Friday, December 29, 2017

LAT 3:55 (Gareth) 


NYT 4:54 (Ben) 


David Steinberg’s New York Times crossword—Ben’s write-up

Happy Friday, y’all!  We’re almost done with this dumpster fire of a year, so let’s finish out strong!  This week’s Friday NYT is from David Steinberg.

Working in tech means that I knew that “Checks for bugs” was going to be BETA TESTS right away.  I was really concerned “She’s always down for a good time” somehow led to BOOTY CALL and was ready to SLAP the constructor, but it’s just PARTY GIRL (which doesn’t feel that much better, OKEY DOKEY?)

I really liked the three longer entries in the upper right — PANORAMA, EVIL GRIN, and DEAD SEXY are all great, as were STIMULI, CASHFLOW, and CINNABON (the cinnamon bun retailer available in nearly every airport, where everything smells 200% better than it tastes).  The southern part of the grid tripped up my time – my CICERO is rusty, and I can’t really tell my HAN characters from kanji et. al.  I REALIZE ELO is a popular band with the constructor set for obvious reasons, but “Rockaria!” is one of my least favorite hits of theirs – give me “Turn to Stone” any day over that.

3.75 stars from me. I’ll leave you with “ON HOLD” by The xx on this bitterly cold Boston Thursday/Friday.

David Alfred Bywaters’ LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up

LA Times

Theme answers have theatrical words in them, used in non-theatrical contexts; the clues are rewritten to make them about theatre. In some cases the part of speech is changed, but not always. So: postSCRIPT, CASTinstone, ACTINGpresident, PLAYchicken and floodSTAGE.

The rest of the puzzle was mostly short answers, and a lot easier than most LA Times Fridays. I did enjoy the inanimate [Catcher of small prey], SPIDERWEB clue and [Like the last letter in a column?] for SILENT, even if the latter has a forced “a”…

3 Stars

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7 Responses to Friday, December 29, 2017

  1. David says:

    NYT: Fun and well-crafted puzzle, but that sporty clue killed us for a few minutes, and that whole section was tough. JOYBUZZER was a great answer, and there were many others.

  2. Laura B says:

    PARTY GIRL is perfectly acceptable if clued in reference to the 1995 movie starring Parker Posey.

    • C. Y. Hollander says:

      It’s perfectly acceptable as clued, too. Personally, I prefer common nouns to proper nouns that I may or may not be familiar with, so I prefer the clue that ran.

  3. C. Y. Hollander says:

    NYT: The clue for 26 Across, “QB protectors” (RG’S) would have been better as “Some QB protectors”. In American football, the RG (right guard) is one of five members of the offensive line, all five of whom have the primary responsibility of protecting the quarterback.

    Other than that, I thought the crossword was fine except for the crossing of SLEZAK and ELO: proper nouns crossing at a letter that could equally be any vowel, to one unfamiliar with the names in question. For my part, I hadn’t heard of Erika Slezak and am only familiar with ELO from crosswords.

  4. Penguins says:

    I liked the NYT, with the north being better than the south. Thought the LAT a good puzzle as well.

  5. Noam D. Elkies says:

    Jeff Chen on xwordinfo calls attention to the nice misdirection in the clue “letters before Q” for 29A:LGBT (not MNOP as in Satie).


    P.S. I know little of 35A:CICERO myself, but do remember that the Latin phrase for “and others” is “et alii” or “et alia(e)”, so the abbreviated form is “et al.”, not “et. al.”. (For extra Latin cred, abbreviate “et cetera” to “&c.”.)

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