Thursday, November 3, 2016

BEQ 8:36 (Ben) 


CS 6:13 (Ade) 


Fireball 7:10 (Jenni) 


LAT 6:18 (Gareth) 


NYT untimed (Amy) 


WSJ untimed (Jim) 


Peter Gordon’s Fireball crossword, “Themeless 100″—Jenni’s write-up

I know our blogmistress is happy; Dexter Fowler just hit a home run for the Cubs. I’m happy because I love a Game 7 (except for Game 7 in 2001, which I loved until the very end and then – not so much). I’m also happy because this was a fun puzzle. It’s not a Blazingly Hard Fireball Crossword, as you can see from my time, and that’s fine.


FB 11/3 puzzle, solution grid

  • 14a [Nevada airport] was a gimme as soon as I had one letter. RENO TAHOE airport is a lot busier than it was in the mid-1980s, when I spent a fair amount of time in Reno while David was doing his field work in central Nevada.
  • 3d. [Apposite] is ON POINT, which crosses APPROBATE  for [Sanction] at 17a. I liked the juxtaposition of apposite and APPROBATE. “Sanction” is one of those words that can have two opposite meanings,  which makes it a nice vague crossword clue.
  • 5d [Collection] is also a satisfyingly vague word. This time the answer is CABOODLE, which makes me smile.
  • 19a is my favorite clue from this puzzle – one of two Peter Gordon Trademark Very Long Clues. [“Having to read a ___ resembles having to go downstairs to answer the door while in the midst of making love”: Noel Coward] Apparently Mr. Coward didn’t much like FOOTNOTEs.
  • 22a [Brand of roach traps endorsed by Muhammad Ali] is a blast from the past. I remember those commercials for DCON.

  • 32a [Like krypton] has nothing to do with Superman. The answer is INERT. When I was a kid, I thought the element was named after the comic book planet. I suspect my father told me that.
  • 35d [Horny] is tamer than I was hoping. ANTLERED is accurate, but not as interesting as, oh, other things.
  • In  the comments to yesterday’s post I was accused of insufficient Googling and a poor memory for food, so I looked up TEXAS TOAST, which appears as [Chicken-fried steak accompanier] at 43a. Turns out it’s just big bread.

What I didn’t know before I did this crossword: that Roberto CLEMENTE was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame 168 days after his last regular-season game, the shortest wait for any player (the other Trademark Very Long Clue). That seemed oddly short, so I Googled again. Apparently the Powers that Be set a precedent with Clemente and decided that players who died could be inducted six months after their deaths rather than waiting for five years. I did know that he was the first Latin American and Caribbean player to be inducted into the Hall.

Mel Rosen’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up

NY Times crossword solution, 11 3 16, no 1103

NY Times crossword solution, 11 3 16, no 1103

Another untimed solve because the Cubs game is on. Baseball on November 2! Weird.

The rebus theme bunches up each instance of AG into a single square, twice per long Across answer. BAGGAGE CLAIM, ON AGAIN OFF AGAIN, AGREE TO DISAGREE, and STAGE MANAGER … but no apparent theme revealer to be found. There’s 28d. [Silver ___] ORE, and Ag is the symbol for the element silver, but nothing in the clue ties this to the theme. Odd. Unless it’s not meant to be a silver rebus, it’s just “here’s a random 2-letter unit that’s rebused in four unrelated phrases”?

Five more things:

  • 1a. [___-foot jelly], CALF’S. Gross. Wasn’t sure if the answer would be NEAT’S (thinking of neatsfoot oil) or CALF’S. Apparently calf’s-foot jelly can be served for dessert! (Pass. Cake is better.)
  • 30d. [Skye of film], IONE. Surprised to see that she’s had parts in lots of movies. I’ve barely seen her in anything since 1989’s Say Anything, which costarred John Cusack, who has been attending all the Cubs WS games.
  • 19a. [E-con?], SPAM. Don’t like this contrived and off-base clue. Most spam isn’t a “con,” just an attempt to sell you crap. Also, dorky “e-” terms that nobody uses (EMAG! ECASH!) show up in crosswords too much as it is. Please don’t expand the badness to the clues.
  • 44d. [Gertrude of 1926 news], EDERLE. The first woman to swim across the English Channel. I learned about her when writing a junior high history report on the ’20s. I suspect few solvers have heard of her but I’ll never forget the name.
  • 21a. [Give in to a gut feeling?], EAT. No. Hunger pangs are up in your stomach. Down in your gut? You give in to that, something’s coming out of you.

