Monday, October 23, 2017

BEQ untimed (Laura) 


LAT untimed (pannonica) 


NYT 4:01 (Laura)  


WSJ untimed (Jim)  


Timothy Polin’s New York Times crossword — Laura’s write-up

It’s a theme for the ages! Words ending in –age are clued as if they were two words, making them terms for a particularly wacky historical period.

NYT - 10.23.17 - Polin - Solution

NYT – 10.23.17 – Polin – Solution

  • [17a: Period dominated by the likes of Dan Rather and Peter Jennings?]: ANCHOR AGE
  • [26a: Period when every car was a junker?]: WRECK AGE
  • [39a: Period known for its 007 movies?]: BOND AGE
  • [41a: Period of fuzzy sweaters?]: PILL AGE
  • [50a: Period when tribute bands thrived?]: COVER AGE
  • [64a: Period when psychiatrists ruled?]: SHRINK AGE

Many possibilities for a theme like this: [Period in which Oliver Twist was set?]: ORPHAN AGE. [Period known for its premium tequila?]: PATRÓN AGE. [Period when William Carlos Williams ate the breakfast you were saving in the icebox?]: PLUM AGE. [Period when duvets were popular?]: BLANKET COVER AGE.

VERBIAGE: Liked [25d: Stepped tower of ancient Sumer]: ZIGGURAT, [47d: Home mixology station]: WET BAR, [3d: Hunter’s hiding spot in a marsh]: DUCK BLIND, and [45d: Specialty bakery]: PIE SHOP. Like the clue for ALPHA: [11d: A, as in Aristotle]. Feel like [12d: Kerchief worn as headgear]: DO RAG may be falling out of parlance except for grid fill; ergo, it is no longer [21a: Cool, in 90s slang]: PHAT. Is [51d: Prepare for a bodybuilding contest]: OIL UP a thing?

TUTELAGE: I wasn’t familiar with [54a: Flees]: LAMS as a verb. “Al Capone LAMS from the g-men during the Prohibition Age” — doesn’t really sound right. I thought “the lam” was something that one was “on.”

APPENDAGE: [52d: “And there it is!”]: VOILA!

Brendan Emmett Quigley’s Themeless Monday crossword—Laura’s write-up

BEQ - 10.23.17 - Solution

BEQ – 10.23.17 – Solution

[1d: “This is probably going to be a bust, but…”]: HUMOR ME for this write-up, because I pretty much TOOK A DIVE [60a: Threw, in boxing] in solving it. I won’t DO A DANCE [52a: Show off one’s moves] but rather offer some [10a: Brief and to the point]: TERSE comments on a few entries. IN A WORD [2d: Briefly] (hmm, do I see a clue dupe?), a bulleted list:

  • [17a: Madame de ___ (Louis XIV’s second wife who name looks like a major ligament]: MAINTENON (get it? like main tendon)
  • [23a: Execute a document without reviewing its contents first]: ROBOSIGN. Apparently robo-signing was a major factor in the 2010 mortgage foreclosure crisis.
  • [28a: Money needed for repairs, in real estate]: COST TO CURE. If you want to sell your house as-is, but it needs a new roof, the cost to cure is the price of the roof. (I think? Someone with a real estate background should jump in here.)
  • [34a: Bacon of Bacon’s Rebellion]: NATHANIEL. Bacon’s Rebellion was a 1676 uprising of indentured servants allied with enslaved Africans against the governor of the Virginia colony. It resulted in the massacre of an entire Native American village and the burning of Jamestown.
  • [46a: Touching way to send cash?]: NFC PAYMENT. NFC as in near-field communication. Like when you tap your phone on another device in order to pay for something.
  • [8d: 2016 Grammy-nominated Radiohead album]: A MOON-SHAPED POOL. With the astonishing video for Burn the Witch.
  • [40d: You might remember him from such movies as “The Contrabulous Fabtraption of Professor Horatio Hufnagel” and “The Boatjacking of Supership ’79”]: (Troy) MCCLURE. I also remember him from “Gladys, the Groovy Mule,” ” P Is for Psycho,” and “Get Confident, Stupid!”

Debbie Ellerin’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Look Out Below” — Jim’s review

Only a quick recap today since the puzzle posted much later than usual.

A good example of the word-to-follow-another-word theme type. Today’s episode: Words preceding “rock.”

WSJ – Mon, 10.23.17 – “Look Out Below” by Debbie Ellerin

  • 3d [*”Here we go again!”] EYE ROLLING. Rolling Rock, the beer. I’m not enamored of the gerundized “EYE ROLLING,” but obviously it was necessary for the theme.
  • 24d [*1969 role for Robert Redford] SUNDANCE KID. Kid Rock. BCatSK is one of my all-time favorite films.
  • 15d [*Doomsayer in a children’s story] CHICKEN LITTLE. Little Rock. My wife is from Little Rock, so I know it well. Also, cruciverb legend Judge Vic Fleming hails from there.
  • 8d [*Apple polisher] TEACHER’S PET. Pet rock. Fun entry.
  • And you’re revealer: 30d [Lowest level, and a hint to the asterisked answers] ROCK BOTTOM. That is, the second word (the bottom word since the theme answers are vertical) is one that can precede “rock.”

