Caleb Madison’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
68-worder with 22 answers of 7+ letters? Yes, that’ll do.
Question: Am I the only one unfamiliar with the phrase ON A DOWNER? 15a. [How buzzkills end things] might lead me to on a down note, but ON A DOWNER is ringing no bells at all. (For the record, the sort of buzzkills who refute dumb hoaxes on the internet are wonderful.)
Favorite fill: WORD VOMIT (let me keep this post short enough not to be accused of producing this), KARATE KID (even with the dreaded “The” consigned to the clue), COVER BAND, and WET KISS.
Clues of note:
- 8d. [G in jazz], KENNY. Cue the wailing and gnashing of teeth from jazz snobs.
- 27d. [Ones who know the way?], TAOISTS. Cute clue!
- 1a. [Source of embarrassment for some public officials], WIKILEAKS. The clue feels maybe a little dated? Not sure. Julian Assange was in the news this month for his … natural aroma.
- 21a. [Building block makeup], CINDER. Okay, so those big, light gray bricks called cinder blocks don’t look like they’re made of anything burnt to me. Wikipedia explains the ash angle.
- 14d. [Bulgaria’s Simeon I and Simeon II], TSARS. Bulgaria had tsars?!
- 51d. [Something that people wish you would take when you leave], CARE. “—And take this care with you when you go! Now go on, get the hell outta here!”
- 54d. [Noted mansion man, for short], HEF. Gross.
-IDE, ANION, SRS, APSE, yawn. Not too many entries in this category, though, and lots of zippy stuff to offset it. Four stars from me.
David Poole’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up
I associate this theme flavour with BEQ. UNDERSEALAB is rendered as the letter string LAB under a sea: YELLOW, NORTH, IRISH and outlier (in that it isn’t pat of a long word) CHINA.
Of the thematic entries, SHEREENORTH is something of a 50’s deep cut. Unknown to me, as is the movie in the clue, although it does also star Betty Grable, per Wikipedia. I’m also not sure what makes a potato an IRISHPOTATO, but it seems to be an in use phrase.
ERNESTO is clued as [Che’s given name]. This doesn’t bode well for the song Remember Me‘s Oscar nom, sung by the character ERNESTO de la Cruz and others in the film COCO.
Daniel Landman’s Chronicle of Higher education crossword, “Ellipitic Functions” — pannonica’s …
How meta that we had to wait for the availability of this week’s offering…
- 17a. [ … ] OMITTED TEXT.
- 23a. [ … ] PASSAGE OF TIME.
- 47a. [ … ] PREGNANT PAUSE.
- 57a. [ … ] TRAILING OFF.
… not that it hasn’t happened before (and been inappropriate). But you can’t say that I MISAPPLY (31a) the term here.
So that’s pretty straightforward.
Incidentally, I feel quite strongly about using the dedicated ellipsis character rather than three separate periods or points. That’s … vs …
- 29a [Cheek, in slang] ’TUDE. When it looked like this was going to be TUSH, I experienced festering fulmination, ready to whine about singulars and plural.
- 39a [The “P” in PET scan] POSITRON. Also the foundation of Asimovian robot brains.
- 44a [“Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of __” (1972 Newbery Medal book)] NIMH, the National Institute of Mental Health.
- 45d [Distractions to the racing Atalanta] APPLES. The Golden Apples of the Hesperides. 45a [Books full of legends ATLASES. The Hesperides are sometimes said to be the daughters of the Titan Atlas; by some accounts their legendary garden in the far west is sited near the Atlas Mountains in north Africa. By the way, that’s a particularly goofy myth in my estimation.
- 2d [Food __ (big-meal side effect, facetiously)] COMA. There was a minor kerfuffle (56a ADO) here at DOACF on Tuesday (comment et seq) which invoked this term.
- No thanks to both: 3d [Part of a restoration project on a dome] HAIR PLUGS, 33d [Targets of mayonnaise scalp treatments] LICE.
- Your dose of humorist quips: 64a [“I failed to make the ___ team because of my height”: Woody Allen] CHESS, 36d [Bombeck who said “I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage”] ERMA. Also “no thanks” for the latter.
- 37d [Composer known for inserting objects between piano strings] JOHN CAGE. “Prepared piano”.
- 47d [“The Devil Wears __”] PRADA alongside 48d [“The Gates of Hell” sculptor] RODIN. Cute. And 61a [Athlete at 49 Down] EAGLE (49d EMORY) followed by 62a [“For Every Bird ___” (Emily Dickinson work] A NEST, which is not a 32d PROSE POEM [Form for Charles Baudelaire or Gertrude Stein].
- 50d [Feature of a morning coat] TAILS. Indeed, yea verily.