Wasn’t too keen on the fill overall. CALF’S, D’ARTE, OJAI, -FARER, plural TAUS, WE A, SAYEST, AGISM without an E, ESPO, HIED, NEB, IONE … at least there was HASHT{AG} to liven things up.

2.9 stars from me.

Harold Jones’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Party Leaders” — Jim’s review

It’s party time! And not just for the Cubbies.

I actually completed the puzzle without realizing what the theme was. And even then it still took me a few minutes. The title made me think I was looking for words that would precede “party.”

But that’s not the case. Turns out that each theme answer has a prefix appended to it: two DEMs for Democrats, two REPs for Republicans, and one IND for an Independent. Sorry, no Libertarians, Greens, or Whigs.

WSJ - Thu, 11.3.16 - "Party Leaders" by Harold Jones (Mike Shenk)

WSJ – Thu, 11.3.16 – “Party Leaders” by Harold Jones (Mike Shenk)

  • 17a [Decision makers at Monsters, Inc.?] DEMON BOARD. On board. I wouldn’t consider Monsters, Inc. characters to be demons.
  • 25a [Rooster’s equivalent of a snooze alarm?] REPEAT CROW. Eat crow.
  • 36a [Swindles that involve the Dow?] INDEX CONS. Ex-cons.
  • 47a [Show how to run the second-largest country?] DEMO CANADA. O Canada. No surface sense with this one.
  • 57a [Tape a ripped envelope?] REPAIR MAIL. Airmail.

Nothing very funny here, though REPEAT CROW isn’t too bad. The rest…meh.

There isn’t much in the line of long fill, but I do like HAIRNETS, RAMADAN, and RANSACK.

Other notes:

  • Is ART SALES (38a) related to Soupy?
  • I will shamefully admit that I don’t know Georg SOLTI [Conductor who won more Grammys than any other person]. 32 of them, to be exact. He led orchestras in Frankfurt, Munich, London, Paris, and Chicago from 1946 to 1991. Per Wikipedia, his recording of Wagner’s Ring Cycle was voted “the greatest recording ever made” by Gramophone magazine in 1999 and BBC’s Music Magazine in 2012.
  • I’m more of a Talking Heads fan, but I’ll admit again that I didn’t know David Byrne was born a SCOT (6a).
  • Also new to me: STANNIC (22d, [Containing tin]), EGAN (60a, [“A Visit from the Goon Squad” author Jennifer]), and SEAMILE (42a, [Distance traveled by sailing at one knot for an hour]).

Mary Lou Guizzo’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s review

LA Times 161103

LA Times

The theme is revealed at TURNAROUNDTIME. Rather than simply making EMIT, the puzzle goes one further, making YAD, RUOH, and RAEY. These are found spanning the two parts of compound phrases, much like yesterday’s puzzle. It’s not the constructor’s fault, but a bit of variety in scheduling would spice things up!

EARL(YAD)MISSION is functional; I personally didn’t know SADAHA(RUOH), but I don’t know baseball. I have more of an issue with CAMERAEYES. I wanted SIMPLEEYES, which seems to be what the definition describes. Dictionaries define camera-eye in variations of what is linked here. A camera lens and a simple eye are similar, and I see cephalopods are described as having camera-like eyes. That doesn’t make it usable in a crossword.

Today’s mystery man was [Rat Pack member], LAWFORD Wikipedia. The photo looks vaguely familiar, in hindsight.

Other than that, I really don’t see much to talk about: 3 partials is a lot of for the times, BTW.

Rating withheld pending further discussion of CAMERAEYES

Brendan Emmett Quigley’s website crossword – “Candidate’s Dream” — Ben’s Review


Candidate’s Dream

BEQ gets a little political this Thursday with “Candidate’s Dream”.  It’s only appropriate, with Election Day next Tuesday (do you have a plan on when/where you’re voting?  Get that together!  Voting is important!).  Let’s take a look at what’s going on this week:

  • 17A: Blitzed a wanderer? — RAN AT NOMAD
  • 23A: #YOLO comment said near Vesuvius? — VOLCANO GERONIMO
  • 31A: Caresses one’s cobra? — PETS A SNAKE
  • 41A: Online horn store?  — SAX E-TAILER
  • 50A: Greeting said to Jane’s Addiction’s guitarist? — HIYA DAVE NAVARRO
  • 63A: What a presidential candidate hopes to do to increase likelihood of victory, and this puzzle’s theme — FLIP A STATE

Yep, each themer this week contains the name of a state, flipped – we have MONTANA, OREGON, KANSAS, TEXAS, and NEVADA all poking through some fun phrases.  I was partial to VOLCANO GERONIMO as well as HIYA DAVE NAVARRO.

