Bruce Haight’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
Very smooth Monday here, showcasing a standard hidden-word-bridging-a-gap theme mechanism.
- 61aR [Personal struggles … or, literally, features of 17-, 26-, 36- and 52-Across] INNER DEMONS.
- 17a. [“Water Lilies” painter] CLAUDE MONET.
- 26a. [June, in the L.G.B.T.Q. movement] PRIDE MONTH.
- 36a. [Profited] MADE MONEY.
- 52a. [Computer programmer, disparagingly] CODE MONKEY.
Anyone else a tad surprised not to see INXS somewhere in the grid?
- 48a [Simultaneously] AT A TIME. That doesn’t look right, all by itself
- 51d [Negative about] DOWN ON. Yet I’m positive on this colloquial entry. It’s a little more forced for 68a [“Fuhgeddaboutit!”] NAH and 41d [“Shoulda listened to me …”] TOLD YA, but those are also good.
- 60a [Public health org.] FDA. Supposed to be. Ostensibly. 15a [Hold power, as a monarch] REIGN. 66a [Deliberately hurtful] CRUEL.
- 65a [Sailors’ yeses] AYS. Really?
- 12d [Light, friendly punch] LOVE TAP.
Annnd… I’m all tapped out.
Harold Jones’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Stocking Stuffers” — Jim’s review
Hidden word theme akin to today’s NYT but with a shorter word: TOE (63a, [Stocking stuffer found in the long Across answers]).
- 15a [Visual feature in Time, perhaps] PHOTO ESSAY
- 25a [Descartes observation] COGITO ERGO SUM. Not as strong an entry as the first and last one since the spanning theme word doesn’t touch one of the entry words at all. But I love the entry itself.
- 43a [Enact, as a law] PUT INTO EFFECT. See above comment.
- 57a [“The Name of the Rose” writer] UMBERTO ECO. We see ECO a lot in crosswords (not to be confused with [Danish shoe company with stores in many malls] ECCO) but we don’t often see this author’s full name. I read the book for a class in high school and loved it. It’s basically a Sherlock Holmes mystery set in a 14th-century monastery. I enjoyed the movie, too, which featured Sean Connery and a young Christian Slater.
Favorite fill: OXYMORON, ICONOCLAST, and DOODAD. As was revealed last Thursday, I know very little about the finer things in life: art, ballet, bridge. Perhaps you can add classical music to that as SAINT-SAENS was difficult for me to put in; I’ve come across the name, but would never get it from the clue [“Christmas Oratorio” composer Camille].
Speaking of the SEASON, since we’ve started the run up to Christmas look for plenty of related themes and clues in forthcoming WSJ puzzles. Today’s features TINSEL in the fill and Christmasy clues for LOT, DOLLS, NEST, LOUD, SNOW, and EGG.
A fine Monday and a good start to the week.
BEQ’s “Themeless Monday” — Jim Q’s write-up
A fun and wonderfully smooth themeless offering from BEQ today. Just enough bite and “Aha!” moments with minimal crosswordese and inferable, fairly crossed answers (such as TIERNEY and INDIAN BREAD) on clues that had me stumped ([Maura of “The Affair”] and [Chapati, e.g.] respectively). This is just the way I like a themeless served.
BEQ’S Music Clues (that’s a fun rhyme!):
12-D: [1970 hit with the lyrics “You’re breaking my heart / You’re shaking my confidence”] CECILIA. Who didn’t sing this in their heard as soon as they saw this clue? I’m only disappointed that he didn’t add the word “baby”* in the second half of that lyric set. It’s like if someone sang “Row, row, row your boat, gently down the…” and just stopped. Stream! Stream! You can’t stop there! (*update… I’ve just been told that I’ve been singing this wrong my entire life. See comments below. Now I’m doubting is the word “Stream” is correct as well… )
7-D: [Singer Krall, et al.] DIANAS. Unfortunate plural, but hey it happens. I used to be a big Diana Krall fan. But then I saw her in concert at Radio City Music Hall and the only time she addressed the audience was to yell at us for not being more responsive. Lots of people walked out. New Yorkers… we’re a tough crowed. It garnered this very meh review from the New York Times. I’m not much into her anymore.
36-D: [Payne of One Direction] LIAM. Mr. Neeson was already Taken (pun intended) by today’s NYT.
15-A: [Someone who takes a little something off the front] PORCH PIRATE. Fantastic clue. Fantastic answer. And timely. Can’t ask for much more than this. I’m always happy to hear when one of these grinches gets busted.
69-A: [When they’re negative, it’s a positive] TEST RESULTS. Another fun clue that made me recall the first time I grokked this concept as an elementary school student. Mind blown.
10-D: [Company that can help you change your story] OTIS. As in the elevator company. Don’t know whether to groan or applaud this clue. Undeniably cute.
47-D: [Show-off’s cry] NO HANDS! I once cycled 8 miles on a fully loaded touring bicycle with no hands. But there was no one to show off to… and I was in Kansas where the terrain was less than challenging. Just one of those things you do to keep yourself entertained. But I’m glad I have this venue to boast about it now. Thanks BEQ!
No hangups to speak of. And 10:30 is a good personal time for me on a themeless. Wonder what’s in store for Christmas next Monday…
Brock Wilson’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
- 60aR [Where to find the last words of 17-, 22-, 39- and 51-Across] CROSSWORD PUZZLE.
- 17a. [Shunning public utilities and such] GOING OFF THE GRID.
- 22a. [Even-steven] ALL SQUARE.
- 39a. [Respond to cries of “Encore!”] DO ANOTHER NUMBER.
- 51a. [Is totally in the dark] HAS NO CLUE.
Also, no THEME?