Sunday, August 20, 2017

Hex/Quigley untimed (pannonica) 


LAT tk  


NYT 18:17 (Laura)  


WaPo 9:25 (Erin) 


Ruth Bloomfield Margolin’s New York Times crossword, “Found in Your Inbox”—Laura’s write-up

Phrases that begin with re have re re-moved, but then put back in via the clues, such that the phrase sounds like the subject line of an email.

NYT 8.20

NYT – Sun – 8.20.17 – Margolin – Solution

  • [22a: Re: ___ (suitor’s subject line)]: QUEST FOR PROPOSAL
  • [29a: Re: ___ (stingy date’s subject line)]: TREAT IS NOT AN OPTION
  • [45a: Re: ___ (song lyricist’s subject line)]: VERSE COURSE
  • [65a: Re: ___ (film director’s subject line)]: ACTION TIME
  • [69a: Re: ___ (sales agent’s subject line … with an attachment)]: AD ONLY FILE
  • [88a: Re: ___ (duster’s subject line)]: MOTE CONTROL
  • [104a: Re: ___ (prison librarian’s subject line)]: WARD FOR INFORMATION
  • [115a: Re: ___ (celebrity physician’s subject line)]: ACHES FOR THE STARS

These are pretty clever, though I have a bit of a personal/professional quibble with a prison librarian being considered a WARD FOR INFORMATION. Even in prisons, librarians work actively to connect users with information, not to guard or protect it.

Matisse, Woman with a Hat (1905)

This will be a short post since I’m blogging this puzzle in a bar in New York City, immediately after Lollapuzzoola, my very first tournament ever. I came in 6th in the Rookie division and had a fantastic time, meeting many crossword friends for the first time In Real Life. The awesome puzzles are available for the “play-at-home division” at the tourney’s site. Fill-wise, not much stood out, but there were a few weird abbreviations; couldn’t quite get [73a: Municipal regs.]: ORDS as an abbreviation for ordinances. Also, [120a: Eliminated by a ref’s decision]: TKOD? Should there be an apostrophe suggested there? And [20a: Seats by the orchestra pit, perhaps]: ROW A — took me (and the other tournament badasses at bar co-solving with me) a while to parse that. And we wanted [10a: XXX]: CHIS to be racy or blue (because that’s the way we think). Nice misdirection there. Also, [34a: Hairstyle rarely seen in the military]: AFRO. This seems a bit awkward, as most of the clues for AFRO over the past 25 years have been. It’s a hairstyle. What I Didn’t Know Before Solving This Puzzle: [1a: Matisse, e.g., stylistically]: FAUVE. I’d heard of the Fauvism movement, but didn’t know the word could be used singularly.

Evan Birnholz’s Washington Post crossword, “Wild World of Sports” – Erin’s writeup

WaPo 8/20/17 solution

Two-word phrases in which the second word is a sport, clued as if the phrase actually represents a sport:

  • 23a. [German car designer’s sport?] VOLKSWAGEN GOLF
  • 39a. [ENT’s sport?] TONSIL HOCKEY
  • 57a. [Actor’s sport?] STAGE CREW
  • 68a. [Atomic physicist’s sport?] NUCLEAR FOOTBALL
  • 83a. [Senator Rubio’s sport?] MARCO POLO
  • 98a. [Singer Donna’s sport?] SUMMER SQUASH
  • 117a. [TV executive’s sport?] CHANNEL SURFING
  • 16d. [Comedian’s sport?] LAUGH TRACK
  • 74d. [Local reporter’s sport?] BEAT BOXING

Other things:

  • 1a. [Black Lives Matter activist Mckesson] DERAY. He worked for Teach for America before serving several city public school systems, and devoted himself to activism after Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014.
  • 72d. [Italian mountain that’s spelled in Vietnamese?] ETNA is found in “ViETNAmese.”
  • 13a. [Things a benched player may work on during practice] SCALES. The bench in question is a piano bench.
  • 55d. [One of many tiled designs at the Magic Gardens in Philadelphia] MOSAIC. The Magic Gardens is an indoor gallery and outdoor sculpture garden taking up about half a city block in Philly. Not sure why I have not been here yet, but it’s definitely on the list now.

Until next week.

Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon’s CRooked crossword, “Diamond Duos” — pannonica’s write-up

CRooked • 8/20/17 • “Diamond uos” • Cox, Rathvon • bg • solution

Finally had time for this one, just before the Monday NYT drops. Good thing it’s a theme I’m not too excited about. Baseball surnames thrown together in twos, with cross-references galore for the first names.


Of baseball and twos: 61d [Slid into second, maybe] STOLE, 97d [t=Two-baggers (abbr.)] DBLS.

Gentle revisionism (I approve): 83a [Inventor Lamarr who also acted] HEDY, 101d [Hydrox copycat] OREO.

9a [Flintstonian cry, in part] DABBA. That’s … pretty awful. 7d [Be crawling with] TEEM IN seems weird too; not the usual postposition for that verb.

14a [Trifle] SKOSH, 62a [Smidgen] WHIT.

Apologies for a rather insubstantial write-up.

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6 Responses to Sunday, August 20, 2017

  1. David says:

    This puzzle was terrible both for fill and awful punning. CHIS is terrible, made worse by crossing the obscure HOSTA.

    EXERT ON? ORDS. A NUT (who uses the article in that phrase, really?). TKO’D isn’t how it’s usually written (tko’ed).

    Why not cross OWED TO and DIVA instead of using the super obscure SIVA?

    Then there are the terrible long answers. VERSE COURSE doesn’t relate to the clue. What part of ‘lyricist’ suggests a course? TREAT IS NOT AN OPTION and AD ONLY FILE are incredibly forced. Some of the remainder were quite clever and even funny, but I didn’t enjoy them because the solving experience was such a slog.

    • Christopher Smith says:

      I actually liked the misdirect on CHIS but pretty much agree on your other points. Nice theme but the execution was flawed. One other tiny plus for me was the ALTAR/I DO connection.

    • About The Same says:

      I kind of liked TREAT IS NOT AN OPTION, but VERSE COURSE and AD ONLY FILE were abysmal. MOTE CONTROL was very funny, however, and ACHES FOR THE STARS was pretty good, although I think it should have been an email from a chiropractor or a masseuse rather than a doctor.

    • Ethan Friedman says:

      I don’t think a main god in one of the world’s largest religions is super-obscure by ANY means. S(H)IVA, VISHNU, etc. should all be familiar to NYT readers.

      It’s not like some obscure Shinto or Zoroastrian god — we’re talking a religion with over a billion adherents!

  2. Papa John says:

    Arghh! I was interested in reading pannonica’s review on HEX’s puzzle. (Are you taking the day off?) I won’t be back on my computer until tomorrow morning.

    It gave me fits with all the traveling back and forth across the grid. I’m pretty sure all the names in the theme are baseball players, which seemed to me to be too much like a specialty puzzle. Since I’m ill-informed on sports, it proved to be a tedious and uninteresting slog for me.

  3. Joan Macon says:

    This is a record; two times in four days no LAT. I still have Thursday’s grid waiting and now we have to add Sunday. Was it supposed to be Gareth, and is he sick? If so, I am sorry to hear it. Could we at least have an explanation? Amy, come back!

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