Ned White’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
Okay. I enjoyed the puzzle but I’m not in a blogging mood. So we’ll be quick about it.
Liked seeing SMACKDOWN, TAMALE PIE, SOLO CUP, WE MADE IT, NOT SPAM, CRAWDADDY, HEAD COUNTS, TOP GEAR, and SECRET WORD (would have been cool to clue the latter via Pee-Wee’s Playhouse rather than Groucho. “Scream real loud!”).
Bored by: IT’S SAD, STANDEE, ROTOS, I DO NOT, and PTUI.
I count at least 18 people’s names, brand names, and titles of works. That’s always a trigger for the “This supposed to be a crossword puzzle, not a trivia test!” solvers who don’t know all the names. They make a puzzle go faster for me, though.
Have not ever seen the English version of Das Rheingold, The RHINEGOLD. It looks so wrong in the grid.
Four stars from me, over and out. Good night!
Lee Taylor’s Chronicle of Higher Education crossword — pannonica’s overview
Theme answers rely on relative positions of two entries within the grid to supply an “over” component. The second clue alone is sufficient for its entry, but the first clue requires both entries plus the tacit “over”.
- 4a. [Madly in love] HEAD
13a. [––/ Scoundrels] HEELS.
(head over heels)
- 12a. [Means of transferring assets to a new 401(k), say] ROLL
15a. [––/ Levin and Gershwin] IRAS.
- 14a. [Darth Vader or Ming the Merciless, e.g.] EVIL
17a. [––/ Star of the original “Hawaii Five-O”] LORD.
- 29a. [Attire for Dennis the Menace] BIB
35a. [––/ “___ well that ends well!”] ALL’S.
- 39a. [Potentially hostile business maneuver] TAKE
44a. [––/ invite] BID.
- 58a. [Fatten one’s paycheck, say] EARN
62a. [––/ It put “The Silence Breakers” on its 2017 Person of the Year cover] TIME.
- 61a. [Advice to a convalescent eager to be out of bed, maybe] DON’T
64a. [––/ Two-thirds of DIY] DO IT.
(don’t overdo it)
- 63a. [Do a tour of duty in the Persian Gulf, e.g.] SERVE
66a. [––/ Septet among explorers] SEAS.
There’s some variation, which is good. Twice the over is suffixed to the first word, one time it stands on its own, and the reminder are prefixed to the second word; there is a unique change of punctuation necessary (removal of an apostrophe).
No long answers in the grid; understandable considering the amount of theme material therein. This also explains the unusual presence of cheater a cheater square in the top left corner (and of course symmetrically another in the bottom right).
- 9d [River through Bristol and Bath] AVON. There’s also, notably, Stratford-upon-Avon.
- Other ‘pair’ clues: themers 14a and 15a, 37a [Like Batman and Robin] CAPED, 49a [Novelists Patchett and Packer] ANNS, 54a [Brown and simmer] BRAISE, 26d [Piece of marble or meat] SLAB, 33d [Mike and Ike, e.g.] NAMES. Don’t know why these stood out to me this way.
- 21d [Mariah Carey’s “The Emancipation of __”] MIMI. Or Lena Wertmüller’s The Seduction of Mimi.
- 53d [Rectangular paving stone] SETT. m-w.com lists quite a lot of senses for set(t) in all its parts of speech. The relevant one here is noun sense 14. Other applications for the sett spelling are:
- (a) a young plant or rooted cutting ready for transplanting,
(b) a small bulb, corm, or tuber or a piece of tuber used for propagation, (c) the blossoms of a plant that have set fruit as a result of fertilization
- the burrow of a badger
- (a) a young plant or rooted cutting ready for transplanting,
So there it is. It’s over.
C.C. Burnikel’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up
This was an elegant, fun – but quite easy to solve – Friday theme. The puzzle deals in homophones, with abbreviations expanded into regular-word soundalikes. SEEDYCASE and PEATYBOATS tickled my wacky bone; EXCELSHIRT was more functional. IVYFLUIDS reminded me too much of work, with 11 parvo cases in three days, a parvo ward with five cages, and being the only doctor making me feel like I am unable to provide an adequate standard of care. None of these pups are dead yet, but some will die. Parvo is like that. Vaccinate your damn puppies!
