Monday, March 6, 2017

BEQ  8:50 (Jenni) 


LAT untimed (pannonica) 


NYT untimed (pannonica)  


WSJ untimed (jim)  


Susan Gelfland’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

NYT • 3/6/17 • Mon • Gelfland • № 0306 • solution

Outerwear, deliberately misconstrued. Or, things deliberately misconstrued to be outerwear. Take your pick.

  • 17a, [Article of outerwear for an urbanite] CITY SLICKER.
  • 23a. [Article of outerwear for a champagne drinker?] BUBBLE WRAP.
  • 33a. [… for a candy lover?] SUGAR COAT.
  • 48a. [… for a housekeeper?] DUST JACKET. A verb? That’s low. Or is it some weird synecdoche?
  • 53a. [… for a General Motors employee?] CHEVY BLAZER.

Oh hello, 37d [Headgear for a drizzly day] RAIN HAT, how are you?

  • Timely! 1a [What the “Gras” of Mardi Gras means] FAT.
  • 9d [Fon du __, Wis.] LAC, 51a [ __ Harbour, Fla.] BAL.
  • 24d [Command spoken while pulling the reins] WHOA. None of you spell it ‘woah’, right? If you do, stop.
  • 46d [Caged talker] PARROT. Hey, you know that they’re actually wild birds, right?
  • Favorite column: 13, with INKLING and IRKSOME.


Zhouqin Burnikel’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “R&D Department” — Jim’s review

I was surprised when I uncovered the first theme entry that it didn’t start with R. The title made me think we would have two-word phrases of the form R___ D___. But that’s not the case.

It’s a vowel progression theme in the final word of the theme entries. Each word starts with an R sound and ends with a D sound.

WSJ – Mon, 3.6.17 – “R&D Department” by Zhouqin Burnikel

  • 18a [Vice squad operation] POLICE RAID.
  • 24a [Doctor for whom a military medical center is named] WALTER REED
  • 38a [1968 Steppenwolf song] MAGIC CARPET RIDE. Nice grid-spanner.
  • 48a [Set out] HIT THE ROAD. I have to call foul on this one as ROAD and RIDE are etymologically related.
  • 55a [“Oh, behave yourself!”] DON’T BE RUDE.

I’ve been really noticing a lot of colorful verbal phrases in Zhouqin’s recent work. Today we get “THAT’S A LIE!” and “I GET IT NOW” both of which really give the grid a lot of pizzazz. On the shorter side, there’s “WAHOO,” “PSHAW,” and “OR ELSE!”

It’s hard to get very excited about a vowel progression theme, but you can count on Zhouqin to keep it clean and lively. Nice puzzle for a Monday.

Kathy Jaschke’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

LAT • 3/6/17 • Mon • Jaschke • solution

Repetitive fantastical two-word phrases where a double-O in the first is excised for the second. Crosswords with such giveaway patterns make for quick solving and are more or less relegated to Mondays (in outlets that feature puzzles that progress in difficulty through the week).

  • 17a. [Place for a haircut and a whiskey?] SALOON SALON. Imagine that.
  • 27a. [Storage solution for Disney?] CARTOON CARTON. 63a [“Lady and the __”] TRAMP.
  • 43a. [Farmer’s wake-up duty list?] ROOSTER ROSTER.
  • 57a. [How to ask journalist Roberts if she’d like an Oreo?] COOKIE, COKIE?

Cute theme, though it lacks depth.

  • 1a [Scalawag] SCAMP. Original meaning of scalawag: ‘a white Southerner acting in support of the reconstruction governments after the American Civil War often for private gain”. Nothing to do with vitamin C deficiency or sea travel, either! Convenient alliteration, is my guess.
  • 34a [Singer Edith known as “The Little Sparrow”] PIAF. Née Édith Gassion; piaf itself is French slang for ‘sparrow’.
  • 66a [Eye sores] STYES, 9d [I problem?] EGO, 10d [Electric eye, e.g.] SENSOR, 45d [Eye rudely] OGLE.
  • 25a [James Watt, by birth] SCOT, 27d [Pole tossed in Highlands competitions] CABER, 65a [Boglike] PEATY.
  • 33a [Pago Pago’s place] SAMOA. Note: not Pagoo Pago.
  • Favorite clue/answer: 24d [Brings forward for inspection] TROTS OUT; least favorite clue/answer: 25d [Mountain climber] SCALER.

