Paolo Pasco’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
I need to quit staying up till 1 am so I’m gonna blog this quickly.
Likes: “WHAT’S THAT?” – 10a. [They’re put in for work] as a clue for HOURS – RICE-A-RONI with a cable car clue because my guys are in S.F. today – STEM clued as the sci/tech/engineering/math acronym – STIR-FRY – MAN-PURSE – “BRING IT ON” and “IT’S GO TIME” (but not that duplication of IT in those stacked answers and those answers being crossed by HAD AT IT) – THE STATES – BAD EGGS – HISTORY clued as [Done for] – Randy Newman’s “I LOVE L.A.” – SASHA Fierce – [They may grab a bite] as the clue for TONGS – STAN LEE clued by way of his many superhero movie cameos (but not the use of “nonactor” in the clue when ACTED IN is at 3-Down).
Dislikes: ESSENES anchoring the end of a row—the word has probably been found in the last row or column most of the times it’s been in crosswords. 20a. [When repeated, spouse’s complaint] as a clue for NAG; does anyone think that’s gender-neutral, and that people are saying “Nag, nag, nag!” to husbands? Other than ESSENES and some short-word dupes, though, nothing in this grid bugged me.
My first thought for 11d. [Gender-neutral possessive] was THEIR rather than ONE’S.
4.2 stars from me.
Patrick Jordan’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post Crossword, “Shame Game” —Ade’s write-up
Good morning and Happy Friday, everyone! About to head to Washington DC in a little bit, but before going through my last-minute checklist, want to talk about today’s puzzle, brought to us by Mr. Patrick Jordan. In it, each of the first three theme entries have the letters “TSK” spanning two of the words. The fourth theme entry, TSK TSK TSK, acts as the reveal (61A: [Expression of disapproval, each part of which appears in 17-, 29-, and 45-Across]).
- JET SKIING (17A: [Lake recreation option])
- SHORT SKIRT (29A: [Knee-revealing garment])
- BLUNT SKULL (45A: [Earthling, to Beldar Conehead])
So not only do we have a reference to the Coneheads, we also have the show in which that skit originated, SNL (6A: [NBC show first hosted by George Carlin]). There’s a chance that I might have drawn a NONAGON while I was in elementary school once and, if so, was probably the only time I’ve uttered the word until now (38A: [Shape whose interior angles total 1,260 degrees]). Was actually eating dinner last Sunday with a few friends who participated in Lollapuzzoola, and we ended up talking about the pronunciations of some crossword entries that appear regularly in the grid. One of the names mentioned almost immediately was SATIE, and, after the conversation, I can confirm that I can pronounce his name confidently and correctly (60A: [“Vexations” composer Erik]). I think I know how to pronounce PECTIN as well, but this is the first time I’ve ever come across that in a grid (34A: [Gel in jellies]). OK, now it’s off to Port Authority to catch a bus. Before that, though…
“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: ELENA (64A: [Barack nominated her for the Supreme Court in 2010]) – One of the treats of the Rio Olympic Games has been watching the United States women’s basketball team put on a clinic on their way to the gold-medal game on Saturday. One of the players on the roster is the 6-foot-5 ELENA Delle Donne, the 2015 WNBA MVP who currently plays for the Chicago Sky.
Have a great rest of your Friday and hope you have a fun weekend in store. See you tomorrow.
Bruce Haight’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up
The puzzle’s theme is SKIPPINGSTONES. The circles spell out words that can satisfy ___ STONE: LIMESTONE, FIELDSTONE, BIRTHSTONE, MOONSTONE, and FLAGSTONE. A fairly limitless theme, though it has a cute revealer and a “different” vibe to it. Theme answers are: ULTERIORMOTIVE, FLIPONESLID, BRIARPATCH, COMEONDOWN, and FALSECHARGE.
It is worth noting the puzzle is 16 tall and 14 long. I’d actually suggest this is a shape for themed crosswords in general – that extra line can provide a little more breathing room between theme entries!