Erik Agard’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
Erik’s making inroads into Martin Ashwood-Smith’s quad-stacks turf with this L/R symmetry grid featuring one quad stack and three other 15s below it. Such puzzles often have short filler that’s on the blah side (ENURE, TSE, plural OMS, NACRE, random Roman numeral MLI) as the trade-off. Overall, this one’s pretty solid.
Highlights: “THAT’S A TALL ORDER” (describing the grid in a rather meta way), “EACH ONE TEACH ONE,” A RAISIN IN THE SUN (how did I not know the play had characters from the South Side?!), MAKE A FRESH START, and VICTORIA’S SECRET are all zippy, and there’s nothing wrong with SPARED NO EXPENSE.
- 34a. [Llama, for one], CAMELID. Is your eye parsing this entry as CAMEL I.D.? The bouncer at the oasis will ask to see yours.
- 58a. [D.C. thoroughfare with the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum], INDEPENDENCE AVE. Given how seldom D.C. is spelled out, I wasn’t seeing it as an abbreviation cue and it took me a while to figure out the answer. Constitution Avenue’s on the other side of the National Mall, and that’s where the new(ish) National Museum of African-American History and Culture is. Dang it, Erik, the other street has the same letter count.
- 2d. [Not halal, in Arab cuisine], HARAM. I never encounter HARAM in terms of food, but know the word means “forbidden” thanks to the grievous Boko Haram group.
- 57d. [Show featuring Leslie Jones, for short], SNL. If you watch Game of Thrones, you should look up the “Game of Jones” videos on the Late Night with Seth Meyers YouTube channel. She watches the show with mad intensity.
- 13d. [South Indian pancakes], DOSAS. Not sure I’ve ever tried a dosa, as most of the Indian restaurants I go to aren’t South Indian. If chicken and lamb are on the menu, you’re definitely not at a South Indian joint. The dosa batter is fermented—anyone know if that makes dosas taste anything like Ethiopian injera? Totally different base materials, but injera has that sourness.
Time for bed! 3.9 stars from me.
Mike Peluso’s Chronicle of Higher Education crossword, “Mix and Match: Size 7” — pannonica’s write-up
Okay. Four 14-letter entries consisting of 7-letter anagram pairs. Beyond that… ?
- 20a. [Tag line for print ads about Firebirds or GTOs?] PONTIAC CAPTION.
- 24a. [Grounds for expulsion from Capitol Hill?] SENATOR TREASON. One hopes so.
- 41a. [What a barrister hangs?] ENGLISH SHINGLE.
- 47a. [Delivery in the Canadian Parliament building?] ONTARIO ORATION.
Anything else linking these entries? I don’t detect any unifying quality in answers or clues.
I liked both longish words escorting the first and last themers: 17a [Brat’s specialty?] INSOLENCE, 55a [Subject to voiding, as a driver’s license] REVOCABLE.
- 58a [In apple-pie order] TIDY. What’s the origin of this idiom? Is it a sort of parallel substitution? “Easy as A-B-C” ≈ “easy as pie” so therefore an ‘A’ pie suggests ‘ABC’ which suggests tidiness?
- 36a [“__ Habe Genug” (Bach cantata)] ICH. Recently examined on the BBC Radio 4 programme Soul Music.
- 18d [Ankara money] LIRAS, 40d [Soldier at Gallipoli] ANZAC. Symmetrical pair.
- Speaking of ‘Oz’: 56a [Atmospheric layer that absorbs ultraviolet rays] OZONE, 47d [Spirits in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”] OUZO, 46a [Huit + trois] ONZE.
- 7d [Tax auditor’s intermediate deg., maybe] MACC. Looks like Masters in Accounting, which makes sense. Maybe it’s Masters of Accountancy. Some variation, anyway.
- 10d [Gleeful cry in Granada] ARRIBA. Idiomatic, as the word basically means ‘up’ or ‘upward’. Ergo, [cheer] up, [look] up, [lift] up, etc. You’re thinking of Speedy Gonzalez, of course.
