unannounced meta 5 minutes
Mary Lou Guizzo’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
With tongue in cheek, 61-across winkingly informs us that [… 17-, 36- and 43-Across as well as 11- and 29-Down] are REDUNDANT.
- [Outcome] END RESULT.
- [Midday] TWELVE NOON.
- [Return to a former state] REVERT BACK.
- [Started] FIRST BEGAN.
- [Top dog] HEAD HONCHO.
I’m not convinced all of these fully qualify, but they all seem arguably moot. For instance, TWELVE isn’t necessarily NOON, but NOON is always TWELVE.
What are the parts of speech here?
- ADJECTIVE–NOUN (NOUN–NOUN?)
- ADJECTIVE–NOUN (NOUN–NOUN?)
- ADJECTIVE–NOUN (NOUN–NOUN?)
Is it significant? Probably not.
Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if there were duplications in this crossword? Like 34d ERICA Jong and 54d ERIK the Red? Funny. Funny, ha-ha. How about 5d [Batteries in TV remotes] AAS and 27a [The first “A” in N.C.A.A.: Abbr.] ATH (blecchy abbr)? Let’s let that one slide by giving it a pass.
These seemed a bit tough in a Monday offering: TARSI, Itar-TASS, SOAVE, TORERO, ATALANTA.
Some flair: 9d [Stephen King or Ellery Queen] AUTHOR, 53a [Volvo or Volt] AUTO.
Nice crossword puzzle. Or did I say that already?
Patrick Blindauer’s June website crossword, “Nobody’s Perfect” — Matt’s review
How do you know when you’re solving one of Patrick’s puzzles? A series of tells, all of which were hit on this puzzle.
Blindauer Tell #1: entries don’t fit into the allotted squares. I’ve come to expect this, so was not surprised when what had to be SUBATOMIC PARTICLE [Nuclear physics bit] was too long.
Turns out that all four theme entries were missing some letters: TO, ERR, IS, and HUMAN. TO in the above clue, and also:
33-A [“Linger” band with a fruity name] = THE CRANBIES, not The Cranberries.
40-A [Stage illusion associated with Harry Houdini] = METAMORPHOS, not Metamorphosis. Which one is this? I’ll look it up. Unfamiliar to me but sounds neat.
49-A [“A party game for horrible people”] = CARDS AGAINST ITY, not Cards Against Humanity. I’ve played a few times. Amusing.
So we’ve got TO ERR IS HUMAN missing.
Blindauer Tell #2: You think he’s screwed up, but he hasn’t. Wasn’t that book/movie in 61-A called “The Good Wife,” not “The God Wife?” Was preparing to send the author a courtesy e-mail pointing out his typo. And then another one in 29-A! Well, he’s got a baby now and was probably in a rush.
Blindauer Tell #3: You realize there’s an unannounced meta. Typos aside: what’s the deal with TO ERR IS HUMAN being left out of theme entries? Is he telling us something? Well, let’s look for more typos…
…and they don’t turn out to be typos at all. Six clues in all are missing a letter:
19-A [Singer (W)hose last name is Adkins] = ADELE
29-A [Author known for his legal t(H)rillers] = GRISHAM
35-A [Flamenco sh(O)ut] = OLE
61-A [Ed of “The Go(O)d Wife”] = ASNER
12-D [Confining (P)lace] = CELL
52-D [Airplane (S)top] = GATE
Those missing letters spell out meta answer WHOOPS!
So that’s how you tell a Blindauer. Also, they’re highly entertaining. Also, you could just look at the byline. 4.15 stars.
Mae Woodard’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Get It in Gear” — Jim’s review
New byline today! Mae Woodard is a brand new cruciverbial name not appearing in any of the databases. So this is either a genuine debut or another cruciverbonym of editor Mike Shenk. For what it’s worth, it anagrams to “Meadow Road,” which may be nothing or a place of significance for Mr. Shenk.
Regardless, we have a puzzle to solve. It being Monday, it’s pretty straightforward. See if you can sort it out without me telling you.
- 17a [It’s good to make a good one] FIRST IMPRESSION
- 27a [Deputy to the top dog] SECOND BANANA
- 42a [Gray or beige, for example] NEUTRAL COLOR
- 55a [Retiree’s borrowing plan] REVERSE MORTGAGE
Yup, you got it. They’re gears for a manual transmission automobile. Yet this car only goes up to SECOND gear for some reason! Must make for long journeys and terrible gas mileage!
Let’s see. What else we got? Ooh! 9d! PREAMBLE. Who started singing the Schoolhouse Rock song when they filled this in? “We the people, in order to form a more perfect union…” Ah, I love me some Schoolhouse Rock.
