Monday, August 6, 2018

BEQ untimed (Laura) 


LAT 4:55 (Nate) 


NYT 3:28 (Jenni) 


WSJ untimed (Jim P) 


The New Yorker 8:00 (Amy) 


Andrea Carla Michael and Mark Diehl’s New York Times crossword—Jenni’s write-up

I took a nap this afternoon. Did I wake up on Thursday? This is a Monday-easy puzzle with a Thursday-style gimmick. I wonder how the people who only do Mondays and Tuesdays feel about this. Either they’re enchanted and venture to try a Thursday, or they’re horrified and feel like they’ve been tricked. I’m with the “enchanted” crowd. I really like this puzzle, and it would have been way too easy on a Thursday.

I had no idea what the theme was until I got to the revealer. I figured there was some connection among the longest answers, because it’s Monday.

NYT 8/6, solution grid

  • 19a [“Hurry up!”] is MAKE IT SNAPPY.
  • 31a [Magical drink that gets someone smitten] is a LOVE POTION. Let’s all sing along
  • 40a [Less fortunate] is NOT SO LUCKY.
  • 51a [L.B.J. campaign to help the poor] was the WAR ON POVERTY. Are you old enough to remember when the US Government declared war on poverty rather than on poor people? Wow. What a wacky decade that was.
  • Speaking of which, there’s our revealer: 54d [Decade that spawned the slogan found at the starts of 19-, 31-, 40- and 51-Across]: MAKE LOVE NOT WAR. The answer, of course, is 60s. The 6 crosses 54a [Midrange golf club], or 6-IRON, and the 0 crosses 59a [Like a diet that allows only fats and protein], which is 0-CARB.

It’s a fun theme about a serious subject, and appropriate for this evening. David and I are headed out to Musikfest in Bethlehem to see The Large Flowerheads, a 60s cover band, so I leave you with a video of the band.

Wait! What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: I’d never heard of ROBYN Hitchcock, although on investigating his oeuvre, I find I’ve heard some of his music.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, The Large Flowerheads!

ps: I didn’t get Mr Happy Pencil because my software doesn’t like numbers. If there’s a typo in the grid, be kind.

Andrea Carla Michaels’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Put ‘Er There!” — Jim’s review

I don’t recall ever seeing veteran constructor ACME’s byline in the WSJ. Is it possible this is a debut? If so, it’s very welcome.

WSJ – Mon, 8.6.18 – “Put ‘Er There!” by Andrea Carla Michaels

Our theme is Monday-simple, but feeling very clean and fresh. Only three themers grace the grid, each with the same clue (the puzzle’s title), and each is a thing people might say when they come to agreement: YOU’VE GOT A DEAL, I AGREE HANDS DOWN, LET’S SHAKE ON IT.

The middle one strikes me as a little odd. I don’t think I’ve ever heard “hands down” used that way. Usually I hear it in connection with a competition, as in, “Erik won that crossword contest hands down.” Or, “Hands down, that was the most amazing crossword contest final I’ve ever seen.”

With only three theme entries, the fill felt smooth all around. I like AFLUTTER, ASK OUT, and ZITHER crossing GONZO. DOPINESS is fine at 43d, but it feels a little, well, derpy, as my kids say. I wonder if something more interesting could’ve gone there.

Everything else is fairly standard fare, but it’s clean standard fare, and that makes for a good Monday. This is one for newbies to cut their teeth on.

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

BEQ - 8.6.18 - Solution

BEQ – 8.6.18 – Solution

Five interesting things:

    • [17a: TV show about the rapper Paper Boi]: ATLANTA. The critically acclaimed Atlanta, created by and starring Donald Glover, runs on the FX and recently was renewed for a third season.
    • [19a: Art done with minimal modifications]: FOUND OBJECTS. Also called ready-mades. One of the most famous, Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain (1917), a urinal turned on its side and signed “R. Mutt,” may very likely have been created by Duchamp’s friend, feminist performance artist Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven.
Georgia O'Keeffe, "Blue Flower" (1918)

Georgia O’Keeffe, “Blue Flower” (1918)

  • [39a: Religious group/hoax that claimed to have Isaac Newton and Leonardo da Vinci as members]: PRIORY OF SION. Invented out of thin air and soon debunked in the 1950s, this fictitious group was the subject of Dan Brown’s “novel” The Da Vinci Code, the less said about the better.
  • [3d: Org. that is suing ICE]: ACLU. On July 23, a federal judge blocked ICE from separating migrant children from their parents and deporting them separately. While the original plaintiff in the case was reunited with her child, the ACLU is continuing the class-action lawsuit.
  • [24d: Georgia O’Keeffe painting interpretation]: VAGINA. Hmmm, seems rather farfetched.

Craig Stowe’s Los Angeles Times crossword—Nate’s write-up

Life Cereal

Life Cereal

This post has been brought to you by Life Cereal!

