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