Friday, May 20, 2016

CS 8:12 (Ade) 


LAT 6:51 (Gareth) 


NYT 4:44 (Amy) 


The Chronicle of Higher Education has moved to its summer schedule of every-other-week publishing.

Kristian House’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up

NY Times crossword solution, 5 20 16, no 0520

NY Times crossword solution, 5 20 16, no 0520

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.

Five things:

  • 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

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 05.20.16: "Final Scores"

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 05.20.16: “Final Scores”

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!

Take care!


D. Scott Nichols & C.C. Burnikel’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up

LA Times 160520

LA Times

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


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25 Responses to Friday, May 20, 2016

  1. Lemonade714 says:

    I don’t think of unglamorous as a negative, just a basic part of the GIRL NEXT DOOR image. She is wholesome, reliable and not likely to be gardening in high heels and a boa. Of c course you do not want to watch the Movie

  2. Mark M says:

    LA Times – Ural and Aral in the same puzzle? Is that legal? I almost couldn’t put the second one in the grid, couldn’t believe it was there.

  3. dook says:

    I’ve not heard of Aromarama, but the genre was revived by John Waters for his film Polyester with Odorama starring Divine and Tab Hunter. One received a scratch off card upon entering the theater that had circles on it with numbers. When a number would flash on the screen during a scene, you would scratch off that circle for the corresponding odor. Of course, it being a John Waters film, the odors were fairly offensive. Very funny movie even if not his best (Female Trouble – my personal fav, Hairspray, Serial Mom, Desperate Living, and that classic piece of gorgeous filth – Pink Flamingos)

    • Matt says:

      Yeah, I saw (and smelled) that movie. I remember, after a couple of smell-scenes, that I started regarding the rather large array of scratch ‘n sniff patches with a sense of foreboding. At least the last one, though, turned out to be roses.

      • Bencoe says:

        Polyester is definitely a good one. I consider it the bridge between his earlier trashy movies and his later high camp. And yeah some of the smells were gross.

  4. Gary R says:

    Very enjoyable NYT today (enjoyment enhanced by its proximity to yesterday’s slog).

    Did not realize that “Smell-o-Vision” was a real thing. I used to hear Emeril Lagasse refer to it on his cooking show, and always thought it was something he made up.

  5. Hawaiian Goose says:

    Fun and challenging xword for me. Just what a Friday should be. I did not find any bad fill. I loved the uniformly clever and intelligent clues.

    One exception is the clue for THE GIRL NEXT DOOR. I find the word ‘unglamorous’ to hint at being negative, whereas the answer is not. I would prefer the clue ‘Down to earth sort’ instead. This clue also has an added bonus of misdirection.

    • Martin says:

      “Glamorous,” for most guys, is likely intimidating, while the girl next door is approachable. In this case “unglamorous” is a positive.

      • Amy Reynaldo says:

        Perhaps you should only speak for yourself, Martin.

        Also, we note that “the girl next door” may not wish for the neighborhood loser to approach her at all.

        • Martin says:

          I think most men relate to there being a class of woman “out of their league.” “Girl next door” is the converse.

          I am speaking of ubiquitous male insecurity. I too fail to see anything disparaging about my comment, but we know that’s not unusual.

          • Papa John says:

            Let’s broaden this discussion: Glamour can pertain to men as much as women. Male rock stars, male sports stars and other male celebrities can certainly maintain a glamorous life. Women and men are both intimidated by such people, be they a man or woman. The glamour, itself, creates a distance, a barrier. Martin’s timid comment, “…for most guys, is likely…”, is likely an understatement. I’d say most guys are definitely intimidated by glamour – and so are women.

            This reaction to glamour seems to diminish as one gets older.

          • PhilR says:

            As with most things in life, this particular contretemps can be resolved with deep and quiet meditation, one free of bias, fear or ego, on the teachings of Gilligan’s Island.

        • Papa John says:

          Regarding your review comment: I don’t think of glamour as being only a physical trait, if that’s what you mean by “appearance”, but more of a quality exhibited by accoutrements and life style.

          ‘Regarding the above post: “We” would also like to note that the boy next door may also wish to be left alone, especially if he is intimidated by glamour.

          • Amy Reynaldo says:

            It’s as if you gentlemen are entirely unaware of how common it is for women to be spoken to (and harassed) by men who think they’re owed some attention from these women. Here are just a few local examples, and why discussing the “approachability” of a woman gives me the heebie-jeebies:

      • sbmanion says:

        Some years ago at a racetrack affair leading up to the Kentucky Derby, I was asked to be an escort for a very beautiful woman (think Sophia Loren) who was in her mid-forties. She was glamorous in spades, but had not had a date in two years. I told her that most men are intimidated by beautiful glamorous women and that the kind of men who would potentially be interested generally want someone younger. She said “exactly.” I read Martin’s comment as approachable in the broadest sense and I agree with him.


  6. Roy says:

    So “unglamorous” = unacceptable while “neighborhood loser” is okay?? I think there is a flaw in your argument.
    And FWIW, I agree with Martin.

    • lemonade714 says:

      Neighborhood loser? Where does this vitriol come from? Martin was obviously not speaking only for himself as I had already raised the same point. To men the concept of glamour is long dresses, high heels, lots of jewelry and maybe a cigarette in a long holder.

  7. pannonica says:

    NYT: 32d [Comforting words to a loved one] I’M SAFE. That’s just weird, especially in a crossword.

    • ArtLvr says:

      … but ultra-timely if you’re calling to say you missed a flight to Egypt.

      • pannonica says:

        Oh, like that. I was miscontextualizing it as something akin to “I’m not a threat” rather than reportage.

        Must’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed today. Whether that’s underneath or inside, I won’t say.

        • Huda says:

          Pannonica, I totally read it the way you did and thought it a bit cheesy… Something in the cluing is not optimal.

          • Papa John says:

            I’d say it was optimally misleading.

            In truth, in these days of promiscuous sex and STDs, I originally took it an entirely different way.

  8. Lois says:

    NYT: I didn’t notice when refusnik became REFUSENIK, but I see that it’s now the first-choice spelling.

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