Priscilla Clark & Jeff Chen’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up
A peculiarly specific pair of sound changes this, and yet we get amusing, wacky results. ENSS becomes INZ (except SEQUENCE and VIOLENCE aren’t quite ENSS, but close enough). The two 15’s are reason enough for the puzzle: STRADDLETHEFINS and RESORTTOVIOLINS; DNASEQUINS, SINSOFHUMOR, and FUTURETINS make up the rest of the theme.
The freshest answer here is ALLOPATH, though it made me wince. Quacks!
I hate to be that guy, but the word “Berber” is no longer considered P.C., coming as it does from the same Greek word as “barbaric.” The people and language are properly called Amazigh.
that one’s on me, sorry & thank you
No worries, I wouldn’t have known that either if I hadn’t spent time in the field of Middle Eastern studies. Very good puzzle overall.
I wish more people would weigh in here today with comments on this, rather than DOSAS and HARAM. Are we really ready for Amazigh, or do we have to shelve the topic and geographical area for a few years?
Interesting. That word [per Wikipedia: “barbaros (Greek: βάρβαρος) meaning strange or foreign”] is also the source of the name “Barbara”. Likewise both “Welsh” and “Włochy” come from a Germanic root for “foreigner”. (“Włochy” is Polish for “Italy”, see e.g. this Quora answer; the initial Wło is pronounced something like “Vuo”, and the “ch” as in Loch Ness.)
Ethan, never heard that before.
My wife is South Indian — from Andhra Pradesh — and her family lives on chicken and, especially, lamb.
Like the puzzle well enough. Fell too easily though with little sparkle.
MORAL QUANDRY– Just realized I’ve been given credit for my Sunday DNF in the wake of the NYT’s problems with the transposed letters. My much obsessed-streak lives!! And yet I was never going to finish the puzzle for reasons having nothing to do with the incorrect solution. Can I in good faith continue to amaze/bore people with tales of my ever-growing streak?
All long streaks have a little luck involved-brag away as far as I’m concerned!
I am a daily visitor to this blog and I live in Chennai which is the land of Dosas and Idlis. So, I feel compelled to chime in regarding Amy’s question about Dosas. They are similar to the Ethiopian injera but Dosas are thinner, crisper and aren’t as sour. There is another south Indian dish called “appam” which is much closer in texture and taste to the injera. If you haven’t had dosas before, I strongly recommend a masala dosa with a side of sambhar and chutney.
I don’t know if I was subliminally affected by test-solving this puzzle, but I just made masala dosas, sambar and coconut chutney. I’ve got the batter down pretty well now — grinding soaked urad dal (black gram) and rice — and fermenting. My son and his wife even got me a very nice tava (griddle) for my birthday because of my South Indian cooking exploration. My only problem is that even in California, the temperature drops enough at night in the winter to make the fermentation very slow, like two days.
I also made some appams (“hoppers”) and love them but think that idlis are even closer to injera, at least in texture. None of these delicacies are as sour, but the moistness of an idli that comes from the steaming reminds me more of injera.
I go through urad dal and toor dal (split pigeon peas, used to make sambar) in ten pound sacks! I think I have a Desi lentil addiction. All of these dishes are so delicious.
Dinesh and Martin,
Your posts made my day. I contacted my Indian client (think Freida Pinto) to ask her if she was familiar with dosas, idlis and appam. She responded that dosas are one of her favorite Southern India dishes and invited me to a local restaurant called Chutney to try them.
I loved the shape of the NYT. It looks like a little fox face.
NYT: Re- HARAM: At least in Syria and Lebanon, the word is also used more broadly and less formally to mean “such a waste”– like if you throw away perfectly good food or clothing, people say: Haram!
I’ve always liked the coupling of the meanings, suggesting that wasting is forbidden or at least very ill-advised. I grew up knowing the value of reusing, repurposing and recycling– being eco-friendly because otherwise… Haram.
