Patrick Berry’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
Low word count—just 62 entries here. This faintly floral grid has a central pinwheel of interlocking 11s, and two boxy corners. Not a lot of astonishing individual entries, what with the low word count limiting the constructor’s wiggle room for accommodating anything in particular.
Without further ado, because this cough is tiring me out, seven things:
- 17a. [Rock music?], CRADLE SONGS. Don’t know the definition of cradle songs. Lullabies?
- 23a. [Onetime Chicago Outfit establishment], SPEAKEASY. Not sure why the clue is specifically about Chicago, as there were speakeasies throughout the country.
- 41a. [Druidic monument], STONE CIRCLE. Stonehenge is one such monument; there are others.
- 1d. [American candy company since 1904], BRACH’S. I’ll always have a soft (tooth) spot for Brach’s candy, since the company began in Chicago. It’s been bought and sold so many times in recent decades, it’s not a stand-alone company—but the current owner of the Brach’s line is Ferrara, which is based in the Chicago suburbs. So! Bring me the Brach’s harvest candy corn in the fall, and I will eat it.
- 2d. [Beat soundly], LARRUP. It’s a great word, but I wish it’d been clued differently because 32d is BEAT IT.
- 30d. [Gaza Strip guerrillas], FEDAYEEN. Have seen the word, wasn’t 100% on the spelling. Crossings appreciated!
- 16d. [Minds one’s place?], HOUSECLEANS. Didn’t realize that was a verb, but it is.
Smooth fill for that low a word count. UTES and STYE are dry, but one notes the absence of any abbreviations or partials. Four stars from me.
Todd Gross’ Chronicle of Higher Education crossword, “Holy Ground” — pannonica’s write-up
Saints be, some geography.
- 20a. [French military decoration since 1915] CROIX DE GUERRE.
- 24a. [Inventor with children nicknamed Dot and Dash] THOMAS EDISON. Trivia I was unaware of.
- 39a. [Peace Corps establisher] JOHN F KENNEDY.
- 45aR [U.S. territory suggested by the beginnings of 20, 24 and 39 Across] VIRGIN ISLANDS.
The three main islands—and also the three administrative divisions—comprising the US Virgin Islands are St Croix, St Thomas, and St John. There are dozens of smaller ones, many with colorful names. Barrel of Beef, anyone? Cockroach Island? Saltwater Money Rock?
- 41a [Classical work whose theme is heard in the “Internet Symphony No. 1“] EROICA. By Chinese composer TAN DUN, though the original is of course Beethoven.
- 55a [IRS form furnished by employers] W-TWO. We frown on these letter/spelled-out-number hybrids that aren’t ‘real’.
- 5d [Certain footnotes: Abbr.] OP CITS. Op. cit., you may recall, is Latin for “in the work cited”, opere citato.
- 9d [Angry Man #8, to Angry Man #12?] CO-JUROR, but in-grid it looks like an elided spelling of CONJUROR. In the landmark 1957 Sidney Lumet film, #8 is played by Henry Fonda and #12 Robert Webber.
- 10d [Use for transport, as an elephant or a bicycle] RIDE ON.
- 11d[Distress signal] ALARM, not FLARE, as I first attempted.
- 22d [She had 10 appearances on “The Love Boat”] CHARO. aka María del Rosario Mercedes Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza. I understand she still plays a mean flamenco guitar. Wonder how many times the “Love Boat” visited the US Virgin Islands. I wouldn’t know. Much better to read David Foster Wallace’s essay, “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again“.
- This sequence seems very 1930s in the aggregate: 37d [Companionship, quaintly] SOCIETY, 38d [About] ANENT, 39d [Pub measure] JIGGER.
- 43d [Supplicating figure] ORANT. Not, as I suspected, closely related etymologically to orison.
- 48d [Suffix for earth … and no other planet] -LING. In the news. “… and no other planet” … that we know of.
Nice little vacation of a crossword.
Jeffrey Wechsler’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up
Some very good moments in this “? style” puzzle. To wit, the OYVEY revealer in the centre and the MINISTER to MINIOYSTER transformation, which is genius. TOMB to TOMBOY is a good transformation too, although TOMBOYOFKINGTUT, falls short IMO, as it lacks a logical surface sense. CLOYINGPEACHES and ALLOYFORNAUGHT are placeholders, but one really great final pun is more than enough to sell the puzzle!
I can’t really find much else I’d like to point to. The timer says I struggled with the puzzle, but I don’t see many difficult answers or clues. Curious, that. Perhaps tiredness.