Elayne Boosler and Patrick Merrell’s New York Times crossword—Jenni’s write-up
This is the latest in the series of celebrity collaboration celebrating the 75th anniversary of the NYT Crossword Puzzle. Elayne Boosler, the standup comic, was matched with Patrick Merrell, and the results are just as I’d expect: smooth, smart, and funny.
Elayne and Patrick tackle the outdated movie industry for the theme.
- 18a [Modern-day remake of a Robert De Niro film?] is UBER DRIVER (Taxi Driver). You textin’ to me?
- 28a [Modern-day remake of a W. C. Fields film?] is THE PAYPAL DICK (The Bank Dick).
- 46a [Modern-day remake of a Bing Crosby film?] is HOLIDAY AIR BNB (Holiday Inn). “White Christmas” was written for this movie.
- 60a [… and something to eat while watching the remakes] is GMO POPCORN. Yum. With artificial butter-flavored grease, I hope. And lots of salt.
The theme entries are entertaining and consistent, and the final addition of GMO POPCORN is perfect: different but thematic. This was fun.
A few other things:
- 1d [Give it up, so to speak] is CLAP, as in “Give it up for Elayne Boosler!”
- 5d [French vineyard] is CRU, and I think this is a coded shout-out from Patrick and Elayne to us. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
- 8d [What may have a dog leg to the left or right?] confounded me. I thought it had something to do with golf, despite the question mark; I then belatedly realized that the “dogleg” in golf is one word. Turns out it’s FIREPLUG. Snort.
- 45d [Kind of boid that catches the woim?] is, of course, the OILY bird. Say it out loud if you don’t get it.
- I liked the juxtaposition of 51a [Canine command] with 51d [Barracks barkers: Abbr.]. SIC EM and SGTS, respectively.
What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: that UNIVAC accurately predicted Ike’s election in 1952.
Harold Jones’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Ain’t Vee Got Fun?” — Jim’s review
You could guess where this puzzle was going just from the title. And you’d be right. W sounds are changed to V sounds with corresponding wacky clues. Here’s a chance to practice your over-the-top Dracula accent.
- 17a [Part of a homicidal bridal ensemble?] KILLER VEIL. Killer whale. I’m all for dark humor, but that seems a bit much. I’d’ve gone with KILLER as in “wicked cool.”
- 23a [Knives wielded by deadly snakes?] VIPER BLADES. Wiper blades. I’m having a tough time envisioning snakes holding knives, but I can picture them on skates.
- 37a [Retiree’s military uniform?] VET SUIT. Wet suit. I like this one. My wife retired from the Air Force last year. I think she got rid of most of her uniforms, though. Gareth might have clued this one as [What I wear to work every day?].
- 45a [Ingredient in saltimbocca a la Gryffindor?] POTTER’S VEAL. Potter’s wheel. Fun fact: Saltimbocca means “jumps in the mouth.” Bonus crossing: BLACK OLIVE.
- 55a [Prosecution presented through poetry?] VERSED CASE. Worst case. That would make for an interesting trial. I’m picturing something Seussian. Maybe something like this! Bonus crossing: ATTORNEYS.
Nothing terribly exciting in the theme, but it works. This description also applies to the grid as a whole.
Best bit of fill: HORSESHOES. Worst bits of fill: plural NEINS and odd partial A BEER clued as [“Buy you ___?” (bar offer)].
I’m having trouble finding much else to say, so I vill end it there. I’m off to verk on my Dracula impression. Mwah-hah-hah!
Aimee Lucido’s AVCX crossword, “Something Buggy” — Ben’s Review
Happy mid-week, y’all. I’m back from hosting last week’s National Puzzlers’ League convention here in Boston and ready to tear through this week’s AVCX. Luckily, Aimee Lucido’s “Something Buggy” was pretty easy to tear through if you spotted what was going on:
- 18A:European luxury car stored in the bathroom? [Wait! That’s not what I meant to type!] — JOHN BUGATTI
- 27A:One saying “Step right up! Buy a Swedish family car, folks!” [Hmmm … something must be wrong with my phone] — SAAB BARKER
- 36A:Buy-one-get-one-free event at the German sports car dealership? [Okay, seriously, this phone is screwed up] — PORSCHE DOUBLE DAY
- 52A:Pricey Italian car marketed to men? [Oh come on, this is just ridiculous] — GUY FERRARI
- 60A: Technology that appears to have caused the typos in this puzzle? — AUTOCORRECT
That final revealer is such a deep groaner of a pun that it made me love the puzzle even more. The names of 4 celebrities of varying levels of fame have been transformed here – JOHN GOTTI, BOB BARKER, PORTIA DOUBLEDAY, and GUY FIERI are “auto” corrected into the versions seen above.
Other things I liked in the puzzle: BOBA, AOL, realizing that EVEY is the heroine from V for Vendetta and not a typo, pronouncing TARGET the fancy way, MC HAMMER, SCONES (a cafe near me makes raspberry rhubarb scones once a week and I’m trying to figure out the recipe), RAPTORs, and SHERPA.
An easy puzzle that was a nice start to my day.
Gary D. Schlapfer & C.C. Burnikel’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s summary
Four things a school CLASS might do as a group are listed in this puzzle: SPELLINGBEE, FIELDTRIP, FIREDRILL, and FINALEXAM. This is tied together with CLASSACTION – a phrase from the legal sphere.
- [Animated internet pics], GIFS. Not always, despite what Facebook might thing!
- [Safari find], URL. Safari is an internet browser associated with, though not exclusive to, macs.
- [Balkan first-timer in the 2016 Olympics], KOSOVO. A simple, though effective cluing strategy, is used here.
- [“There’s nothing to do”], IMBORED – it’s winter school holidays here, I don’t if that means it’s summer holidays in the US?
- [Sexy dance moves], TWERKS. YMMV…
- [Maker of chips], INTEL. Main rival AMD gets very little crossword exposure, yes?
- [Puppy bite], NIP. Main personal news this week is fiancee and I adopted a puppy from the shelter we work at… No nipping, though occasional excited peeing has been experienced.