Sam Ezersky’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
I haven’t packed for tomorrow morning’s departure (thanks to Jenni and Laura for covering for me while I’m gone!), so this’ll be brief.
Likes: PRINT RUNS, LANCE BASS, MAD MAGAZINE, dismal DOOMSDAY CLOCK, ’70s “DO THE HUSTLE” (see below), PHOENICIA, SPORTS BAR, KYLO REN, LA LIGA, DOLLOPS, and the WABASH River (we would also have accepted the Chicago street that runs east of Michigan Avenue). I bet Sam originally clued TRAN via Kelly Marie TRAN, who starred in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but saw his Star Wars crossing overruled by Joel and Will.
Meh: AGA KHAN, plural WHEATS, anti-coulrophobe BOZO/BOBO crossing, ACETAL.
Nice clue: 46d. [World capital with a nearly car-free city center], OSLO.
Four stars from me. Enjoy the weekend!
Ethan Cooper’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up
I liked the variety of inserts in the theme. It was fairly transparent what was going on thanks to the circles, which immediately highlighted ELLE for me. Each set of circles is one of four MAGAZINEINSERTS inserted into base phrases to make new wacky ones. HALLPASTIMES was the strongest overall themer for me, though I also enjoyed ROYALWE as a strong phrase to work from.
- [Cuyahoga River outlet], ERIE. Isn’t that the one mostly famous for catching fire?
- [Still unresolved], ATISSUE. Bless you!
- [They test the waters: Abbr.], EPA. Great clue!
- [Popular IM service], GCHAT. The clue seems to imply this still exists; as far as I can tell, it has been replaced by Hangouts.
- [“Check out the brain over here!”], NERDALERT. Not sure that clue works so well. I’m guessing this was a challenge to clue aptly.
- [Crop-eating insect], EARWIG. I must admit crop-eating isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when I think of EARWIGs…