Tracy Gray’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
Not for vegetarians.
- 38aR [Cookout, briefly … and a hint to the ends of 17-, 23-, 52- and 58-Across] BBQ. A traditional Labor day activity.
- 17a. [Is ready for one’s star turn, say] WAITS IN THE WINGS.
- 23a. [1992 Tarantino crime thriller] RESERVOIR DOGS.
- 52a. [Children of armed forces personnel, slangily] MILITARY BRATS.
- 58a. [Fast, sharp-breaking curveballs] BACKDOOR SLIDERS. Not a term I was familiar with, but wow does it sound salacious.
I dig how each theme element is a nickname/slangy term for the fleshy comestibles. Wings = chicken wings, dogs = hot dogs, brats = bratwursten, sliders = little hamburgers.
- 47a [Rickey or gimlet ingredient] Could be lime, but as it’s only three letters, that’s GIN. Factette: gin is also an ingredient in gin and tonic. Amazing, no? Cin-cin!
- 11d [Consumer products giant that makes Tide, for short] P AND G. *scowl* 45d [Recede, as the tide] EBB.
- 12d [Mythical 100-eyed giant] ARGUS. He never slept with all of them closed—even after many gins and tonic—which is why the gods employed him as a guard. Well, except for that one time that SLY (63d) Hermes charmed him. But it was only that one time! Okay, fine. So Hermes slew him also.
- 52d [National auto body repair chain] MAACO. Not to be confused with AAMCO, the national auto transmission repair chain. Which in turn is not to be confused with AMOCO, the erstwhile national gasoline chain which was acquired by BP, British Petroleum.
- 24d [“King Kong” and “Citizen Kane” studio] RKO. Fun fact*: all titles released by RKO Pictures had to include the letter K.
*not a true fact
- 18d [Bundle of papers] SHEAF. What, you thought it was going to be QUIRE?
- Longdowns are 3d [8:00–11:00 p.m. on TV] PRIME
RIBTIME. 33d [Tourist] SIGHTSEER ED TUNA.
De gustibus, et cetera.
John Lampkin’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
Same clue for the three 15-letter spanning theme entries: [“Chill! It’s Labor Day!”] SIT BACK AND RELAX / LET YOUR HAIR DOWN / DON’T LIFT A FINGER. 17a, 38a, 61a
In truth, after I finish writing this I’m planning on getting up, putting my hair up, and taking care of many errands and chores. So maybe I am lifting a finger, too.
Brendan Emmett Quigley’s Themeless Monday—Laura’s write-up
Hello F(r)iends, Laura here. I look forward to [31a: Becoming well acquainted (with)]: FAMILIARIZATION (with) the BEQ Themeless Monday since I’ll be covering it from here on out. Not an auspicious start for me, speed-wise, but certainly enjoyable. Fine center stack with [36a: Reza Aslan, e.g.]: IRANIAN AMERICAN and [37a: Automatic vehicles?]: SELF-DRIVING CARS. [11d: “Look closely”]: TAKE NOTICE how there are some nice long downs intersecting the stack, while you adjust your [25a: Conspiracy theorist’s cover?]: TINFOIL HAT, update your [6d: Blogs with some clips]: VIDEO DIARIES, and reheat your [21d: Meal for the cooking-inept]: FROZEN DINNER.
I was hung up right out of the gate because I just wasn’t associating [15a: Devil Dogs, by another name] with the US MARINES. Got a stronger foothold in the SW and SE with literary entries [57a: “A Town Like Alice” author Nevil]: SHUTE, [58a: Illustrator Aubrey who inspired Art Nouveau]: BEARDSLEY, and [42d: Ser Arthur ___ (“Game of Thrones” knight)]: DAYNE. There were more sports proper names than seemed proportional (O’NEAL, DOLAN, PAM [Shriver], and ANDRE [Ethier]), but I got them all through fair crosses. Favorite misdirect: [8d: Pitcher’s spot?] for TENT. Entry I’ve never seen in a grid before: [24a: Dirty stuff on the intertubes]: PR0N (with a zero for the O as it is generally styled on the intertubes if one doesn’t want bots or filters to parse it as such). Yeah, [18a: “You don’t have to remind me]: I KNOW.