Friday, June 3, 2016

CS 10:14 (Ade) 


LAT 6:11 (Gareth) 


NYT 4:35 (Amy) 


This is an off week for the CHE.

Josh Knapp’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up

NY Times crossword solution, 6 3 16, no 0603

NY Times crossword solution, 6 3 16, no 0603

This grid’s one row taller and one column skinnier than the customary 15×15 to accommodate a stacked pair of 14s: SHERLOCK HOLMES and COLONEL SANDERS. I filled in the Colonel first and half expected the row above to be somebody-CLINTON, but no. (Parliament Funkadelic’s George Clinton doesn’t have a 14-letter name … and there are no good 8-letter words that start with GC anyway.)

I got off to a good start with 1a. [Singer with the 1977 hit “Lido Shuffle”]. That’s Boz SCAGGS, and I’ve heard that song about once a month on oldies radio. I went over 30 years thinking the song was called “One More for the Road.”

I count about 18 proper nouns, including people, places, brand names, and song titles. Works great for me, but not everyone loves names in their puzzle. I appreciated CAPULET and Louisa May ALCOTT, MERCEDES and the PETRI dish guy, “ONE LOVE,” OLD HICKORY—and also LOATHSOME, CRACKPOT (clued as [Harebrained]), SCOFFLAWS, and FLOOR IT.

Three things:

  • 42a. [Polemologists study them], WARS. You don’t say! Learned a new word today.
  • 31d. [Agemate], COEVAL. Boy, that’s a word you don’t often hear people using.
  • 57a. [Creative classroom], ART LAB. Does anyone actually call it that? “Art studio” makes a helluva lot more sense.

Four stars from me.

Jeff Chen’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Seconds, Please” —Ade’s write-up

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 06.03.16: "Seconds, Please"

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 06.03.16: “Seconds, Please”

Good afternoon, everyone! Hope you all have a good weekend in store. Today’s grid, brought to us by Mr. Jeff Chen, is more fun with puns, as the theme entries are the plural form of common food objects (or the title of a grunge rock band), with the “S” added to the end of the entries helping to execute the pun-filled theme.

  • KOBE BEEFS (17A: [Grumblings in a Japanese coastal city?])
  • KOSHER SALTS (30A: [Seaman who adhere to Jewish law?])
  • TEXAS TOASTS (49A: [“Here’s to Houston!” and others?])
  • PEARL JAMS (65A: [Slam dunks by NBA legend Earl Monroe?]) – How many knew of Earl’s nickname, “The Pearl?”

Other than the theme entry of Kobe Beefs, there were other references with ties to Japan in the grid, including the intersecting entries of NOH (56A: [Japanese dramatic art form]) and ITO, who won the silver medal at the 1992 Olympics in figure skating (47D: [Midori on the ice]). Seeing MOO JUICE is going to make me think of that term when looking at milk for probably a few days going forward (2D: [Milk, in diner slang]). Before heading out, I have to post a video of, at the time of watching it in the early 1990s, one of my favorite commercials of all time. A huge part of me now regrets liking this commercial because it does make light of concussions, especially with football players and all the players that have played and are now suffering from CTE. Still, the little kid in me laughs when seeing it again. All I have to say now to introduce this commercial is…I’M BATMAN (3D: [Declaration by the Dark Knight featured in Internet memes]).

“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: RAT TAIL (55A: [Hairstyle worn by assorted young Jedis]) – The RAT TAIL has definitely been sported by athletes across the world, but probably the most famous athlete to sport the rat tail is Roberto Baggio, the Italian soccer great who is best known for his penalty miss at the 1994 FIFA World Cup Final in Pasadena that saw Brazil win the title at the expense of Italy. Honestly, this is a MEAN rat tail(s)!


Thank you for the time, and I hope you have a great weekend! See you tomorrow!

Take care!


Elliott M. Abrams’ LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up

LA Times 160603

LA Times

Today’s puzzle features a combination of two theme tropes: clue-answer reversal, and vowel progression. Clue-answer reversal is never my favourite genre, as it usually results in clumsy answers forced in order to fit the required lengths of the grid. If you had SHAQ in the grid would simply [Ex-NBA Center] ever be the clue? The rest, ARABNOBLE, RAZORBLADEMAKER (though ‘brand’ would fit better, perhaps?), OVERWHELM and OPENOYSTERS work. The vowel progression part seems a little wonky in that you have short a, long a, short i, short o, short u. Or do Americans pronounce SHEIK sheck?

Not a who lot to highlight outside of the theme:

  • [Fortress of Solitude], JOREL – Wait, Superman has a lair?
  • [“Thou,” in the Keats lines “When old age shall this generation waste, / Thou shalt remain … a friend to man”], URN – excellent extra-effort clue, that!
  • [1989 Jack Nicholson role], THEJOKER. Balance for JOREL!
  • [Dachshund docs], VETS. Would have used “dachsie” myself, although the shortening is indicated by ‘docs’.
  • [Many a pro athlete’s pride], TAT. You wanted ABS, didn’t you? I did!


This entry was posted in Daily Puzzles and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Friday, June 3, 2016

  1. Phil says:

    ” [Agemate], COEVAL. Boy, that’s a word you don’t often hear people using.” – Which one?

