Monday, July 24, 2017

BEQ untimed (Jenni) 


LAT untimed (pannonica) 


NYT untimed (pannonica)  


WSJ untimed (Jim P)  


Peter Gordon’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

NYT • 7/24/17 • Mon • Gordon • № 0724 • solution

Departure Monday. Left-right symmetry, 15×16 grid. Theme is reduplicative names and phrases.

  • 28a. [Ramen product] OODLES OF NOODLES.
  • 56a. [“Sesame Street” Muppet with wings and a magic wand] ABBY CADABBY.
  • 6d. [Competing with the goal of victory] IN IT TO WIN IT.
  • 7d. [Daredevil in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame] EVEL KNIEVEL.

Well that was different. Yet also, strangely, the same.

Not sure if 1d [Celebratory shout] WOOHOO is supposed to be part of the theme; there’s no similarly constructed entry on the other side. In fact, that one has a rather grim ‘clever’ clue: 12d [Opposite of a life coach?] HEARSE.

Along the way we get some beefy supporting fill. Midsize stacks in the upper corners: WASABI/FOREMAN/RONZONI, EN-DASH/VAUNTED/EVEN PAR. Stilts on the bottom: AIR TRAVEL/TACO BELL, SHEBOYGAN/SLABBING. Okay, SLABBING is a bit odd (clue: Applying thickly, with “on”).

Echoing the theme: clue for 13a FOREMAN [Boxer George who lost the Rumble in the Jungle].

  • 38d [Wisconsin city on Lake Michigan] SHEBOYGAN.
  • 50a [Buyer’s bottom line] NET COST. Also the name of a newish (I think) Russian supermarket here on the East Coast. I of course call it “Nyet Cost” because I’m, y’know, clever. Can find some really interesting and good foodstuffs there. Take heed, though: they often seem to experience inexplicable problems, snags. Especially at the checkout. Not quite the Soviet experience of waiting the better part of a day for bread on near-empty shelves, but enough to float cartoon question marks over your head. Shelves are always well-stocked, let me be clear.

Refreshing change in a Monday offering.

Zhouqin Burnikel’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Shower Room” — Jim’s review

There’s only one joke to this puzzle’s theme (“shower,” as in something that shows), so once you get it, the rest of the theme answers fall into place without much fanfare. But it works pretty well, and as usual with a Burnikel grid, the fill is smooth and fun.

WSJ – Mon, 7.24.17 – “Shower Room” by Zhouqin Burnikel

  • 17a [Meteor shower?] EVENING SKY
  • 28a [Cold shower?] WEATHER RADAR. Hmm. Does radar actually show temperature? I wouldn’t have thought so.
  • 44a [April shower?] WALL CALENDAR. Strictly speaking, most any type of calendar will do.
  • 59a [Baby shower?] ULTRASOUND. I like this one because most of the times people show you an ultrasound, it generally has a baby in it.

A couple glitches in the theme, but hey, it’s Monday, so we’ll move on to the fill.


Woman with a Hat, Henri Matisse, 1905

I’m not an artist, so is OIL COLOR [Medium for Matisse] legit? I’ve heard of watercolor, of course, but as far as oil paintings, I thought “oil” itself was the medium. It’s not like you can have oil with no color.

Other than that question mark, there’s very little dreck in the fill, and even the short stuff is fun, e.g. ALEXA, ATHENA, L.L. BEAN, MORON, PRAWN, etc.

In the end, this may not be my favorite of Zhouqin’s grids, but it certainly isn’t a bad one by any stretch. It’s light and fun, and that’s just about right for a Monday.

Robert E Lee Morris’ Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

LAT • 7/24/17 • Mon • MOrris • solution

Standard approach to crossword thememaking here. Initials.

  • 35aR [Anthology of personal writings … and a phonetic hint to what’s literally comprised by the answers of 17-, 23-, 46- and 56-Across.] ESSAY COLLECTION. “S-A”
  • 17a. [Wise guy] SMART ALECK.
  • 23a. [Original “Tonight Show” host] STEVE ALLEN.
  • 46a. [Home safety feature] SMOKE ALARM.
  • 56a. [Home of the NBA’s Spurs] SAN ANTONIO.

