Friday, May 26, 2017

CHE untimed (pannonica) 


LAT 4:45 (Gareth) 


NYT 4:16 (Amy) 


Robyn Weintraub’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up

NY Times crossword solution, 5 26 17, no 0526


ENGS is an ugly plural abbreviation (and perhaps bogus, as engr. is the standard abbreviation for “engineer”), and JCT is an ugly (but wholly legit) singular abbrev. I’d prefer REEDED clued with reference to the grooved edges of a dime or quarter rather than [Like clarinets], because musical instruments and I are long estranged.

What else have we got?

  • 26a. [Puma parts], LACES. Puma sneakers, not the felines.
  • 37a. [Unknowingly reveal], BETRAY. There’s also the sense of betrayal in which someone knowingly reveals what they oughtn’t. (Topical!) The clued sense is along the lines of “his slow pace betrayed his reluctance to ever get to school.”
  • 4d. [Bible belt?], SMITE. Great clue. I am currently reading the bible via the IBBLE unscrambling app and I don’t think I’ve hit any “smites” yet in the astonishingly overlong Book of Genesis.
  • 6d. [They’re often installed in the spring, for short], ACS. Cooler near the lake! No need for an AC here yet. I’m tired of being chilly.
  • 30d. [Stayed out when you shouldn’t have?], OVERSLEPT. Cute clue. Somebody get me up before 7 tomorrow, will you?
  • 53d. [Victoria, e.g.: Abbr.], STA. In addition to London’s Victoria Station, there’s the Victoria Station in Manchester beside the arena, the site of this week’s horrific bombing. I’m guessing the clue predates the attack.

4.2 stars from me. Good night!

Tracy Bennett’s Chronicle of Higher Education crossword, “Triple-Teamed” — pannonica’s write-up

CHE • 5/26/17 • “Triple-Teamed” • Bennett • solution

Really flooding the zone here. The lanes are clogged in this 16×15 crossword.

For each grid-spanning theme entry, the nicknames of three NBA teams have been strung together to form a reasonably coherent statement, in singular noun subject | present tense verb | plural noun object form.

  • 21a. [Warmer weather stirs up a hazardous nest?] HEAT SPURS HORNETS.
  • 40a. [Spell summons other spell developers?] MAGIC NETS WIZARDS.
  • 61a. [Playing bebop music seems to guarantee a flying start to rodeo events?] JAZZ ROCKETS BULLS.

As you can see, they’re rather tortured. On the other hand, the constraints are severe. Limited set to start with, need for nouns that will work as verbs, each of the three triplets must run to the same letter length.

  • 24a [Tracy’s mom in “Hairspray”] EDNA, 66a [Seaweed’s sister in “Hairspray”] INEZ.
  • 26a [Touch after a chase] TAG, 51a [“Cut to the chase”] BE BRIEF.
  • 71a [Jung femme, in some?] ANIMA, 72a [Yon femme, in Somme?] ELLE. Oh wow, was I talking about tortured constructions earlier? That’s … wow. Kudos.
  • 11d [Mother-wolf voicer in 2016’s “Jungle Book”] Lupita NYONG’O. Despite enticing appearances Lupita doesn’t mean ‘little wolf’. It’s a diminutive form of Guadalupe (as in, Our Lady of). Strong speculation has it that the (original) namesake river in Spain derives from the Arabic wad-al-lubb, meaning ‘hidden river’.
  • 12d [Home builder’s projection] EAVE.

    (featuring the guitar playing of Waddy Wachtel)
  • 13d [Came down to earth] ALIT, 44d [Landed, maybe] AFFLUENT.
  • 14d [Great American Ball Park team] REDS, 22d [Hawthorne’s pariah] PRYNNE.
  • Favorite clue: 38d [Some campus occupations] SIT-INS.
  • 46a [“The Trumpet of the Swan” monogram] EBW (EB White, Elwyn Brooks White). 3d [Like cranes, but not derricks] AVIAN.
  • 27a [Choice piece of Joyce?] ULYSSES; I’m supposing that the weird clue is because the constructor (or editor) was enamored of the -ce, -ce, -ce repetition. 8d [Long, strange trips] ODYSSEYS. 37a [Last word of 27 Across] YES.

