Monday, July 16, 2018

BEQ untimed (Laura) 


LAT 3:41 (Nate) 


NYT 3:33 (Amy) 


WSJ untimed (Jim P) 


The New Yorker 4:24 (joon—paper) 


Erik Agard’s New York Times crossword—Amys write-up

NY Times crossword solution, 7 16 18, no 0716

COCO is the theme unifier, clued as 60d. [Hit 2017 computer-animated film … or a hint to 20-, 27-, 49- and 58-Across]. Those four themers are two-word phrases where both words start with CO.

  • 20a. [Start of an overseas telephone number], COUNTRY CODE. The United States cleverly hogged the number 1 for its country code. You know when you enter a 1 before the area code? Yep. (We share it with Canada and a bunch of Caribbean islands and overseas US territories.)
  • 27a. [Faux money], COUNTERFEIT COIN. This one feels weird—I think of forged paper currency as counterfeit and faked coins as fake, or slugs. The Treasury Department probably disagrees.
  • 49a. [What a micromanager would like to have], COMPLETE CONTROL.
  • 58a. [Approach respectfully, in modern parlance], COME CORRECT. This is more African-American Vernacular English, I think, than just “modern parlance,” but it does appear to be a fairly recent addition to the language. I love love LOVE that the phrase is making its newspaper crossword debut, getting that extra cred. Checking Twitter for a current appearance of the phrase, I find a tweet from a white guy demonstrating spread beyond black folks.

Simple and straightforward Monday theme. And can you believe I have yet to see Coco?!

Highlights: ROOFTOP BAR, SELF-CARE (mine involves walking around to look at flowers and catch Pokémon, and doing jigsaw puzzles), PILE IT ON.

Three more things:

  • 47d. [Princess’ headwear], CORONET. Hard vocab, and a weird-looking possessive in the clue. Back in 1988, William Safire argued for following the sound and including another s where you’d pronounce one. You’d pronounce it “princesses” with the possessive, so I really want ’s there. The NYT style guide omits the s “when a word ends in two sibilant sounds (the chjsshts or z sounds) separated only by a vowel sound: Kansas’ GovernorTexas’ populationMoses’ behalf”. (Whatevs.)
  • 31d. [Picture holder], FRAME / 40d. [Instagram upload, for short], PIC. These two are right next to each other, Picture and PIC. Would’ve been so easy to clue FRAME as a painting holder, photograph holder, the thing around a door, the verb …
  • 17a. [Singer Fitzgerald], ELLA. Let’s enjoy her musical stylings, shall we?

Four stars from me.

Aaron L. Peterson’s (Mike Shenk’s) Wall Street Journal crossword, “Drink & Drive” — Jim’s review

I imagine that if I was someone touched by the trauma caused by a drunk driver, I would be completely turned off by this puzzle’s title which looks like an imperative. Those words are usually preceded by “Don’t.” Even though the puzzle has nothing to do with the subject, treating it with levity feels wrong.

The point of it though is to get us to the revealer CUPHOLDERS (58a [Places for drivers’ drinks, and literally what the starred answers are]).

My first inclination upon hitting the revealer was to look for some sort of embedded cup within each answer. But that’s a trickier theme than a Monday. This is much more straightforward; each theme entry is an object that holds some kind of cup.

WSJ – Mon, 7.16.18 – “Drink & Drive” by Aaron L. Peterson (Mike Shenk)

  • 16a [*School hall fixture] TROPHY CASE
  • 36a [*China setting] CABINET
  • 10d [*Putting place] GOLF GREEN
  • 32d [*They pass over shoulders] BRA STRAPS

Yup, I suppose all that is true. This type of classification theme doesn’t excite me so much, but I suppose it makes a good entry point for newish solvers.

Fill is good with EYE-TO-EYE, ALLEY CAT, WHY NOT, HOME EC, and DYNAMOS. Not so keen on TIN MINE with its tough clue [Source of cassiterite], but it’s legit.

Workmanlike theme, good fill, unfortunate title. 3.2 stars.

