Monday, June 5, 2017

BEQ 6:40 (Jenni) 


LAT untimed (pannonica) 


NYT untimed (pannonica)  


WSJ untimed (Jim P)  


Paul Coulter’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

NYT • 6/5/17 • Mon • Coulter • № 0605 • solution

  • 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.

WSJ, Mon, 6.5.17 – “Chances Are” by Daniel Hamm (Mike Shenk)

  • 16a [*Stool occupant, perhapsBAR 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.

Un-Monday word of the day: Gotta be TITIPU, clued as [“The Mikado” town]. I needed every crossing since I’m not familiar with the opera.

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

LAT • 6/3/17 • Mon • Wilson • solution

  • 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] NETannnnnd … 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.

BEQ 6/5, solution grid

  • 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.

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13 Responses to Monday, June 5, 2017

  1. Norm says:

    The tires are also properly located under the cars each one letter in so that you have a hood and a trunk.

  2. Paul Coulter says:

    Thanks, Norm — the balanced tires were one of my criteria. Also that there be no bumps in the road between the tires, i.e., blocks.

    It’s been pointed out by both Jeff Chen and on Rex Parker’s blog that Liz Gorski did a very similar theme three years ago. Jeff told me a few days ago when I sent him my constructor comments. I thought I’d hit on something quite unique and was very happy with it until that moment. My apologies to Liz. When I get a theme idea, I do search to see if it’s been done before — checking for theme answers on Clue Tracker, searching this site for likely phrases in the commentary, etc. Liz’s puzzle eluded me, unfortunately. Ah well, my muddled mind does think alike with great minds sometimes, it seems.

    • Lise says:

      The theme did seem familiar but what of it? With a three-year buffer, there could be plenty of solvers who had not seen it before. It’s a good theme! Loved the puzzle.

      Also, speaking of Liz Gorski, I looooved her Saturday WSJ puzzle. Finished today, due to circumstances.

    • Tim in NYC says:

      I agree, nothing wrong with the similarity. The staff at the NYT should know more than any individual constructor if a submission replicates an earlier puzzle, and should decide whether it’s OK to publish.

      Enjoyed this very much, an outstanding Monday IMO.

    • No need to apologize to me, Paul. I’m surprised that your editor didn’t direct you to the original work, as he published it only 3 years ago. Your editor owes you an apology; he should have encouraged you to do something different, something original. We puzzlemakers go through this every day: we think of a “new” idea — until we research the databases and discover that someone beat us to it. And three years ago, no less. Developing new themes is THE most difficult and time-consuming aspect of puzzlemaking. But if you try hard, you’ll come up with something that’s new, fresh and your own. Clearly, you have the talent. Melville said it best: “It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” Good luck on your future puzzles.

  3. Matthew G. says:

    Is anyone else having trouble downloading the NYT puzzles on the Stand Alone app for iPhone? The last one that downloaded for me was Thursday’s; since then, it won’t download them even if I do it manually (and I haven’t changed my NYT password or any such thing).

    • George says:

      yes, I am having the same issue. I verified my credentials on the NY Times site and they are still correct, but puzzles aren’t downloading. I did receive some emails from Puzzazz that their app has broken because of changes to the NY Times site, so maybe it is a broader issue? I’ll be submitting a email to standalone, it might help if you do the same.

    • George says:

      Apparently NY Times has cut off access, here’s a reply from Stand Alone “Unfortunately the NY Times has requested that we remove authenticated access to their puzzles from our apps, and we’re in the process of removing them from our provider lists. ”

      There is a workaround by downloading the file directly, but obviously not ideal. What a bummer NY Times.

  4. Tim in NYC says:

    BEQ: Garmin and LARP did me in. Zounds! ‘Sblood!

    • Jenni Levy says:

      I see I didn’t explain LARP in the write-up – if you haven’t figured it out, it’s Live Action Role Play.

Comments are closed.