- [Creature for whose shape Anguilla was named], EEL; inferred from Anguilleformes.
- [Bluto and Pluto], TOONS; only because I had GOONS first, which describes Bluto, but not really Pluto.
- [One who doesn’t pick up much], SLOB
Isn’t the painting “Dancers at the Barre”? And don’t ballet dancers practice next to a barre, not next to a bar?
Thought so too. And “standee”, oh my.
Yes, true. I was picturing a group of dancers ordering appletinis and telling the bartender about their lives.
But after missing the significance of the word “The” in the clue for RHINEGOLD, I was too embarrassed to quibble about “bar”.
My wife was a ballet dancer and she’s spent plenty of time with me at a bar.
I looked up “barre” in the dictionary. It’s defined as “a horizontal bar at waist level on which ballet dancers rest a hand for support during exercises.” And if you’ve ever seen one, it’s … a long, wooden bar. I have no trouble with the clue as presented.
As the title of the Degas painting, I’ve always know it as “Dancers at the Barre”.
The “bar” spelling is common in “official” translations.
So was the Times in the Degas obit. That’s the last citation I could find for the title so we don’t know what the style police would say today.
I liked that the constructor worked his name into the puzzle. And for some reason, PTUI was funny. I think Charles Schulz used it as the sound effect when Snoopy would spit out the fly ball he had caught at shortstop.
At the bookstore where I used to work, we had a life-size STANDEE of Henry Winkler to advertise his young reader series. It never failed to give me a start when I saw it out of the corner of my eye, even when it had been up for weeks.
And it’s amazing how many different clues there are for OREO. Hadn’t seen it in the plural up to now.
Thanks for a great start to my Friday!
It was fun to see SMACKDOWN as 1a. It comes from one of The Rock’s signature lines: Lay (sometimes Layeth) the Smackdown. The Rock has transitioned from his incomparable wrestling career into just about the top of the A List as a Hollywood movie star.
The entire W fell quickly for me and the E was tough. I enjoyed the puzzle, but I do not understand the clue/answer combo of L and CTA.
The Chicago ‘El’ (i.e., elevated transit line).
Yes, the CTA uses “L,” in quotation marks, and not the “El” that you see in the plural in too many crossword grids.
Dwayne Johnson oozes charisma. Anyone seen the Jumanji 2 movie?
I saw Jumanji2 with my kids. Jack Black is hysterical and Karen Gilan and the Rock are funny and serious eye candy. A fun movie
He’s also the highest paid Hollywood actor for 2017, for what it’s worth.
Local boy makes good! He’s a Lehigh Valley native.
Thanks, MattF and Amy, for clarification of “L”. Got that entirely by crossings. Totally thrown by “Tamale Pie”. Somehow the “Southwestern” didn’t register with me; I had “Cock-a-Leakie” in my head and was looking for some variant. Even when I got all the letters, I wondered what “Tam-a-lepie” was; thinking it, too, was something Scottish that you eat while wearing a hat.
What’s “Rotos”? I only know it as an animation term, i.e., “Rotoscoping”.
Tam-a-lepie, how fun! Maybe a leprechaun eaten while wearing a tam? I’d have to get the gold first.
Rotogravure is an old-style photo printing process that was used in newspapers and other applications. It appears to still be used in package printing.
I seem to have left it open to interpretation, there, as to whether you or the leprechaun is wearing the tam. À chacun son goût.
I always associate “rotogravure” with the song “Easter Parade”. Says something about my age!
NYT: SMACKDOWN/TAMALE PIE makes up for all the proper nouns that I didn’t know.
There is a CHE puzzle today and it should be available on the CHE web site shortly.
It’s also at
thanks for the link
NYT: I originally had AM I TOO LAME instead of AM I TO BLAME, not a big fan of the crossing: BAH
I had WHO TO BLAME which I guess just means I would never consider the possibility of it being my fault. MOI? Mais non.
Can someone please explain to me how “etsy” is a site for handicrafts?
this way: etsy.