17a: SCREEN SAVER [Program for an idle monitor]
22a: COUNTRY STYLE [Rustic]
37a: JAW LINE [Distinctive Jay Leno facial feature]
47a: SPICK AND SPAN [Squeaky-clean]
57a: LIFE PARTNER [Significant other, often, and a hint to the ends of the answers to the starred clues]

LAT 8.6.18

LAT 8.6.18

Major joys of this puzzle: The clue for LIFE PARTNER was not gendered or heterocentric! I promise you – stuff like this matters. Bonus points for the inclusion of OSCAR / WILDE and for cluing VIXENS in a non-creepy-male-gaze way, [Female foxes]. Other things I enjoyed: BOFFO, XRAY VISION, CAMEROON, and the inclusions of people of color – Michael CHE, USAIN Bolt, ALI Baba, and Dr. DRE.

Major yikes of this puzzle: The first word in 47a. I know it’s a variant spelling and part of a totally different meaning in this context, but it’s hard to get past the term’s derogatory meaning. IMHO, there are some words that just shouldn’t end up as part of any published puzzle. This would also include 25d in Monday’s NYT, 39d in April 15th’s NYT, and many more.

#includemorewomen: Let’s highlight the women featured in the puzzle! Umm … aside from VIXENS, there are none. ROBIN could have been directly clued with respect to a woman, and so many other pieces of fill could have been clued in the context of women, but they weren’t. That’s certainly another yikes of this puzzle. :/

Instead, I’ll shine a light on one of my favorite celebrities from CAMEROON: BeBe Zahara Benet, the fantastic winner of the first ever season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. She recently returned to the most recent All-Stars season of RuPaul’s Drag Race and continued to slay the runway!

Natan Last’s New Yorker crossword—Amy’s quick and belated recap

New Yorker crossword solution, 8 6 18, Natan Last

Lovely puzzle from Natan! Look at that top stack, with GOOGLE DOCS, AMERICANAH, and ZADIE SMITH. The only weird crossing is OEDIPA, [Pynchonian executrix ___ Maas]—I haven’t read Thomas Pynchon. The opposite corner has LAVERNE COX, the ONE PERCENT, and school TEST SCORES with Melissa McCarthy-as-Sean SPICER and SWEET JANE crossings. The upper right REAL TALK / TAKE ON ME / SKELETOR stack is pretty too. Other pluses: Gus VAN SANT, CANNOLI, Joyce’s ULYSSES, RED-BAITS, The Ethical SLUT.

4.25 stars from me.

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30 Responses to Monday, August 6, 2018

  1. Ethan says:

    A nice NYT puzzle, but I didn’t like that “poor” was in the clue for WAR ON POVERTY. “Poor” and “poverty” are etymologically related.

  2. David says:

    (30 square should be an O, not a P)…

  3. Matthew G. says:

    I was initially thrown off when I got to the revealer, because WAR ON POVERTY is directly associated with the 60s, independent of the role WAR plays in the puzzle’s theme. It’s a bit weird that one themed had that extra link and the others didn’t.*

    But that is a minor issue and otherwise this was a much better than average Monday. I didn’t notice the theme until finally I did, and usually, that’s a good sign.

    *(In case you’re wondering, LOVE POTION no. 9 was recorded in 1959).

  4. Peter says:

    Please note that 24 D is Ionic – not Ipnic

  5. Zulema says:

    Did the number in the grid cause the typo in 24D? Just wondering. I did like the puzzle.

  6. Jim Hale says:

    Didn’t care for the theme or the puzzle which was too easy (except for “60s” which I thought would be against the rules on a Monday ). It is interesting to reflect on the 60’s somewhat just to realize that it was arguably even more polarized than it is today.

  7. Lise says:

    Jenni, my 30-something son, who has never put more than a few entries in a crossword, completed this entire puzzle on his own. He loved it. He had one mistake – had the 70s for the decade – which can be forgiven since he was born well after these slogans arose.

    So I’d say it’s easy enough for at least some of the Monday/Tuesday-only solvers, and it might be a gateway to Thursday. And it’s a lovely puzzle.

  8. GlennP says:

    Congratulations to Andrea Carla Michaels for being involved with both the NYT and WSJ puzzles today!

  9. seahedges says:

    Smooth, easy, inoffensive : thank you Andrea Carla for a nice Monday.

    • anon says:


      Except for 25D, which generated a fair amount of discussion elsewhere.

      • Jenni Levy says:

        It wasn’t clued in an offensive way, and the etymology of the two words is different.

        • Anon says:

          Presumably Jenni disagrees with Nate’s critique of 47A in LAT.

          • AMYF says:

            Presumably. She seems to only arm up as a social justice warrior when the subject matter relates to her directly.

        • AMYF says:

          Wait. You’re the one who got offended by “Fat stat” and got literally triggered by “TRIGGER WARNING” but you’re being completely dismissive of “CHINK” as an answer?

          I’m glad you’re the arbiter of what’s allowed to set people off. Balking at “Fat stat” to clue BMI is absurd but plenty of people would at least register CHINK or SPICK even if they understand it’s not being used / clues offensively.

