Friday, October 14, 2016

CHE untimed (pannonica) 


CS 10:34 (Ade) 


LAT tk (Gareth) 


NYT 6:07 (Amy) 


Natan Last’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up

NYT crossword solution, 10 14 16, no 1014

NYT crossword solution, 10 14 16, no 1014

Long day, ergo short post.

Favorite fill: Sojourner Truth’s “AIN’T I A WOMAN” speech, TRANSGENDER (this blog is officially trans-friendly), DO THE MATH, COLD OPEN, BARGAINING CHIP, DOG PARK, and now-I’m-craving-some POUND CAKE.

I have never heard of AOL RADIO, nor GARI23a. [Wasabi go-with in sushi meals]? Googling … Oh, it’s the thin-sliced pickled ginger! I also didn’t know the Cream song, “I FEEL FREE.” My husband sang a little of it for me just now.

INS at 1-Across and IN JOKE (itself a good entry) in the opposite corner is a little INny for me.

Five Two more things:

  • 15d. [Terse and unadorned, as writing], HEMINGWAYESQUE. Is that really a word? Compare to Zolaesque, [Stark and richly detailed, as writing]. Ernest was not much for detail.
  • 25a. [People who are in them are out, in brief], ORS. Not always, though! There are numerous surgical procedures that are done without general anesthesia. My C-section, for example, was in an OR, but I was awake with epidural anesthesia.

Too tired for three more things! Four stars from me.

Matthew Sewell’s Chronicle of Higher Education crossword, “Let’s Get Physical” — pannonica’s write-up

CHE • 10/14/16 • "Let's Get Physical" • Sewell • solution

CHE • 10/14/16 • “Let’s Get Physical” • Sewell • solution

Yep, this theme hits my sweet spot. Iconic physical comedy scenes from early-ish cinema.

  • 18a. [High-altitude setting of a classic Harold Lloyd sequence] CLOCK FACESafety Last! (1923).
  • 23a. [Mechanical setting of a classic Charlie Chaplin sequence] FACTORY GEARSModern Times (1936).
  • 32a. [Daunting setting of a classic Laurel and Hardy sequence] LONG STAIRWAYThe Music Box (1932).
  • 41a. [Medical setting of a classic Three Stooges sequence] HOSPITAL WARD. Had to look this one up, because … because Three Stooges. Anyway, it seems to be Men in Black (1934).
  • 52a. [Perilous setting of a classic Buster Keaton sequence] FALLING HOUSESteamboat Bill Jr. (1928).
  • 60a. [Crowded setting of a classic Marx Brothers sequence] STATEROOMA Night at the Opera (1935).


Some of the above look to be publicity photos rather than actual film stills. And for Men in Black, I couldn’t find a decent image set in the ward, as referenced by the theme answer.

Quick run-through to pad things out:

  • 6a [Hockey Hall of Famer Larionov] IGOR. He was the “star” of the recent film Red Army (2014), which is much more than a ‘sports documentary’.
  • 21a. [Cafe __? (iconic Greenwich Village club)] WHA. Early stamping ground for Bob Dylan, who was just declared this year’s Nobel laureate in literature.
  • 59a [Dynasty founded by Yu the Great] HSIA. That’s a toughie, but this is CHE, so it fits in with the 22a [Collective sentiment] ETHOS. “Who’s great? Yu! Yu Great! Yu the Great!”
  • 66a [Champigny-sur-__, France] MARNE. Ooh, another toughie.
  • Oh, I see. I’m just listing toughies now. 2d [Culinary corporal on “Hogan’s Heroes”] LEBEAU.
  • And here’s another—I really should have consolidated these into one item, but on the other hand this way stretches things out visually (padding!)—4d [Relative of a fairy lantern] STAR TULIP.
  • Another! 19d [Olympic volleyballer __ Walsh Jennings] KERRI. Gee, there’s an awful lot I’m ignorant of here.
  • 25d [Baltimore street at the entrance of Camden Yards] EUTAW. Really? That seems exponentially more arcane than the others I’ve listed. Is there any reason for someone to know this if they aren’t a Baltimorean and/or a baseball fan?
  • UKR, MRI, NTSB, SNES, DWI, TSA, TRL, DSOS, BMI. (28a, 47a, 68a, 13d, 29d, 38d, 43d, 55d, 63d)
  • 53d [Products memorably advertised by silhouetted dancers] IPODS. I would always see them and think, infection vector diagram. I guess this will never again be an issue in Apple’s post-headphone-jack era.

Even with all that frass, and despite the Three Stooges, I still enjoyed the crossword.

