Monday, September 25, 2017

BEQ  untimed (Jenni) 


LAT untimed (pannonica) 


NYT untimed (pannonica)  


WSJ untimed (Jim)  


Bruce Haight’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

NYT • 9/25/17 • Mon • Haight • № 0925 • solution

Slightly off-piste theme here. Feels perhaps a little more like a Tuesday than a Monday.

We have reduplicative phrases, two five-letter words in each instance. There’s five in the puzzle, arranged in a quincunx.

  • 17a/3d. [… useful] HANDY-DANDY.
  • 19a/11d. [… snobbish] HOITY-TOITY.
  • 39a/29d. [… sophisticated] HOTSY-TOTSY.
  • 58a/48d. [… affectionate] LOVEY-DOVEY.
  • 60a/51d. [… weak and indecisive] NAMBY-PAMBY.

Okie-dokie, whatevs.

  • 1a [Puff __ (snake)] ADDER. Wow, at one-across I’m already annoyed. The parenthetical should at least have been “snake species” or “kind of snake”.
  • 2a [Bit of Brylcreem, say] DAB. “A little dab’ll do ya”, per the advertisements.

    • 20a [California’s old Fort __ ] ORD. (!)
    • 50a [Produces a large body of work?] SCULPTS. “Large”??
    • 55a [Word that can follow sea, solar or staying] POWER. Usually we only get two options in clues like this. Is there some sort of metric? If so, would it be calibrated in some way to day-of-the-week? See also, 67a [Crust, mantle or core, for the earth] LAYER. Also, should ‘earth’ be capitalized here?
    • 10d [Ice, as a cake] FROST, Dunno, does the frosting/frost declension work here? Is ‘declension’ even the right word to question it?
    • 52d [Ping-Pong surface] TABLE. Wha-huh?
    • Longish non-theme entries: 33a [Old coupon for the needy] FOOD STAMP (singular), 41a [Realtor’s showing] OPEN HOUSE. Meh. 8d [Symbol of Teddy Roosevelt’s political party] BULL MOOSE, 33d [ Like most manual transmissions in the 1970s and ’80s] FOUR-SPEED. Indeed.

Okay, I’ve gone through the clues three times – got nothing else to observe or say.

Nice enough puzzle, but seems misplaced as a Monday.

Also, again, ORD?????????

Melina Merchant’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Band Boxes” — Jim’s review

Things with rings.

WSJ – Mon, 9.25.17 – “Band Boxes” by Melina Merchant (Mike Shenk)

  • 17a [*It’ll wave over Tokyo in 2020] OLYMPIC FLAG
  • 22a [*Titan orbits it] SATURN
  • 31a [*Place you might go a round] BOXING GYM
  • 43a [*Stump source] TREE TRUNK
  • 51a [*Show that’s in tents] CIRCUS
  • 58a [Wedding party members, and the starred answers] RINGBEARERS

The solve seemed tougher than the usual Monday but maybe that’s because I was watching TV at the time. A couple things seemed very un-Monday-like: ELBE [Dresden’s river] and WILEY [Aviator Post who was first to fly solo around the world].

But there was plenty of sparkly fill starting right off the bat with ZAMBONI. Also: FIGURED OUT, SETTLEREXHILARATE, REMORSE, REGARDS, and DESIRE. “OOH,” what an emotional puzzle.

There was even a good bit of interesting mid-range stuff like GERARD, WALDEN, LANDIS, GIMME.

So even though my solve felt really disjointed, I still got a sense of a clean and interesting grid. Nice way to start off the week.

CC Burnikel’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

LAT • 9/25/17 • Mon • Burnikel • solution

  • 36dR [Hostile place … and where to find the circled animals in this puzzle] LION’S DEN.
  • 16a. [“Is that your __?”: “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” inquiry] FINAL ANSWER (Nala). From The Lion King, I believe.
  • 10d. [Quaint light during a power outage] GAS LANTERN (Aslan). From the Narnia books by 7d [Novelist C.S. __ ] LEWIS.
  • 28d. [Secure places for guests’ valuables] HOTEL SAFE (Elsa). From Joy Adamson’s Born Free.
  • 61a. [Colorful burger topper] PURPLE ONION (Leo). From astronomy and—more in keeping with the other theme elements—MGM studios. As for the full entry, even though the vegetable in question typically is indeed of a purplish TINCT (31a) my experience is that they’re conventionally called RED ONIONS. I don’t doubt that they’re also referred to as PURPLE ONIONS.