Other puzzle notes:

  • 1A: General MDs, to insurers — PCPS (I just saw my PCP yesterday!  He’s fantastic, and the clinic being a 7 minute walk from my apartment doesn’t hurt, either)
  • 65A: Barbershop job — TRIM (I got too specific on my first attempt here and put down FADE until it became clear that something more general was needed)
  • 9D: When the murderer is revealed in mysteries, often — END (If you really loved Serial, I totally recommend In The Dark, which manages to cover the details of the Jacob Wetterling case AND flawlessly fold in new info about the killer that came out a week before they were about to air to really show the larger picture of what made that reveal take so long)

3.75/5 stars today – mostly good fill with a fun (if straightforward) theme.

Jeff Chen’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post Crossword, “Bloomsday” —Ade’s write-up

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 11.03.16: "Bloomsday"

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 11.03.16: “Bloomsday”

Hello there, everyone! World Series + web site reconstruction for my business = being MIA for a few days form here. My apologies for that. OK, OK, crossword talk. Today’s crossword, brought to us by Mr. Jeff Chen, definitely will leave you feeling rosy. In it, roses are “hidden” inside five of the theme entries. All of the six theme entries, including AROSE, intersect each other (39A: [Came up…and when parsed, what comes up five other times in this puzzle]).

  • MOROSE (8D: [Gloomy])
  • JUNIPERO SERRA (19A: [Father who founded many missions])
  • PROSE (28D: [Novel makeup])
  • INTRO SEQUENCE (57A: [Scenes repeatedly kicking off a sitcom, e.g.])
  • AL ROSEN (43D: [Baseball player nicknamed “The Hebrew Hammer”])

Man, knew this was going to be a fun grid when I filled in Junipero Serra. Oh, and also knew it was going to be a fun grid when I filled in AIR JORDAN as well (3D: [Brand with the Jumpman logo]). I’m sure others might have thought it would be Nike, but Air Jordan happens to be an offshoot of the Nike Brand. Sadly, I’m going to have to wait until Election Day until I can put on one of those I VOTED stickers (22A: [Words on some November stickers]). Although, I don’t think those stickers were ever made available at the polling place that I’ve gone to to vote. Maybe this year will be different. Of all of the lively fill, I might be more partial to BEER RUN than any other entry, only for the fact that my college roommates and I did just that a few times as upperclassmen (51A: [Shopping trip for many a frat party]). Pretty interesting since I didn’t intake a drop of beer until midway through my junior year in college. After that, however, it was all downhill!! Alright, time to split for the day and head back to the hell that is redesigning web sites!

“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: GEE (65A: [“I hadn’t thought of that”]) – Undrafted out of college, professional basketball player Alonzo GEE has been able to carve out a decent NBA career that goes on to this day. Gee, known for his above-the-rim game and leaping ability, was a star at the University of Alabama but was not selected in the 2009 Draft. He signed a 10-day contract with the Washington Wizards in 2010, and has bounced around the NBA ever since. His best seasons came in 2012 and 2013 with the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he averaged just over 10 points per game in both of those seasons.

TGIF tomorrow! See you then! Trust me!

Take care!


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5 Responses to Thursday, November 3, 2016

  1. austin says:

    WSJ has added elegance with DEMs on the left, REPs on the right and the IND in the middle

    very interested to see what revealer the constructor had for the NYT and why on earth Shortz thought the puzzle didn’t need it. why this particular rebus?

  2. sparto says:

    NYT: Maybe 28D (“Silver ORE”) is the revealer, with Ag (symbol for silver) scattered throughout the puzzle, you know, like silver would be found in silver ore? That’s all I got.

    • Lois says:

      Mel Rosen says Shortz didn’t want the revealer Rosen provided, so I guess 28d is all there is. Rosen wasn’t complaining, but I am. In general, I like revealers, and I think that this puzzle needs a more powerful one than 28d.

  3. roger says:

    not as weird as the Cubs in the WS.

    But Congrats! Happy for you and the town!

Comments are closed.