Saturday, April 29, 2017

LAT 15:25 (Derek) 


Newsday 19:40 (Derek) 


NYT 4:50 (Amy) 


WSJ untimed (Jim P) 


Martin Ashwood-Smith’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up

NY Times crossword solution, 4 29 17, no 0429

Okay, so this is Will Shortz Charity Weekend, and he’s serving up themeless puzzles that are way easier than usual? Is that the deal? Because I did the Friday puzzle in a Tuesday amount of time and the Saturday in a Friday time. The Saturday offering’s a MAS puzzle but it has nary a 15! And no stacks! What this 68-worder does have, though, is sprawling center with intersecting stairsteps of 12s and 13s. Lots of nice fill, too.

Favorite entries: MEA CULPA (nice clue: [Fault line?]), DILLY-DALLIES, SOUNDING BOARD (this is my #1 fave), GEORGE SMILEY (anyone else tend to get him mixed up with Muppet Guy Smiley?), SHEESH, MARILYN MONROE (yes, I filled in CAMPBELL’S SOUP off the A for [Famed Pop Art subject]), and DEAD GIVEAWAY (my #2).

Four clues:

  • 13a. [Hannibal’s men], THE A-TEAM. Not the Hannibal who crossed the Alps, and not Hannibal Lecter.
  • 53a. [Hooter’s location], OWL’S NEST. This feels arbitrary/contrived. Eagle’s nest feels like a thing, as does generic bird’s nest, but I’m not sure other birds’ nests do.
  • 7d. [Title of politeness], SAN. This one, I don’t understand. I thought it was just a Spanish form of “Saint.” Is this SAN from another language?
  • 51a. [Capital for King Zog], TIRANA. Yes, Albania had a King Zog! Likely the best royal name ever, no?

Could do without fill like BELG., and some of the other shortish fill was a bit blah, but overall, it was a smooth solve. 4.2 stars from me.

Randolph Ross’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Weather Update” — Jim’s review

Jim P. here, sitting in for pannonica. Today we’re treated to weather puns!

WSJ – Sat, 4.29.17 – “Weather Update” by Randolph Ross

  • 23a [South American weather forecast?] SANTIAGO CHILLY. Santiago, Chile.
  • 31a [Absence of messy winter weather in the Northwest?] SLEETLESS IN SEATTLE. Sleepless in Seattle.
  • 50a [Frightening weather?] RAIN OF TERROR. Reign of terror.
  • 71a [Causes pain, as some bad weather might?] HURTS LIKE HAIL. Hurts like hell.
  • 87a [Unusual Mexican weather forecast?] ACAPULCO COLD. Not sure—Acapulco Gold maybe?
  • 106a [Prediction of impending arctic weather?] CHANGE FOR THE BITTER. Change for the better.
  • 120a [Forecast for improving winter weather?] SNOW END IN SIGHT. No end in sight.
  • 39d [Weather report about a blizzard?] FLAKE NEWS. Fake news.
  • 54d [Wet weather report in Egypt?] ASWAN DAMP. Aswan Dam.

Can’t say I enjoyed these puns too much. I would have liked it better if they were more consistent, like if each one was about a specific city. I did like the timeliness of FLAKE NEWS, but for the most part, these didn’t feel all that fresh.

And when you throw in that pile-up in the north of NOI, ALLES, LILLI, and DOYENS crossing ELEA…that’s hard to overcome.

There are some good things like ODDBALLROPE-A-DOPE, SPRAY CANS and ‘SCUSE ME, but LEVELER couldn’t be saved by a too-cute clue [Evening person?]. On the whole, there just wasn’t too much excitement going on here.

Gail Grabowski’s LA Times crossword – Derek’s write-up

I must be exhausted. This puzzle took me forever! Excellent construction by Gail, and some great clues that really fooled me. I start work now at 7:00 am, so I am not used to these early mornings yet. I feel groggy constantly! I will have to adjust my go-to-sleep time to even earlier, like 7:30!! But I had fun with this puzzle nonetheless, and I give it a solid 4.4 stars.

