Monday, July 31, 2017

BEQ  9:50 (Jenni) 


LAT untimed (pannonica) 


NYT untimed (pannonica)  


WSJ untimed (Jim P)  


David Steinberg’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

NYT • 7/31/17 • Mon • Steinberg • № 0731 • solution

A tribute-y thing.

  • 68a. [City that’s the subject of this puzzle] SEATTLE.
  • 6d. [Common 68-Across forecast] RAIN.
  • 12d. [Waterfront 68-Across location] PIER.
  • 17a. [Downtown 68-Across attraction] PIKE PLACE MARKET.
  • 27d. [Business on every block in 68-Across, so it’s said] COFFEE SHOP. Not coffee house or coffee bar? In my world, coffee shops are city storefront analogues of diners.
  • 31d. [Body of water that 68-Across is on] PUGET SOUND.
  • 42a. [68-Across baseball player] MARINER.
  • Finally, in this grid with left-right symmetry, there are 11 circled squares. The accompanying note reads “When this puzzle is finished, read the circled letters roughly clockwise, starting with the first letter of 68-Across, to spell the name of an appropriate landmark.” That’s the SPACE NEEDLE—the silhouette of which is crudely represented by those same circles—but about as good as can be done in a standard 15×15 grid and the provision that the ‘base’ must be 7 letters wide.

Nothing particularly exciting or remarkable among the rest of the fill, but let’s take a quick spin and see what we can find.

  • My biggest SNAG (58d) was 1d [Spell-checker target]. With the initial T in place, I confidently filled in TEXT, but that wasn’t correct. Working the crosses, it became apparent that it was TYPE. ~bzzt!~ so close: it was TYPO.
  • 3d [Antlered animals] ELKS. Plural’s usually ELK, especially for the deer (as opposed to the fraternal organization BPOE, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks). Kinda weird that this is symmetrical with 11d ELKE [Sommer of 1960s–’70s films]. The two names are seemingly unrelated etymologically.
  • 35d [Vehicle with wings and a nose] PLANE. Funny little clue.
  • 5a [“Are you interested in doin’ this?] WANNA, 59a [“What’d you say?”] HUH.
  • Favorite clue: 49a [Mathematician whose name sounds like a fuel ship] EULER.

Change of pace from the typical Monday theme; nice to have a visual element early in the week.

Aaron L. Peterson’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Hot Stuff” — Jim’s review

Welcome to another episode of “Blogging While Watching Game of Thrones.”

The puzzle’s title says it all. All theme entries have the same clue, [They’re hot], though the meaning changes each time.

WSJ – Mon, 7.31.17 – “Hot Stuf” by Aaron L. Peterson (Mike Shenk)

  • 16a LIVE WIRES. Electrical conductance.
  • 19a SAHARA DESERT. Temperature.
  • 35a HABANERO PEPPERS. Spiciness.
  • 52a LATEST TRENDS. Popularity.
  • 57a STOLEN CAR. Illegal possession.

Other meanings not used: sexiness, skill level, luckiness.

The theme density made demands on the grid that resulted in few long Downs. REACTS TO is blah, but IT’S A TRAP is nice, even if its Akbar-less clue is goofy: [“Stop! They set us up!”]. ONE-STEP and NEMESES are both functional.

Favorite entry has got to be 23d [Green claymation character] GUMBY. I loved watching Gumby and Pokey when I was a kid.

Very smooth puzzle. I barely had to look away from the TV.

Lila Cherry’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

LAT • 7/31/17 • Mon • Cherry • solution

  • 58aR [Cause of wood splinters in the infield … and what each set of puzzle circles represents] BROKEN BAT.
  • 17a. [Popular pool game] EIGHT BALL.
  • 32a. [Nearly] JUST ABOUT.
  • 40a. [Bulletin board sticker] THUMBTACK.
  • 5d. [Healthful cereal] OATBRAN.
  • 42d. [Doctor’s order] LAB TEST.

That covers all the permutations of the three letters.

Not an inspiring theme, bur packing six good-size themers into a Monday grid without skewing the fill too ugly or too tough is an accomplishment.

  • 38a [Brown-toned photo] SEPIA. Also Latin for cuttlefish, whose ink the color resembles.
  • 44a [Poland’s capital] WARSAW, 26d [Peace Nobelist Walesa] LECH.
  • 14a [Andes beast of burden] LLAMA, 60a [Tibetan beast of burden] YAK.
  • 33d [Scannable mdse. bars] UPC, 54d [Letter-shaped beam] I-BAR.
  • 9d [Classical guitarist Andrés] SEGOVIA.
  • 10d [ __ of coffee] A CUP. That’s one way to avoid the fraught brassiere-size cluing habit. Doesn’t work for anything else until you get all the way to a K Cup.
  • 49d [Broth-spoiling excess?] COOKS. Awkward partial reconfiguration of the adage “too many cooks spoil the broth” in the service of … cuteness? Cleverness? 32d [Lees on your legs] JEANS is a bit weird too.
  • 55d [Without, in France] SANS, 56d [Suffix with kitchen] -ETTE, 58d [“Ciao!”] BYE.

Jeanne Moreau (23 Jan 1928 – 31 Jul 2017) as Juliette de Merteuil in Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Brendan Emmett Quigley’s website crossword – “Themeless Monday #425” — Jenni’s review

The NW corner of this one stumped me at first and was the last part I filled in. I finally got a foothold in the east center and worked around.

BEQ 7/31, solution grid

  • I felt pretty silly once I parsed 1a [Frozen tricolored treat also called a Firecracker]. I have certainly heard of a BOMB POP. I have eaten BOMB POPs. I never heard it called a Firecracker.
  • Political misdirection at 8d [Trump’s #2] and 9d [Longtime associate of Bernie]. The answers are MARLA and ELTON, respectively; the Bernie in question is Bernie Taupin, longtime collaborator with ELTON John.
  • 11d [Places with cell divisions?] are either prisons nor bio labs, but rather TELECOMS.
  • 49a [Sporting event in August] is NFL PRESEASON, which seems to me to be a series of events rather than a single event.
  • 20d [Gastropub selection] is CRAFT BEER. I had to get the crossing to be sure it started with C instead of D.
  • 35d [Gets something through deception] is BLUFFS OUT, which I haven’t seen before. A Google search suggests it’s a poker term. Steve?

What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: that RUMPLESTILTSKIN is called Tremontino in Italian.

Bomb pops!

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1 Response to Monday, July 31, 2017

  1. Norm says:

    A good Monday with three very nice Monday-level puzzles and a challenging BEQ. BLUFFS OUT was odd and I think of a “drawn-out battle” as a SIEGE or a FEUD rather than a mere BEEF, but those were the only things that even caused a raised eyebrow.

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