Monday, December 26, 2016

BEQ tk (Gareth) 


CS tk (Ade) 


LAT untimed (pannonica) 


NYT untimed (pannonica)  


No WSJ puzzle due to holiday (official observance of Christmas Day). Expect the same next Monday (January 2nd).

Jules P. Markey’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

NYT • 12/26/16 • Mon • Markey • № 1226 • solution

37aR [Present time in England? … or a hint to each set of circled squares] BOXING DAY.

  • northwest: LEAP
  • north: ELECTION
  • northeast: SNOW
  • southwest: GAME
  • south: PATRIOTS
  • southeast: HUMP

They are all symmetrical, they all start in the lower left. They seem a motley bunch.

  • 63a [Literary critic Broyard] ANATOLE. This is the ANATOLE for a Monday? What the France?
  • 66a [Bruno Mars or Freddy Mercury] POP STAR. Planetary stars? A stab at panache. I’ll add here 60d [Part of a wolf or a lobster] CLAW for quasi-randomness.
  • 58a [Lobster __ diavolo (Italian dish)] FRA. Thank goodness for the explanatory parenthetical!!!!
  • 2d [Country whose currency, RUBLES, is almost an anagram of its name] BELARUS. That’s ALMOST interesting. Беларусь, рубель (fwiw).
  • 7d [Suffix with valid] -ATION. That’s … terrible.
  • 10d [Proportional to the surroundings] IN SCALE. That’s … also rather terrible.
  • 40d  [Batting helmet part] EAR FLAP. Am genuinely surprised to learn that the rigid, molded protective feature is called a flap, but so it is.
  • 45d [Theologian Reinhold who wrote the Serenity Prayer] NEIBUHR. He doesn’t seem Mondayish.

Because the theme isn’t overly demanding in its requirements, there’s muscular flexing in the grid. Observe the triple-stacked sevens throughout: EDAMAME/BELARUS/BAPTIST, ERECTED/SILOING/SEE NOTE, IN SCALE/POWERED/ARMLESS, EAR FLAP/STORAGE/STEAMER, GET RICH/ANATOLE/POP STAR, NIEBUHR/ATTEMPT/NASTASE.

Carry on.

Gail Grabowski ad Bruce Venzke’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

LAT • 12/26/16 • Mon • Grabowski, Venzke • solution

An unusually cultured crossword. Sort of.

  • 20a. [Fabric with a slight sheen] POLISHED COTTON.
  • 25a. [Sophisticated-sounding hair treatment product] SUAVE SHAMPOO. (This is a brand name.)
  • 46a. [Coffee sweetener] REFINED SUGAR.
  • 55a. [Plowed ground for crop-raising] CULTIVATED LAND.

4d [Most stylish] TONIEST seems allied to the theme, but as its symmetrical partner 45d [Shrinking Asian lake] ARAL SEA is unrelated, that’s just a distracting coincidence. Ironically, I guess.

  • 19a [Longfellow’s “The Bell of __”] ATRI. WOW.
  • 3d [Like old bread] STALE, 36a [Like old apples] MEALY, 50a [Apple or pear] POME.
  • 9d [Kiss] SMOOCH, 43d [Long kiss] LIP LOCK.

Have’t got anything else to add to this. Mostly Monday smooth.

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14 Responses to Monday, December 26, 2016

  1. John says:

    Sorry to be so dense, but how do the shaded words relate to boxing day at all?

  2. Steve Manion says:


    I understand your point about Monday, but Roland Niebuhr is one of the seminal theologians of the past 200 years. With so many millions of people suffering from alcohol and drug problems, his serenity prayer is the very foundation of recovery. It never hurts to recognize him.

    As to appropriateness, I thought the fill was fine, but the theme was a little tough for a Monday.


    • PhilR says:

      As someone who’s said the Serenity Prayer at about 1,000,000 AA meetings, the Serenity Prayer is anything but the “very foundation of recovery”. Recovery is the recognition of ones addiction, the necessity of abstinence and learning to live without your drug of choice. The Serenity Prayer merely one of thousands of touchstones in part three of the above.

      As for Niebuhr, he was certainly important theologian, but to call him seminal is a stretch. His was a quiet theology, and a quiet anything doesn’t engender offspring.

    • Zulema says:

      Second Steve’s statement about Reinhold Niebuhr and not just because of the Serenity Prayer. It would be a better world if more people knew about him.

  3. me says:

    links at “Today’s Puzzles” page do not work!


    • ahimsa says:

      Thanks for posting. I’ve also been having trouble downloading puzzles.

      Any help from Crossword Fiend folks would be appreciated.

  4. Patti Kouba says:

    Having trouble downloading the Across Lite version of the WSJ with the new site. Any suggestions?

    • pannonica says:

      That’s coincidental but unrelated to the webhosting transfer. It’s been an issue since Friday. We’re hoping the person who graciously provides the .puz versions will get the external site sorted out soon.

  5. ajuli says:

    Will the links to the write-ups be fixed or the write-ups entered. See only two for NYT and LAT.

Comments are closed.