Brendan Emmett Quigley’s website crossword – “Themeless Monday #406” — Jenni’s Review

Happy Monday! A nice BEQ always gets my week off to a good start. It took me a little while to get a foothold, but once I did it all fell nicely. What I noticed:

BEQ 3/6 puzzle, solution grid

  • 6a [Convoy signoff] was a gimme for this child of the ’70s, when CBs were a fashionable  car accessory and “Convoy” hit #1 on the Billboard Pop Chart. The answer is TEN FOUR.
  • I filled in LIMBO without crossings for 13a [Waiting room in the sky] and then took it out because 3d started with DM, which seemed unlikely. Turns out LIMBO is correct; 3d [Just passing] is not about cars but grades. It’s D MINUS.
  • 10d [Dash part] had me thinking about races. Nope. It’s a car dashboard, where an OIL GAUGE can be seen.
  • I love RED HOTS, clued as [Cinnamon candy] with a sneaky plural.
  • I have never seen either “Devious Maids” or “Shameless.” I managed to figure out Ana ORTIZ and JOAN CUSACK anyway.
  • 39d [Cross reaction] is a SCOWL. Nice.

What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: that TITO PUENTE is known as “El Rey de los Timbales.” It made me smile to fill in his name, and then I had to go watch some videos of his performances. I love me some percussion. Just listening isn’t enough. You have to watch the man play.

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10 Responses to Monday, March 6, 2017

  1. Donna L says:

    Amy, I see that there’s a line in the ratings section for a CS puzzle. Your readers should be aware that there is no more CrosSynergy, and the puzzles that are being peddled as CrosSynergy’s are not, in fact, being distributed by that entity and shouldn’t be promoted as such. I say that not to demean the quality of the puzzles that are now being offered, but simply to clarify that the puzzles are not the workproduct of the CrosSynergy team. If the ratings line for CS today was simply an oversight and wasn’t meant to be included on your page, you can happily ignore this comment.

    • Amy Reynaldo says:

      Deleted. We typically copy and paste the previous week’s header codes, and we don’t always remember to update them fully.

      Didn’t realize the emailed “CS” puzzles by Hartman were a separate entity. I’d assumed they were old puzzles originally made for CS, but didn’t see any sign of the first one in the Cruciverb database.

  2. huda says:

    NYT: Clever Monday, very well executed. CHEVY BLAZER struck my as a little inconsistent, as none of the rest are proper names. And RAIN HAT is actually a little distracting. The rest is pretty awesome.
    And lotsa birds: A GULL, an OWL and a PARROT. Maybe that RAIN HAT is necessary…

  3. Chukkagirl says:

    I’ve been around for more than a few decades with quite a few crosswords, but never encountered the word RIAS, 47A. First time for everything, I guess.

    • Amy Reynaldo says:

      You’ve probably blown right past in in prior crosswords, filling in that word via the crossings. It’s been a steady piece of crosswordese for eons. (And you’d be unlikely to encounter the word anywhere outside of crosswords.)

  4. jack says:

    Regarding BEQ: One of those puzzles where ONE mistake really messes with ya! (MONET vs. COROT! ) Also had BPO instead of BSO. AAARRGH!

  5. David L says:

    In the BEQ I had no idea about “I’m Audi” but google tells me it’s a phrase…

    POSIT does not mean “question.” Hasn’t BEQ made this same mistake before?

  6. Brian says:

    BEQ: Liked the puzzle, but shouldn’t “Convoy signoff” be “over and out” rather than “ten-four?”

    • Norm says:

      No. “Ten codes” are standard radio speech. “Over and out” is movie talk. Think about it. On the radio, you want to communicate as quickly and clearly as possible. 10-4 does that. Now, you could question clue, since 10-4 covers MORE than a signoff but … it certainly includes it. :)

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