Kameron Austin Collins’s New Yorker crossword—joon’s write-up

joon here with the new yorker write-up. kameron austin collins is back with a puzzle that’s exactly as good as you would expect. highlights:

  • {Milk’s cause} LGBT RIGHTS. marquee entry here at 1-across, and as much as kam tried to conceal the capital M in (harvey) milk, the clue couldn’t really deceive me for long because it doesn’t really make sense to think about milk the drink having a cause. still a great entry to start us off.
  • {Be hot, in Britain} LOOK A TREAT. i am not overly familiar with this britishism, but i’m guessing it’s hot in the attractive sense and not in the temperature sense?
  • {Plasma component} BLOOD CELLS. this looks weird without “red” or “white” in front of it.
  • {Pilar’s people} GENTE. spanish for people. i do know this spanish word, but i was definitely thinking it was going to be an ethnic group before filling in the crosses.
  • {Coastal counterpart to L.A. Fitness} NYSC. apparently it’s a gym. never heard of it, although in this area we do have a gym chain called boston sports clubs, so i guess it’s inferable. and there’s nothing wrong with the new yorker crossword having new york-centric content.
  • {Taxi driver in “Taxi”} NARDO. is this taxi the movie or taxi the tv show? apparently the latter.
  • {“But it wasn’t a dream. It was a place. And you, and you, and you … and you ___ there”} WERE. good use of a fun reference to clue a dull word.
  • {Mobile type} NOMAD. i … i definitely put NOKIA when i was staring at NO___.
  • {Breakfast you can make in a rice cooker} HOT OATMEAL. sure, i guess so. but i only use ours for, you know, cooking rice.
  • {North affair} IRAN CONTRA. another hidden capital without a lot of deceptive value.
  • {Shoe shop} BOOTERY. unfamiliar word, but it looks like what it is, i guess.
  • {Mouth full of water?} OPEN TAP. i don’t get this one. is it just a spigot that’s currently on? is that a thing?
  • {Doctor’s assistant, maybe} LAB TECH is a nice fresh entry. perfectly colloquial but not jargony.
  • {Lacking any reason (with “for”)} NO EXCUSE. also looks like a partial.
  • {Grammy recipient for U2’s “The Joshua Tree”} ENO. long before i got into crosswords, i knew this guy only as a producer of u2 albums. daniel lanois, too, but he doesn’t ever seem to come up.
  • {Some early doodles} CAVE ART. this clue rubbed me the wrong way a little. seems kinda dismissive.

fun puzzle, 4 stars.

Brendan Emmett Quigley’s themeless Monday crossword — Laura’s review

BEQ - 7.16.18 - Solution

BEQ – 7.16.18 – Solution

Here are five things about this puzzle that were interesting to me. Were they interesting to you? Operators are standing by.

  • [1a: Cheesy TV transition]: STAR WIPE. A wipe is any transition from shot to shot in a video sequence, in which the transition takes the form of a shape. The Simpsons parodied the STAR WIPE here.
  • [16a: “Bad Feminist” author Gay]: ROXANE. I saw her speak at a conference a few years back. She was devastating and fantastic. Her most recent book is an edited collection of essays about rape culture, entitled Not That Bad.
  • [12a: Liberal arts college in Northfield, Minnesota]: CARLETON. Alma mater of many friends of mine, including Team Fiend’s fearless leader, Amy.
  • [56a: Mirabelle source]: PLUM TREE. The mirabelle is a type of plum grown in the Lorraine region of France. The ripe fruits are harvested, traditionally, by shaking. If you don’t like the plums, don’t shake the tree.
  • [9a: Everything but the Girl singer Thorn]: TRACEY. Interesting TRACEY to choose. This synth-pop band began in the early 1980s and had a few songs in circulation over the ensuing decade until their biggest hit, in 1994, “Missing” — “And I miss you/
    Like the deserts miss the rain.”


Neville Fogarty’s Los Angeles Times crossword—Nate’s write-up

Woot! Time to grab some Froot Loops and boot scoot through this puzzle:

LAT 7.16.18

LAT 7.16.18

11d: SCHOOL ROOM [Teacher’s domain]
17a: MOON BOOTS [1970s-’80s fashion inspired by astronauts’ footwear]
28d: SHOOT HOOPS [Play some b-ball]
39a: TOO SOON [“Was I premature?”]
62a: GOOF TROOP [1990s cartoon series featuring a classic DISNEY dog]

I really appreciate that (aside from regional pronunciation differences) each double OO sound is the same – that is the degree of theme consistency I appreciate, and I’m not surprised to see it from Neville.