There are so many good essay collections out there. I keep borrowing them from the library and not reading them.

Was really going to say some more, but there is (another) flooding situation here. Sorry, apologies!

Summary appraisal: good Monday, but nothing super amazing.

Brendan Emmett Quigley’s website crossword – “Themeless Monday #424” — Jenni’s review

This week’s BEQ themeless features a central triple-stack, which fell easily for me because for the first time EVER the music clue was a gimme. I feel cool and hip and in the know. Brendan probably feels like he missed his demo by a loooong way.

We also have two triple-stacks of 10-letter words in the NE and SW which are very satisfying (with one exception; we’ll get to that).

BEQ 7/24 puzzle, solution grid

The NE stack is GLASSMAKER/PARTIALITY/ANNE BRONTE, which brings to mind a persnickety Victorian artisan. The clue for GLASSMAKER is [One whose job blows], which made me giggle.

In the SW, we have AVON LADIES/RINSE CYLCLE/PAST MASTER. It’s the third one that gives me pause. The clue is [Old hand] and it makes sense, but I’ve never heard the phrase PAST MASTER. The Google Ngram graph hugs the X-axis pretty closely.

On to the center stack!

  • 32a [Pump selection] is PREMIUM UNLEADED, which went in easily with about three crossings.
  • 38a [2016 album with the song “Immigrants (We Get The Job Done),” with “The”] and it is, of course, HAMILTON MIXTAPE. For those who haven’t seen the show, this is taken from a line that brings the house down with cheers and applause; when we went last summer, the actors had to wait a good thirty seconds before they could say anything.
  • 39a [They work with drips] are ACUTE CARE NURSES, and I have another quibble with this. I’ve never heard anyone identified as an ACUTE CARE NURSE. ICU nurse, surgical nurse, pediatric nurse, inpatient nurse, med/surg nurse, office nurse, sure. But not ACUTE CARE NURSE. Of course, all nurses are able to work with drips, so it’s not wrong…just a smidgen off to my ear.

What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: that OneRepublic had a single in 2016 called “Wherever I GO.” So only one music clue was a gimme, but that’s one more than I usually get in Brendan’s puzzles!

ICYMI (CW for language):

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11 Responses to Monday, July 24, 2017

  1. huda says:

    NYT: I agree that it’s a nice change of pace!

  2. Nene says:

    OOF crossing TOK would be dicey for a Saturday, let alone today.

    Also, WOOHOO crossing OHO. Ouch!

    • Ethan Friedman says:

      I agree TOK is a terrible entry, but OOF is gettable and common, as are WOOHOO and OHO. I don’t think having two exclamations cross is an issue; why should it be?

    • Bruce N Morton says:

      Yes, but I figured that is there was a “hit” starting with TIK, TOK couldn’t be far behind.

  3. Lise says:

    “Rain shower” would have worked for WEATHER RADAR. Anyway. Both NYT and WSJ were fun Monday fare – fun themes and good fill – an auspicious start to the week.

  4. Ethan Friedman says:

    Beautiful Monday NYT. That was a blast.

    One correction to the review:

    “7d. [Daredevil in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame] EVIL KNIEVEL.”

    He might have been EVIL, I don’t know, but his name was EVEL.

    • pannonica says:

      Typo! Fixed. Thank you. I know that because, as I’ve confessed before, I once intentionally convinced someone that his given name was Evelyn.

  5. Papa John says:

    Jim, while OIL_COLOR is certainly a viable term, oil paint is more common. I believe Winsor & Newton refers to its product in that way (although colours), so it may be more of a British term.

    BTW, there are oils without color — think linseed oil and others.

    • Papa John says:

      Poor Mrs. Matisse, in the painting Jim posted, has to suffer the weight of that ridiculous hat for all eternity. It’s no wonder she has such a forlorn look on her face.

  6. scrivener says:

    I think today’s LAT is my first-ever sub-5:00 solve. Yay me.

Comments are closed.