PS. and similarly, Halal has a broader connotation and is used to mean something you deserve, something you’ve earned fair and square.
This seems like a similar phenomenon to how English speakers use “kosher” to mean “legitimate.”
Oh yeah, that sounds right.
In Turkey, “halal” is also used to mean “good job!” “very impressive!” etc. And if someone disappoints you, you say “I hope all that time I spent on you becomes haram,” like you’re so upset you want that person to have a lot of sins on their record.
In Egypt “Haram 3aleek” means “shame on you” and can be used for scolding about anything.
pannonica:I’ve been under the weather, so please excuse my tardiness in replying.
>>>There are two: Insert key and also the 0 of the Number Pad (with NumLk off).<<<
I had no idea what you were talking about, especially since you were responding to a comment about inserting multiple letters, not pulling up a chart "of all kinds of little icons or pictures in the puzzle", that David mentioned. (I'm not exactly sure how to enter +Ins, successively. After a few tries, yesterday, I was able to bring up the chart but I'm not able to do it today. Which + and which Ins key is the correct one? Is it shift/= and the Insert key or is it the + addition key and Ins on the number pad.)
Sheepishly, I confess that I haven’t used Across Lite for a long while. My application of choice is Xword, which is very similar but in my opinion superior.
My keyboard has only one
Insertkey, above and to the left of the
Backspacekey. I’m not sure what D Halbstein was indicating yesterday vis à vis Across Lite.
Interestingly, I just went through a hard drive clean up and came across Xword. I can’t remember how long it’s been sitting there, unused.I dumped it. I did try it, way back when, but went back to Across Lite — hard to teach an old dog, blah, blah…
I use a Surface, which does not have an insert key on its tiny keyboard cover or a number pad, so I go with the tried & true ALT+E+I+M, which lets you enter multiple letters (i.e., rebus). ALT+E+I+S calls up a chart of various symbols. Of course, Mr. Happy Pencil doesn’t recognize any of them, but the heck with him. I seem to remember a HEART rebus some years back, and I liked my saved image with that symbol much better than a blah H.
Oops, I just looked again, and, by golly, there is an insert key hiding there as one of the Fn alternatives. Thanks, pannonica. That ALT+E+I+M can get very tiresome in a multiple rebus puzzle.
For excellent DOSAS in Chicago, try Udupi Palace on Devon Ave. http://udupipalacechicagoil.com/10567
Woohoo a quadstack! With some fresh 15s, and striking L-R grid symmetry to boot!
I’m a sucker for quadstacks … for some reason :)
Anyhoo… I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Erik Agard for his very kind shout-out to me, in his crossword notes (at the NYT’s Wordplay site, and also the NYT Crossword Info site).
I was deeply moved by them.
The four two word phrases in the CHE are 7 letter words which are anagrams of each other. Hence the title, Mix and Match – Size 7. I wouldn’t have caught this without the title.
Did I not indicate that explicitly enough?
Obviously, skipped right past the first sentence. I solve on paper, so often the first thing I do is verify any letters or terms I am unsure about. Thanks.
Several sources explain apple-pie order, 58A, CHE, thusly:
What’s the origin of the phrase ‘Apple pie order’?
The phrase may originate from the French ‘nappes pliees’ = neatly folded, or from ‘cap-a-pie order’. There’s no definitive evidence to support this and the origin remains uncertain.
It is recorded first in English in Sir Thomas Pasley’s Private Sea Journals, 1780:
“Their Persons Clean and in apple-Pie order on Sundays.”
Thank you. I was hoping someone would engage and do the looking-up. Can’t do all the ‘work’ every time—that’s no fun for everyone.
I do not understand 52 down TOPS max. I tried to Google it but only got catalogs for blouses. Please explain? Thanks!
“This puzzle will take Elaine 20 minutes tops” / “this puzzle will take Elaine 20 minutes max.” Basically “at most.”