Natan Last’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
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 GARI. 23a. [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
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 FACE. Safety Last! (1923).
- 23a. [Mechanical setting of a classic Charlie Chaplin sequence] FACTORY GEARS. Modern Times (1936).
- 32a. [Daunting setting of a classic Laurel and Hardy sequence] LONG STAIRWAY. The 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 HOUSE. Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928).
- 60a. [Crowded setting of a classic Marx Brothers sequence] STATEROOM. A 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
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.
Randolph Ross’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post Crossword, “This is Z End” —Ade’s write-up
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!