Dan Margolis’ New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
- 50aR [Beginning of a rom-com … or a description of 20-, 36- and 41-Across?] BOY MEETS GIRL.
- 20a. [Actor who has hosted the Oscars nine times, a number second only to Bob Hope] BILLY CRYSTAL.
- 36a. [He played Gomez in 1991’s “The Addams Family”] RAUL JULIA.
- 41a. [Comic actor who was an original cast member of SCTV] JOHN CANDY.
‘Boy’ actors whose surnames are also considered to be first names of ‘girls’.
Solve seemed a little tougher than a typical Monday, but that could be down to my current state.
Charlie Oldham’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Horsing Around” — Jim’s review
It was a big weekend for tennis, so our puzzle today is about…horses.
- 17a [Galvanizes] SPURS INTO ACTION
- 25a [Put a big financial burden on] SADDLE WITH DEBT
- 40a [Angrily overreacted to somebody] BIT ONE’S HEAD OFF. You know, I just realized how rarely I have to complain about ONE’S in a WSJ puzzle. It seems like it shows up a lot less than in other venues.
- 53a [Keeps costs under control] REIN IN SPENDING
I’m not knowledgeable enough to talk about whether spurs and bits constitute inhumane treatment, so if you care to comment on that, feel free. I felt the puzzle theme was adequate.
Fillwise: I liked PEA PATCH, I’M SOLD, and, especially, THE SAINT [Alias of Simon Templar in books and TV]. Also, the double-F mini-theme in ORFF and BANFF.
Favorite clue: [Ibuprofen’s promise] for PAIN RELIEF. This is definitely true for me as I tend to have much more success with ibuprofen than acetaminophen. I have been living on ibuprofen since The Incident a couple weeks back when The Taco That Shall Not Be Named zeroed in on me and obliterated one of my teeth (a molar, not a CANINE) after tricking me into eating it. Thankfully, pain has subsided immensely over the weekend, so much so that I didn’t take any pain meds today. Thank you for your concern. Pro tip: When you order a street taco, make sure there’s no street in your taco.
Really did not like DATER [Librarian’s stamp], but as it exists in isolation, the damage is minimized.
A fine puzzle.
Let’s close out with a tribute to the late Sir Roger Moore, a.k.a. THE SAINT.
Ed Sessa’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
Another ultra-minimal posting.
- 49aR [Word on Lucy’s “Psychiatric Help – 5¢” sign … and a hint to 20-, 33- ad 39-Across] THE DOCTOR IS IN.
- 20a. [Challenging response to a provocation] YOU AND WHO ELSE?
- 33a. [Ruthless strategy] TAKE-NO-PRISONERS.
- 39a. [Nestlé chocolate chip treat] TOLL HOUSE COOKIE.
Doctor Who, Dr No, Dr House.
The writer is out.
Brendan Emmett Quigley’s website crossword – “Themeless Monday #418” — Jenni’s review
From mid-air, if this works; I’m flying home from a conference in LA.
This felt a bit like a slog to me, although that may be due to the fact that I had to get up at 3:00 AM to catch my flight. I solved it bottom-to-top and a few of the answers were, IMO, unfair.
What I liked:
- 1a [Moving piece of art?] once I figured it out. The “?” is important, because the answer is STABILE, so we’re talking about emotionally moving.
- 3d [“___, you’re not a terrier, you’re a police dog” (line from a 1934 comedy)”] is a nice new way to clue ASTA.
- 36a [Amorous request] reminds me of the country/folk artist Mary Chapin Carpenter, one of my faves. The answer is SHUT UP AND KISS ME. I somehow doubt that’s what Brendan had in mind.
- 46d [With 48-Down, “Criminal” singer] gets us FIONA APPLE‘s full name, for once.
- 62a [OB-GYN instruments] are SPECULA, which made me giggle for no good reason.
What I was not so fond of:
- 29d [Prepare to get juice from] is PLUG IN. To me, that should be [Prepare to get juice from]. I know, I know, you PLUG IN to an outlet. It’s supposed to be a hard puzzle. Still didn’t like it.
- 35d [Neighborhood representation] is a SKETCH MAP, which seems seriously abritrary to me.
- 19a [Technique that involves answering a difficult question by raising a different issue] is WHATABOUTISM, which probably should go in “what I didn’t know…” rather than “what I wasn’t fond of,” because it’s completely legit and apparently started with the Soviet Union. Perhaps I didn’t like it because current examples are so infuriating.
What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: that TALIBAN means “students.”
I thought this was a good, simple, Monday theme. I wish the clues on the themers had been more consistent to make the theme pop more. I take it that it was important for all the people to be actors, so DON MEREDITH or BUDDY HOLLY wouldn’t have worked, so it would have been nice for all the theme entry clues to follow the same template, like: “Actor who played X” or “Star of the movie Y.” Instead, each man is clued in a different way, with Julia clued by a famous role (and the word “actor” not found in his clue), Candy clued by a former TV show he was on (clued as a “comic actor”), and Crystal clued by a piece of trivia unrelated to acting (and clued as simply an “actor” even though he is just as much of a comic actor as John Candy).
Interesting perspective on cluing. I can see it, now that you point it out. An idea you learn in design— that consistency or repetition are not boring if used right, they can make a strong statement.
I did think it was a little harder than a typical Monday, mostly because RAUL JULIA did not come to mind immediately and I’m bad with names anyhow. But I liked the theme and the fact that the boy name always preceded the girl name (that consistency).
Nicely done puzzle with an appealing theme. But AMATOL? I needed all the crosses for that and it rings no bells at all with me. Seems like a very un-Monday word.
I agree, AMATOL isn’t even close to a Monday word.
I agree, but I liked the puzzle and there were those crosses.
Seeing as there is no write up about the Cox puzzle, and probably never will be I would like to say the clue for 31 a is a piece of crap Yreka in not a palindrome, it mig ht be part of some palindrome phrase but as clued it is no palindrome.
The palindrome is Yreka Bakery.