Friday, January 20, 2017

CHE untimed (pannonica) 


CS 8:21 (Ade) 


LAT 5:55 (Gareth) 


NYT 5:02 (Amy) 


Angela Olson Halsted’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up

NY Times crossword solution, 1 20 17, no 0120

Hooray! A January 20 event we can all celebrate—the publication of this lovely themeless puzzle by Angela, aka PuzzleGirl. (Thanks for covering for Janie for the last two weeks, PG.)

This 70-worder has a 15 across the middle crossing stacked 10s and a staggered 11/9/11 center. THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is not always better than the one you don’t, particularly if the one you know is terrible—but it’s a good entry, as are TOY SOLDIERS, TONY SOPRANO, EXHAUST FAN, PIED-À-TERRE, “DREAM ON,” MR. RIGHT, AFROPOP, and so on.

Eight things:

  • 19a. [Like pork pie and clotted cream], ENGLISH. My gosh, that couldn’t sound less appetizing.
  • 46a. [Brownies with cookies, maybe], TROOP. Girl Scout cookies, that is. Revelation this week: While I like supporting the Girl Scouts of America, Thin Mints are stickier and saltier than they ought to be. But! A delicious alternative is the Hint-O-Mint Newman-O’s.
  • You’ve all bought your Wonder Woman stamps, right?

    49a. [Turnovers, e.g.], STAT. I know Angela’s a sports junkie, but I really wanted this to be pastry.

  • 2d. [Postal sheet], PANE. I went a little nuts ordering stamps from the US Postal Service website a few weeks ago. Quilled hearts, ice cream sundaes, national parks, winter songbirds, Wonder Woman …
  • 13d. [Cape Ann’s area], NORTH SHORE. Not sure which state this is. New Jersey? Chicago’s North Shore comprises ritzy suburbs like Highland Park and Lake Forest.
  • 14d. [It’s capped and often slapped], KNEE. Cute clue.
  • 53d. [Scores of these may plague high schoolers], SATS. You wanted ZITS, didn’t you?
  • 56d. [Chat, across the Pyrénées], GATO. Chat is French and GATO is Spanish for “cat.”

Nothing in this puzzle made me RETCH in the slightest. 4.2 stars from me.

Robert H. Wolfe’s Chronicle of Higher Education crossword, “January Thaw” — pannonica’s write-up

CHE • 1/20/17 • “January Thaw” • Wolfe • solution

The ice —not precisely in cube form—has melted away from the five theme entries in this crossword.

  • 17a. [Where one learns about running?] POL ACADEMY (police).
  • 37a. [Payment for promotions?] PR CHECK (price).
  • 58a. [“Refrain from going forward!”] ADVANCE NOT (… notice).
  • 11d. [One in charge of bringing the bug spray?] OFF HOLDER (office).
  • 33d. [Gym-goer who criticizes everyone’s physiques?] BOD RIPPER (bodice).

The tally: four first words, one second word. Not that big a deal, though. Not exactly thrilled that two of the themers invoke political office while another suggests kind of rapey physical violation, but I’m sensitive to that, especially today.

Not going to add much more.

  • Tough sequence in the top center: odd construction ACER at 7d [Tennis opponent who’s hard to break, say], endonymic HAMELN at 8d [Town in the Pied Piper legend, to locals], and then 9d [Parisian’s pen] STYLO.
  • 29d [Chevy subcompact of the 1970s] VEGA, but my first try was NOVA, which made 39a [Cadbury Creme __ ] as –V– and I nearly put in OVA. (It’s EGG.)

I’m done.

Debbie Ellerin’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up

LA Times crossword solution, 1 20 17

Today’s theme features homophones that are past tense verbs. The first example was the most opaque. Its crossing with REDS (still don’t understand that clue) was the last letter to fall. DUCTWORK becomes DUCKEDWORK. Similarly RUDEAWAKING becomes RUEDAWAKENING and ROADTORIO becomes ROWEDTORIO (the best answer). I’m not convinced that PASTHISTORY is a phrase, because HISTORY is by definition past; nevertheless, that answer becomes PASSEDHISTORY.

Plenty of lively fill around the grid: DOOWOP, WEBINAR, FETISH and TRYONE are my picks.

