Sam Trabucco’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
This grid has an Andrew Ries-style stagger stack in the middle. Sam’s got five 11s in the center: TECH SCHOOLS, TALLAHASSEE, the awesome GALLIVANTED, AIRLINE FOOD (remember when you could get that domestically?), and STRESS-EATER. The other long entries include more good stuff: GUITAR AMP (there’s one in my living room), ESCAPE ROOM (wasn’t that in another puzzle a week or two ago?), THE LEGION OF DOOM (really not clear on what that is, and this particular ignorance is bliss), ROOM TO NEGOTIATE, FISH STORY, and STALLS OUT. That’s a lot of sparkle to fit into a 15x. I also kinda like “UH, OKAY.”
NO-MESS feels less familiar to me than “no muss, no fuss.” And this 34d. [Guidelines observed in sisterhood], GIRL CODE? I can’t say I’ve encountered the term. The bro code, sure. My teenager’s heard GIRL CODE, which includes things like “don’t date your friend’s ex.” I posit that GIRL CODE also entails “tell other women which guys are creepy or abusive or rapey,” because that cautionary info-sharing has been going on forever.
Four more things:
- 26a. [Beauty mark?], TEN. As in “what a beauty, I rate her a 10.” You know the last time I heard a dude assigning numeric hotness ratings to women? It was in 2016 during the presidential campaign, Trump. The clue angle’s definitely got a sleazeball vibe to it now. And there are so many other ways to clue TEN without falling back on that male-gaze angle.
- 28d. [Merchant Samuel who lent his name to a historic island], ELLIS. A little trivia bit I hadn’t known.
- 29d. [“I Fall to Pieces” singer], Patsy CLINE. You know you’d like to hear that song (provided that you can hear).
- Lowlights: Dull bits like AGFA, DEBTEE, TARED, EBAN.
Four stars from me. How’d you like the puzzle?
Paul Cuerdon’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s summary
So this is a bunch of palindromes… There are lists of them on the ‘net. Yeah.