Monday, August 8, 2016

BEQ tk (Amy) 


CS untimed (Ade) 


LAT untimed (pannonica) 


NYT untimed (pannonica)  


WSJ untimed (Jim) 


Zhouqin Burnikel and Don Gagliardo’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

NYT • 8/8/16 • Mon  • Burnikel, Gagliardo • № 0808 • solution

NYT • 8/8/16 • Mon • Burnikel, Gagliardo • № 0808 • solution

More robust theme than your typical Monday.

  • 58aR [Long view … or what the answer to each starred clue is?] BIG PICTURE. The other themers are film titles containing a synonyms for ‘large’.
  • 17a. [*1932 Greta Garbo classic] GRAND HOTEL. Very stagy, betraying its theater origin, as I recall. Or wait, I’m thinking—for some unknown reason—of Separate Tables. I have never seen Grand Hotel. Barrymores are in it, I happen to know.
  • 11d. [*1963 Steve McQueen epic, with “The”] GREAT ESCAPE.
  • 24d. [*2004 documentary about fast food] SUPERSIZE ME.
  • 37a. [*Winner of 11 1997 Oscars] TITANIC.
  • 28d. [*1956 James Dean western] GIANT.

Two layers to it, this 5.1 surround theme.

Along the way are some solid midlength entries, including MANDATE, INDIGENT, ET VOILÀ, and CALL A CAB.

More cinema: 20a [It acquired Lucasfilm in 2012] DISNEY, 66a [Leading man Grant] CARY, 12d [Rom-com or horror] GENRE (could apply to other media), 56d [Hunchbacked assistant of film] IGOR.

Some real dryasdust cluing, e.g., 47d [Get __ of (throw away)] RID, 46a [Sidewalks line them[ STREETS, 14a [Of the city] URBAN. These are to be expected in early week crosswords, but it seemed that there were more here than usual. Conversely there was some life to it, such as the quasi-stacked sciurine clues for TREE and HOARD (16a [Squirrel’s home], 21a [Squirrel away]), plus more expansive numbers such as 34d [What colanders and Swiss cheese both have] HOLES, and 52a [Like the Burj Khalifa among all the buildings in the world] TALLEST (not for long).

Nothing clunky here. A rather nice Monday offering.

Kevin C. Christian’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

LAT • 8/8/16 • Mon • Christian • solution

LAT • 8/8/16 • Mon • Christian • solution

Diving right in,

  • 20a. [Position of football lineman J.J. Watt] DEFENSIVE END.
  • 28a. [Average, in math] ARITHMETIC MEAN.
  • 42a. [Fountain treat with Bosco, maybe] CHOCOLATE SHAKE.

Hmm, I wonder what links these …

•47aR [Echoic remark before “What do we have here?” whose words can follow the ends of 20-, 28- and 42-Across] WELL WELL WELL.

Well, well, well, there you have it. End well, mean well, and shake well. Not particularly exciting, but I do appreciate that there are three WELLs to match the three themers. Or three themers to match the revealer phrase. However you prefer to frame it.

  • 29d [Rquip anew, as a machine shop] RETOOL. Was set to go all Princess Bride on this one, but it turns out that that is indeed a valid definition for the word. In fact, at least at it’s the first listed definition. And here I thought it was merely a fabrication.
  • Speaking of princesses, might have been nice for the cluing to be more empowering as well as more current for 26d [Fisher who plays Princess Leia] CARRIE and 38d [Sci-fi classic that introduced Princess Leia] STAR WARS.
  • 30d [Ben Stiller’s mom] MEARA. Wasn’t expecting a surname-only answer, based on the tacit parallel construction principle of crossword cluing.
  • 23a [Sound heard by a shepherd] BAA, 48d [Shepherd’s charge] LAMB. 9d [Skating danger] THIN ICE, 52d [Skating jump] LUTZ. 16a [Great Lakes mnemonic] HOMES, 37a [Actress Holmes] KATIE.
  • 49d [Lamp-to-plug line] WIRE. Weird.
  • Least favorite fill: AREEL, EQUI-, MRIS.
  • Favorite clue: 41a [Word before Master or case] STAIR. Despite the compound staircase being by far the more common construction.
  • 25d [Hardwood tree that drops acorns] RED OAK. By the way, this isn’t a single species, but a large group of species within the quite large oak genus Quercus. At least where I’m from RED OAK is synonymous with Quercus rubra,

    quercus rubra

    from Michaux and Redouté, North American sylva; or, A description of the forest trees of the United States, Canada, and Nova Scotia, considered particularly with respect to their use in the arts, and their introduction into commerce; to which is added a description of the most use

All’s well that ends well.