Jeffrey Wechsler’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up

LA Times 161014

LA Times 161014

A simple letter addition puzzle is on offer today. The letters are OZ, as revealed by BYTHEOUNCE. I’d say the best of the bunch is COZYYOUNG built from baseballer CYYOUNG. The Biblical LIONSDEN becomes a LIONSDOZEN, BOYBAND is transformed into BOOZYBAND, and TABLEFORONE becomes a TABLEFOROZONE.

  • LANTZ has a second appearance in two days, which is an oddity.
  • MIRY is also an odd word; it’s indelibly linked to Psalm 40 for me, but clues don’t seem to reflect that link.
  • It is important to differentiate Tony’s ROMO (today) and LEMA.

3.5 Stars

Randolph Ross’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post Crossword, “This is Z End” —Ade’s write-up

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 10.14.16: "This is Z End"

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 10.14.16: “This is Z End”

Hello there, everyone! Hope you all are having a great start to the weekend right now! Today’s crossword puzzle, brought to us by Mr. Randolph Ross, takes common phrases and alters them by replacing one of the words of the phrase with a similar-sounding word that also happens to have the letter “Z” in it.

  • GOOD OLD DAZE (17A: [Nostalgic look of bewilderment?]) – Good old days.
  • SEIZE THE FUTURE (26A: [Aggressively take charge of what’s ahead?]) – Sees the future.
  • HISSES AND BOOZE (43A: [Two things an inebriated villain might enjoy?]) – Hisses and boos. Shouldn’t that be reversed? Boo…hiss.
  • CRUZ MISSILE (57A: [Barb from one of Trump’s primary rivals?]) – Cruise missile. Best of the bunch!

Whew! That intersection of MT SHASTA (34D: [Northern Cal. peak]) and UTHER was very tricky for me, but was able to overcome that to finish the grid (48A: [King Arthur’s father]). Can’t say that I’M HUNGRY right now since I just finished eating Thai food during my earlier-than-planned dinner (32D: [“Let’s eat already”]). I’m not afraid to say that I know how to do every step of the well-known part of the MACARENA dance (13D: [Dance craze of 1996]). I’m doing it as we speak! Wow, it’s been 20 years since that phenomenon swept through the country, huh? Actually, it does feel like it was two decades ago! Well, it’s October, and that means, as a sports fan, that you’ll be hearing a lot about the heroics of one Derek JETER in baseball postseasons past (25A: [2000 World Series MVP]). As a matter-of-fact, the Macarena was a craze in America in the same year Jeter first made waves in postseason, as that famous “home run” Jeter hit against the Baltimore Orioles that was aided by young Jeffrey Maier also occurred in 1996. Boy, does time fly!

“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: RAT (37A: [Squealer]) – Decided to be a little creative here. Current professional soccer player Razvan RAT currently plays as a left back for Spanish soccer club Rayo Vallecano and also is the current captain of the Romanian national team. Earning his first senior international appearance back in 2002, Rat has appeared in 113 games for Romania. He also was a key member of a team that won a major European club competition, as he was on the FC Shakhtar Donetsk team that won the 2008-29 UEFA Cup.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Take care!


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22 Responses to Friday, October 14, 2016

  1. alex says:

    interesting mini-theme with that triple stack :)

  2. Steve Manion says:

    Hemingwayesque and Faulknerian are generally considered to be the extremes of writing style.

    This puzzle started out tough for me, but when I got Hemingwayesque, it fell quickly after that.

    Fun puzzle for me.


  3. huda says:

    NYT: I liked!
    I plunked down HEMINGWAYESQUE almost from the start, based on the M from GEM. The clue immediately evoked him. And of course it helped a lot to have the spine of the puzzle in place.

    But that GARI/ARI/GRATIA little area was a bit of a head scratcher.

    I love that TRANSGENDER crosses AINT I A WOMAN… And the reference to that speech seems remarkably timely considering Michelle Obama’s moving speech today.

    • Gary R says:

      GARI/ARI/GRATIA did me in. I wanted soy sauce or ginger for 23-A, but had not heard the term GARI before. ARI Savat was new to me as well – guessed at Ali, which didn’t help at all with GRATIA.

    • pannonica says:

      One better: I got HEMINGWAYESQUE with only the first E!

  4. anon says:

    NYT: the clue “something you can control the volume with” is so generic that any answer would be disappointing. Usually expect better from Natan.

    • Amy Reynaldo says:

      Unless you saw Natan’s original submission, you have no way of knowing which of the clues are his.

    • Gary R says:

      I thought it was rather clever. He had me thinking sound volume (as I assume was intended) rather than a volume of text until nearly all the crosses were in.

  5. huda says:

    David L, just saw your query from yesterday about the relationship between BIN and IBN. They are indeed tightly connected.