  2. ArtLvr says:

    If you’re a restorer of works of art, or you authenticate them, at least part of your location will have a lab, including blacklight, cleaning materials, pigments, varnish, etc.

  3. huda says:

    NYT: Well, against all expectations given the name density, I thought it was awesome! Most of these names were solid– I mean CAPULET and MERCEDES are hardly obscure, and having SHERLOCK sitting atop the COLONEL with OLD HICKORY crossing is fabulous.

    COEVAL and SCOFFLAWS were news to me. I like the latter. But who made up Coeval? It sounds silly…

    • pannonica says:

      cf medieval, primeval

      brief discussion at m-w

      • sbmanion says:

        I was going to complain about the obscurity of COEVAL, but your concise reference/explanation stole my thunder.

        Fairly easy for me in spite of all the names. Nice puzzle.


        • Papa John says:

          Coeval is not obscure to me, although I know it more in the sense of “concurrent”, as in various art/literary movements or other historical eras.

          Now, “agemate” is another thing, entirely.

        • huda says:

          I agree, very interesting connection! Thanks, pannonica.

          PS. I know, I could have dug into it myself, but this way I can be both lazy and grateful…

  4. Bruce N. Morton says:

    Liked the puzzle. “Coeval” has always been a favorite, pet word of mine. Don’t think I’ve ever heard of Scaggs, though.

  5. Papa John says:

    In most schools an art student pays a “studio” fee but some do call it a “lab” fee. Other than that, Ive never heard of an art lab. Of course, simply because I’ve never heard of it doesn’t mean it’s not a thing.

  6. Glenn says:

    Here’s a random LAT grid question of interest: Searching the constructor name happens to reveal the name of three semi-famous figures which go by that name. It’d be a half-curiosity if one of them happened to be the one to construct this grid, or if we have another That Other Sam Donaldson on our hands.

  7. Jenni Levy says:

    Did I miss something about the LAT, or is there a clue/answer dupe? 42a is clued “Pip” for BEAUT, and 56A is clued “Knight supporter?” for PIP. ???

    • Mark McClain says:

      Yeah, that Pip – PIP really stood out, much more than the occasional appearance of an entry word in a multi-word clue. But, hey, I didn’t even get the theme until I read it on another blog, so DUH for me.

      • Jenni Levy says:

        It was obscure and not entirely worth the trouble, so I wouldn’t worry about it. I don’t think I understand how PIP connects to “knight supporter”, either.

  8. Lois says:

    NYT: I loved being reminded of Under the Lilacs, which I did read as a child but can’t really remember. At that time, I loved three books by Louisa May ALCOTT that weren’t so well known (I did not love Little Women, Little Men or Jo’s Boys in that way): Eight Cousins, An Old-Fashioned Girl and Rose in Bloom. Still, this reference reminded me of all the others.

    I loved the puzzle. I think it was by far the easiest Friday NYT I’ve ever solved, and for me that’s a good thing.

    • Jenni Levy says:

      I devoured all of Louisa May Alcott and re-read “An Old-Fashioned Girl” every few years. It’s about time again…I do love the March series as well, though. I’m fairly indiscriminate when it comes to Alcott, although I draw the line at “Jack and Jill,” which I’ve never re-read.

      • Lois says:

        Haha! I forgot that one. Thanks for letting me know that some of those books are worth rereading.

      • Lois says:

        Jenni, do you recall in which Alcott book, one of the three I singled out, the author launches mid-plot into an aside defending her decision to kill off a young character in a book for young people? I was deeply struck by her comments, as I was a sissy and very sorry about the death of the character. (The book was not Little Women.)

        • Jenni Levy says:

          I don’t know! Is it “Jo’s Boys”? I know that’s the one where she bemoans the life of an author.

          • Lois says:

            No, it wasn’t Jo’s Boys, nor any of the March series. It was one of the three books Eight Cousins, An Old-Fashioned Girl and Rose in Bloom, my three favorite by L. M. Alcott. (I never read the ones for adults.) I haven’t done any research on this yet, but I asked you because you sometimes reread one of the three I remember most fondly. I think the book I’m thinking of was Eight Cousins. It might be easy to find out, because the break in the narrative was so stark. I don’t remember whether the author’s comments in Jo’s Boys are structured similarly, and made in the voice of Alcott herself. But I have to leave the computer now, and I’ll save the research for another day. Have an excellent weekend!

  9. pannonica says:

    LAT: “Or do Americans pronounce SHEIK sheck?”

    I’ve heard it as /ē/ (chic) and /ā/ (shake).

  10. Martin says:

    The Zappa album, “Sheik Yerbouti,” doesn’t really work with chic.

  11. Joan macon says:

    It has made my day to find a discussion of Louisa May Alcott’s works and realize there are people out there besides me who read them! My home library is currently in disarray due to a flood in my house, but when I get everything back on the shelves I’ll go back to LMA! Thanks to all of you!

    • Lois says:

      Thrilled you wrote in on the subject. I liked other parts of the puzzle too!

      Good luck with the flood and the cleanup.

Comments are closed.