Robyn Weintraub’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
Lots of goodies in Robyn’s latest themeless. BEST MUSICAL, “E.T. PHONE HOME,” COIN TOSS, MICROMANAGE, PLAIN-SPOKEN, HORNETS’ NEST, RUN A FEVER, CORLEONE, “DO I HAVE TO?”, and JALAPEÑOS? Good stuff all.
- 1a. [Award for “Hairspray” but not “Hair”]. BEST MUSICAL Tony. Trivia! I am not great with Broadway trivia but at least I know those are both musicals.
- 23a. [Tequila sunrise direction], ESTE. Lovely clue!
- 7d. [Aesthetically pleasing], SENSUOUS. I feel like this clue is a direct shout-out to Mrs. Wormer’s declaration that “Vegetables are sensuous. People are sensual.”
- 12d. [Question from the unwilling], DO I HAVE TO? This … is familiar to a great many parents.
- 13d. [Sriracha ingredients], JALAPENOS. For real? I had no idea! (Also not a sriracha fan.)
- 30d. [Have a hot body], RUN A FEVER. Great clue!
- 45d. [Support for a garden plant], STAKE. In the puzzles indexed in Cruciverb, STAKE has been clued in reference to a support for a plant about 5 times in 68 uses of the answer. I like it! Much more pleasant to think about flowers and tomato plants than gamblers’ wagers and the killing of fictional vampires.
In the blah category, we have ILE STA ICHAT TSPS OVI- NEV ILO AMO MST SSNS. The Scowl-o-Meter was hardly set off at all, though, as there was enough crisp fill to distract from the little clunkers.
Four stars from me.
Mike Buckley’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up
You don’t often see “connect the dots” type puzzles in the LA Times. That said, beyond the 5 V’s making a PENTAGRAM, the other bits are a little superfluous. A PENTAGRAM is a FIVEPOINTEDSTAR and you can find one on recent flags of ETHIOPIA. That’s a mighty specific point.
Oddly, the [Purported passion promoter], LOVEPOTION is usually associated with #9. The best clue was the off-beat trivia [Despot who raced in the 67 Olympics], NERO. SETT in crosswords is always a [Rectangular paving stone], but outside of crosswords, I’ve only encountered it used in reference to badger habitation…