Monday, May 29, 2017

BEQ 8:54 (Jenni) 


LAT untimed (pannonica) 


NYT untimed (pannonica)  


Note: No WSJ puzzle due to the Memorial Day holiday.

Jeff Chen and Seth Geltman’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

NYT • 5/29/17 • Mon • № 0529 • Chen, Geltman • solution

Exhausted tonight.

16×15 grid.

  • 63aR [When TV viewership peaks … or a hint to 17-, 24-, 36- and 53-Across] PRIME TIME.
  • 17a. [Epoch of rare distinction] GOLDEN AGE.
  • 24a. [Topic of a happy annual report] BANNER YEAR.
  • 36a. [Something circled on a calendar] RED-LETTER DAY.
  • 53a. [Period of supreme courage and achievement] FINEST HOUR.

These are roughly synonymous for extraordinary moments.

Not part of the theme; merely tangentially related to part of the revealer: 1a [TV network whose logo is an eye] CBS, 66a [TV network whose logo is a peacock] NBC.

Favorite clue: 3d [Something you reach out and take] SELFIE.

45d [Goal for a mountaineer] ASCENT. Debatable.

These ominously undermine the theme: 44a [Darkest part of a shadow] UMBRA, 19a [Tool for the Grim Reaper] SCYTHE.

Signing off.

Gail Grabowski and Bruce Venzke’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

LAT • 5/29/17 • Mon • Grabowski, Venzke • solution

The theme was easy enough to discern, but the revealer wasn’t particularly revelatory for me. 73a [CFO’s monetary report, and a hint to this puzzle’s four longest answers] P AND L.

So… I’m going to guess that isn’t parts and labor. Let’s go see what it’s intended to be. To the AcronymFinders! Aha, profit and loss, as it certainly isn’t peace and love (though for some folks such things are plainly transactional).

You know the drill. Two-word phrases with the initials P·L.

  • 17a. [Corporate world meal] POWER LUNCH. This one’s definitionally consistent with the revealer (but the other three are not).
  • 36a. [Instruction on a Steinway] PIANO LESSON.
  • 48a. [Political head] PARTY LEADER.
  • 65a. [“The Maltese Falcon” actor] PETER LORRE.

Also: 13d [Chief exec] PREZ, 49d [Since Jan. 1, on pay stubs] YTD. <checks byline to make sure this isn’t the WSJ crossword>

  • 36a [Four times a day, in an Rx] QID. Pretty sure this is relict. Not really Monday-level either. Going to put 25d [Capital of Samoa] APIA in the latter category as well.
  • Tip for newer solvers: 3d [Nebraska neighbor] IOWA. Since the clue spells out Nebraska—as opposed to Neb. or NE—we know because of the convention of parallel construction that the answer will also be unabbreviated. So, no SDAK, no MINN, no COLO, no KANS. And, if your sense of geography is poor, no NDAK, no ABTA, no SASK, no OKLA, etc. Further, if your sense of geography and history is poor, no USSR. If your sense of geography and history is poor and you can’t spell to save your life, no UARP.Er, did anyone think it was OHIO or UTAH?
  • 6d [Touch the edge of] ABUT, 26a [Helps with the holdup] ABETS.
  • ¡Español! 11d [Havana “Hi!”] HOLA, 54d [Now, in Nogales] AHORA (see also 16a [What the little hand shows] HOUR), 55a [Historic Spanish fleet] ARMADA. And-sure-why-not 7d [“Oye Como Va” group] SANTANA.
  • 16a/13d/12d [Force out] OUST. Tempted to go on (22a/48a/51a, etc.), but I’ll relent.

Finally, tried to find a DUET (72a) of Carlos (7d) SANTANA and 19d LINDA Ronstadt but the closest I found was a 1989 Cinemax special (“A Latino Session”) where the two performed one after another on the same stage.

Brendan Emmett Quigley’s website crossword – “Themeless Monday #416” — Jenni’s review

When you don’t have a regular M-F job and it’s a three-day weekend so the whole family is home, you might forget that it’s Monday until, oh, about 2:00 PM.

