Kristian House’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
Really liked starting with ROGER THAT. Wasn’t sure that would be correct, but the OREGANO and EMU crossings gave confidence. Also liked these things: REFUSENIK, EGG MCMUFFIN (never had one), COSTCO, GUESTBOOK, EARTH TONE, GO FOR THE JUGULAR, GADGET, BOOMBOX, MADOFF (can we forget him in a couple more years?), THE GIRL NEXT DOOR (no idea what “unglamorous” is doing in the clue, because Oxford Dictionaries doesn’t define boy/girl next door by appearance), NICE ONE, HOT SEAT, and KNOCKED.
- Never heard of AROMARAMA, I don’t think—just its rival Smell-O-Vision.
- 18a. [Butler who was expelled from West Point], RHETT. Wanted JEEVES, really. Or Alfred.
- 25a. [Accouterment for a diva], BOA. Much prefer the accoutrement spelling, but apparently both are legit.
- 1d. [Noble at the end of a table?], RARE GAS. Chemistry, man.
- 6d. [Where the rubber meets the road], TREAD. Good clue. Very literal.
Least favorite fill: CESTA, UAR, RIA, I’M SAFE.
4.2 stars from me.
Doug Peterson’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Final Scores” —Ade’s write-up
Happy Friday, everybody! Today’s crossword, brought to us Mr. Doug Peterson, includes four multiple-word theme entries in which the last word of each is also a type of scoring measure in different sports. How awesome would it have been if one of the entries was “old college TRY,” for those with a rugby persuasion?
- BORN TO RUN (17A: [Bruce Springsteen’s first top 10 album])
- LONG-TERM GOAL (29A: [Making partner, for a young lawyer, perhaps])
- PICNIC BASKET (47A: [What a Jellystone camper may lose to Yogi Bear])
- WEST POINT (64A: [Alma mater of Presidents Grant and Eisenhower])
Just as I mentioned that it would be fun to have TRY in the grid as a type of score, I just noticed that that word already is a stand-alone entry in it (65D: [Take a whack]). So I guess that’s a little Easter egg for us today. Speaking of Easter, I’m glad I’m hearing more and more people talk about how awful the taste of PEEPs are (34D: [Nest noise]). I think that was the worst thing I ever had when I was a kid, when it was given out as a treat at school right around Easter. Loved the long fill in the grid, with CARNEGIE standing out (6D: [Steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew]). Trying my hardest to not have an earworm develop as I’m seeing STYX right now (13D: [Moon of Pluto]). Right now, I’m failing! Oh, and here’s hoping that ROWDY was in the grid as a small tribute to the late, great wrestler, Rowdy Roddy Piper (19A: [Behaving like a hooligan]). Knowing the constructor as I do, there’s at least a small chance that that was indeed the case!
“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: SOX (23A: [White or Red follower]) – As of today, both SOX teams are in first place in their respective divisions. The Boston Red Sox are tied for first with the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East, while the Chicago White Sox are 2.5 games ahead of the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central. My Houston Astros, meanwhile, are in last place in the AL West. Le sigh.
Have a good weekend, everybody! See you tomorrow, from Providence!
D. Scott Nichols & C.C. Burnikel’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up
It’s a clue / answer reversal puzzle. Like quotes, what you get is a whole heap of difficult to infer squares – since the answers are largely contrived – for little pay-off. On the plus side, INTENSEPRESSURE, QUALIFYINGRACE, MIAMIHOOPSTERS and HABANEROFEATURE are fairly well-spaced in meaning, as well-spaced as could be expected. That said, it’s a pretty huge oversight to have [Like sriracha sauce], HOT in your puzzle in an arbitrary position. And HABANEROFEATURE could easily be SRIRACHASAUCE feature, if not for the length. And it only takes one letter to fix: HOT to HAT.
DHLAWRENCE is a nice full name to include. He comes at the price of ELOAN and ONUP…