Ben’s AV Club write-up covers Francis Heaney’s puzzle, which was sent on not-the-usual-day but was intended to be the regular weekly AVCX offering.
Patrick Berry’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
Super-smooth Berry here. A B”erry smoothie. Do people already call his puzzles that?
My internet connection is poky right now, so short post. Never heard of a PURPLE COW (like a black cow, but with grape pop rather than root beer). I have heard of ube (sweet purple yam) ice cream, however, and have had it for dessert the last two days. ( A Filipino delight!) Likes: CREAM SODA, “MAN ALIVE!”, FOX NEWS as an entry, CON EDISON (do New Yorkers know that Chicagoans have Com(monwealth)Ed instead?), LAST NAMES, SHAREWARE, YOGI BERRA, MUDFISH, the O’JAYS, Ralph ABERNATHY (he worked with MLK Jr.), Alan RICKMAN, “N’EST CE PAS?”, and “WHO, ME?” Snoozers: EWERS, ADE.
Questions: Is HOLD-UP JOB really a thing the way “stickup job” is?
4.25 stars from me.
Jeffrey Wechsler’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up
The revealer is an excellent answer – WINWINSITUATION. The answers feature two WINs somewhere in their letters – BLOwinINTHEwinD, TwinwinDOWFAN and TOwinGwinCHES; not the most splashy set, but the theme is most constraining.
The grid creaks in places (ROWA, TSPS, WTS, OSTEO) – 13’s never do constructors favours – but mostly holds up. DISRAELI is a bold opening answer to start with, but mostly it’s a functional grid, even the two long downs forced by those pesky 13s!
Francis Heaney’s AVCX crossword, “Secret Santas” — Ben’s Review
Time’s running out on the clock for 2016, but there’s still time for one extra AV Club review. A little under a week ago, we were gifted a trio of puzzles from the AV Club, including this one, “Secret Santas”, from Francis Heaney. Let’s tear off the gift wrap and check what’s inside this one:
- 16A: Cow you can’t miss? — HEIFER APPARENT
- 21A: “So centavo. ___”– MUCH CRUZADO
- 40A:Songbird with bloodlust? — BATTLE CANARY
- 60A:Friend of Tom Boring and Harry Mundane? — DICK PROSAIC
- 68A: Instrument robust enough to last through an entire Blues Traveler tour? — HARDY HARMONICA
With a name like “Secret Santas”, I was expecting different names for St. Nicholas to pop up in this grid, but instead it was various Santa cities modifying phrases in the grid – Santa FE in HEIR APPARENT, Santa CRUZ in MUCH ADO (which, in response to the doge reference, wow), Santa ANA modifies BATTLE CRY, ROSA modifies DICK PIC, and Santa MONICA makes HARDY HAR Blues Traveler worthy
I really dug this grid theme, and the rest of the fill had plenty to enjoy as well – PANOPTICON, SEPTA (which I guessed from the public transit part of the clue, but who is also a GoT character), APOLLO VIII (if you’re going to put a roman numeral in your grid, at least attach it to something like this), I SPY, and WWI ACES
Thanks for a great year, AV Club! Here’s to many more!