Friday, February 2, 2018

CHE untimed (pannonica) 


LAT untimed (Laura) 


NYT 4:22 (Amy) 


Randolph Ross’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up

NY Times crossword solution, 2 2 18, no 0202

Kind of a mixed bag here. Standard Friday difficulty, some crisp fill, some blah stuff.

To the bullets!

  • 26a. [Sellers at a craft show], ARTISANS. “Farts & crafts.” Just putting that out there.
  • 17a. [What the British call a station wagon], ESTATE CAR. Bleh. This term was just the basis for a theme entry in the 1/24 NYT. Too much ESTATE CAR! “Speak American, dammit!”
  • 20a. [Hot dogs], DAREDEVILS. We were all thinking wieners instead of people engaging fearlessly in heedless stunts, weren’t we?
  • 31a. [Taunts], JIVES. What? No. I checked two reputable dictionaries and neither includes this as a meaning for JIVES. Gibes, sure, but not JIVES. When the dictionaries do include other definitions for JIVES, why would go with this? I mean, I could see playing dirty pool and using a tertiary definition from a particular dictionary for the Newsday Saturday Stumper, but not for a Friday NYT.
  • 1a. [Biased investigation], WITCH HUNT. *looking askance at clue*
  • 32a. [Twice, musically], BIS. … Not a common bit of musical crosswordese.
  • 47a. [Author much used by other authors], PETER ROGET. Blanked on his first name and really wanted to fill in ROGER ROGET.
  • 4d. [Narrow openings], CRANNIES. I love this word! Not sure why.
  • Yes, I totally stole this ferret photo from Martin Ashwood-Smith’s Facebook. Look how cute his pet ferrets are!

    8d. [Member of the C.S.A.], N.CAR. For Farrar’s sake, constructors, kill this entry in your word list.

  • 30d. [Brown family member], EARTH TONE. I pondered the Ivy League and people named Brown first.
  • 34d. [Pharmacy brand], BAYER. Pharmacy?  *Googling* Ah, yes. Bayer makes some Rx meds along with their over-the-counter aspirin products.
  • 37d. [Uncovers, with “out”], FERRETS. ⇒⇒⇒
  • 48d. [Spoiler of a perfect report card], ONE B. No, no, no. Do not glue a stack together with a ONE B. Backtrack, re-fill.

3.4 stars from me. How’d you fare?

Stu Ockman’s Los Angeles Times crossword — Laura’s writeup

Laura in for Gareth today; yesterday I was in for Jim who was in for Gareth. We at the Fiend like to help each other out.

LAT - 2.2.18 - Ockman - Solution

LAT – 2.2.18 – Ockman – Solution

We’ve got some recipes in the clues, and some reversals in the grid:

  • [4d: Tequila, triple sec and lime juice]: Well, that’s a margarita. But no: the grid wants ATIRAGRAM (Will the revealer be STRAIGHT UP?)
  • [10d: Champagne and orange juice]: Mimosa reverses to ASOMIM
  • [21d: Bourbon, water, sugar and garnish]: Something’s missing, at least if we were making a mint julep at my house … just “garnish?” Okay, PELUJTNIM
  • [36d: Whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters]: I prefer a drier Manhattan, made with rye. NATTAHNAM
  • [44d: White rum, sugar, lime juice, soda water and garnish]: The best mojito in the world is made at Churrascaria Plataforma, on on W. 49th St in Manhattan. OTIJOM (also, what’s with the garnish only on some of the drinks?)
  • [59a: Bar exhortation … and a hint to how to answer five puzzle clues]: DRINK UP

And when you’ve had your fill …

  • [31d: Sometimes offensive, briefly]: Me: Please don’t be NONPC or NOTPC. Grid: NOTPC. Me: {sigh}
  • [15a: Somewhat off]: A BIT ODD. Me: Who is Abi Todd?
  • 54d: Kitchen gadget brand]: EKCO. I have many OXO products in my kitchen, but no EKCOs. Also to be distinguished from ECKO, the clothing company.
  • [6d: Emperor relative]: ADELIE. As in the adélie penguin, resident of Antarctica. Robin Williams voiced a trio of adélies in Happy Feet.
  • Back in my hippie days, we invented a drink called “the Donovan”: vodka and MELLO [26d: ___ Yello]. Crosswordese Trivia: IONE Skye is Donovan’s daughter.

Winston Emmons’ Chronicle of Higher Education crossword, “Edge of America” — pannonica’s write-up

CHE • 2/2/18 • “Edge of America” • Emmons • solution

15d/47dR [… the entirety of this puzzle’s perimeter] STATE | ABBRS. Indeed, those 12 entries are each four-letter words composed of pairs of standard two-letter abbrevs. Fitting that it appears on 2-2, no?

