) and AN EAR (8D: [Something to lend]). Oops, I missed A FEW, another one of those (40D: [Just some]). There’s definitely some GLOOM in the forecast here in New York, and I hope I can get home before the rain comes (6D: [Darkness]). Knowing my luck, there will be a downpour the second I leave work and head outside.
“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: MING (31D: [Former Rocket Yao]) – The 2016 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame class that will be inducted this fall will include Yao MING, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2002 NBA Draft who made eight All-Star teams in his nine years as a player form 2002 to 2011. Also part of the 2016 Hall of Fame class? Everyone’s favorite athlete who appears in crosswords…SHAQ(uille) O’NEAL.
Have a great weekend, everybody! See you all tomorrow!
Jeffrey Wechsler’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up
Today, YOUVEGOTAFRIEND signals to us that the trigram PAL is added to three theme phrases. Three letters is a lot to add, especially when it doesn’t make a prefix or suffix, so the phrases were quite fun, considering. With three added letters, the conceit was easier to suss out than most. So, we have a [Financially distressed royal residence?], PALACEINTHEHOLE whose grammar as clued seems a tad wonky; a [Pious antelope?], IMPALABELIEVER and the best answer: [Clairvoyant magazine staff?], PALMISTSOFTIME!
Not too much more to comment on here [“D’oh!”], IMAJERK seems a little loose, as does [Napoleonic?], INEXILE – Friday! GINZA is apparently [Japan’s answer to Rodeo Drive] – does Rodeo Drive have shops or something?