John Guzzetta’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
Fun themeless, putting aside the duplication in the colorful entries “IMAGINE THAT!” and “THAT’S GENIUS!”
Favorite clues: 10d. [Distant stars?], HAS-BEENS, and 41a. [School copier, maybe], CHEATER.
Fill I appreciated: WAVELENGTHS, DANGER MOUSE (I love Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy”), BEAVIS (though dated now), SHTETL, SHEEPISH, a SYLLABUS for all my teacher friends, HUNT AND PECK, “IT’S A MIRACLE!” (also a Culture Club song), ABOVE IT ALL (less bothered by the IT repeat, despite IN IT having a third instance), PASS THE BAR, BABE RUTH, and 37d. [Tragic heroine of Irish legend], DEIRDRE.
Speaking of WAVE and DANGER in the upper left, sending good wishes to those of you in Hurricane Florence’s path. May your homes be unflooded, your roofs intact, your roads clear, and your power outage short-lasting.
Underwhelmed by GTOS and XKES as old plural car TLAs, ARP/ASP, -ESS, SEP, and DECI-.
Not entirely sure I get 5d. [Rest on, as chances], LIE WITH. The chances of Cynthia Nixon winning the nomination LIE WITH getting enough votes? This doesn’t sound right to me. Might have been better to stick with that biblical “lie with” business.
Four stars from me. Here are your tunes:
Tracy Bennett’s Chronicle of Higher Education crossword, “Tickle Down Effect” — Laura’s review
It’s a letter-deletion theme — namely, trickle –> tickle — made fresh and original by my friend Tracy Bennett in the long downs.
[3d: Price paid for individualrights?]: FEE TO BE YOU AND ME. Free to Be … You and Me, the legendary feminist children’s book/record/film of the early 1970s — likely the most influential pop culture phenomenon of my childhood. I watched this with my kids a few years ago and they were all, duh, mom, of course it’s alright to cry and boys can have dolls and girls can grow up to be anything they want not just wives and mommies, what kind of world did you grow up in that people didn’t have to learn all this?
- [5d: Id vs. ego, personified?]: SIGMUND FEUD. Such a good find — astonishing to think this one hasn’t been used before.
- [11a: Vanishing act?]: POOF OF EXISTENCE. Proof of existence
- [25a: Hedy Lamarr, arguably?]: GEEK GODDESS. Greek goddess. Hedy Lamarr, the Athena of her time, was not only a glamorous movie star, but an electrical engineer who co-invented the underlying technology for Bluetooth. A documentary produced last year, Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, can be streamed if you have the PBS Passport membership or Amazon Prime (I haven’t seen it yet, so it’s moved up to #1 on my TBW list).
Fill-wise, we have the CHE‘s usual lovely HODGEPODGE of academic trivia: more mythology with MAENADS and IMHOTEP, a nod to Shakespeare with ALL’S Well That Ends Well (and how about The TEMPEST, too?), political philosophy AGONISM, that muckraking journalist UPTON Sinclair, indie folkie NEKO Case, narrative experimentalist ITALO Calvino, that enigmatic MONA Lisa, and “At Last”‘s ETTA James. I’d’ve clued KNACK as [“My Sharona” band, with “The”], but, I KNOW, can’t have everything.
That’s it for me this morning, SNOOKUMS. AUNTY Laura sips from her glass of OAKY Chardonnay, awaiting the PEDANTIC comments that shall no doubt be PLONKED down below.
Appendix from the Department of [9d: “How could I have missed that?!”]: D’OH! CHE Puzzle Editor Brad Wilber nudges me to notice that there is not a single R in the entire grid! Excellent work, errrr … Tacy!
Jeffrey Wechsler’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s summary
The theme is pretty basic as things go. It features four phrases where a long-“a” word is replaced by a heterograph, said always having an “AI” digram. The middle two, BEYONDTHEPAIL and WAITREDUCTION, work better than the longer pair. With no revealing phrase, such a crossword theme lives and dies solely on whether you enjoy the new phrases. The puzzle is extra wide as the first and last pair are 16 letters long.
What else? A not Caribbean minitheme with SAINTKITTS and… BORA/BORA clued as one of the Leeward Islands. Turns out that there are also Leeward Islands in the Pacific! I did not know that!
My favourite clue and answer was [Class for dogs and cats], MAMMALIA. More taxonomy please! Was less thrilled with TVSALE, which seems as green paint as it comes. And the stereotype-reinforcing antiquated Shakespeare quote for LESS also seemed unnecessary.