Andrew Zhou’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
Having already made a “your patronus is an erne” joke tonight (it was to someone who knows their crosswordese), I really wasn’t expecting to see ERNE in a crossword. And with OYEZ crossing it, that’s a crosswordese T-bone collision. I-BAR, UTE, plural abbrev STS, and fusty old OPE are other things I really never see outside of crosswords.
And then there’s 8d. [Worthy of reference], CITABLE, which I don’t think I’ve seen inside or outside of crosswords before. Feels quite roll-your-own to me.
Favorite fill: GOPRO cameras, WAX POETIC, AUTOTUNE, and USB PORTS.
Scholarly references I did not pick up on: 47d. [Cesario’s lover in literature], OLIVIA. Is that Shakespeare? Yes. Not a top-tier play, that Twelfth Night. 11d. [“The Consolation of Philosophy” author], BOETHIUS. Do you know where he was from? A Roman, about 1500 years ago, and one of his middle names is Manlius. Manlius!
Gross words: WOMANIZING and OCTOPUSSY.
Intersecting related words: INJECT and INANIMATE OBJECT cross at the J, and the -JECT part has the same Latin root in both words.
Five more things:
- 28a. [Salon job], TINT. I really feel like the TINT and RINSE clues need to be handed over to women under the age of 70 who know that contemporary salons are really not using these words for the services they provide. Here, check out the color services my colorist’s salon offers. Nary a TINT to be found! This clue feels like it crawled out of a beauty parlor in the 1940s.
- 63a. [Broadway star who was on Nixon’s list of enemies], STREISAND. I had no idea! Nice work, Babs.
- 45d. [Digs around], GRUBS. I prefer this as a noun rather than a verb. I was going to give you a link with pictures of grubs, but they creeped me out and I had to close the browser tab.
- 27d. [World capital with 40 islands within its city limits], OSLO. I don’t think I knew that. Indeed! Google Maps, with the Earth view? Displays those islands quite nicely. Lots of boat docks/slips.
- 31d. [Cannon shot in Hollywood], DYAN. The actress Dyan Cannon, not a little-c cannon.
3.4 stars from me.
Jeffrey Wechsler’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up
I found myself working around the theme today. Eventually, the unrevealed gimmick emerged. An ‘M’ sound is added to the end of five themers, with the terminal word’s spelling is adjusted as necessary. It always feels to me the “sound change” variant is more creative than the letter change version.
- [Seminal discovery by sports historians?], THEFIRSTTEAM. TEE. Somewhat gratuitous article…
- [Comprehensive text on mints?], TICTACTOME. TOE.
- [Reaction to Bugs’ continued evasiveness?], ELMERSGLOOM. GLUE
- [How a snail moves?, ONTHESLIME. SLY
- [“I plotted against Caesar completely on my own!”?], CASSIUSCLAIM. CLAY. My favourite one!
Best answers: SCIENCESHOW and TOMSWIFTY. The pair of ARCADIA/DAEMONS.
A bit rough around the edges: contrived plural MWAHS, ANEAR and ASI are a pair of crossing partials, iffy suffix ERO.
I’m curious to know if EWA Beach is truly notable.
Gail Grabowski’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post Crossword, “Start to Sound Alike” —Ade’s write-up
Good afternoon, everybody! Hope you have a great weekend in store. Today’s crossword, brought to us by Ms. Gail Grabowski, includes four theme entries in which the first syllable in each sounds exactly the same, replicating the pronunciation of the word “sir.”
- SURVIVAL KIT (21A: [Collection of emergency equipment])
- CERAMIC TILE (31A: [Flooring option])
- SERVICE CALL (40A: [Repairman’s visit])
- CIRCULAR SAW (50A: [Carpenter’s tool])
Can’t stay too long since I’m preparing to head to DC in a few hours. I’m pretty sure I never heard of EGO WALL before, and took me a while to get the second part of the answer after I had “ego” inputted (43D: [Display arranged by a self-centered sort]). Regardless, I can assure you that there’s nothing in my apartment or in my office that resembles anything like an ego wall. How many times has SETI gotten love in a crossword puzzle before today (8D: [Org. concerned with visitors from afar])? I want to say that this would be an entry people would only know because of crosswords, but there’s definitely a chance that a few people who are enthusiasts of finding extraterrestrial intelligence can regale us about SETI or other people/organizations dedicated to that cause. For those in that category, I await your stories!
“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: CORE (32D: [Central component]) – Former University of Mississippi wide receiver Cody CORE is now a member of the Cincinnati Bengals NFL team after being drafted in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Have a great weekend everyone!