    The full word in Arabic meaning Son is IBIN —at least that’s how I’d transcribe it, but it’s often written as IBN since the I sound is short. If you’re using the word “son” in a typical sentence, e.g. “He arrived with his son and daughter”, you would use IBIN/IBN. But if you’re saying “James Son of John Smith”, then IBIN can get shortened to BIN– “James Bin John…” It’s the only occasion that BIN is used, when sandwiched between to names. But IBIN/IBN is never incorrect, and is more formal sounding.

    It’s interesting that I’ve never thought about this explicitly, and no one explains it to anyone…

  6. Cole Rose says:

    Intended a 4.5 for the LAT not a 3. Thanks, Evad.

  7. Stephen Edward Anderson says:

    Amy, your webmaster cycling in Italy may well be cycling in my neighborhood, as cyclists from the world over come to train in the Asolo Hills. If so, tell her or him (not them) to give me a call at 333 133 5564 so that we might meet for coffee or lunch here in Asolo.

    The CHE certainly has taken a sad turn for the worse following Patrick Berry’s departure. I count at least 30 you-know-it-or-you-don’t clues in today’s puzzle, including pop culture doozies like {Culinary corporal on “Hogan’s Heroes”} and {MTV show canceled in 2008, for short}, plus un-Berryesque sports page stars such as {Hockey Hall of Famer Larion} and {Olympic volleyballer __Walsh Jennings}. Alas, my love affair with the CHE crossword is over.


    • Evad says:

      Hi Stephen, sorry I missed this, we were in the Dolomites and now finishing our trip with a couple of nights in Verona. Perhaps next time?

      Dave (a him, at least for now)

  8. cyberdiva says:

    Like Stephen Edward Anderson, I was quite disappointed in today’s CHE. It used to be my favorite puzzle, but more recently there’s a lot less joy, at least for me. And though I’m not sure about there being “at least 30 you-know-it-or-you-don’t” clues, I consulted Google a lot more often than I consider fair. It spoiled the fun.

  9. JohnH says:

    If you care about crosswords, I have to insist. Please. Please do not go near the WSJ. After weeks of complaints from ever so many people, I still can’t get to the Saturday puzzle. Reload a dozen times. Log in again. Try another browser window. Try another browser. Reboot.

    If they really want to charge for the puzzle, fine, but they they have to be honest about it. Besides, since logins don’t matter, that can’t be it. I don’t know how to put pressure on them, so I can only plead: you do, too. Kill them as a puzzle site. They are NOT legit. Again, read any comments page. It’s just not my computer, my browser, my OS, whatever. It’s just not me.

    • pannonica says:

      Are you talking about last Saturday’s or tomorrow’s? You can get the .puz version for the former via this blog’s Today’s Puzzles page (if you modify the link to the correct date, like this: ). As you may discern this isn’t the official WSJ site but a service graciously provided by (Martin) Herbach.

      Why are you compelled to decry it as a nefarious conspiracy? Why not simple technological incompetence? There are a lot of moving parts to a big website, and the various hands are not always on the same page (to massacre a few metaphors).

      p.s. Tomorrow’s isn’t available yet, but when it is, this link will work:

      • Jim Peredo says:

        Indeed, I think it’s a technical problem, but one that’s persisted for two weeks now. It’s annoying, but I get around it by just reloading the page 3, 4, 5 or more times as necessary. Eventually the page loads correctly. It stinks, but it’s not so hard to get around. Changing browsers or rebooting hasn’t been necessary in my experience.

        • JohnH says:

          Exactly. When a problem goes unfixed for over two weeks and makes access each and every time, from obtaining a puzzle to commenting, take a minimum of ten minutes, and when a dozen commenters have pointed this out, there has to be additional action to get it to stop. If they won’t listen, there has to be a better act on behalf of the solvers. And I say it’s to leave their forums and puzzles. Forget them.

          FWIW, it’s today’s puzzle (so, last evening, tomorrow’s), and I, too, usually can get further by reloading maybe 4 times. Last evening I tried at least 12 acts, as I listed, that went beyond reload, and that still didn’t get me there. Same this morning. I can see why the puzzle has 0 comments. Maybe because no solvers or no way to comment?

        • JohnH says:

          Oh, while my thanks for the link, I stopped using the app a few years ago and now just print from pdf. I don’t even have it on this computer.

      • JohnH says:

        Also, it was not correct that “tomorrow’s isn’t available yet.” The Saturday puzzle pages had been posted at that time, I’d retrieved the variety puzzle, and I was hoping to print the other. After all, if it wasn’t posted, exactly what page was I trying to reload to get rid of the popup ad?

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