Michael Wiesenberg & Andrea Michaels’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
Spectral theme: 48a. [What the starts of the answers to the seven starred clues constitute] clues RAINBOW, and those other seven things start with colors of the ‘bow. ORANGE PEEL, RED TAPE, INDIGO GIRLS, YELLOW LIGHT, GREEN ARROW, BLUEBIRDS (the only one that’s one word, not two), and VIOLET RAY (which I’ve never heard of: 35d. [*Antique medical device used for electrotherapy]). Not keen on including 8 theme entries that aren’t in any sort of order in the grid. Maybe the theme is better suited to a larger format than 15×15.
Perhaps on the challenging side for a Monday: ABBIE, ASEA, PAPPY, DUMA, ISLET, OUZO, SHOED, AROAR, I.M. PEI.
- 9d. [Cowpoke’s sweetie], GAL. Well, not all cowpokes are attracted to women. If heteronormative clues wear you down, run, don’t walk, to the Queer Qrosswords site. With documentation of a $10+ donation to an LGBTQ+ charity, you’ll receive a PDF puzzle pack containing 22 all-new crosswords by constructors in the LGBTQ+ family. Five of the puzzles are themeless, which delights me!
- 27d. [Louvre Pyramid architect], I.M. PEI. Over in Learned League, the online trivia competition league, one of the Friday questions was “The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong, and Le Pyramide du Louvre in Paris are iconic works of what architect?” 70% of all players got the right answer, but in a subgroup of 25 other crossworders I play with, all 26 of us nailed it.
- 56a. [Letters suggesting “I’ll just go ahead and throw this out”], FWIW. I feel like the quote in the clue needs a “there” at the end. “I’ll throw this out” is more suggestive of tossing something in the trash than offering a suggestion.
- 54d. [Gastric ___], ACID. Feels slightly less in-the-language to me than “stomach acid.”
3.25 stars from me.
Bruce Venzke & Gail Grabowski’s Los Angeles Times crossword—erik’s write-up
the theme is DOUBLE DATES, or two-word phrases where each word can come before “date”:
- START DINNER (start date, dinner date) – not the most idiomatic phrase.
- HEAVY RAIN (heavy date, rain date) – what to heck is a heavy date? google informs me it’s heavy in the heavy petting sense. very risqué for the la times crossword.
- HOT COFFEE (hot date, coffee date) – just right.
Brendan Emmett Quigley’s themeless Monday crossword — Laura’s Review
Five things I loved:
- [25a: Quiz mag]: COSMO. Because Cosmopolitan is infamous for such personality quizzes as “Who said it: Kardashian or Hemingway?” and “Which Ryan Gosling character is your boyfriend?” and “How much do you really know about vaginas?” I just took a Cosmo quiz and learned that my social media age is … 25! LOLWHUT
- [15d: “I don’t recognize you” in some memes]: NEW PHONE WHO DIS. This is how you reply when you get a text from some rando.
- [61a: Uranus and Neptune]: ICE GIANTS. Namely, that’s how they’re classified as planets. Also makes me think about frost giants, which are creatures from Scandinavian mythology.
- [5d: 1967 Jimi Hendrix Experience album]: AXIS: BOLD AS LOVE. I’m listening to it right now. “But I’m gonna wave my freak flag high… High!”
- [36a: Performance on NPR’s “All Songs Considered”]: TINY DESK CONCERT. If you’ve never listened to this series, it’s awesome. They invite artists into the studio to perform in someone’s cubicle. You can subscribe to the podcast or watch the videos. Here’s a recent one I liked very much:
Harold Jones’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Coming Clean” — Jim’s re-cap
The puzzle posted late once again this Monday morning, so this will be brief.
Our theme is clean things in various senses of the word. They all share the same clue modified as necessary for plurality or lack thereof.
- 18a [They’re clean] FRESH LINENS
- 20a [It’s clean] MOUNTAIN AIR
- 35a [It’s clean] FAIR FIGHT
- 54a [It’s clean] SOLAR ENERGY
- 57a [They’re clean] FAMILY SHOWS
Moving on. Good fill: SHIP AHOY, ICE CUBE, HEROINE, COLGATE. Junk fill: Nothing beyond the normal.
In sum: Another theme answer to [It’s clean] could be THIS PUZZLE.