Because of technical gremlins, the LAT and BEQ write-ups are here rather than included in the main Monday post. The star-ratings widgets are still over in the main post. Thanks!
Brock Wilson’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
Theme is a batch of “starts with” synonyms. Today’s iteration is, as per the revealer at 58-across [Honorable … and like the starts of 17-, 23-, 37- and 47-Across] HIGH MINDED. That is, synonyms for “high”.
- 17a. [What the star gets on the marquee] TOP BILLING.
- 23a. [Dejected] CRESTFALLEN.
- 37a. [Level of optimal accomplishment] PEAK PERFORMANCE.
- 47a. [Meeting of world leaders] SUMMIT TALK.
23a is definitely the odd one out. Not only is it a single word, but it’s also the only themer that taken as a whole—which isn’t strictly a component of the theme—has a negative connotation.
- 15a [Golfer’s club selection] IRON, 16a [Golfer’s target] HOLE.
- Last square filled: the crossing of 7d [Astrological Ram] ARIES and 21a [Contemptuous manner, in slang] ’TUDE. Didn’t see how the latter worked until it was complete, and the former fooled me with capitalization, thinking it was a person with that name, perhaps someone like that spiritualist guy Ram Dass.
- 47d [Like the beach during a storm] SURFY. Never in my life have I heard this word, and I grew up at the beach. Been to many other beaches as well, and consider myself reasonably well-versed in coastal lingo. Even though it’s rather easily inferred, this just isn’t a Monday crossword word. It’s so weird and kooky that I was seriously considering reproducing the clue and answer as the sum total of my write-up. SURFY? Maybe I should have just done that, but it’s too late now. Best I can do is end it here.
THEMELESS MONDAY #393 – by BEQ—Gareth’s bit
Puzzle is anchored by TOYXYLOPHONE, PORTAJOHN (don’t know what it is, but can guess), CHIADONALDTRUMP (don’t know what that is), and WAXINJECTION (don’t know what that is).
There’s a cluster of names in bottom-right: ESTELLA and ILSA were gimmies (though guess how many people will go for ESTELLE and ILSE!); JESS, SORIANO and OLIN not so much. Also to be found: OTERI and REO.