Kristian House’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
- 58aR [Children’s game … or the circled words in 20-, 28- and 48-Across] DUCK DUCK GOOSE.
- 20a. [“Bowiemania” and “Come Together: America Salutes the Beatles”] TRIBUTE ALBUMS.
- 28a. [1948–94, in South Africa] APARTHEID ERA. The Times needs to use an en-dash here in the clue, not a hyphen, And oh yes I checked the newspaper version .pdf.
- 48a. [Bitter rivals] SWORN ENEMIES.
Teal, eider, and nene. That’s … a kind of cute. And it’s a compact crossword theme. The wink-wink of it is that those are three fairly common examples of cruciverbal avifauna. However, explicitly acknowledging that would take it out of the Monday realm. So it’s a soft-boiled easter egg.
- I liked both of the long downs. 11d [Dressed to the nines] GUSSIED UP, 34d [Baddie] NOGOODNIK.
- 63d [“__ Thurman” (Fall Out Boy song)]. That’s … a risible attempt at some sort of hipness. Possibly 7d [Klein of Vox.com] EZRA is another?
- 9d [Flower that’s also a girl’s name] PETUNIA. Oh there’s hardly any of those.
Liked the theme. A smattering of questionable-Monday fill (e.g., ATRA, A B OR C, EDUCE, ENACTOR). Still, a solid offering.
Ethan Erickson’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Cyber Monday” — Jim’s review
Homophones. Can’t get more straightforward than this. Today’s puzzle is urging you to get online and do your bit for the economy.
- 18a [Like Popular Science] BI-MONTHLY. Shouldn’t that magazine title be in quotation marks?
- 27a [“Put on a Happy Face” musical] BYE BYE BIRDIE. We get a bonus BYE in this one.
- 42a [Exactly as rules dictate] BY THE NUMBERS. Nice one.
- 54a [Treat everyone at the bar] BUY A ROUND. Not the strongest “BUY” phrase. I’d’ve preferred BUY THE FARM paired with BIPARTISAN.
I finished with an error because CLOSED ON seemed just as good for 9d [Prepared to capture, perhaps] as CLOSED IN (though ICE ON didn’t make much sense).
Good fill: MONEYBALL, GET OVER IT, PETER OUT, and SMUSH (as opposed to SMASH) for [Flatten, informally].
Uncommon proper names: 14a [Celebrity lawyer Melvin] BELLI and 46d [Psychic Edgar] CAYCE. Needed all the crossings with that last one.
Overall, a rather standard, unexciting Monday outing.
Jake Braun’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
American professional football players from the Golden State, in the singular.
- 57aR [Home of the player at the ends of the answers to starred clues] CALIFORNIA.
- 17a. [*Power source that plugs into a computer port] USB CHARGER. San Diego.
- 23a. [*”Airplane!” flight number, to the control tower] TWO ZERO NINER. That’s rather obscure. Also, NINER is a shortening of Forty-Niner. San Francisco.
- 36a. [*Carl Icahn or Michael Milken] CORPORATE RAIDER. Oakland.
- 46a. [*Castle gate-busting weapon] BATTERING RAM. Los Angeles.
That’s a complete set. All four of the teams from that state.
- Football! 49d [Player referenced in 57-Across’ clue, briefly] NFLER. 26a [Punt or field goal] KICK. 28d [One of 100 between end zones] YARD.
- 1a/10d [“Get lost!”] SCRAM, BEAT IT.
- 22a [Make amends (for)] ATONE, 38d [Regretful sort] RUER.
- Cinema! 2d [Film credits list] CAST, 15a [They may clash on a movie set] EGOS, 45d [Blue or black water of filmdom] LAGOON, 59d [Old studio letters] RKO.
- 13d [Roundheaded Fudd] ELMER. Factette: the character’s original incarnation was “Egghead”.
- Baseball! 10a [Ruth with bats] BABE. Basketball! Cleveland cager, for short] CAV.
- 39d [Bulleted list entry] ITEM.
I guess BEQ haters don’t need to actually see the puzzle in order to rate it as lowly as possible. Someone gave it a “1” and the puzzle isn’t even up yet.
NYT: That was one smooth Monday…
Re pannonica’s passing remark about an en dash’s being needed for a range of years in NYT clue 28a, I was a bit startled, as I don’t believe the NYT ever uses it, and I also thought that was a matter of house style, not right or wrong. Upon doing a little research, I do find that more and more online general guides are asking for en dashes for a range, as was not the case decades ago. However, according to The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage, 5th edition, the house rule is that the en dash is to be used only for a minus sign. And according to the Wikipedia article on the dash, “The preference for an en dash instead of a hyphen in ranges is a matter of style preference, not inherent orthographic ‘correctness’; both are equally ‘correct’, and each is the preferred style in some style guides. For example, APA style uses an en dash in ranges, but AMA style uses a hyphen.”
Wow. Thank you for doing all that research, Lois.
En-dashes for ranges is something I feel I’ve been doing for ages, but perhaps my memory is playing tricks on me. Nevertheless, it makes logical as well as aesthetic sense to me.
Perhaps I haven’t called it out in relation to the NYT crosswords because I do them almost exclusively in .puz format these days and have assumed it’s an artifact of translation, but after last week’s imbroglio with the doubled clue values appearing in only the “newspaper version” .pdf and in neither the .puz version nor the “regular” .pdf format, I consulted that version on Monday and felt compelled to comment.
Hi, pannonica! I’ve only just checked back now to see if there was feedback on my comments. Like you, I get excited about punctuation, so it was fun to look into this. It is indeed the case that the use of en dashes for ranges is currently far more widespread than I had realized, though I emphasized what I thought was correct, that it is not a matter of right and wrong. You could very well cite plenty of sources for the opposite.
It’s probably too late to ask, but I still don’t get regarding the WSJ what puns on “bye” have to do with “cyber.” (FWIW, I’ve been a book editor forever, and en dashes are always used for ranges. However, for typists obviously not, which can justify a lot.)
“Cyber Monday” is a relatively recent internet analogue to “Black Friday”, encouraging people to buy, buy, buy more, more, more stuff.