The Chronicle of Higher Education crossword has the week off.
Matthew Sewell’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
Sewell’s byline is seen fairly regularly in the Newsday “Saturday Stumper,” and here he brings us an easier themeless—though it still felt closer to a Saturday NYT than a Friday for me.
Fave fill: LAST CHANCE, CRUSHING IT, ANY SECOND, KICKED IN, delicious SAMOSA, KISS-CAM, the dreaded MAN-BUN, ENGAGEMENT PARTY, and STEPMOM.
Because I neglected to go to bed early yesterday after a long day, I’m yawning now. So without further ado, five things:
- 20a. [Having hit successfully, say], ON BASE. The Cubs won today. Could’ve done without the KISS-CAM clue echoing this answer: [What motivates people to get to first base during a game?].
- 34a. [Agenda-topping issue], MAIN ITEM. Is this a solidly in-the-language thing? Doesn’t feel familiar to me. There’s a MAIN-STEM bronchus that’s one letter off.
- 1d. [Moorish castle], ALCAZAR. I figured it would start with AL- but that’s as much as I knew of this one.
- 33d. [Old-fashioned letter opener], MY DEAR SIR. Felt a bit iffy to me, so I Googled it. It’s got Abraham Lincoln cred, so I’ll allow it.
- 44d. [Naturally blind], EYELESS. I’d have preferred a clue mentioning some cave salamanders, cave fish, or whatnot.
The short fill’s not bad. 3.9 stars from me.
Jeffrey Wechsler’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up
In today’s puzzle the digram AR is switched to become RA and the result is reclued. There is no cutesy reveal, so it felt a hair arbitrary. On the other hand, it’s a very specific change, and has a slightly different feel to the addition/subtraction themes that dominate Friday LATs.
We have: G(RA)YINDIANA, B(RA)DOFAVON, W(RA)PSPEED, E(RA)SOFCORN and B(RA)NRAISING. No homerun answers, but all of them work.
It’s Friday so – clue trickery! Was flummoxed by [Road where Mozart was born], STRASSE, not a specific street! [Shakespeare’s jet?], EBON, obvious once it appears!
Accidentally rated the LAT instead of the NYT – can you nuke my 3.0 for LAT?
NYT was relatively easy for a Friday. I initially had ALGARVE for Moorish castle, and then INASECOND, so got sidetracked for a few seconds.
Yes, quite easy, I got hung up briefly by entering only chance instead of last chance. I often don’t like abbreviations. Why are sts, some patrons. All I can think of is “streets.”
I still don’t know what sts. means. States?
Saints? I’ve heard the expression “patron saints” but I don’t exactly know what it means. Does everyone have a patron saint based on their birthday?
I am not sure if it is exclusively a Catholic thing, but I know it is a Catholic thing. There are patron saints for just about anything. The only one I really remember is Saint Christopher. We had a Saint Christopher medal in our car. I think he was the patron saint of safe travel.
The other saint I remember is St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes. In Catholic masses during the week, there is often a prayer called the Litany of the Saints in which the pries names a saint and the parishioners respond with “Pray for us.” It can go on for quite a while:
Incidentally, I found today’s puzzle to be quite a bit harder than what appears to be the consensus.
I figured it out but I don’t think it’s a very good clue. There are certainly “patron saints,” but to my mind you wouldn’t describe those saints as being patrons of anything.
If we ever need a replacement for GREENPAINT, MAINITEM will do nicely.
Pretty good puzzle overall, though. I wanted ALHAMBRA at 1D, then thought about ALCALDE, but that’s something else. ALCAZAR is new to me.
PS Is it cheating if I glanced at my keyboard for 37D?
LAT. Net neutrality beneficiary: ISP??
Shouldn’t that be beneficiary of repealing net neutrality?
I agree. The absence of net neutrality means that ISPs can extract more money from heavy users.
I didn’t know ALCAZAR at all and had _APS at the Z crossing so I just went through the alphabet to see what letter worked for Obliterates. I stopped at SAPS because I thought, “oh yeah that works.” Never thought to continue to Z. I do it on paper, so in my mind, I finished correctly. My mind hasn’t been known to be wrong though.
That was supposed to say “has been”
NYT – Not sure I get 7D. Hasn’t the honoree already become a party to the engagement?
[Its honorees plan to become one] refers to the two honorees at an event called an engagement party (held to celebrate the betrothed couple) planning to get married and “become one,” as in a unified couple.