Monday, April 3, 2017

BEQ untimed (Jenni) 


LAT untimed (pannonica) 


NYT untimed (pannonica)  


WSJ untimed (Jim)  


Agnes Davidson and Zhouqin Burnikel’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

NYT • 4/3/17 • Mon • Davidson, Burnikel • № 0403 • solution

  • 39aR [Rough estimates … or what the ends of 17-, 24-, 52- and 65-Across are?] BALLPARK FIGURES.
  • 17a. [Coating for fish that you might think would make you tipsy] BEER BATTER.
  • 24a. [Cinderella’s carriage] PUMPKIN COACH. So. Before knowing the theme and with PU––KIN filled in I naturally completed it as PUSHKIN. Whoops.
  • 52a. [Waiter’s refilling aid] WATER PITCHER.
  • 65a. [Overhead cooler] CEILING FAN.

MLB’s 2017 Opening Day is today (Sunday). Happy Baseballery.

13d [Tree huggers?] SLOTHS, only when navigating the trunk. Didn’t care for this clue.

Longdowns: 11d [Host of TV’s “30 Minute Meals”] RACHAEL RAY, 30d [Words after “Reach Out” in a #1 Four Tops hit] I’LL BE THERE.

42d [Pollution police, for short] EPA. Not anymore.

Brendan Emmett Quigley’s website crossword – “Themeless Monday #408” — Jenni’s review

BEQ 4/3, solution grid

I paused the timer when Emma texted me (emergency! prom planning!) and never turned it back on. This was one of those puzzles that felt daunting at first, as I tried to get a foothold. I finally latched on to a couple of crossings in the NE and then moved into the SW. The NW was the last to fall and in may ways the most satisfying. Let’s start there:

  • 1a [“Get outta here”] was the last clue I filled in and it made me grin. The answer is NO EFFIN WAY. Perfect.
  • 17a [“Never ever happening”] is the closely related ZERO CHANCE. In between we have INGRATIATE, which also amused me.
  • 16a [Character who got fired in a recent pro-PBS video] was my foothold. It’s ELMO. ICYMI, it can be found here.
  • And the two crossings: 12d [Ortega rival] is OLD EL PASO and 13d [“What? What happened?”] is I MISSED IT. Those helped, too.
  • I really liked the SE stack of AUNTIE MAME/GREEN ACRES/GROSGRAINS, even with the odd plural of GROSGRAINS. And the clue for AUNTIE MAM is great: [Movie comedy with the line “Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!].

What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: that the collective noun for HAREs is “drove.” According to Wikipedia, alternate terms would be “flick” and “husk.”

Brock Wilson’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

LAT • 4/3/7 • Mon • Wilson • solution

  • 60aR [Start of a hopeful rhyme about bad weather, and a hint to what the first word of 16-, 24- and 46-Across may describe] RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY (“Come again some other/another day”).
  • 16a. [Awkward situation] FINE HOW-DO-YOU-DO.
  • 24a. [Weekly paycheck, e.g.] STEADY INCOME.
  • 46a. [Golf practice facility] DRIVING RANGE.

Fine rain, steady rain, driving rain. Increasing in intensity, which shows a gentle touch (not a heavy hand). This is a very nice, compact Monday theme with a fairly clean grid. Any sticky fill is compensated by easy crossings.

Aaron L. Peterson’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Tool Time” — Jim’s review

Multi-word phrases are presented wherein the last word is a homonym of a carpentry tool. The first part of the phrase is hinted at by the profession mentioned in the clue.

WSJ – Mon, 4.3.17 – “Tool Time” by Aaron L. Peterson (Mike Shenk)

  • 17a [Jet pilot’s favorite tool?] TWIN-ENGINE PLANE
  • 29a [Sound mixer’s favorite tool?] NOISE LEVEL
  • 42a [Intelligence agent’s favorite tool?] SECRET FILE
  • 55a [Parade leader’s favorite tool?] CLOSE ORDER DRILL

I’ve been in and around the military all my life (40+ years; mostly Air Force) and I have never heard the phrase CLOSE ORDER DRILL. But that doesn’t necessarily mean much. It seems like it’s a term more commonly used in the Army and Marines each of which has a history of combat while in formation. Today, drilling is mainly for ceremonial purposes. As such, while we certainly did plenty of drilling while I was in training, we simply called it “drill practice” or “parade practice.”

The rest of the themers are straightforward and make for solid, if Mondayish, fare.

I seemed to have more than the usual amount of re-writes in the grid, mostly in the bottom half. Maybe my clue radar needs adjustment, but I had MIND for TEND [Look after], AVOWED for SAID SO [Declared authoritatively], DRINKS for BOOZES [Hits the bottle], LOOSE for ROOMY [Not cramped], and inexplicably, CPUS for CRTS [Old PC monitors].

Good long Downs in DIRECTIONS, EVANSVILLE, TENTPOLE, CAR HORNS, SIRLOIN, PET DOORS, and SEED BEDS. And that center is filled really nicely with 5-letter or longer entries some of which are sparkly like TOP OFF, NYMPH, and EMBRYO.

But there seemed to be an inordinate number of plural answers in the grid; four in the long Downs (if you include DIRECTIONS) plus BINS, POLLS, CRTS, and PAILS. The shorter ones are more forgivable but the longer ones feel like a bit much after a while. At least they are all interesting terms with good clues.

Not much else to say. A fine Monday puzzle with nice fill.

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16 Responses to Monday, April 3, 2017

  1. e.a. says:

    those long downs in the NYT puzzle *fans self*

  2. Steve Manion. says:

    Sloths are getting a bad name. Here is a pygmy sloth racing to respond to a female mating call in BBC’s fabulous Planet Earth 2:

    Fun puzzle for me.


  3. deneb says:

    Slangy “sweetie” is BAE? Really?

    • pannonica says:

      It’s been the hip thing for quite a few years. But the moment must be over if it’s in the NYT.

      • Jenni Levy says:

        My daughter would say the moment was over the minute I learned what it meant. She now uses it only ironically.

    • Lois says:

      I saw it in a subtitle for a song on a late night talk show recently. That was my first exposure. I also didn’t know what a “mic drop” was in last Thursday’s NYT puzzle.

  4. DJ says:

    Re; NYT- “Ballpark figures” is a nice theme concept, but in baseball you have a manager not a coach.

    So “pumpkin coach” doesn’t really work.

  5. doug says:

    Re: BEQ –
    Two 1* and one 1.5* ratings? I loved (4.5*) this one. Very fresh fill. Half the stuff I filled in were guesses, but everything fell together in one of my fastest BEQ themelesses in a long time. Many smiles along the way, and also some new words learned. BTW, crosswords are my main way of keeping up with the words used by my grandsons. Thanks to Brendan and all the other constructors who populate these pages! As always, YMMV

  6. Martin says:

    AT&T has screwed up my internet and can’t fix it until Wednesday. For emergency access to the puzzles I host, I’ve moved the following to Drive:

    Tuesday Wall Street Journal.


    Sorry about the inconvenience. All should be restored on Wednesday.

Comments are closed.