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!