Gareth out.

Donna S. Levin’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post Crossword, “Make An Angle” —Ade’s write-up

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 01.20.16: “Make An Angle”

Hey, everyone! Busy day and evening for me, so only can really post the puzzle now. Ms. Donna S. Levin brought us today’s grid, where the letters “GLE” are added to the end of phrases to make puns.

  • IRISH JIGGLE (17A: [Reason for the high ratings on the Celtic version of “Three’s Company”?]) – Irish jig.
  • CINNAMON BUNGLE (26A: [Failure to add the spice when making Red Hots?]) – Cinnamon bun.
  • ORIGINAL SINGLE (43A: [Adam?]) – Original sin.
  • WING SPANGLE (59A: [Bit of glitz on an aileron?]) – Wingspan.

See you all on Saturday!

Take care!


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25 Responses to Friday, January 20, 2017

  1. Lise says:

    Yes! The Wonder Woman stamps! I also have Wonder Woman Chucks. She rocks.

    Fabulous NYT today – had to dredge PIED-A-TERRE out of my brain, but then, I need the exercise. Good entries and cluing.

  2. Evad says:

    Good ol’ Commonwealth of MA. The North Shore includes Rockport, Gloucester, Peabody, Salem, Marblehead and my old hometown of Swampscott.

    So glad to start today on a high note from PG and WS.

  3. pauer says:

    Great puzzle, Angela! Congrats on the achievement.

  4. MattF says:

    Liked the NYT, though the clue for pied-à-terre seemed a bit off to me– a pied-à-terre is specifically -not- a second home; it’s a place you stay from time to time while in the city.

  5. Howard B says:

    Yay Angela! Great work!

  6. Ethan says:

    I could be wrong about this, but I don’t think this blog covered Aimee Lucido’s AVC crossword from 12/26. It was called “Shrink Wrap.” I only mention this because I didn’t really understand the theme and hopefully someone can enlighten me.

    • Martin says:

      The rebus squares are the abbreviations of the days of the week, SU to SA.

      • Martin says:

        For completeness: the days are “boxed,” appropriately for a puzzle that ran on Boxing Day (12/26). Also, the boxed days were all in phrases clued as gifts, which were traditionally given to servants on Boxing Day in boxes (the origin of the name).

      • Ethan says:

        Ohh, thanks! I didn’t originally see any pattern to the pairs of the letters that were boxed; I guess I don’t see MO, WE, and FR as common abbreviations. Still a cute idea.

  7. Aura says:

    NYT was misplaced: Wednesday difficulty at best.

  8. Ethan Friedman says:

    While the NYT was a *beautiful* puzzle, found it too easy. The cluing could have been ramped up. That was ~Wednesday level for me!

    • Nina says:

      I too thought it was easy for a Friday. I did it on my short subway ride (a first) and didn’t need to Google anything.

      But still a nice puzzle.

  9. Steve Manion says:

    I wonder if Puzzle Girl intended to clue AMEN CORNER with a reference to the Masters.

    I enjoyed the puzzle a lot, but solved it in about half my normal time. Agree with Aura that it felt like a Wednesday.

    Perhaps because when I think of EPITHET, I think of racial epithet, I normally deem EPITHET as a term strictly of abuse. I agree that it is a descriptive term not limited in that way, so I have no problem with the clue, but I am wondering if there is another more positive synonym to describe the Great in, say, Peter the Great.


  10. Gareth says:

    Themeless jampacked with great answers and little dreck; what more could a feller want?

  11. Winnie says:

    It’s nice to complete a Friday puzzle ?

  12. Dbardolph says:

    NYT – really solid puzzle with no lame fill. Maybe a bit easy for a Friday, but whatever. Pretty sure 56D is my favorite clue of the week.

  13. Margaret says:

    Gareth, Johnny Bench was an All-Star catcher for the Cincinnatti Reds, thus REDS being Bench mates.

  14. Norm says:

    Liked the LAT but didn’t think DUCKED WORK should have been there, since ducking work is a real thing while the other phrases were not.

  15. Joan Macon says:

    Well, today’s LAT problem is, at least on my computer, the grid is blank except for a question mark in the middle.

  16. Joan Macon says:

    Well, now it’s fixed!

Comments are closed.