Mark Diehl and Andrea Carla Michaels’s New York Times crossword—Laura’s write-up
Laura, covering for pannonica, since many hands make light work.
- [20a: Not dead yet!]: STILL KICKING
- [32a: Dilutes]: WATERS DOWN
- [41a: Pick up dry cleaning, go to the post office, etc.]: RUN ERRANDS
- [52a: “What is life?,” “Why are we here?,” etc.]: DEEP THOUGHTS
- [57dR: Wise old saying … like the first words of 20-, 32-, 41- and 52-Across]: SAW. Still waters run deep, as they say. But don’t live your life by proverbs (or Old Husbands’ Tales, as I call them). He who hesitates is lost, yet — look before you leap! Absence makes the heart grow fonder, yet — out of sight, out of mind! Seize the day, yet — go with the flow! Wow there’s a whole page of these.
Talk is cheap, so on to the fill:
- [15a: ___ Vanilli, group with three #1 hits in 1989]: MILLI. Group “with” three #1 hits, in the sense that they didn’t actually sing them, it turned out.
- [3d: First ___ (Shakespeare volume)]: FOLIO. Guess who else has been repeatedly accused of plagiarism over the past 400 years? And now that the internet is on computers, self-taught “scholars” are finding new ways to “prove” it, as if anyone cares, because authorship as accruing to an individual “genius” is more precisely a concept developed under Romanticism, and not helpful for thinking about works from the English Renaissance. <steps down from soapbox that is there because I’m short and need a soapbox to look over the podium and not because I’m lecturing you>
- You can close up your [29a: Warm winter wear]: COAT made of [18a: Drip-dry fabric]: ORLON with some [24a: Laceless shoe fastener]: VELCRO.
- [49a: What the first, second, and fifth lines of a limerick do]: RHYME.
A clue that ran in the Times
Referenced a poem that rhymes
On lines five, one, and two;
Incomplete was the clue,
So much for these paradigms.
- [50d: Pocketbook part]: STRAP. I believe I have misplaced my pocketbook. It was right there on the davenport, next to my Orlon girdle.
Maryanne Lemot’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “All of a Piece” — Jim’s review
I didn’t recognize the byline, but it anagrams to “Not my real name,” so it’s another pseudonym for editor Mike Shenk.
All entries are of the form _ALL OF ___.
- 17a [Rock & Roll’s is located in Cleveland] HALL OF FAME
- 36a [Minnesota shopping mecca] MALL OF AMERICA
- 56a [Popular first-person shooter franchise] CALL OF DUTY
- 10d [Energetic individual] BALL OF FIRE
- 29d [Event facilitated by the Vandals’ plundering] FALL OF ROME
I didn’t find the theme very engaging—each entry simply contains the letter string ALLOF— but the entries are all lively choices, and getting three of them to cross is skillful execution.
Fill is solid throughout with the likes of AREA CODE, OVERSCAN, SCOOTER, and SURFERS. Roll-your-owny AGLARE is the worst compromise in an otherwise clean grid.
ONE DAY gets the clue [At some future time], but I like Matisyahu’s song of the same name, so let’s close out with that.
Brendan Emmett Quigley’s themeless Monday crossword — Laura’s Review
Good morning and welcome to a “Today I Learned” writeup:
- [1a: Underwater ecosystem made up of brown algae]: KELP FOREST. Kelp may look like plants, but they are not. Want to help conserve the planet’s KELP FORESTs? Find out more from Oceana, a global environmental group.
- [15a: State in which one stops breathing while reading on one’s smartphone]: EMAIL APNEA. Apparently psychologists have studied a phenomenon in which people momentarily stop breathing while they wait for things to load. The helpful folks at Lifehacker suggest some techniques to combat it so that you will continue to be alive.
- [18a: Neutrino physicist Lederman]: LEON. Author of The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question? (Some think that the answer is 42, and that the universe is actually the question.) He also discovered the muon neutrino and the bottom quark.
- [45a: Pindaric ode stanza]: STROPHE. With ODE showing up in grids so often, you’d think we’d see more of their component parts. You’ve got your STROPHE, your antistrophe, and your epode — put ’em all together and give it to the chorus for your Greek drama.
- [2d: Style of dress]: EMPIRE. Popularized by Joséphine de Beauharnais, first empress of Napoleon Bonaparte, it was called the Greek style at the time (1790 through 1810s), and retronymed EMPIRE when revived in the 1920s. With high waistlines just under the bust, short sleeves, and diaphanous fabrics, the style is familiar to most Americans from film and television adaptations of Jane Austen’s œuvre.
Robert E. Lee Morris’ LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up
A basic theme trope centering on the revealing phrase RIGHTOFCENTER – which is used to make CENTER – FIELD, ICE, CUT (apparently a steak thing?), and STAGE. I like the explicitly horizontal nature of the revealing answer.
[School group excursion], FIELDTRIP – we all read this in Miss Frizzle’s voice?
Very precise clue on ICEICEBABY, [First single >by a rapper<…] I checked. Wild Thing by Tone Loc only reached #2, and although Rapture and West End Girl were #1’s featuring rapping, they were not >by a rapper<.
[“Rabbit ears” on an RCA cabinet, back in the day], TVANTENNA. My TV has those – well it’s not in use, as it can only (kind of) get one station… I think in the US there is no analogue signal anymore, though?
For a right of center puzzle, there is an awful lot of left coast geography… ALAMEDA, Santa ANITA and OXNARD (which I don’t know how I knew, but I did? That is a US geography deep cut!) Well, it is the >LA< Times!