Paul Coulter’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
- 67aR [Bad thing to blow … or what each of the circled letters in this puzzle represents] TIRE.
Okay, I confess I’m distracted and my time is limited, but I don’t understand this Monday theme. There are some circled Os in the grid, but they aren’t exclusive to the entries that have circled squares. Where they are circled, there are two per word, but even then there are extras (see 35a NO FOOL in which the first of three Os isn’t circled),
The only thing I notice is that the entries containing the circled Os appear beneath the longest across entries, which one would assume are theme answers. Oh wait, I get it. They’re meant to represent tires underneath car makes. TESLA, FORD, LINCOLN, and DODGE.
Slightly more sophisticated than the typical Monday theme. Pretty good.
Got to go. Apologies.
Daniel Hamm’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Chances Are” — Jim’s review
The theme eluded me right up until the end since the very last letter I entered was the S in the revealer HAVE A SHOT. It’s clued as [Might succeed, and what the starred answers do]. This leads to the realization that each theme entry uses the word SHOT in a different way.
- 16a [*Stool occupant, perhaps] BAR PATRON. Drink.
- 19a [*Person who gets the picture] PHOTOGRAPHER. Picture.
- 33a [*Shark, maybe] POOL PLAYER. Angle or possibility.
- 41a [*Expert at drawing?] GUNSLINGER. Bullet.
- 53a [*Physical location?] HEALTH CLINIC. Injection.
Nice play on words that kept me guessing as to the theme the whole time.
The clues seemed more difficult than the usual Monday fare with plenty of question marks and ambiguities. But that just added to the fun; I especially liked the theme entry clues.
Not much else stands out. Our longest non-theme entries are CHAPELS and SLITTED. Solid but not exciting. I like the puzzle leading off with DISCO at 1a, though, and DROOL clued as [Bib moistener] has gotta be my favorite entry. Next time you go have lobster in a restaurant, know that it’s okay to moisten your bib.
Overall, not a stand-out grid, but it’s solid and does the job, and the theme works nicely.
Brock Wilson’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
- 62aR [Wedding reception headache … and what the starts of the answers to starred clues constitute?] SEATING PLAN.
- 17a. [*Sub in the dugout] BENCH WARMER.
- 25a. [*TV addict with a remote] COUCH POTATO.
- 37a. [*Largest of the Quad Cities] DAVENPORT, IOWA. Not immediately clear whether Alfred H Davenport (1845–1905), he of the namesake Massachusetts furniture company, is related to Engish-American George Davenport (1783–1845), whom the city honors.
- 54a. [*Car section under the passenger compartment] ROCKER PANEL.
Standard enough as a theme.
- 21a [Many a multiple-choice test answer] GUESS. Really?
- Suffix -ULE and abbrev. INCR uglify the opening upper-left corner. 2d [Suffix with mod- and gran-], 4d [Price hike: Abbr.]
- 10d [Slow tempo] LARGO, 12d [Fast tempo] PRESTO. 58a [Annoyed] IRKED, 59a [Annoy playfully] TEASE.
- Four corner entries: 11a [Auditing pro] CPA, 71a [IRS deadline mo.] APR, 67d [After-tax amount] NET, annnnnd … 1d [Bush of Florida] JEB! Say what?
- Favorite clues, both with a meta aspect: 6a [“S” on a tee] SMALL, 29a [One of six in this clue] WORD.
Again, solid Monday.
Brendan Emmett Quigley’s website crossword – “Themeless Monday #417” — Jenni’s review
This was a nice way to get back into routine after a hectic but enjoyable four-day weekend. Brendan’s up-t0-the-minute entries and creative cluing always entertain and enlighten.
- 16a [Progressive type] took me a while to parse and was one of the last answers I filled in. It’s INSURANCE BROKER, which might have been more obvious with a ? on the clue. That’s not required, though, and BEQ’s Mondays are supposed to be tough. No complaint.
- We do get a question mark for 15a [Large inner tube?] and the answer made me giggle. It’s AORTA. What a fun way to clue an old standard!
- 7d [It’s defended every six years] is SENATE SEAT, which is only true if the incumbent runs, which usually happens. I spent the weekend in the vicinity as Ted Cruz (R-eactionary, Texas) and I really hope his next defense in not successful.
- 39a [They are shaken in campy entertainment] had me looking for boas or some other costume feature of burlesque. Nope. The answer is JAZZ HANDS.
- The up-to-the minute entry: 53a [It added “Covfefe” on May 30, 2017] and the answer, of course, is URBAN DICTIONARY, which is conveniently 15 letters long. I haven’t done a search to see how many times it’s appeared in puzzles before this.
What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: that Ren Faire attendees like to LARP. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised; the whole idea of a Ren Faire is kind of a LARP.