Monday, October 30, 2017

BEQ untimed (Laura) 


LAT untimed (pannonica) 


NYT untimed (pannonica)  


WSJ untimed (Jim)  


Jay Kaskel’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

NYT • 10/30/17 • Mon • Kaskel • solution • № 1030 • solution

In which witches are summoned for seasonal thematic duty.

  • 18a. [Computer help for a witch?] SPELL CHECK.
  • 26a. [Educational institution for witches?] CHARM SCHOOL.
  • 41a. [How one might be forced to accept a witch?] WARTS AND ALL.
  • 53a. [Utterances from witches?] CURSE WORDS.

Simpatico material: 27d [Witches] HAGS, 40a [Like a haunted house] EERIE, 47a [“The Ghost and Mrs. __” (1947 movie)] MUIR, 32d [Like Michael Myers of :Halloween”] EVIL. At a greater remove: 4d [Sci-fi movie that’s inspired many a Halloween costume] STAR WARS, 24d [Hotter __ hell] THAN, 28d [Moans and groans, e.g.] CRIES.

Erm, what else?

Harold Jones’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Monsters, Inc.” — Jim’s review

Solved while watching Stranger Things 2, which seems appropriate.

Halloween is nearly here, so our puzzle is infested with OGREs (46d, [Monster incorporated into the four long Across answers]).

WSJ – Mon, 10.30.17 – “Monsters, Inc.” by Harold Jones (Mike Shenk)

  • 17a [Some shelter workers] DOG RESCUERS. This doesn’t feel very in-the-language to me.
  • 26a [Gauge features using physical pointers, for example] ANALOG READOUTS. That’s somewhat better.
  • 41a [Color akin to chartreuse] PISTACHIO GREEN. Not as common as olive green or kelly green, but more common than hunter green or forest green, per
  • 53a [Be extremely successful] GO GREAT GUNS. Never heard this phrase before.

The thing I liked best about the theme was the revealer’s clue with its play on the word “incorporated.” Most of the theme entries however felt somewhat forced. I would have preferred to see different monsters in different entries, perhaps with FRUIT ROLL-UP, MONGOL EMPIRE, ROTATOR CUFF or similar. That would have jibed better with the title as well.

Most of the long fill was fine but not very exciting either: MORTGAGE, ACCUMULATE, RESEEDS, TEENAGER. But then I got to NUDIST CAMP, which is pleasantly colorful and for some reason seems to go very well with its near-neighbor, HAIR GEL.

There were a couple of non-Mondayish clues and answers in GOETHE [German author who wrote “The Sorrows of Young Werther”] and TIMON [Shakespeare’s title Athenian]. We’ve seen TIMON a number of times in the WSJ and I don’t recall ever seeing it clued with respect to the Disney character.

But the puzzle is very clean as usual, and there is some nice mid-range stuff like BISTRO, GREASY, DE SOTO, and THE CARS [“You Might Think” band].

Brendan Emmett Quigley’s Themeless Monday crossword — Laura’s Writeup

BEQ - 10.30.17 - Solution

BEQ – 10.30.17 – Solution

This is Brendan’s 999th website crossword, so he should be SALUTED [12d: Toasted] with lots of PRAISES [56a: Some Amazon reviews]. Will there be a CRACKER JACK [18a: hot stuff] themed puzzle on Thursday, when we ENTRUST [2d: Hand over] the blogging reins to Ben? I HOPE SO [11d: “God willing].

My times for BEQ’s themelesses are always longer than for most NYT Fridays/Saturdays, but this one chugged along nicely, except for the SW corner, where I just couldn’t get GAM [51d: Humpback group] (despite having read Moby-Dick multiple times), NET MEN [55a: Court figures who play things close] (a tennis thing?), and JAPE [48d: Kid around] — I wanted JAKE for some reason, which gave me ON POKER instead of ON PAPER [53a: Theoretically]. Three things:

