John Guzzetta’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
Was this one easier for you than yesterday’s? It worked out that way for me. I was surprised, since I bypassed the entire northwest chunk until the rest of the puzzle was done.
Good flow throughout the grid, no? At least through that big diagonal swath of openness.
Favorite fill: IRA ROLLOVER, RUMORMONGER, BINGE-WATCHING, SLIPPERY SLOPE, PIRATE RADIO, BAILED OUT crossing PAROLE HEARING, SNOPES, and HEADLONG.
Did not know, despite surely seeing it in prior crosswords: 9d. [Fuel for planes], AV GAS. I think I’ve seen 33a. [Socket for setting a gem], COLLET in other puzzles, because I pieced it together but have no recollection of learning that word in metalsmithing class.
Six more things:
- 1a. [Blogs, social media and other nontraditional outlets], FIFTH ESTATE. I feel like this term is not much used.
- 36a. [Dolphinfish, informally], MAHI. *scowl* If you’re not calling a yo-yo a “yo,” don’t call mahi mahi “mahi.” (Anyone else hearing an echo of “Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!” now?)
- 2d. [“Go, me!”], I RULE. As the arbiter, I rule that this phrase isn’t firmly “in the language” enough to pass muster as a crossword entry.
- 5d. [Start of a start of a menu?], HORS. I … can’t say any of the restaurants I go to include hors d’oeuvres on the menu. Maybe a wedding menu?
- 10d. [Follower of four or six, but not five], TEEN. Oneteen, twoteen, threeteen, fiveteen. You know they make sense. Let’s make this happen.
- 39d. [Ice cream choice], SWIRL. There are actual ice creams with, say, fudge or caramel swirls mixed in. But a swirl of chocolate and vanilla soft-serve … is that real ice cream? Wikipedia says that soft-serve is ice cream, but with more air mixed in and typically less milkfat. Wikipedia also says that—are you sitting down?—soft-serve is called “American ice cream” in much of Europe. I’m insulted. The US has so much good premium ice cream of the non-soft variety!
Four stars from me.
Matthew Sewell’s Newsday crossword, “Saturday Stumper” – Derek’s write-up
More iPad solving this morning! It’s easier sometimes to solve this way, especially early in the morning while everyone is still asleep and I have not gotten up yet! I am not a morning person, but I do like quiet mornings. Maybe I am getting old; I will hit the big 50 in 2019!! Yikes!!
Great puzzle my Matt today. Just a tad easier than the normal Stumper torture chambers, but still difficult. Again, I gauge the level of difficulty by how upset I get when I get stuck, and this one didn’t raise my ire much at all. That means look out next week! 4.6 stars for this one.
- 15A [Maker of monitors and monorails] HITACHI – I thought it might be this, but I couldn’t help thinking that HIBACHI was also a brand name!
- 38A [Collector’s credo] DON’T BREAK UP A SET – I like this a lot, probably since I am probably too obsessed with set in this way!
- 57A [Italian city where Dante and Byron lived] RAVENNA – Not too familiar with this town. I should travel to Italy and research it …
- 63A [Destination for many Buddha Air passengers] EVEREST – I guessed on this one, and I was right! You had to figure Buddha Air would be near Nepal or something in that area.
- 64A [Series opener] PART ONE – I had GAME ONE. Sports are always on my mind, it seems!
- 12D [One in the driest state] NEVADAN – Best clue in the puzzle, at least to me. I had thoughts of someone as sober as possible until I had nearly every letter in this!
- 35D [Line on a basset hound T-shirt] I’M ALL EARS – This does exist!
- 39D [John Waters film gimmick inspired by Smell-O-Vision] ODORAMA – This site explains it better, but his was used in Polyester, which I have never seen. I wonder if you can order the card still … !
Everyone have a great weekend!
Neville Fogarty & Doug Peterson’s LA Times crossword – Derek’s write-up
An unusual yet talented collaboration for today’s LAT Saturday challenge. I wonder if this is the first time these two have worked together on a puzzle? They have created a fine 72-worder that isn’t too hard, yet still has some fun entries in it, and I will mention a few of those below. This was a quick solve, but I have been getting plenty of sleep lately, so that helps! A solid 4.4 stars for this one.
A few highlights:
- 1A [Arcing “American Ninja Warriow” obstacle] WARPED WALL – One of my favorite summer shows, actually! And Chase seems to like to watch it as well, especially since there are people falling into water nearly constantly. I don’t know who won this last year, but the year before the finale was so hard NOBODY won! (Just checked: nobody won last year either! But they DO have a taping in Indy at the end of April …)
- 25A [“Whispers of Immortality” poet] T. S. ELIOT – My favorite of his works. Just kidding. Never heard of this work! But I am uncultured, as you well know.
- 58A [Producer Rhimes’ TV production company] SHONDALAND – If you have ever seen Scandal or one of her other shows, you have seen this image at the end:
- 63A [Sci-fi franchise since 1984] TERMINATOR – Tricky! I guess this is sci-fi, although it doesn’t seem like it at times. Comes across as more dystopian-Armageddon type fiction. Which I suppose is still science fiction …
- 23D [It has a torch and two brances on its back] DIME – I carry cash so infrequently now this one stumped me!
- 34D [Payments for hands] ANTES – This one I think is meant to be tricky, but it didn’t seem that way at all. Is there a list for most used crossword words? This has to be high on it!
- 44D [“Alias Grace” author] ATWOOD – This is adapted on Netflix, and she also wrote The Handmaid’s Tale which appears on Hulu. In the middle of watching/reading both of these.
Still severe flooding here, but hopefully the waters recede this coming week. Have a nice weekend everyone!
Tracey Gordimer’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Patter Up!” — Jenni’s review
Belated note about Saturday’s WSJ. It’s a P-for-B replacement theme.
- 23a [Sleeveless dress in pastel colors?] is PALE JUMPER (bail jumper).
- 25a [Inspection preceding a pirate punishment?] is PLANK CHECK (blank check).
- 35a [Results of inventories at the Employee of the Month Award factory?] is PLAQUE LIST (blacklist).
- 51a [Willingness to try riskier skateboarding tricks, perhaps?] is PAD INFLUENCE (bad influence).
- 65a [Vegetable patch tended by nobles?] is PEER GARDEN (beer garden).
- 67a [Leader in a footrace?] is PACE RUNNER (base runner).
- 85a [Wolf hunter’s activity?] is PACK TRACKING (backtracking).
- 96a [Nest boxes in a henhouse?] is PULLET HOLES (bullet holes).
- 110a [Masonry material for some Australian homes?] is PERTH STONES (birth stones).
- 113a [Recliner in a yellowish-pink color?] is PEACH CHAIR (beach chair).
Sometimes the spelling of the b-to-word was changed, which struck me as slightly inconsistent. I know that’s picky.