Kevan Choset’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
59-across: [Carefree existences … or, punnily, what 17-, 27- and 45-Across have] . Or Es, as in the only vowel to appear in them. “Lives” works because all three theme entries are people.
- 17a. [1940s–’50s Dodgers great who lent support to Jackie Robinson] PEE WEE REESE.
- 27a. [Comedian who hosted the 2014 Oscars] ELLEN DEGENERES.
- 45a. [Actress with the classic line “You had me at hello”] RENÉE ZELLWEGER.
Some more solo-E action in 4d [Dealer in diamonds] JEWELER, 44d [Share with one’s followers, in a way] RETWEET, as well as some shorter fill.
Let’s see what I can muster here.
- With 32d SEGUE filled in and the –GUE in place for 43a [Verbally spar], it took me a few beats to realize it wasn’t another \–gwā\ word.
- 6a [Taters] SPUDS, 48a [Tatters] RAGS.
- 5d [“All bets __ off”] ARE.
- Longdowns: 11d [Hors d’oeuvre often topped with paprika[ DEVILED EGG, 29d [Ones eschewing trash cans] LITTERBUGS.
- Colloquialisms! They provide a measure of freshness. 40a [Admonishments for public displays of affection] GET A ROOM, 67a [Cry when accepting a challenge] IT’S ON, 26d [“This one’s __”] ON ME, 28d [“Catch you on the flip side”] ’LATER, and … uh … 11a [Insult, slangily] DIS.
Is it too early for some 1a RIOJA? Nah, it’s merely Sunday evening masquerading as Monday morning. Huzzah!
Jeff Stillman’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
Guys, guys, 39a [Fellas] GUYS! It’s just a theme about fatherhood. Why didn’t this run closer to 19 June?!
- 16a. [Madonna hit with the lyrics “I’m keeping my baby”] PAPA DON’T PREACH.
- 26a. [Like some family-owned businesses] FATHER AND SON.
- 41a. [2003 Eddie Murphy movie about an entrepreneurial stay-at-home parent] DADDY DAY CARE.
- 52a. [Propose marriage] POP THE QUESTION.
But wait! Ladies, ladies, 51a [Ladies] SHES! Wait, “shes”? Eh, whatever. Oh look, there are 24a [Live-in nannies] AU PAIRS and 31a MRS Dalloway and 50d [Em, to Dorothy] AUNT. Conversely, there are some more GUYS with names: 39d GARTH Brooks and time-traveling TED Logan. And a PIE MAN (9d), friend of Simple Simon. Mr HYDE (36d) sheds his title.
Pairs of stacked nines: 1d [Unlike bosom buddies] SEPARABLE, 2d [Smallish celestial body] PLANETOID. This is my customary reminder (usually in the context of taking issue with ‘factoid’) that the suffix -oid refers to shape or semblance rather than size. It happens to be that asteroids (yes, I know the root there means “star”) and other PLANETOIDs tend to be small, so the clue is okay. I guess it just irks me disproportionately and gets me bent out of shape—a peevoid, if you will. 31d [Cheerleader’s sound booster] MEGAPHONE, 32d [Adjusts the position of] REORIENTS.
- Monday OAST! (30d) Monday ABACI! (10d) Monday ADAR! (24d)
- 3d [Hieroglyphics snakes] ASPS, 15a [Hieroglyphics bird] IBIS.
I blame the patriarchy.
Brendan Quigley’s blog crossword, “Themeless Monday”—Amy’s write-up
Quicker than the usual BEQ themeless, I thought, but also flatter. While PET SOUNDS, MAJOR-DOMO, PAVLOVIAN, IN JOKE, the REVS, and BEER HAT are fresh—along with [Brexit pol Nigel] FARAGE—there were more entries that were a snooze. LOGES, -IN-AID, SCOURERS (who on earth has ever used that particular plural noun to refer to people?), PRE-ERECT (what? no), A-TEST, MENACER, SHEEREST, semi-contrived SIMPLE LIFE.
This here is a delightful clue, though: 8a. [Like many a beach bum], SANDY. Personally, I’m not a fan of the sand-in-the-swimsuit feeling, but I am a fan of this clue.
Three more things:
46a. [Animal that says “meh”], EWE. Yeah, that seems right. As right as “baa,” no?
- 19d. [Boys in blue in the Bay Area: Abbr.], SFPD. *ahem* “Boys in blue” is antiquated.
- There aren’t a ton of people whose full names can fit into a 5-letter space. This puzzle has I.M. PEI and DON HO. I know a Ray Lo, and I think his brother is Ed Lo. There’s also the TMBG song “Ana Ng.”
3.5 stars from me.
NYT: To my mind, eschewing means to actively, assiduously avoid. Not just even ignore or not seek but deliberately stay away from. Whereas a litterbug is more of a careless person who casually litters. So, the clue felt slightly off…
I agree with you, Huda, though I didn’t feel violently about it.