Friday, October 13, 2017

CHE untimed (pannonica) 


LAT 5:33 (Gareth) 


NYT 4:29 (Amy) 


Zhouqin Burnikel’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up

NY Times crossword solution, 10 13 17, no 1013

Smooth and clean, just as challenging as a Friday NYT ought to be. And it’s Friday the 13th, so it’s a lucky puzzle! (Side note: Visited Lake Forest College with my son on Monday, and the campus map has all the buildings numbered. There is no 13. So silly.)

Favorite fill: Pretty DAMASK and GERANIUM, FLOTSAM, KAPOW, G.I. JANE, LEG RAISE (today was, in fact, leg day at the gym, and there were assorted varieties of leg raises done while down on the mat), WHISPER above TSK-TSK, AMERICAN DAD, MARKETWATCH, PILOT SCRIPT, and WENT BERSERK.

I might actually have preferred 13a as IMAGINE, complete with SIN and crosswordese AGAS crossings. I’M ALONE feels iffy as a crosswordable phrase. ARE YOU ALONE is a more familiar things. And now that I’m staring at the grid, I suppose that COR, CRUS, and R IS are pretty meh as well, but all have straightforward crossings and clues.

Five more things:

  • What I’m wearing for Halloween, thanks to Nancy Shack’s heads-up! I won’t be the only one, either.

    15a. [Marching ___ (Midwest college band)], ILLINI. While I’m glad U of I finally ditched the “Chief Illiniwek” mascot, I wish they’d change the team name too. You know how many Illini remained in Illinois when the university was founded in 1867? Hardly any at all. Some had fled to Kansas, and those who remained were forced to relocate to Oklahoma decades earlier.

  • 28a. [Person in a trailer, in two senses], ACTOR. Cute clue. I watch a lot of movie trailers for my job (mostly trying to see which actors figure into a movie prominently enough to rate being a crossword theme), but have never been inside a vehicular trailer on a set.
  • 56a. [Ice cream treat], TORTONI. This one again? I have seen it once or maybe twice before, in crosswords—never in a restaurant or gelato joint. I’ve now done a Google image search and I want Tortoni. It’s a rich ice cream, heavy on the eggs and cream, with chopped cherries in it, topped with minced almonds or crushed macarons. I’ll take the cookie crumble and the almonds, please. If I ever see it on a menu, I’ll have to order it.
  • 1d. [Bits of information?], DIGITAL DATA. At first I was thinking that DIGITAL was redundant here, but then again, you might have a notebook filled with data you’ve jotted down in analog form.
  • 5d. [Grand duke vis-à-vis a czar], SON. Had no idea. Now say “Zsa Zsa Gabor vis-à-vis a czar” three times fast.

4.1 stars from me.

Olivia Mitra Framke’s Chronicle of Higher Education crossword, “The X Factor” — pannonica’s write-up

CHE • 10/13/17 • “The X Factor” • Framke • solution

Rather straightforward phonetic theme, but done well. Terminal –cks strings are replaced with the more economical –x to, of course, humorous effect.

  • 18a. [Wonder-ous rejection?] STEVIE NIX (Stevie Nicks). Not finding any collaborations between the two, though Fleetwood Mac’s “Seven Wonders” comes up. So instead I had to hunt this up (it wasn’t easy, just so you know):

    [Edit: Guess the description didn’t show up as intended; this is “Get With the Beat” by Billy Nix.]

    nb: I will not be sharing “Cotton Eyed Joe” by the Swedish band Rednex.

  • 24a. [Horrifying bagel accompaniment?] DREAD LOX (dread locks). Crosswords need more clues with ‘horrifying’ and ‘horrific’ in them. Just my opinion.
  • 33a. [Cereal that comes with a guarantee?] CERTIFIED CHEX (certified checks).
  • 48a. [What military higher-ups pay the IRS?] BRASS TAX (brass tacks).
  • 52a. [Some slot-machine pop-ups?] CHERRY PIX (cherry-picks).

So that all worx.

As e.a. has already observed in the comments below, the grid is quite pleasing with a lot of white swaths and open flow.