BEQ 5/29, solution grid

The NW corner of this puzzle is an absolute bear. It was the last thing I filled in and I was astonished when Mr. Happy Pencil appeared. 1d is [Private spa visit?]. I thought about going to the spa alone, but that little question mark meant it wasn’t straightforward. So then I thought about a military spa, and since the first letter is V, I dropped in VA at the beginning. VA FACIAL? I dunno. I left it and moved on.

  • 6d [Migraine relief medicine] would probably have been easier if I knew less about meds. It’s EXCEDRIN, which should have been obvious.
  • 18a [Server’s status?] is ACTIVE DUTY which made me think I was right about 1d and we had a little mini-theme going on about the military. Since it’s Memorial Day, that made sense.
  • 41d [Non-com with chevrons], which is NCO, seemed to support the mini-theme idea, but I couldn’t find anything else.
  • 45d [Type of smell] is NEW CAR, and BEQ playing with crossword conventions.
  • Familiar words with unfamiliar clues, at least to me: ALTO at 15a is [AOL’s email app], not a choral singer, and ARIA at 59a is [Vegas casino with a musical name], not part of an opera.

Finally I circled back to the NW. I was quite sure that 17a [Rapper Wyclef] was JEAN, so I filled it in and voila! I had completely the puzzle correctly – and 1d turned out to be VAJACIAL, which amazingly enough is not a word Brendan invented. It’s a real thing. I always learn a few things from Brendan’s puzzles. Usually I pick up video game trivia or the name of an indie band. Today, well, I learned this.

Plus what I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: that the main character of Better Call Saul was banished to manage a CINNABON store. 

There are YouTube videos of vajacials. I am not posting one. You’re welcome.

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14 Responses to Monday, May 29, 2017

  1. Nene says:

    A big ding for the answer AMIRITE (to the clue
    “You agree with me?,” informally),

  2. Bruce N Morton says:

    I think it’s bigger than a big ding. I don’t think it should have been allowed. Some words have otherwise incompetent spellings which are somewhat common and established, such as thru for through as in “thru street,”and even “nite” for night. But I do not think there is any similar quasi justification for rite, used to mean right.

    • Ethan says:

      AMIRITE is one word and it’s plenty common and established. If you Google “define amirite” you will see.

      ETERNE, on the other hand, has no business on a Monday.

  3. pannonica says:

    It isn’t AM I RITE but AMIRITE. I’m fine with it because it’s definitely out there in the wild (3.7 million Google hits), and to complain would be hypocritical since so often we opine that the NYT crossword is stodgy and its attempts to be hip or cool come off as missteps.

    • Christopher Smith says:

      Totally agree with AMIRITE, which is a heavily used hashtag. Was hoping 2d would reignite Saturday’s BOSOMY debate but alas.

  4. Tim in NYC says:

    BEQ 41D.

    Doesn’t NCO stand for non-commissioned officer, which is partially given in the clue?

    • Bruce N Morton says:

      I was going to make the same point, but decided I had already overstayed my welcome for today. But I will still relate a personal story. I was in the Chartres Cathedral. I had recently learned how to read medieval neumes — the precursor to modern musical notation, using a 4-line rather than a 5-line staff. On the altar, there was a document under glass containing the notation of a Gregorian Chant, with Latin text. Even though it was under glass I assume that it was a copy, not an original document. I began singing the chant, very quietly at first, but increasing somewhat in volume. I noticed that I had acquired an audience. When I finished they came up and told me how much they had enjoyed it and thanked me It was a wonderful experience for me.

    • Norm says:

      Agree @Tim in NYC : are there any non-coms without chevrons? I don’t think so. That was sloppy. But I’ll give BEQ a break for including Mike Royko — one of the best (and one of the snarkiest) newspaper columnists ever.

  5. Bruce N Morton says:

    I was delighted that BEQ led us on a journey from medieval chanting to Beethoven to Sibelius, but I wish the clues had not been so trivially easy. But I gave up on the NW. I had no idea about 15 and 17a as clued and I will leave 1d to others.

  6. jack says:

    RE: BEQ “vajacial”. If anyone tells you they knew this they really need to get-out more.

  7. artlvr says:

    I wish BEQ would post his current puzzle in more timely fashion. He couldn’t always be tweaking it on the morning it’s due, could he?

Comments are closed.