Yup, feels Monday-like.

  • 34a [Request for eye contact] LOOK AT ME.
  • 55a [Alumna bio word] NÉE crossing 50d [Evita’s married name] PERÓN (Maria Eva Duarte).
  • 26d [González in 2000 headlines] ELIÂN. The controversial story seems relatively quaint now.
  • 27d [Second longest African river] CONGO. Yes, there are lions in the CONGO River basin. 14a [Sandwich chain known for artisan bread] PANERA; add a TH to the middle and you get the genus name for lions: PantheraTADA! (66a)


Brendan Emmett Quigley’s website crossword – “Themeless 432” — Jenni’s review

i’m filling in for Laura, who is in the air. The NW corner of this one gave me fits largely because I’ve never heard 17a before.

BEQ 9/25, solution grid

  • 1d [Couple of punches] is COMBO. The old one-two.
  • 7d [Light-headed?] is HALOED, and when that fell into place I finally saw that
  • 17a [Attitude about enjoying responsibly] was MINDFUL DRINKING. I have heard of “mindful eating” but this one is new to me.
  • And for good measure, 15a [Play with a college student?] is OLEANNA, a two-character play about an older male professor and a younger female student, which would probably give me a stroke from rage if I saw it again.

We have three other grid-spanners:

  • 3d [Sign of stress] is TENSION HEADACHE. That’s solidly in the language even  though { deleted long medical explanation of why that’s a misnomer}.
  • 60a [Major achievement] is a BACHELOR’S DEGREE, and I suppose it speaks to my educational snobbery that this answer never occurred to me.
  • 12d [Senator who contributed five recipes to the “Pow Wow Chow” cookbook] is ELIZABETH WARREN.

A few other things:

  • TV references: 56d [___ Martell (Dornish princess on “Game of Thrones”)] is a new clue for the old answer ELIA, and 50a [Walt’s TV lawyer] is SAUL.
  • 27d [Juice providers] are AC ADAPTERS.
  • 30a [Do-nothing] is a BUM. We would also have accepted “The President of the United States, according to LeBron James.”
  • CSA at 44a is not the Confederacy but rather [Produce share for locavores: Abbr.], meaning “community-supported agriculture.”
  • 44a. Produce share for locavores: Abbr.

Happy Monday!

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11 Responses to Monday, September 25, 2017

  1. artlvr says:

    NYT: An excellent Monday puzzle, IMHO. Nothing wrong with FT. ORD, or to FROST a cake! The crossing pairs were amusing, as was the BULL MOOSE party. Happy to see such historical items, and eschewing of a load of present-day pop stars!

    • GlennP says:

      Yes, no mismatch between “ice” and “frost”. In this case, both are present-tense verbs.

      • Papa John says:

        I never heard my mom say she was going to “ice” the cake. (She was not a hitperson. [Can’t be too careful with my terminology]) She also calling it frosting, never icing.

        pannonica: What’s wrong with ORD? Not East Coast enough? Ugly word? It’s certainly not obscure… “(!)” simply doesn’t explain anything.

        I agree with Cornelia. It’s an excellent Monday puzzle. I was especially impressed with the placement of the lively theme answers. Although they did take up quite a bit of real estate, they didn’t restrain the rest of the grid.

        • pannonica says:

          Simply that I’ve never heard of it and it seems out of place in a Monday crossword.

        • Lise says:

          What is the difference between frosting and icing? I’ve always wondered.

          • Billie says:

            I always thought there was a difference (frosting being thick and spreadable, and icing being a thin glaze that hardens on the cake), but I’m wrong. A visit to online dictionaries and Wikipedia reveals no distinction except a regional one. It’s icing in Britain, frosting in the northern US, and icing in the southern US. Mostly.

  2. David L says:

    Cute puzzle! Online dictionaries seem somewhat at odds over the meaning of HOTSY TOTSY. I wouldn’t have guessed ‘sophisticated.’ I would have thought it would be descriptive of a flapper from the 1920s.

  3. anon says:

    What does “Oh-Jeez-Is-He-Still-Not-In-Prison-Yet” mean?

  4. jefe says:

    LAT dupe? 1D something like [Cooperstown inst.] for HOF then 6D something like [Part of MIT] for INST.

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