  • 16a [Celestial peacock] PAVO. Didn’t know that offhand but fortunately knew the genus for peafowl, which is in fact the same (Latin).
  • 42a [Base for some French toast] BRIOCHE. Presumably on the same more-eggs-are-better approach that encourages challah french toast.
  • 4d [Chateau __ Michelle (American winery)] STE. That’s … new, at least in my experience with crossword clues. Their website suggests that it’s Washington state’s oldest winery (founded in 1954). I Certainly would have guessed Wisconsin or Michigan or Minnesota.
  • 22d [Lake Michigan herring] ALEWIVES. Disguised plural. Distinct from the same word indicating a female alehouse proprietor. Merriam-Webster proffers, by way of etymology: “perhaps alteration of obsolete allowes, a kind of shad, from French alose shad, from Old French, from Late Latin alausa“.
  • 33d [1978 R&B album whose title rhymes with the name of its highest-charting hit] C’EST CHIC. That’d be “Le Freak” by the band Chic.
  • 41d [Paint-can instruction] STIR. A change from the humdrum [Recipe word] or [Ado].
  • 42d [Focus of many May negotiations] BREXIT. That’s Teresa May, current prime minister of the (more-or-less) United Kingdom.
  • 47d [Brought into being] SIRED. *AHEM*

Okay, I’m out. Fun crossword, but it’s been a busy day.

Morton J Mendelson’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up

LA Times

Today’s theme is rather offbeat. We are presented with four themers clued only with letters followed by ellipses. Once the answers emerge, you realise the clues are initials of parts of adages which are completed by the four theme phrases. [Two wrongs…] DONOTMAKEARIGHT; [Don’t Count Your Chickens…], BEFORETHEYHATCH; [Cleanliness is…] NEXTTOGODLINESS; [All good things…] COMETOANEND. Why? And why these idioms of all the near limitless idioms to choose from? I couldn’t say.

The grid was a lot more closed than most late week puzzles. That should make it easier, however, that was balanced by the nature of the theme, as well as generally tougher clueing (I thought) of the shorter answers.


  • [Yanks’ foes], JAYS. A double-crosser right up! We all plonked REBS down, correct? Are Blue Jays and Yankees rivals in the Liverpool Everton vein?
  • [Backs up a videotape], REWINDS. Arch.

Well, that was hardly worth starting bullets? You have anything more you’d like to highlight?

2.5 Stars

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25 Responses to Friday, October 13, 2017

  1. Robert White says:

    2D: AMERICAN DAD- Former Fox “long-running sitcom”; now on TBS….

  2. e.a. says:

    loved the elegant gridwork in CHE. 33-down!

  3. jim hale says:

    I used to look forward to ordering a tortoni any time I’d go to an Italian restaurant when I was a kid for dessert. I don’t remember it even being on the menu, you just asked for it.

    • pannonica says:

      That was the standard dessert for me in my picky-eater childhood days. Usually it was on the menu, though.

  4. Evad says:

    [Heads up] for RUNS was a head-scratcher until I realized it meant like a company. Good workout today!

  5. Ethan Friedman says:

    Smooth Friday; a tad on the easy side

    • huda says:

      yes, parts of it felt like a Tuesday. But hey, it starts with DAMASK (from my home town) so I have no complaints…

  6. Richard Mahoney says:

    Can we not have references to Pete Rose who disgraced the game?

  7. Lise says:

    I can’t seem to get the CHE pdf; when I click on the pdf link, I arrive at an oopsy! page. The link to the answer pdf works (I averted my eyes ;) ).

    Is there some other way to get to it? Thanks!

  8. Zulema says:

    Very nice NYT puzzle but I suppose on the easy side for some of you.

  9. Shteyman says:

    Regarding yesterday’s ER DOC clue — ER docs, at least in this country, do not actually order surgery. If there’s suspicion of a life-threatening condition requiring urgent/emergent surgery, an ER doc would consult a surgeon, who would assess the patient and only then would the latter “order” surgery him/herself. And by “order” I mean post the case with the OR front desk.

    • Papa John says:

      What if the ER doctor is the surgeon? That’s often the case in our small town hospital.

      • Shteyman says:

        Hmm, I didn’t realize a surgeon was allowed to run an ED (Emergency Department) without having completed an EM (Emergency Medicine) residency, which is another 3 years on top of at least 5 for general surgery.

  10. Lise says:


  11. BGoldman says:

    Not to nitpick but 60d is incorrect. It is not an investment but an account to put investments into.

  12. jefe says:

    Also can’t figure out any commonality in the LAT. Anyone?

Comments are closed.