The CHE is picking blueberries this week and returns next week.
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…
Ridiculously easy. Wednesday puzzle, no?
Liked the Friday NYT but by golly that was easy. My best time ever for a Friday — 4:59. I’ve never broken 5:00 on a Friday before; I don’t think I’ve ever finished within one minute of Amy’s time on any puzzle ever.
My sentiments exactly.
Liked the puzzle. There is one out and out error which I’m stunned got by Shortz: a TENON is part of a “mortise and tenon” joint. Dovetails are made of Pins and Tails.
I don’t disagree and Wikipedia supports your view, but the very first definition in Google uses mortise and tenon for dovetail joint.
A pin is a kind of a tenon. M-W defines a dovetail as “a flaring tenon and a mortise into which it fits tightly making an interlocking joint between two pieces (as of wood).” Yes, “pin” makes it clear what kind of tenon you’re talking about but an oak is still a tree.
I know a bit about dovetailing (I always cut my tails first — how about you?), but think this clue is fine. And it’s “gotten by” Will Shortz and the fact checkers many times now.
Very easy for me as well.
I recognize that PLAIN SPOKEN means honest, candid, frank, blunt, etc,, but I personally use the phrase with the emphasis on simple and direct rather than with a meaning that is tinged with judgment.
I also liked the puzzle and also though it was easy. I think the objection to the “dovetail” clue stems from the difference between someone with specialized, technical knowledge of a topic, and the general reader. I have run into the same issue with “classical” music clues. Speaking of which — I have nothing against Burl Ives, but I would love to see a clue relating to Charles Ives, rather than Burl
How is STET the opposite of “Muse” or STEW (0n)?
My copy of the puzzle in 14-down cross-referenced 29-across, not 29-down (which was CHEW).
The clue is “Reversal of a 29-Across,” not “29-Down.”
Thank you both. I fully concur with my own stupidity. One can read what it says and see something else in one’s mind and never waver.