Barry Silk’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
This puzzle was fairly easy for a Friday, I thought. Let’s move straightaway to a bulleted list:
- Usually I think of “preceder”/”follower” clues as being for things in direct proximity. You wouldn’t say 3 precedes 10 and 10 follows 3, would you? And yet We have the BLACK FRIDAY/CYBER MONDAY mini-theme clued without regard for the existence of the intervening weekend. I like the entries but not the clues.
- 37a. [He worked for Hershey in the 1910s-’20s], REESE. Got a hankering for Reese’s Pieces now.
- The middle’s anchored by BED-AND-BREAKFAST. A Brooklynite friend just stayed in a gorgeous B&B in Chicago’s historic Bronzeville neighborhood, filled with great art. The proprietor has hosted lots of receptions for artists, providing the space and the refreshments … in exchange for one painting. How cool is that?
- 45a. [1995 Emmy winner Sofer], RENA. I really feel there’s an important distinction between the Daytime Emmy (which she won) and the primetime award.
- 52a. [Lumber mill employee], SAWYER. Remember Sawyer on Lost? Apparently the actor’s on a USA sci-fi show.
- 62a. [Name that went down in history?], ANDREA DORIA. I like a lot of question-mark clues. The ones I don’t like: clever clues for junky bits of crosswordese that aren’t worth the effort, and jokey clues for tragic events. “Went down,” ha ha! The boat sank! People died! Really??
- 1d. [Vitamin a.k.a. riboflavin], BT-WO. I don’t care for spelled-out numbers. Vitamin B2 always takes a numeral. (Hyphenation reflects the pronunciation when you use letters instead of “2.”)
- 6d: FINAGLED? That’s a great word. The MANASSAS/ANTIETAM two-fer is welcome (no question-mark clues!).
- 32d. [European city whose name means “eat”], ESSEN. Uh, probably not. A coincidental homonym.
- There’s a fair amount of blah short fill in the grid. Your ORT WAC YSER ASU SEGO stuff.
3.5 stars from me. Good night!
Victor Barocas’ Chronicle of Higher Education crossword, “PA 17325” — pannonica’s write-up
57-across [City whose address includes this puzzle’s title as well as 17, 20, 36, and 52 Across] GETTYSBURG. The number in the title is the zip code, part of the mailing address. In another sense, the GETTYSBURG Address, delivered on 19 November, 1863, commemorated both the Civil War battler (1–3 July of that year) and the nation’s independence, observed on 4 July.
- 17a. [Post-it contents?] LITTLE NOTE.
- 20a. [Why some shoppers stop at magazine racks?] FOR THE PEOPLE.
- 36a. [Result when someone hits a grand slam?] FOUR SCORE.
- 52a. [Something Searle did with Aspartame?] CREATED EQUAL.
I like the cute, humorous cockeyed takes on these key phrases from the oration.
For the record, here’s the text:
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Country’s having a very visible crisis treating everyone as if they were created equal, especially this week. I think you know what I’m talking about.
Tony Orbach’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Word Workout” —Ade’s write-up
Good morning, everyone. With everything that has transpired in this country in the past couple of days, I can only hope to play my little part in providing a welcomed and positive distraction with my commentary on here.
Today’s crossword puzzle, brought to us by Mr. Tony Orbach, includes theme answers that are common phrases that act as puns, with the clues making the phrases literal interpretations dealing with types of exercises.
- FRENCH DIP (17A: [Exercise in Paris?])
- DIDDLY SQUAT (24A: [Exercise that’s not worth much?])
- PIN CURL (40A: [Exercise for a dough-rolling baker?])
- APPLE CRUNCH (51A: [Exercise with a MacBook?]) – You say apple crisp, I say apple crunch…or something like that.
- GANG PLANK (17A: [Exercise for the Sharks and Jets?]) – OK, maybe this phrase isn’t so common.
Zipped through this puzzle unbelievably quickly, with my only real hang-up being typing “didley” instead of “diddly” as one of the theme answers. Maybe I was thinking of Bo Diddley at the time. One of the things I’ve really wanted to do for many years is get into the driver’s seat of a race car and be able to put in OVERDRIVE and experience the thrill of high-speed racing (3D: [Fifth gear, often]). And then when you consider that race car driving, especially Formula 1, is extremely lucrative, that only fueled my urge to do that even more as a kid. Then I started driving for the first time as a teenager and realized that I could barely my dad’s Oldsmobile, let alone a Ferrari. Loved seeing FRIZ in the grid, especially because of my eternal love for Looney Tunes (46A: [“Looney Tunes” cartoon director Freleng]). I remember seeing him sometimes credited as I. Freleng and had wondered back then if they were the same person (Friz and I. Freleng). Obviously, it was him regardless of how he was credited. And after looking him up now, I finally know what the “I” stands for: Isadore. Wouldn’t be surprised if I saw “Isadore” as an entry in a crossword puzzle pretty soon now that I’m mentioning this.
“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: WNBA (5D: [Org. with the Seattle Storm and Chicago Sky]) – This year marks the 20th anniversary of the WNBA, or the Women’s National Basketball Association, and I encourage you, especially if you’re a sports fan, to watch some of the great basketball players on this planet playing in the league. Two of those players are on the teams mentioned in the clue; Elena Delle Donne, last season’s MVP, is with the Chicago Sky and four-time Final Four Most Outstanding Player and 2016 No. 1 overall draft pick Breanna Stewart of the Seattle Storm.
Have a good and safe rest of your Friday, everyone.
C.C. Burnikel’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up
- [Art-loving athlete?], CULTUREJOCK. Oxymoron!
- [What you don’t know about audio equipment?], RADIOJACK. Clue is a ham-fisted attempt to evoke “You Don’t Know Jack”.
- [Difficult situation at Bed Bath & Beyond?], PILLOWJAM. Pillow sham is not a phrase I ever encounter. Dictionary says “North American” – fair enough then!
- [Gem of a night out?], EVENINGJADE. Clue doesn’t really make much sense. If anything the phrase seems to want to refer to prostitution…
My favourite moment in the puzzle by far was the answer at 12-down – BEEROCLOCK. That’s just a great thing to include in your puzzle!
I spent a lot of time refusing to believe [Ban delivery], UNSPEECH was a real answer. It sounds like ban (v.) delivery, as in “I was unspeeched”. Google suggested U.N. Speech immediately, but I was still puzzled. If you haven’t twigged, that’s BAN Ki-moon, of the U.N. The answer preceding it is UNESCO. Can one have both in the same puzzle? Can they follow each other?
[“We R Who We R” singer], KESHA, or rather, KE$HA. I take it we’ve accepted that ‘S’ is reasonable when transferring her name into a crossword.
2.5 Stars. Loved BEEROCLOCK, but didn’t get a lot of joy out of those theme answers…