Andrew Zhou’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
I don’t recall any particular delights in this puzzle, but I do like GREAT DANE, BRITISH INVASION, QWERTY KEYBOARDS (echoed by QWEST‘s QWE!), the OLD MASTERS, EXERCISE SCIENCE, DRIVE TIME, and MASERATIS. Nothing particularly new or zippy, though.
- 43a. [Locale of Franklin County … or of Aretha Franklin’s birth: Abbr.], TENN. Who doesn’t love Aretha?
- 21a. [Their tops can produce “power output”], QWERTY KEYBOARDS. As in the top row of the keyboard, where the keys to type “power output” and “typewriter” are found.
- 16a. [“It Is Never Too Late to Mend” novelist, 1856], READE. I bet fewer than 1 in 100 Americans have read a Reade book.
- 33d. [Actor Auberjonois and others], RENES. My favorite Rene in today’s show biz is Rene Gube, the Filipino-American writer and actor who plays Father Brah (a stoner priest) on Crazy Ex Girlfriend.
- 39d. [Wickerwork material], OSIER. Hardcore crosswordese!
3.3 stars from me. Felt maybe a bit closer to Saturday difficulty for me—what’d you think?
Erik Agard’s Chronicle of Higher Education crossword, “Literary Forewords” — pannonica’s write-up
nb: Per editor Brad Wilber, due to a publishing snafu, “the puzzle on the web site dated 2/17 is appearing in the 2/24 paper and the puzzle … intended for 2/24 is appearing in the 3/3 issue.” To allow the print edition to catch up, the website won’t be posting a crossword next week.
- 61aR [Writer of the novels whose one-word titles begin 18, 24, 39 and 51 Across.] TONI MORRISON. The pun in the title becomes evident. These four words come before (other) words in the theme answers.
- 18a. [Transgender teen with a TLC reality show] JAZZ JENNINGS. Jazz (1992). I understand she has a new tie-in doll.
- 24a. [Player with a high slugging percentage, often] HOME RUN HITTER. Home (2012).
- 39a. [Milton poem largely about the temptation of Christ] PARADISE REGAINED, the sequel to his blockbuster Paradise Lost. Paradise (1997). This central spanner necessitates the grid being expanded to 16×15.
- 51a. [Favorite on your bookshelf … perhaps even 61 Across] BELOVED AUTHOR. A “green paint” answer, but completely understandable within context.
Not sure if this is intentionally a Black History Month crossword, but I guess the timing is appropriate. 65a [Letters for some anti-profiling activists] BLM. 19d [MLK’s “Letter From Birmingham __”] JAIL. 41d [Studs Terkel book of 1992] RACE (subtitle: What Blacks and Whites Think and Feel About the American Obsession).
- Ashamed to say I just thought I was ignorant about whatever 30a [Tish cule is ridded with them] was about, but it’s just demonstrating TYPOS.
- Genuinely didn’t know 66a [Secret admirer of Marius in “Les Misérables”] ÉPONINE, never having read the book, or seen the musical, or watched the film.
- Stacked long verticals in the northwest and southeast: PINTO BEANS / ANNE MURRAY, PUNISHABLE / OPEN COLLAR. The last was a new term for me: [Like a telecommuting job, informally]
- Oh hey, here’s another thing I didn’t know: 57d [ ___ squat (sit down, slangily)] COP A.
- 7a [Psychologist Maslow with an eponymous “hierarchy of needs”] ABRAHAM. From most basic, they are: Physiological, Safety, Love/Belonging, Esteem, Self-Actualization. “In his later years, Maslow explored a further dimension of needs [Self-Transcendence], while criticizing his own vision on self-actualization.” (Wikipedia)
Not appearing in the puzzle: CHLOE, ARDELIA, WOFFORD.
Good crossword. Gotta go.
Jeffrey Wechsler’s LA Times crossword
Lynn Lempel’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post Crossword, “Aer-O-Dynamic” —Ade’s write-up
Good day, everybody. Many thanks to Amy for picking me up on yesterday’s puzzle. Today’s grid, brought to us by Ms. Lynn Lempel, is more fun with anagrams, as the final words of each all end up being anagrams of each other.
- STEPHEN REA (17A: [Oscar nominee for his role as Fergus in “The Crying Game”])
- CHARLOTTE RAE (26A: [Emmy nominee for her role as Edna in “The Facts of Life” ])
- OPEN ERA (37A: [Current period in professional tennis]) – The most recent men’s singles Grand Slam champion in the Open Era? Roger Federer, after his thrilling win in Melbourne. How many of you truly believed he would win one last major before he rode into the sunset? I’ll admit that I had my doubts for a while.
- COME AS YOU ARE (47A: [“Don’t bother to change”])
- MIRACLE EAR (62A: [Hearing aid company with a GENIUS technology])
Had a slow start to the grid because BASRA couldn’t come to my mind immediately, and then I started jumping around the grid to get a foothold somewhere (1A: [Major Iraqi port]). Eventually, as I started solving, Basra popped into my head and then I went back up there. It was one of those days where my mind was scatterbrained as I was in the middle of solving. (Does that ever happen to you?) Liked the paralleling entries of FLUMMOXED (33D: [Bewildered]) and DOOR PRIZE, which is something I’ve never gotten before (11D: [Attendee’s unexpected perk]). Our constructor really gave us the bird, in a nice way, by crossing EMUS (42A: [Animals on Australian stamps and coins]) with SEABIRD, which I just realized is one word instead of two (43D: [Puffin or penguin]). I was going to dedicate the next graph to former NBA player and 11-time NBA champion head coach Phil Jackson, a.k.a. the ZEN Master because of his adherence to and study of Eastern philosophy (41A: [Buddhist meditative practice]). But the way he (and Knicks owner James Dolan) has mishandled the franchise as president and turned the team into even more of a laughingstock in the NBA just makes me want to cry. Then scream. Then bang my head against a wall for the entirety of a Knicks game.
“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: CREWS (45A: [Regatta racers]) – Many of you know actor Terry CREWS as the pec-bouncing pitchman for Old Spice as well as co-star of the FOX hit show Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Given his physique, it then wouldn’t be a surprise to hear that Crews, before his acting days, was a professional football player. As a defensive end and linebacker, Crews spent five years in the National Football League, starting with the Los Angeles Rams in 1991. He also played for the San Diego Chargers and Washington, and also was on the Philadelphia Eagles roster before the start of the 1996 season.
Have a good weekend, everybody!