Sam Donaldson’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up

LA Times 170526

For a Friday, this theme is unusually minimalist and easy enough to solve around. There are four parts that (ostensibly) need NUMBERONE added to them to make sense with the clues. It is a problem for me that DOOR and PUBLICENEMY still work without the NUMBERONE as clued. [“Let’s make a deal” choice] can be answered by DOOR and DOOR(NUMBERONE); same with the PUBLICENEMY clue. LOOKSOUTFOR and WERE are meaningless without their NUMBERONEs. The latter two caused resistance when solving and lead to an a-ha when the key was revealed. The former just lessened the impact of the puzzle.

Favourite moments: [Diamond mine?] for IGOTIT and [Missile from Venus?] for ACE: both are hall of fame sports clues for sure! I also enjoyed the wackiness of PLATYPI, even if it is non-standard and etymologically misguided. The standard formation is boring old platypuses, and the etymologically sound one would be platypodes. OPENTOE is also a lot more punchy than it ought to be as a convenient, vowel-heavy entry!

Minor demerit for an intersecting entertainment 3-fer with KAVNER/VANDAMME/TAMBOR. I doubt those names tripped anyone up, as the letters are inferrable, but ideally unusual proper names from similar genres shouldn’t bunch.

3.5 Stars

This entry was posted in Daily Puzzles and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Friday, May 26, 2017

  1. e.a. says:

    LAT 55a clue of the year so far

  2. Steve Manion. says:

    Did anyone else put in OVERDID IT for OVERSLEPT? I wonder if that was a conscious misdirect. That held me up in the SW.

    While certainly not on a par with IDI and SESE and some other convenient entries that should never appear in a crossword puzzle in the interest of decency, Roger Taney’s inclusion does not pass the breakfast test for me. The rationale for stupid, wrongheaded decisions bothers me more than anything. To that end, of all the stupid, nonsensical legal theories, originalism is at the top of the list for me. If you disagree, read Taney’s decision in Dred Scott, in which he ruled in substance that since slaves were considered inferior at the time of the drafting of the constitution, they could never be considered citizens. Textual originalism is even more ridiculous. Here is Richard Posner skewering Antonin Scalia:

    Other than TANEY, I really liked this puzzle.


    • Papa John says:

      Steve, this has to be one of the most forceful, no-punches-pulled messages you’ve ever posted. I thought it was great!

      I tried to read the article you linked, but the baroque, extravagant language wore me out about midway. By then I think I fully understood the gist of the piece, anyway. If there was a surprise ending, I guess I missed it. Jefferson foresaw this very issue and proposed scraping the government every twenty years and start anew, including writing a new constitution. While this may be sound in concept, how much would that cost the taxpayers?

    • jagoandlitefoot says:

      It’s never a good sign when (as was the case with me) the reason a solver knows an answer is because said answer is high up on the list of historical figures the solver utterly despises.

  3. Lise says:

    NYT: I loved it. Those beautiful sparkly entries made me so happy. RIDE SHOTGUN, CATS PAJAMAS, and ATOMIC CLOCK, FOR INSTANCE. Being able to weave these in (and the others too) is an amazing talent.

    CHE: Thank you for providing the link. My heart sank when I parsed the theme but I SOLDIERed ON, and it’s time that I learned these names, anyway. And now I feel that I have made it to the end of Ulysses! It’s a very well-done puzzle.

  4. Hugh Hindle says:

    Maybe Victoria refers to the Australian State rather than a station

  5. sharkicicles says:

    Really enjoyed the LAT and CHE today.

  6. Scott says:

    Anyone else having issues downloading the NYT today?

  7. artlvr says:

    Gorsuch is another Scalia — thought the driver of his disabled vehicle should have stayed in it as rules required and freezing to death rather than stumble up the road to shelter and survive. What an ass!

  8. Michael says:

    A fine crossword, save for the dupe at the intersection of 12A and 13D.

  9. Norm says:

    “Minor demerit” for the three-cross of proper names? That was the worst puzzle I have seen in the LAT in months for that reason alone. Unforgivable. End of rant.

Comments are closed.