Other random observations:
– I enjoyed the side-by-side clues of [Vietnamese soup] and [Souped-up vehicle]. That attention to detail always impresses me!
– I’m upset at how quickly I knew BAHA MEN just based on the song, “Who Let the Dogs Out?”

#includemorewomen: So, the only major ding against this puzzle is that there is not even one woman (!) referenced, directly or indirectly, in the fill or the cluing. Not one. IRIS and ALEX could have been directly clued as women, and much of the other fill could have been clued in the context of women. Imagine how much more welcoming an environment we could create in CrossWorld with the same grids, just by being more conscientious during cluing to make sure all types of people are actively represented!

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16 Responses to Monday, July 16, 2018

  1. AV says:

    Clean Monday NYT. The Indian mini-theme (MUMBAI, RAITA, TERESA) helped a speedy solve.

  2. Jim Hale says:

    A nice change from the horrible Sunday puzzle. Never heard of Ne-Yo. I don’t envision anyone I know ever using the “Come correct” term. It sounds Caribean to me.

  3. paul coulter says:

    New Yorker: “Plasma component” is the definition used for BLOODCELLS. Plasma is the portion of blood NOT made of cells. It’s a liquid matrix in which the red and white blood cells circulate, mostly made of water, along with clotting factors, hormones, various proteins, dissolved CO2, glucose, etc.

  4. Norm says:

    I like the come correct too but crossed with Neyo and Coco it is tough for Monday you are up on urban black popular culture.

    • David L says:

      “Come correct” was new to me, but it was pretty easy to guess, and I thought the crosses were fair, even for someone (me) for whom Neyo was also unknown and Coco only vaguely familiar.

    • Amy Reynaldo says:

      It’s about time that crosswords included black pop culture (and Latinx, and Asian American, and South Asian, etc., etc., pop culture) as part of the canon.

    • David Glasser says:

      Those crossings were effectively triple crossed too, because they were both part of the repeated theme letters.

  5. M483 says:

    re: counterfeit coin
    My first thought was that coins aren’t counterfeited. They are only substituted for with slugs, tokens, etc. However, I did find out that rare old coins are counterfeited. So, I can accept faux for counterfeited coins since faux is defined as not genuine, fake, false, or made in imitation.

  6. Norm says:

    Harvey Milk was assassinated in 1978. His cause was GAY RIGHTS. The use of LGBT came later, although I’m sure he would have embraced the concept.

    • Christopher Smith says:

      Yes I wasn’t a fan of that answer. LGBT would have been unrecognizable to him.
      Also most of us of a certain age would know Elaine NARDO (played by Marilu Henner) because her name was regularly uttered by Danny DeVito on Taxi.

  7. Penguins says:

    BEQ was no walk in the park

  8. Garrett says:

    On Kameron Austin Collins’s New Yorker crossword I took a full 16 minutes to finish it. Some of the clues tripped me up, especially 1A as I’ve never heard of Harvey Milk, and my mind doesn’t go from doodles to CAVE ART readily. I did not know that GENTE is Spanish for people, and I did not associate Pilar with people who are Spanish. I kept thinking that Pilar sounds vaguely familiar, but I never made any connection there at all, and simply revealed the letters I was missing. Even then I’m like, “Huh?”

    I liked {Be hot, in Britain} LOOK A TREAT but I did not like {Coastal counterpart to L.A. Fitness} because I did not get the context — that they were looking for an East Coast fitness center. NYSC has no meaning to me before now. Also, GETCRUNK? Really.

    Other than that, mostly fun!

  9. GLR says:

    Nice NYT puzzle. COME CORRECT was new to me, but fairly easy to infer. The revealer was one of the rare recent movie titles I’m actually familiar with.

    I would have preferred a different clue for 49-D COARSE {Sandpaperlike}. Some sandpaper is coarse, but some used for finish sanding and polishing has grit that is as fine as powdered sugar.

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