What else? ALIENATED. Fine. COSELL. Good. IN PLACE. Okay. DEL ROY. Hmm. Not sure. CLOUD OVER. Okay. BOASTS OF. Meh. Seems like a waste of an 8-letter slot.
All in all, nothing to wow, but nothing to boo.
The crossing of 44a [“Uncle Tom’s Cabin” villain Simon”] and 53a [Fashion designer Versace] is tough for a Monday, but I was able to figure out they should be LEGREE and GIANNI. We also get EERO and OTT—bleh—but we do get Richard PRYOR so he makes up for it.
A lot of men in the grid, but few women. In addition to the seven above, there’s EDISON, a generic TEX, SAM Smith, and Professor SNAPE. For the girls team, there’s only TESS of the d’Urbervilles, and a generic BELLE. DAWN, which could’ve been clued with respect to my wife, wasn’t, but was given a nice clue however [Curfew for a vampire].
Overall a fine puzzle, especially if it’s really a debut. But the lack of third and fourth gears makes the theme feel incomplete.
Gotta do it! Put this into your ears:
Janice Luttrell’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
A Monday-typical word-comes-before theme.
- 63aR [New beginning … and what the first words of 17-, 23- and 53-Across can literally have] FRESH START.
- 17s. [Enter like a debutante] BREEZE INTO. Bad sign when the first theme entry sounds clunky.
- 23a. [Keep a lawn moist] WATER THE GRASS.
- 53a. [Deflate the overconfidence of] CUT DOWN TO SIZE.
Fresh breeze, fresh water, fresh cut.
Not only is the first themer conspicuously awkward, but the first across entry in the grid is hoary: AMEBA. And its down counterpart is the plural abbrev AFBS.
- 38a [Airer or old films] TCM. Always have to wait for crossings to learn if it will be AMC (American Movie Classics) or one of the two Ts: TMC (The Movie Channel) or TCM (Turner Classic Movies).
- 67a/68a/69a: [Island party] LUAU, 68a [Hog hangouts] STIES, [Roast, on le menu] ROTI.
- 3d [Flower in a “Sound of Music” song title] EDELWEISS. From the German for “noble” and “white”. The scientific name Leontopodium alpinum, which translates to “lion’s paw of the mountain”, which naturally reminds one of dandelions, a corruption of the French dent de lion, “lion’s tooth”.
- Atypical Monday fill: 53d C-STAR, 55d TACET (but see 55d/56d clue sequence), ROTI.
Ironically stale crossword.
Randolph Ross’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “D-Day” —Ade’s write-up
Hello there, everyone! Hope you’re all doing well to begin the new week. Today’s crossword, brought to us by Mr. Randolph Ross, had me confused for a long while in terms of figuring out what the theme was/is. I believe each of the theme answers contain at least two Ds consecutively in it, but I could be wrong. And, if I am wrong, then I definitely deserve a “D” grade for today’s blog…
- YADDA YADDA YADDA (17A: [Empty talk, to some])
- DADDY (36A: [Pops])
- HEY DIDDLE DIDDLE (53A: [Nursery rhyme opening])
- FUDDY DUDDY (3D: [Party pooper, perhaps])
- DIDDY (27D: [Sean Combs nickname])
- BUDDY BUDDY (28D: [Palsy-walsy])
I don’t know what happened today, but I got off to such a slow start that this grid played tougher than usual. I think it’s because I didn’t get the theme of the grid until the end. It also didn’t help that I thought DANNY BOY was part of the theme, so I was looking for symmetry with the theme entry locations that ended up not being there (27A: [Song heard on 3/17]). The clue to LAFF didn’t do me any favors as well, and it probably would have been an easier get for me if it referred to a comedy show and the informal spelling you see describing such, like “Laff-in” (1A: [Gag response, informally]). There were a couple of plural forms of words didn’t end with “s,” with BASSI (40D: [Operatic villains, often]) and STADIA featuring (42D: [Sports facilities]). Time to head out and get ready for the work that I’ll be doing inside of a stadium tomorrow, so on to the next graph…
“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: LYNN (50D: [City between Boston and Salem]) – Very fitting that this entry, given its clue, has a Massachusetts connection. Former Major League Baseball outfielder Fred LYNN was the first player in Major League history to win the Rookie of the Year and league MVP in the same season, as he did so as a member of the pennant-winning Boston Red Sox of 1975. The nine-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner is also the only player in MLB history to hit a grand slam in the All-Star Game, which he did as a member of the California Angels at Comiskey Park in Chicago. Hey! I’m in Chicago at this moment of typing this! Cool!
Take care, everyone, and thank you so much for your time! See you tomorrow!