  10. pannonica says:

    BEQ: 37d [SI predecessor] DYNE. This is a terrible clue. Seems as if the writer just glanced at the first sentence in the Wikipedia entry:

    “The dyne (symbol dyn, from Greek δύναμις, dynamis, meaning power, force) is a derived unit of force specified in the centimetre–gram–second (CGS) system of units, a predecessor of the modern SI.”

  11. Gareth says:

    Enjoyed the NYT more than most Mondays in a while… Only minor quibble would be that I would have preferred a more specific 6 than 6IRON (but who would put 70’s there? The 70’s is the “War, what is it good for?” decade after all…)

  12. Papa John says:

    “[24d: Georgia O’Keeffe painting interpretation]: VAGINA. Hmmm, seems rather farfetched.”

    Laura: Thanks for this. It actually made me laugh out loud. Sorry.

    You have to be the first person to ever say that. Look again at the sample you posted. The colors may not be representative but, while not hirsute, all the parts are there.

    • Jenni Levy says:

      Perhaps Laura should mark sarcasm in her writing so you don’t get confused. Or perhaps you could entertain the radical notion that the women who write for this site are not, in fact, idiots.

      • PJ Ward says:

        “Or perhaps you could entertain the radical notion that the women who write for this site are not, in fact, idiots.”

        That’s a lovely notion (NOT sarcasm).

        Maybe we could all extend it to include constructors, editors, and posters, as well.

      • Papa John says:


        Why are you always so mean and looking for a fight? Only you could determine that I was trying to make Laura out to be an idiot.

        As you and others have often pointed out to us “dimwits”, sarcasm is often difficult to recognize. Rudeness, on the other hand, is not.

        I’ve refrained from making comments on his site specifically because of your vitriol. I’ve told others, offline, that my time will come when you will manage to find something I say to crab about.

        Get off your high horse and enjoy this forum for what it is — a cordial meeting of like-minded people who do not have any intention of offended or belittling other posters.

        • Jenni Levy says:

          Whatever your intent, you do offend and belittle. Frequently. Which is why you think I’m “mean.”

      • pannonica says:

        Obviously Laura was being irpnic.

    • Karen says:

      I am a docent at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, NM. I have been giving tours for 11 years and the number one question I get is about that “interpretation”of some of her early abstract oils. The reason for this “interpretation” is rather fascinating, but requires too much space here. If anyone is really interested, I’d be delighted to explain via email. It’s a great story. It involved her then lover, later husband, Alfred Stieglitz, who made over 350 photographs (many nude) of her from 1918 – 1924. Suffice it to say that O’Keeffe herself wrote many letters and essays about this “interpretation” and was so offended by the art critics that she abandoned this type of abstraction for a while until she was more accepted in the New York Art community. Please keep in mind this is only an interpretation and not what she intended. When I saw the clue today and saw six letters, I thought “OH NO!” There we go again.

      • PJ Ward says:

        I’d love to hear a great story. My email is

      • Papa John says:

        In the years I taught Art History I was confronted with many students who didn’t conceptualize the sexual connotation of O’Keefe’s works until it was pointed out to them. The TV sitcom starring Ray Romano once has a an episode where the mother-in-law creates a vaginal shape in a sculpture but she doesn’t realize it until it’s pointed out to her.

        I had a similar experience with CHINK in today’s NYT. I didn’t see the slur until I came here and read about it.

        • janie says:

          >The TV sitcom starring Ray Romano once has a an episode where the mother-in-law creates a vaginal shape in a sculpture but she doesn’t realize it until it’s pointed out to her.

          a *classic* and perfectly written/played episode (imho…)


  13. DH says:

    I also enjoyed the puzzle, but have a couple of raised eyebrows.

    I’m curious about 5D; wouldn’t it be customary to use “Dustin” in the clue, rather than “Dustin Hoffman”, to indicate that it’s a first-name answer? ” I don’t know the rules – maybe this is OK for a Monday or maybe there’s no rule about it at all …

    I put “Not As Lucky” initially for 40A, because the clue seems to ask for a comparative. “Not So Lucky” is, to me, a bit more slangy – as “I was not so lucky as to win the lottery last week”. Just wonder if anyone else had a similar thought.

    I did not get “Make Love Not War” for a long time – partly because I just skimmed the revealer clue and got “60’s” right away, and partly because the “War On Poverty” was a 60’s thing, “Love Potion #9” was a ’60’s song, “Make It Snappy” is a lyric from “Dear Mr. Fantasy” (Clapton/Winwood, 1967) – and was thus very stuck on trying to come up with a 60’s reference for “Not So Lucky”. It would have made an interesting enhancement to the theme.

    I will leave the lack of protest about 25D alone, along with the “war on poor people” comment – though I’ll say that the first one seems like progress, and the second is not helpful.

  14. David Glasser says:

    I’m not sure if we’re going to get a New Yorker review (no complaints here about our fine volunteer crew) but I gotta say, great puzzle, and a solid fit for the venue! GOOGLE DOCS/AMERICANAH/ZADIE SMITH with solid crossings (including good old Lot 49 OEDIPA Maas) – love it.

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