Interesting that none of the theme answers leads to a genre of rock music (acid rock, glam rock, etc.). That’s neither here nor there; I just found it interesting.

Brand new to me: 17a KREPLACH [Deli dumpling]. Is it lunchtime yet?

Other likes: DOWNERS, LONESTAR, CYBORG, RECESS. Typical crosswordese: AIME, ETRE, EL AL.

Overall, a fairly clean grid with mostly fun theme entries. A smooth start to the week.

Jeff Stillman’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

LAT • 10/23/17 • Mon • Stillman • solution

  • 59dR [Consumer protection org., and a hint to the answers to starred clues] BBB (Better Business Bureau). For theme purposes, the relevant aspect is triple-B phrases.
  • 20a. [*A little bit at a time, to a mason] BRICK BY BRICK.
  • 32a. [*Next step up after a crib, for some toddlers] BIG BOY BED.
  • 40a. [*Hit by *NSYNC about the end of a relationship] BYE BYE BYE.
  • 50a. [*Iconic refrain from the Trammps’ 1976 hit “Disco Inferno”] BURN BABY BURN.
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14 Responses to Monday, October 23, 2017

  1. Art Shapiro says:

    The psychiatrist with whom I was having coffee while solving the puzzle at a nearby Starbucks audibly groaned when SHRINKAGE was put into the grid.

    Not often does a Monday puzzle merit rave reviews – I liked this one.

  2. Lise says:

    Great review :-)

  3. GlennP says:

    WSJ: Guess the puzzle folks at WSJ are sleeping in this morning? No evidence of the Monday puzzle anywhere.

  4. Papa John says:

    Lise (from yesterday): Oh, I’m a big, fat tipper; most customers are not. My wife did plenty of table waiting, back in the day, so I know a bit about what the job curtails and how they get compensated. I know have kids at home and bald tires on their cars. My beef is more with employers who, I believe, should pay a respectable wage and not leave it to the caprice of the fickle customer to make up for their stinginess. All labor should be paid a LIVING wage. (Shout out here to universal demogrant!)

    As to “These people deserve tips”, I say, some may others not. If the gratuity system is, indeed, based on some action worthy of reward (or punishment), what’s the criteria of excellence for a barista or a clerk at a counter deli? What would they have to do to justify a gratuity and determine the amount of that tip?

    From a different angle, I would offer that there are people in many professions, other than the service industry, who also deserve merit compensation because they, too “work hard”, yet tipping is not a consideration.

    • Lise says:

      Hi PJ (from yesterday): I agree completely with your assessment of employers and that they should pay a respectable wage. I’m sure your wife has some interesting stories. Somehow we remember the discourteous customers more than the good ones, unfortunately.

      I was mostly addressing the idea (not just yours; many people share it) that it is not the usual thing to give tips to people behind the counter, because they’re just doing their job. And most of the time, you, collectively, are right. At the café where I worked, we made a living wage (some would disagree, but it wasn’t like a restaurant). We also were not allowed to have a tip jar. We didn’t expect tips, but were given them on occasion.

      So why should baristas get tips? (I don’t know about deli workers, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and propose that similar conditions might apply). At least where I worked, I saw employees consistently going the extra mile: remembering usual orders for regular customers; assisting mobility-impaired customers; putting up with horrendously rude customers because, after all, we were just people behind the counter, come on now, where are my latte, sandwich, soup and don’t forget the chips; coming up with special recipes personalized for people who asked if we could make something just a little differently; and all with courtesy, kindness, and a smile.

      I realize that this is a crossword blog so I’ll stop. Thank you for being a good tipper and a kind person.

      And thank you to the blog hosts for allowing this conversation.

      • Papa John says:

        We remember good customers, too. A guy gave Jane, my wife. two one-thousand dollar bonds for a tip. She was a very good server.

        Now she’s a dandy wife. She’s pretty good at anything she does.

  5. Ethan says:

    PILL, eh? I had to Google that. I did not know those fuzzballs had a name.

  6. Rick Narad says:

    “NFC PAYMENT. NFC as in near-field communication. Like when you tap your phone on another device in order to pay for something.”

    I really appreciated getting this explanation! I was unsuccessfully looking for a National Football Conference connection and (obviously) couldn’t find it.

  7. joon says:

    what is with that clue for ALIBI (62a) in the nyt? {“I was with my mistress at the time,” e.g.}? i feel like i should be desensitized by now to the tone-deafness of clues relating to gender roles, but this one seems to be going out of its way to be unsavory.

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