Friday, March 3, 2017

LAT 5:48 (Gareth) 


NYT 5:14 (Amy) 


nb: No CHE this week as the print and on-line editions resynchronize.

Patrick Berry’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up

NY Times crossword solution, 3 3 17, no 0303

They say there ain’t no cure for the SUMMERTIME BLUES, but I’m pretty sure that February weather in March will fix that right up. Have a little wintertime blues instead. Take a walk in Mopetown.

No particular excitement in this puzzle, nor disappointment. I like MARRIED MAN, MAD TEA PARTY, and SAUSAGE DOG, while SELECTEE is duller than dishwater.

Five things:

  • 1d. [Indian bread?], WAMPUM. Meh. Not keen on the clue.
  • 14a. [Mortal sister of the immortal Stheno and Euryale], MEDUSA. All those Sporcle quizzes on Greek mythology didn’t make me recognize Stheno and Euryale at all.
  • 22a. [Take the wheel?], UNICYCLE. UNICYCLE as a verb, when instead of taking a two-wheeler, you head out on just the one wheel.
  • 59a. [Doing time], IN STIR. Wish this answer were INSTAR crossing ALA, because INSTARs are cool. Check out the various phases and color schemes for the caterpillar instars of the swallowtail butterfly, for example.
  • 23d. [Her albums include “Cuchi-Cuchi” and “Olé, Olé”], CHARO. Did you hear that Charo will be competing on Dancing With the Stars?

Not much else to remark on here. Perhaps a little harder than the typical Friday NYT—do you agree? 3.8 stars from me.

Alex Eaton-Salners’ LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up

LA Times

The conceit of “No Clue” is interesting, although not much different to [See X] in some clue reversal themes. However, all it conceals is a list theme of UFOS HELICOPTER, GOODYEARBLIMP, BIPLANE, HOTAIRBALLOON, HANGGLIDER. The big reveal kind of goes poof.

BOBA and BUTTPACK were two very mysterious answers for me. My go-to BOBA is Fett… [Spat ending] is a non-clue for ULA; it’s not a small spat, even if the ULA part of it is etymologically from small. I’d say the fill highlights were ELOHIM and CARLSJR, the ‘S’ of which looks oh so wrong.

2.5 Stars

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11 Responses to Friday, March 3, 2017

  1. Chopster says:

    Pretty easy. Smooth Patrick Berry. Asteroid belts, queen of mean, and mad tea party, particularly nice.

  2. Dook says:

    I knew Summertime Blues right away and the rest fell into place quickly except for upper left. Unicycle as a verb? Not so sure. Wampum? Absolutely not!

  3. huda says:

    NYT: I thought the intersection of SUMMERTIME BLUES with ASTEROID BELTS was a great centerpiece for the puzzle, and I too really liked some of the longer entries– QUEEN OF MEAN (I had QUEEN OF PORN for a while…), SAUSAGE DOGS, etc..

    And Berry good cluing.

  4. Bruce N Morton says:

    Very good and much easier than the typical Friday. I seem to be getting fussy about finding the perfect Cinderella puzzle. They’re either too hard or too easy. I wondered if “wampum” would be considered offensive. I found no evidence of that, but looking it up, I never realized that wampum consisted of beads.

  5. David L says:

    Easy Friday. I was going to object to MADTEAPARTY because I’ve always known it as the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. But Google tells me that A Mad Tea Party is indeed the title of that chapter. Well!

    SAUSAGEDOG reminds me of an aunt and uncle of mine who at one time had four of the yappy little beasties.

  6. Brad says:

    No new CHE posted online this week, to allow time for the restored print version and the web site archives to sync up. There was misunderstanding between departments as to when the puzzle would resume appearing in the paper, so the puzzle I intended for Feb. 17 (and posted online that way) appeared on Feb. 24, etc. If you are a CHE subscriber solving on paper, you perhaps know already that the puzzle has moved to the “News” section so that CHE can still capitalize on the savings of a slimmed-down Review section. Sadly, I see the print version of the Erik Agard puzzle has lopped off a few of the final Down clues, so the web site is the place to go for an intact puzzle. I hope that starting next week we can shake off these bobbles!

  7. Thomas says:

    The LAT as downloaded by Words with Crosses is totally broken. The unclued entries grab the next clue in numeric sequence, so the clues get more and more out of sync as you go down. I don’t know if there’s a correct .puz out there somewhere, but the website version does work.

    • Amy Reynaldo says:

      The .puz available from has [No Clue] in those unclued spaces. Assorted apps have apparently not built in the coding to accommodate, say, multi-letter rebus squares or unclued entries.

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