  • 1a. [Silent performer] MIME (Michigan, Maine).
  • 5a. [Purchase in the Potterverse’s Diagon Alley] WAND (Washington, North Dakota). I continue to be resoundingly disappointed in every pseudo-clever name/spell/appellation that I see from that source. Dreadfully clumsy.
  • 9d. [Installed, as brick or carpet] LAID (Louisiana, Idaho).
  • 12d. [Reject] DENY (Delaware, New York).
  • 30d. [Pen fillers] INKS (Indiana, Kansas).
  • 60d. [Godwin who wrote “Father Melancholy’s Daughter”] GAIL (Georgia, Illinois).
  • 70a. [Spoken] ORAL (Oregon, Alabama).
  • 69a. [University of Miami athlete, colloquially] ’CANE (California, Nebraska). Short for ‘Hurricane’, I presume.
  • 68a. [Air balls miss them] RIMS (Rhode Island, Mississippi).
  • 56d. [Steep, high cliff] SCAR (South Carolina, Arizona).
  • 31d. [Formal agreement] PACT (Pennsylvania, Connecticut).
  • 1d. [When doubled, a luau protein source] MAHI (Massachusetts, Hawaiʻi). Mahi-mahi, and such a luau would reasonably be set in Hawaiʻi.

None of the other four-letter entries—nor any of the other even-lettered ones (none longer than six letters—in the grid is similarly constituted.

  • 16a [Fugitive racketeer in “The Third Man”] HARRY LIME. You could say that he operated on the fringes of society.
  • 17d [Toadied to, in a way] YESED. I prefer the double-S version, Same for bussed.
  • 64d [Suffix for shapes] -GON. See again 5-across.
  • 27d [One of the three R’s of eco-friendliness] RECYCLE. The others are reduce and reuse.
  • 52d [Bellini opera that opened the Met’s 2017–18 season] NORMA. Hi, Brad!
  • 61a [ __ d’Alene, Idaho] COEUR. Not strictly a duplication (9d) but it feels inelegant.

    (It’s like a parody of everyone’s idea of French films, non?)


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20 Responses to Friday, February 2, 2018

  1. Dave says:

    WITCH HUNT in 1A crossing “Policy details, metaphorically” cluing WEEDS. BLAME GAME, STALINIST, and SEXCAPADE. The centre has a cluster of FAKER, JOKE, and AIDES. “Uncovers, with ‘out'” clues FERRETS. “Vacillate” clues SEESAW. Even ELCAPITAN is starting to look suspect to me now.

    Am I just seeing what I want to see?

  2. Penguins says:

    nice LAT gimmick, nice CHE design, pretty solid Friday NYT

  3. David L says:

    I hesitated at TREADEDON. Sounds completely off to me. Do people say TREADED, not TROD? This people doesn’t.

    I thought it was significantly easier than ‘standard Friday difficulty.’

    • Brad says:

      I too wanted that entry to be TROD ON. My solving time was 2-3 minutes faster than my normal NYT themeless solving times.

  4. Tim in NYC says:

    OED on JIVE

    a. trans. To mislead, to deceive, to ‘kid’; to taunt or sneer at. Also intr., to talk jive, to talk nonsense, to act foolishly.

    Still, the question “Are you jiving me?” for me means “Are you kidding me? Are you playing with my head?”

  5. Tim in NYC says:

    BIS is what French people shout when they want you to repeat a number, not ENCORE.

    • Art Shapiro says:

      I knew it as a well-regarded record label specializing in the works of Scandinavian composers, and consequently had long ago learned the meaning of the word.

  6. PJ Ward says:

    CHE – to me YOU-ALL is a pronoun in the dictionary, not the south. But I can’t speak for the entire region.

  7. Lance says:

    I’m so glad that my reaction to ONEB wasn’t just me. I had even written in ONE and then stopped because I was going, “It sure looks like ONEB, but that would be a ridiculously bad entry, so maybe I should wait for a crossing letter just to confirm it.”

  8. hibob says:

    I guess I need to study up on Bell Towns. AnRI looked just as good as ATRI.
    (My apologies to Longfellow, as well as, Kawashima)

  9. MattF says:

    I had many of the same reactions as Amy to particular clues in the NYT– and there’s also TREADEDON. I suppose TREADED might be a word, and if it is, I can guess what it means. But I’m quite sure I’ve never heard it.

  10. Burak says:

    NYT: Isn’t having the same word in the clues and in the grid frowned upon? Do they have to mean the same thing for that to be the case? “Hot dogs” and DOGSPAS bothered me, but judging that it did no one else, I guess I’m missing something.

    Also, a very meh puzzle. The long answers were good though, so there’s that.

    • Lois says:

      You’re not missing anything. Will Shortz has declared that he doesn’t mind this type of repetition so much, and then again perhaps the constructor, Shortz or anyone else who may have been involved missed it. I myself didn’t notice it, but that doesn’t mean much.

  11. Kevin M says:

    Recently caught the crossword bug and found this site a few months back. Have started doing NYT and LAT daily. Just want to say thank you to Amy and all of the contributors here. You make me want to up my game!

  12. Dave S says:

    Nice LAT except for the presence of the most cringe-inducing (at least to me) crosswordese of all, “ALer.”

    Said by no one, ever.

    • WD9999 says:

      Probably too late for anyone to even see this, but I finally got to the LAT, and am I the only one who found that whole NW section the worst? Unheard-of SADA Thompson, SARANAC Lake and ADELIE penguins; crosswordese obscurity ALER; could-be-any-month abbreviated NOV; not-really-in-the-language RILE (and maybe ABITODD); plus I’m pretty sure it’s “jewel case” not “jewel box” for obsolete CDROM; all crossing the weird backwards-spelled theme ATIRAGRAM. The whole puzzle fell easily, and then this abomination of a corner completely stalled me. So there, I’ve now ranted about it on a forum thread that nobody will probably read. That’ll show ’em!

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