  • [28a: Buffalo Bill’s capturer on film]: STARLING. That would be Clarice STARLING, HEROINE [34d: Leading lady] of The Silence of the Lambs. Buffalo Bill is the serial killer she must HUNT [21a: Search high and low] for, who is so named because … well, I’ve just eaten breakfast so look it up. STARLING crosses STERLING [7d: Fine silver], which I feel like most puzzle editors would ding but there’s the advantage to going indie.
  • [1a: Band with an infamous butchered babies album]: BEATLES. This refers to the original cover concept for Yesterday and Today (1966), which pictured the Fab Four in butcher coats amidst … see above re breakfast and perhaps you’d like to read more about it in this Rolling Stone article.
  • On the topic of subversive trends in 1960s American culture, we have JOHN CHEEVER [48a: “The Five-Forty-Eight” short story writer]. Here’s the trailer for The Swimmer (1968), which is Cheever at his most Mad Men-esque (with Joan Rivers in a brief scene).

Jake Braun’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

LAT • 10/30/17 • Mon • Braun • solution

  • 66aR [“Spring Forward” partner (a reminder for November 5th … and what the last word of each answer to a starred clue can literally have] FALL BACK.
  • 17a. [*Palestine, to many] HOLY LAND. Landfall.
  • 28a. [*Slam-dance area] MOSH PIT. Pitfall.
  • 51a. [*What “blows no good”] ILL WIND. Windfall.
  • 11d. [*Jam on the brakes] STOP SHORT. Shortfall.
  • 35d. [*Regular dinner-and-a-movie evening] DATE NIGHT. Nightfall.

Compound words all.

  • 14a [Top poker pair] ACES, 70a [Pre-deal wager] ANTE, 71a [Poker player, e.g.] BETTOR.
  • 20a [St. plagued by wildfires in 2017] ORE. Kudos for eschewing the overused geological deposit and calling attention to environmental concerns, but that abbrev. for ‘state’ and starting the clue with it? Ouch. And as ever, state abbrevs. that aren’t the common two-letter postal ones are just kind of weird in crosswords.
  • 33d [Classic Ford] MODEL T, 45d [“Cats’ poet] TS ELIOT.
  • 6d [Say “You’re grounded” to, say] PUNISH. Say … say? Back it up, I say.
  • 10d [Up-and-down playground fixtures] SEE-SAWS, 22d [Playground fixture] SLIDE.
  • 60d [Jazzman Allison] MOSE. Haven’t shared this widely since a few times in December 2016, but it seems especially timely and urgent again (though it has been, all along).

    Monsters of the id
    no longer staying hid
    and terrors of the night
    are out in broad daylight
    no need to knock on wood
    don’t stop to say a prayer
    it won’t do any good
    they’re multiplyin’ in the air

    Demons of the deep
    are going without sleep
    and phantoms of the dark
    have their own place to park
    no need to lock the doors
    they’re sprouting through the cracks
    they’re making room for more
    they’re deputizing maniacs

    Prehistoric ghouls
    are making their own rules
    and resurrected huns
    are passing out the guns
    no need to cause a fuss
    don’t go and make a scene
    they know what’s best for us
    they’re fighting fire with gasoline

    Creatures from the swamp
    rewrite their own Mein Kampf
    neanderthals amok
    just trying to make a buck
    goblins and their hags
    are out there waving flags
    oh when will we be rid
    of monsters of the id

    (©1969 Mose Allison)


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4 Responses to Monday, October 30, 2017

  1. Ethan says:

    I didn’t like the clue for SPELL CHECK. It should have been “Witch’s form of payment?” or “Result in a chess game with a witch?” The clue should have referenced CHECK, is what I’m saying, and SPELL would be the modifier that makes it “witchy.” Spellcheck is, by itself, a form of computer help for all people.

  2. Zulema says:

    I didn’t like the clue for SACCO. Is everyone too young to know that it should have at least said “alleged”?

    • Papa John says:

      They were convicted in a court of law and electrocuted for the murders. If I remember correctly from the history connected to the stark Ben Shahn painting, the two were Italian immigrants who barely spoke English and may have been scapegoats for the crimes. Still, they were convicted so the “alleged” qualification is unjustified. The controversy surrounding the case continues, as far as I know.

      • Zulema says:

        I am sorry if I used the wrong term for what I wanted to convey, but Papa John explained it very well. Thank you, John.

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