Andrew Ries’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
Pleased to see another themeless from Andrew, and again with the staggered long answers across the middle (and that stack is crossed by two 9s, two 10s, and a 15—fancy constructing!). I’ve packed my bags to go to the Indie 500 crossword tournament, and Andrew’s five-pack “EP” of Rows Gardens puzzles is in my backpack already.Seven things:
- 20a. [Winter carnival spectacle]. ICE PALACE. This is a super Minnesota sort of thing—St. Paul always puts on a winter carnival complete with ice palace. Ice … sounds good right about now. While today’s 90° will give way to 65° in Chicago tomorrow, I’m taking the 90s with me to D.C.
- 18a. [Handcuff], MANACLE. I assume a zillion puzzlers have noticed that MANACLE and MONOCLE are fraternal twins.
- 35a. [“Spot-on prediction!”], “YOU CALLED IT!” Did your pick win the spelling bee Thursday night? (Dang! I could have nailed ankyloglossia and glossodynia, and I might have seen stolon before, but the other words in the article are not familiar.)
- 57a. [#MeToo ___] ERA. Nice clue.
- 1d. [Crucial hour, informally], GO TIME. This, along with SPIDEY-SENSE, CEREAL BOXES, COUSIN ITT, PINA COLADA, and TEACHABLE MOMENT, are my favorite entries. (Plus 35a and 20a.)
- 7d. [Opportunity for a lesson that wasn’t planned], TEACHABLE MOMENT. This week, didn’t we all wish that Valerie Jarrett had called it a TEACHABLE MOMENT rather than a “teaching moment” in that MSNBC town hall on racism? Grammatically, her phrasing is probably better, since it’s not the moment itself that is teachable. #hmmm
- 45a. [Health care coverage providers?], SCRUBS. Thank you, scrubs, for covering our health care workers’ bits.
4.25 stars from me. Hope to see some of you at the Indie 500. Don’t forget to bring your sturdiest pencils and erasers, because you will need them!
John Lampkin’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s (short) write-up
As a rule, using 26 letters to explain your theme is a bad idea. Here though, INVASIONOFTHE / BODYSNATCHERS is just a fun answer, and John Lampkin has managed to include eight entries anyway, so it doesn’t feel light on theme. For the answers on the left add BODY in front of them; for those on the right, add BODY at the end. [BLACK]BODY is by far the most difficult of the theme answers here…
I had GAhN/hEI. A different clue for REI, or GAHN to GOWN (changing AREA to OREO and ALLA to ARLO) would have made it solveable for me. Not sure if this will be a common pratfall, or if I will be an outlier today.