A few mentionables:

  • 17A [Childhood playmate, perhaps] IMAGINARY FRIEND – Verrry nice!
  • 22A [First AFL-CIO president] MEANY – As in George Meany, a name I feel I should have remembered better. But slightly before my time!
  • 26A [One of the Visayan Islands] LEYTE – This is difficult. These islands are in the Philippines. I believe this is also a beach from the Normandy invasion.
  • 42A [It was founded to build engines for The Bull Tractor Company] TORO – This is a great clue. I was able to figure it out, but very entertaining.
  • 46A [Fine another way] ALTER ONE’S COURSE – I had ALTERNATE COURSE in here. Tricky!
  • 7D [Result of poor ventilation] STALE AIR – I had STILL AIR in here. Fooled again!
  • 25D [The Home Depot rival] LOWE’S – Don’t forget Menard’s! We have all three of these home improvement stores in our area now; The Home Depot was the last to come.
  • 39D [Frank] HONEST – Did you write HOT DOG in there like I did?!

Another cool weekend, but it’s almost May. It will warm up soon!!

Lars G. Doubleday’s Newsday crossword, “Saturday Stumper” – Derek’s write-up

Brad and Doug made a toughie this time! As mentioned in my LAT post, it seems as if I have been constantly sleepy all week, and after getting a good night’s sleep and running a 5k Saturday morning, the puzzle fell much easier. I started it on Friday night, and that was a mistake. I was asleep well before the Bulls NBA season ended last night unceremoniously! (Who knew Rondo was so critical??) I wonder what I should try next year at the ACPT to ensure some decent sleep? Skip the wine and cheese reception? Skip Friday night altogether? Arrive on Saturday? A solid, albeit quite hard, puzzle from these two this weekend; 4.5 stars for this one.

A few notes:

    • 7A [Furors] RUMPUSES – Why is this not RUCKUSES??
    • 22A [1938 “Time” cover subject at 23] WELLES – Here is the cover. Not what I expected from a 23 year old!
    • 43A [“Sweetest one” in “Jambalaya”] YVONNE – This is a song. I found a version I liked by Fats Domino. Waaaay before my time!

  • 49A [Yogi Berra 15-time acquisition] WORLD SERIES RING – This seemed like a lot, but he managed the Yankees for several years too. Amazing!
  • 4D [Comic strip with “four basic guilt groups”] CATHY – I had the final “Y” early on, but couldn’t think of this soon enough. One of my favorite comic strips while growing up!
  • 14D [Galley supply] STEW POTS – My only less than favorite entry in the puzzle. This is the only bad I could find, and it isn’t really bad!
  • 38D [Basis for many a Pokémon] RODENT – But of course. They’re all rats to me! (No, I do not do Pokémon Go. Someday maybe …
  • 52D [Users of the HEART Pathway app] ERS  – Great clue. Able to figure this out by the clue, which makes it fun, especially since I have never heard of this app!

That is all for today. Off to take a nap!

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6 Responses to Saturday, April 29, 2017

  1. Martin says:

    Hai, Amy-san, another language entirely.

  2. sam says:

    I was confused by “san” too, thinking of the Spanish, but your question about other languages made me realize the answer refers to Japanese.

  3. Philippe says:

    San: Japanese way of addressing someone

  4. Norm says:

    NYT: MAS not as mean as usual. Like.
    LAT: Grabowski more opaque than usual. Like.
    WSJ: Ugh.

  5. Zulema says:

    The NYT took me forever, but I worked it out finally. The LAT took me much less time. They were both very interesting. And Martin, since you did not provide Amy with a translation, I will tell her, just in case, that HAI means YES.

  6. Ethan Friedman says:

    SAN should totally have been clued to indicate it’s another language. I mean, we indicate French or German, but not Japanese? Why not “Polite title, in Toyama” or the like? Even for a Saturday that was just too opaque.

Comments are closed.