Friday, June 15, 2018

LAT 5:22 (Gareth) 


NYT 5:14 (Amy) 


Sam Ezersky’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up

NY Times crossword solution, 6 15 18, no 0615

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

LA Times

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.

The rest:

  • [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 The clue seems to imply this still exists; as far as I can tell, it has been replaced by Hangouts.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…

3.25 Stars

This entry was posted in Daily Puzzles and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Friday, June 15, 2018

  1. David says:

    I can’t submit ratings anymore— not sure why — but would have given the NYT puzzle four stars, too.

  2. ===Dan says:

    I’m not one to criticize a puzzle for questionable fill if it has redeeming qualities, but I’m often interested in discussing what makes an entry appropriate. I’m surprised that only Sam has mentioned SCARLET A. I’m not sure it’s not “green paint.” This entry appears in the novel exactly once, compared to over a hundred instances of “scarlet letter.” So the “scarlet letter” is an established phrase and a “thing,” and the letter was A, but I don’t see the entry as a phrase in the language. It seems the entry is a bit more common in discussion about the novel, but it’s still talking about one particular object and not a concept in a very small corner of the language.

    • john farmer says:

      Good point. No idea how often “red A” appeared in the novel, but REDA has been an answer 8x in the NYT since 2008 (compared to 2x ever for SCARLETA).

  3. Ethan Friedman says:

    Loved that NYT. Very smooth. Aside from ACETAL. Just six 3-letter words too!

  4. David L says:

    Unusually easy Friday. My only slowdown was in the SW, with a Stars War character crossing UBER (which I know, of course, but not as a prefix for X).

    DOTHEHUSTLE reminds me of the dire popular music of my teen years. Abba has had a somewhat deserved renaissance, but most everything else was highly forgettable.

    • Papa John says:

      Not my experience, at all. The puzzle was loaded with unfamiliar stuff, including the Star Wars character that you mentioned, and 2D LA_LIGA, 18D SWOLE
      40D ION_GUN. Also confused with 22A AGATHA — we have two Mystery Awards, 22A and Edgar. Why two of them?

      I kinda agree with Dan about SCARLET_A, although I hesitate because I don’t want to fall in with the group who advocates using the more familiar terms for the fill. Amy, et al, have frequently commented on this. I fail to see it as an issue.

      • Lise says:

        About the AGATHA awards: according to Wikipedia, “The Agatha Awards, named for Agatha Christie, are literary awards for mystery and crime writers who write in the cozy mystery subgenre (i.e. closed setting, no sex or violence, amateur detective).”

        Interestingly, at the bookstore where I worked, Agatha Christie’s novels were not shelved in the Cozy Mysteries sub-section. But I get the point.

        • Papa John says:

          “…no sex or violence…”

          How can one write about murder without violence?

          I’m not a mystery book fan, so I actually had to look up “cozy mystery sub-genre” to be sure there is such a thing. I learned that the violence in this particular genre is “subdued”. By that, I’m assuming it means less graphic in its description of the actual act. I get it.

    • David L says:

      The puzzle had a lot of good trivia (ie useless crap I happened to know) as opposed to bad trivia (ridiculous factoids that I had no reason on earth to know).

  5. Karen says:

    As a fan of Sam’s work, I was happy to see his puzzle in the NYT today. And as a fan, I regularly check the link from this site to his, only to still find that the last post was nearly two years ago.

    Repeatedly checking has been an exercise in frustration. While I’d far prefer to see new puzzles at Sam’s site, I wonder why the link continues to appear here at this point. Thoughts?

  6. Burak says:

    Sam Ezersky is one of my favorite constructors, and he definitely didn’t disappoint today. A couple of glue-y fill and too straightforward cluing for a Friday; but other than that, fresh and fun to solve as usual. 4 stars.

Comments are closed.