(No WSJ today)
Agnes Davidson and Zhouqin Burnikel’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
Timed for MLK day.
- 61aR [Final words of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech … or a hint to the endings of 17-, 24-, 39- and 49-Across] FREE AT LAST. Literally, synonyms for ‘free’ in the final parts of the entries.
- 17a. [Singer’s latest] NEW RELEASE.
- 24a. [Like religious institutions vis-à-vis the I.R.S.] TAX EXEMPT.
- 39a. [“We ca go safely now”] THE COAST IS CLEAR.
- 49a. [“Excuse me?”] BEG PARDON.
Solid enough theme technically. Perhaps too cavalier as to be irreverent?
I get the same vibe at 42-across [Like food from a West African drive-through?] TOGO, which I’d highlight positively on another day. But on this occasion, at this moment in our history? Not feeling it.
- 35a/51d [Vexes] IRKS, GALLS.
This features King’s final public speech:
John Lampkin’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
With the first themer in, I thought this would be a timely civil rights crossword. With the second answer I adjusted my notions slightly. But no, by the third it was clear that a different aspect was being exploited.
- 16a. [NAACP co-founder] WEB DUBOIS. (That’s W.E.B. Du Bois in conventional orthography.)
- 22a. [Pioneer suffragist on some dollar coins] SUSAN B ANTHONY.
- 36a. [“Stuart Little” author] EB WHITE.
- 49a. [“The Greatest Show on Earth” producer/director] CECIL B DEMILLE.
- 59a. [Apiculturist … and, playfully, what 16-, 22-, 36- and 49-Across is] BEE KEEPER. Because of those middle initial Bs.
For the record: Burghardt, Brownell, Brooks, Blount.
- 3d [Bootees] BABY SHOES, 9d [Make bootees, perhaps] CROCHET. Boötes, on the other hand, is a constellation derived from Greek (‘herdsman’, ‘plowman’, literally ox-driver).
- 1d [Bawdy] LEWD, which is kind of how the clue for 9-across CHOP comes across at first glance: [Blow in a dojo]
- 13a [Former Twitter CEO Williams] EVAN. My association with the name Evan Williams has to do with brown booze.
- 2d [(See other side)] OVER. Would anyone solving the print version check to see if there was something relevant verso?
- 10d [Aware of] HIP TO, 24d [Start of a party invitation phrase] BE THERE.
- 27d [Piano recital piece, e.g.] SOLO. 50d [Beethoven dedicatee] ELISE.
(couldn’t find a RADU LUPU rendition)
- 5d [Selfie video device] WEB CAM. Unrelated to WEB DUBOIS.
- 47d [“God __ America”] BLESS. Or God B America, if you will.
Go, go, go!
Brendan Emmett Quigley’s Themeless Monday crossword — Laura’s Writeup
The theme of today’s writeup is Wikipedia wormholes: three new facts that I learned from looking up various entries:
- [9d: “Sappo” cartoonist]: E. C. SEGAR was mentored by Richard Outcault (the Arthur Wynne of newspaper comic strips) at the Chicago Tribune. Sappo featured the diminutive yet intrepid adventurer Castor Oyl and his sister Olive. Ten years after the strip’s 1919 debut, Castor met a sailor at the docks named … you guessed it: Popeye.
- [28a: Pentagon Papers paper, briefly]: NY TIMES. Here I confidently entered THE POST, having only seen the trailers so far, and being far too young to have experienced this historical incident in person. This is one of those stories with an astonishing twist in every paragraph; the fact that sent my jaw plummeting to the floor fastest was that the “White House Plumbers” (of Watergate infamy) at one time planned to discredit Daniel Ellsberg by dissolving LSD into his soup at a Washington fundraising dinner.
- [40a: T. Rex frontman] Mark BOLAN died in a car crash in 1977. Any extensive familiarity I have had with their music is from 1980s covers: The Power Station’s version of “Get It On,” of course, but I had no idea that the Violent Femmes’s “Children of the Revolution” was a T. Rex cover. Take a sip of Daniel Ellsberg’s soup and enjoy the psychedelia of the original: