Friday, February 24, 2017

CHE untimed (pannonica) 


CS 6:48 (Ade) 


LAT tk (Gareth) 


NYT 5:41 (Amy) 


Andrew Zhou’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up

NY Times crossword solution, 2 24 17, no 0224

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.

Five clues:

  • 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.

CHE • 2/24/17 • “Literary Forewords” • Agard • solution

  • 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 JENNINGSJazz (1992). I understand she has a new tie-in doll.
  • 24a. [Player with a high slugging percentage, often] HOME RUN HITTERHome (2012).
  • 39a. [Milton poem largely about the temptation of Christ] PARADISE REGAINED, the sequel to his blockbuster Paradise LostParadise (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

17 02 24

Lynn Lempel’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post Crossword, “Aer-O-Dynamic” —Ade’s write-up

CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 02.24.17: “Aer-O-Dynamic”

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!

Take care!


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29 Responses to Friday, February 24, 2017

  1. alex says:

    no mention of lgbtq’s first nyt appearance?

  2. jim hale says:

    A difficult puzzle, however, I learned a bunch of cool words and it was, in the end, doable.

  3. PhilR says:

    Never read READE? Seriously!? The referenced book has been turned into no fewer than 3 movies, the latest of which was even a talkie!

  4. Tuxedo Junction says:

    A 4, not a 3, for CHE. Sorry Mr. Agard.

    NYT was too much of a quiz imo. LAT was a better puzzle I thought.

    • Norm says:

      LAT was hilarious. The one soft G was a bit of a nit, but the answer was so funny that I could not even deduct style points.

  5. Bruce N Morton says:

    Oddly, or true to my contrarian habits, I found this to be a very easy Friday, not a quiz at all, except maybe for Reade, whom I have never read, but appears often in crosswords, perhaps because of the pun on his name. I think the clue for Querty . . .” is very odd. A keyboard can produce any word. And of course you strike the tops. What else would you strike? It would be like cluing “Piano keys” as “Their tops can produce Chopin Etudes.”

    • Jenni says:

      The top row – you can type that phrase with the top row of keys. I also found this easier-than-average for a Friday, in part because all the 15s were very gettable with a few crosses.

      • Papa John says:

        Really? All the spanners were easy? While I filled in BRITISH_INVASION with only the initial B, I had to suss out EXERCISE_SCIENCE. Otherwise it seemed an easy work out for a Friday puzzle.

  6. arthur118 says:

    Yesterday’s CrosSynergy puzzle was not reviewed which makes me wonder where else can one find CS solutions?

  7. Ethan Friedman says:

    Very easy Friday. I liked it more than you did, Amy — your review felt a little harsh. LBGTQ is a nice entry, and a tough one to insert. LORAX, GREAT DANE (who doesn’t love those huge lugs!), QWEST, DESI ARNAZ (full name with a Z!), ORANGE ZEST, QWERTY KEYBOARDS with a nice clue, BRITISH INVASION, DRIVE TIME …

    While yes, much of the shorter fill was fine, with only OSIER (and maybe ERIS) as real crosswordese, I thought this was a very nice puzzle.

  8. pannonica says:

    NYT: How often do you see two QW– entries in the same puzzle, not part of a theme?

  9. Miranda says:

    This played hard for me, I was over my average time by more than I’d like. And I had to guess twice. Once on the ARAGON/READE cross and again on the OSIER/TACET cross. Now I know more! QWERTYKEYBOARDS threw me for a loop too, I had my mind set on an electric keyboard and couldn’t break out until I got LGBTQ at long last.

  10. Steve Manion. says:

    Very tough for me. I was definitely not on the right wavelength for almost anything. I did enjoy it. BRITISH INVASION was excellent. Not so sure about EXERCISE SCIENCE.

    I really dislike the whole categorization implicit in LGBT and especially Q. I think it has given fuel to people who do not respect others. I am perhaps more sensitive on this general topic today than I normally am having just seen the must see I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO. It will open your eyes in ways that few movies, books or movements ever can.


  11. Papa John says:

    The LAT review is funny.

  12. Noam D. Elkies says:

    One more typo in the CHE 30A:TYPOS clue: “ridded”, misspelling “riddled”.

    Alas that puzzle is marred by way too many names, including a huge cluster around the thematic 18A:JAZZ&c. I’m not at all impressed by all that JAZZ if you can only get it with a stack of BJORK and KEANU and YAZ and another non-word DMZ, plus cross that mess with another sportz name 20A:STEFON. Oh, and KYD, though at least that’s within the CHE clientele’s bailiwick. Plus the gratuitously YAWN clues for 36A:VAN and 45A:AXE, and — though not Yet Another Wretched Name — the curious choice of DIV[idend]/HIVE where DID/HIDE was available. Why, Oh Why, O Y VEY!

    A bit amusing to see both 46A:NINE and 66A:EPONINE (but 62D:LEONE, not “leonine”).


    • Amy Reynaldo says:

      Pannonica had “ridded” and (without consulting the puzzle), I “fixed” the typo. Whoops!

      Toni Morrison’s JAZZ is, I think, the only book of hers I’ve read. Loved it!

      I really wish you would drop the whining about names, though. It’s tiresome, and it is never, ever going to change the way editors and constructors make crosswords.

      • Noam D. Elkies says:

        What’s tiresome is the joyless difficulty of name-dense crosswords. I’ll stop complaining about names when constructors and editors stop swamping the grids with the brine from that overdrawn well. (And I’m not the only one complaining — indeed the reviews in this very forum often note an excessive name count. Moreover, everybody complains about Natick crossings, and most of those involve at least one such entry; and lots of people complain about Scrabblef***ing, which usually involves a bunch of mystery names — though in the present case JAZZ is part of a theme entry, so the Scrabblef*** charge wouldn’t stick.)

  13. Joan Macon says:

    I’d like to know where Papa John saw a review of the LAT because all I have is the grid itself.
    Although Gareth is never long winded in his reviews !

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