Friday, November 18, 2016

CHE untimed (pannonica) 


CS tk (Ade) 


LAT 8:24 (Gareth) 


NYT 4:49 (Amy) 


Peter Wentz’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up

NY Times crossword solution, 11 18 16, no 1118

NY Times crossword solution, 11 18 16, no 1118

Well! Look at all the snazzy fill in this puzzle. CONDOLEEZZA RICE through the middle, with 11 of its 15 letters crossed by answers of 8 or more letters. So much good stuff, I can easily forgive that one OMSK in the corner. ABOUT A BOY, BILLY ZANE, and TYRESE from cinema. A DUMPSTER sans fire. Holiday GINGERBREAD, COLD-HEARTED, and BAR MITZVAHS stacked in the middle. NINE HOLES of golf and an ICE PALACE. Two news anchor references in NEWS DESK and SAN DIEGO clued via the Anchorman movie (“Stay classy, San Diego”). CARJACKS, MEATHEAD … I like this puzzle.

Granted, there are a lot of names (people, titles, brand names), but I do well with those. Your mileage may vary, and you may be crying foul about some of the crossings. JONI Ernst crossing J. COLE, COLMES and KULIK crossing a movie and an actor, those seem to be the likeliest trouble spots.

Four clues:

  • 1a. [Go over again, as one’s writing?], BACKSPACE. Clever clue.
  • 33a. [13 things?], BAR MITZVAHS. Traditionally done at age 13, though earlier this year, a Holocaust survivor had his bar mitzvah a full century (!!) late.
  • 6d. [Category for un Premio Nobel], PAZ. Nobel Peace Prize, in Spanish. Apparently this year’s winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Bob Dylan, can’t be bothered to clear his schedule for a trip to Stockholm to receive the honor in person.
  • 9d. [Consider in a lascivious way], EYE UP. Who says that? “Look [someone] up and down,” I’ve heard. Never heard EYE UP.

4.5 stars from me. A 66-worder with smooth fill and tons of sparkle.

Jim Leeds’ Chronicle of Higher Education crossword, “Andes Expedition” — pannonica’s write-up

CHE • 11/18/16 • "Andes Expedition" • Leeds • solution

CHE • 11/18/16 • “Andes Expedition” • Leeds • solution

Andes, and “ES”. Up front.

  • 20a. [Top seller of leafy greens?] ESCAROLE KING (Carole King).
  • 27a. [Book subtitled “How Drought Sufferers Pay Homage to Precipitation”?] ESTEEMING RAIN (teeming rain). “Teeming rain” vs “pouring rain”.
  • 46a. [Cry of protest at having to produce prose for an exam?] ESSAY IT ISN’T SO! (Say it isn’t so!”).
  • 55a. [Tenet of dieting?] ESCHEW THE FAT (chew the fat).

Excepting the first, these are painfully clunky or borderline nonsensical in clue or answer, or both.

Long downs:  3d [Material eliminated from Wimbledon’s court surfaces in 2001] FESCUE GRASS, 24d [Marine puffers] BALLOONFISH. Uncommon name for the latter; see the list of alternate names for what are typically called pufferfish or blowfish here. Unusually, there are a pair of lengthy non-theme across entries, and they significantly overlap the first and second themers: 18a [Struck back] RETALIATED, 58a [Negotiations leading up to a treaty] POURPARLER (etymology: French, from Middle French, from pourparler to discuss, from Old French, from pour for, before + parler to speak). Fairly sure both FESCUE and POURPARLER are at least moderately obscure.

Two seriously tough crossings: 15a [ __ Isaacs Menken (infamous 19th-century actress)] ADAH and 6d [“__ mio dolce ardor” (Gluck aria)] O DEL, and 43a [ __ Potts (youngster in “Beauty and the Beast”] CHIP (I’m assuming this is the Disney version, which holds little appeal for me) and 44d [Chief god of ancient Memphis] PTAH. There are a bunch of other in my opinion arcane entries (e.g. SNEE, GAINES, VITI), but their relatively easy crossings make them gettable.

Favorite clue: 58d [P.O. box] PKG.

Alan Olschwang’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up

LA Times 161118

LA Times

ITWONTMATTER/HOWFARYOU/PUSHTHEENVELOPE/ITLLSTILL/BESTATIONERY. That’s the quote. For most of the puzzle, you had to solve around these words, and then you got enough for the message to appear, and you went, “oh”. Yes?