Harold Jones’s (Mike Shenk’s) Wall Street Journal crossword, “Record Holders” — Jim’s review

WSJ - Mon, 8.8.16 - "Record Holders" by Harold Jones (Mike Shenk)

WSJ – Mon, 8.8.16 – “Record Holders” by Harold Jones (Mike Shenk)

Straightforward and to the point. That’s what we get today from Harold Jones (suspected Mike Shenk alias). Four entries share the same clue: [They’re record holders]. Of course each one uses the key word in a different way.


Hmm. Three WSJ puzzles since the Olympics started on Friday and all of them have a tie-in to The Games. Can our illustrious editor keep this up for the whole fortnight?

Fun long Downs today in BARRACUDA, SYMPHONY, MOBY DICK, and GALVESTON, and a very clean puzzle besides. It’s somewhat segmented, but that seems to ensure the puzzle’s lack of gunk. It’s Monday, so the cluing is straightforward, making for a fast solve.

Not a lot else to say and I don’t have much time, either, so I’ll wrap this up: clean puzzle with a Monday theme and, on the whole, nice fill all around. A quintessential Monday outing.

Patrick Jordan’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post Crossword, “Nonfiction Book Reviews” —Ade’s write-up

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 08.08.16: "Nonfiction Book Reviews"

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 08.08.16: “Nonfiction Book Reviews”

Hello there, everyone! A quick post today as I’m running around New York City. Today’s crossword puzzle, brought to us by Mr. Patrick Jordan, takes common phrases used in book reviews and turns them into puns with their clues, giving them literal meanings using fictional book titles. Or something like that…

  • CANNOT PUT IT DOWN (17A: [“‘A Guide to Antigravity’ is so good, you simply…”])
  • GRIPPING ACCOUNT (36A: [“‘How to Hold a Golf Club’ is truly a…”])
  • WELL ILLUSTRATED (55A: [“‘A Pictorial History of Underground Water Sources’ is…”])

Strangely enough had a tougher time with X OUT than I should have initially (7D: [Delete using two lines]). Other than that, no real trouble spots and no real highlights, other than that fact that I’ll be thinking about the Ninja Turtles when walking past a SEWER for the rest of the day (12D: [Hangout for the Ninja Turtles]).

“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: HUMP (48A: [Part of Marty Feldman’s “Young Frankenstein” costume]) – The Mississippi State University men’s and women’s basketball teams play their home games at Humphrey Coliseum, affectionately known as The HUMP, located in Starkville, Miss.

Thank you for your time and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Take care!


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5 Responses to Monday, August 8, 2016

  1. Gary R says:

    NYT: Thought the theme was fine – I’m not a movie person, but all of the titles were familiar, and the revealer was kind of cute.

    I thought there was some non-Monday fill. I suppose ET VOILA was inferable, and the crossings were fair. CABALA seemed like a stretch on Monday, and both my dead tree Random House and AHD online show it as a variant spelling – but again, crossings were fair. Did not know ADONAI, and went with LASAGNe on the cross :-(

  2. Amy Reynaldo says:

    It’s a cute cinema theme!

    33a. [Pale as a ghost] is a really weird clue for ASHY, though. The stodgy dictionary-definition senses of ASHY (ghost-pale, ash-gray, or covered with actual ashes) are really not at all commonly used. It’s skin care, man. More for folks with olive, brown, and black skin than for the pinker, paler folks (on whom white flakiness blends in), dry skin is ASHY and it calls for lotion or cream. (CeraVe cream gets a lot of anti-ashiness use in my household.)

    • PhilR says:

      I’m glad CeraVe has a specific utility. Part of what I do for a living is evaluate the lubricity of consumer products (creams, lotions etc), and I’ve tested CeraVe in the past. While it’s not worth going back to my notes to verify, my gut reaction to seeing it mentioned was ‘ugh’.

      Side note to consumer product companies: No one wants perfume in their creams/lotions/ointments/unctions. Specifically, someone who frequently spends 8 hours per day testing them resents the migraines they cause.

    • Gareth says:

      ASHY is also used in names of grey animals… E.g. ashy tit.

  3. JohnH says:

    After snagging SLEEVES, in the WSJ, I confidently entered “inner.” Oops.

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