There’s really not too much else going on here, either…


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23 Responses to Friday, November 18, 2016

  1. Lise says:

    NYT: loved it, but had trouble in the spots mentioned in the review. I will try to remember them for future puzzles. Condoleezza Rice, along with the three long crosses in the middle, is indeed very sparkly.

    I didn’t mind OMSK, because it felt great that I knew it. Plus, it’s nice to have a consonant-heavy bit of crosswordese.

    I’ve heard of EYE UP only as part of “eye up and down” but it seems fair.

    I think of ICE PALACE as Superman’s retreat. Possibly he had an ice rink in there. I bet he was fantastic on skates.

    Wonderful puzzle, Mr. Wentz. Thanks for a good start to my Friday!

  2. sparto says:

    NYT: Re 8D . . . Am I the only one who never noticed CONDOLEEZZA RICE is spelled with two Z’s? How did I not know that? Sheesh. Also stumbled at 15A where I initially had CRUSH instead of CREAM. Downfall came at the JONI/JCOLE cross (42A/42D), where I had to resort to the ol’ alphabet shuffle before getting a very unsatisfying “ta-da.”

  3. Howard B says:

    JONI / JCOLE. Not cool.
    Edited for clarity: JCOLE is very cool fill. It’s the double-proper name thing with the JC pattern that struck me as a bit unfair here.

  4. David L says:

    I mostly liked the puzzle but it was too heavy on the proper names for my taste. I had most trouble in the NW, but coming up with BABALU from the dark recesses of my memory banks set me on the right path.

    I knew JONI Ernst but the crossing with JCOLE, who I don’t know, would have been better avoided, I think. LONI or TONI could conceivably have worked if you had to resort to running the alphabet.

  5. Matthew G. says:

    I’m the kind of person who knows his U.S. Senators better than he knows his rappers, so JONI Ernst was just fine by me.

    I usually struggle mightily with proper-name-heavy puzzles, but the particular names in this puzzle were in my wheelhouse, so I actually beat my typical Friday time here. That’s the thing with names, I guess — feast or famine.

    It also helped that I needed no crosses on CONDOLEEZZA RICE. I knew that particular piece of trivia about her cold.

    Keep up the political-name-heavy puzzles, Peter!

  6. WPup says:

    Was able to solve, but KOD? Anyone…? :-)

  7. Papa John says:

    Did anyone else notice that COLD_HEARTED runs right through the third chakra of CONDOLEEZZA_RICE?

    The number of proper names did me in. Some were totally unknown to me and the correct spelling of some gave me fits.

  8. Steve Manion says:

    Only JCOLE/JONI bothered me. I revealed the letter rather than waste time guessing.

    The rest of the puzzle was great.

    A normal round of golf for most is 18 holes, so I had no problem with the clue, but there are both 9 hole courses and (for many people) 9 hole rounds of golf as all they want to play.

    I also did not know CondoleeZZa had two z’s, although she was my first entry. Took me a minute to figure out the spelling.


  9. Amy Reynaldo says:

    The double Z in Condoleezza comes from the name’s Italian inspiration, con dolcezza, “with sweetness.”

  10. ethan says:

    Great NYT (Amy et al, I meant to give it 4.5 stars but mis-selected 4 if you care to change it).

    I concur that EYE UP is manufactured, but hey it was gettable once I had the “P” and it’s forgivable in this puzzle, although I do concur it was slightly proper-name heavy.

  11. Tim in NYC says:

    Amy, how in the world do you know all that stuff?? I didn’t know/remember 1D, 3D, 4D, 14A or 16A. It was Condi who saved me. That was one brutal corner.

  12. Michael says:

    18A: ‘admix’ is a real word? I’ve not seen it before and was a little surprised that it wasn’t addressed in the write-up. Sounds like ad-speak to me which usually shows up in answers like ‘xtra’ or ‘nite’.

    • pannonica says:

      “Origin and Etymology of admixture
      Latin admixtus, past participle of admiscēre to mix with, from ad- + miscēre to mix — more at mix
      First Known Use: 1605

      “Origin and Etymology of admix
      back-formation from obsolete admixt mingled (with), from Middle English, from Latin admixtus
      First Known Use: 1533

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