Kyle Dolan’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
Hey, it’s a puzzle by my fellow Chicagoan, Kyle Dolan! The crossword felt pitched right to the usual Friday difficulty level. It’s running late, the shower is calling my name, and I keep mistyping words (really—”difficulty” began as “ficci,” which, no). So, in short:
I like SHOUTING clued via all-caps typing, and “NO BIGGIE” atop “STEP ON IT.” THREE-STAR Michelin ratings beside RIDESHARE, ON THE DOT, SLIME MOLD, DONUT HOLE, SNO-CAPS, good stuff. I will know my WHITE BLOOD CELLS count tomorrow when I get my monthly lab results.
- 25d. [Pertaining to the moon], SELENIC. Uncommon word.
- 63a. [2015 Best Actress winner Brie], LARSON. Annoying as hell, isn’t it, that we have current actresses named Alison Brie and Brie Larson. Brie is the new Mara: If you see a crossword clue for actress Rooney and the answer is MARA, you really want it to be “Mara Rooney,” a perfectly cromulent name.
- 5d. [Break during a cricket match], TEA. You don’t say. Today, I learnt from Gareth that there’s an American (as in USA) cricket team competing internationally.
- 30d. [Key in?], TAB. As in the keyboard key you use to indent some text and move it “in.”
- 59d. [Neighbor of the island Santorini], IOS. I assume Steve Jobs had vacationed there at some point.
Four stars from me for this one. Good night!
Jacob Stulberg’s Chronicle of Higher Education crossword, “Flipping Out” — Laura’s review
Today’s theme takes as its inspiration a groundbreaking British play of the 1950s that introduced the phrase “angry young man” into English parlance. Synonyms for anger are flipping out (also a synonym for anger) in base phrases:
[17a: Where Peter Rabbit becomes the source of plot holes?]: VEGETABLE GARDEN. Peter Rabbit is the protagonist of the eponymous picture book by Beatrix Potter.
[26a: Singer of the 1966 hit Motown ballad “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted“]: JIMMY RUFFIN, elder brother of David Ruffin, lead singer of the Temptations. I’m from Detroit, so I heard this song played on the Motown radio stations of my youth, but as I walk this land with broken dreams, I have visions of many things, including first falling in love with Paul Young’s version on the Fried Green Tomatoes soundtrack. It’s been covered by Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart, Boy George, The Supremes — one might say that it has become a [38d: Song of enduring popularity]: STANDARD.
[43a: Do-it-yourself brand “for the toughest jobs on planet Earth”]: GORILLA GLUE. Apparently, it “bonds nearly everything,” and according to Wikileaf, is also the name of a super powerful strain of cannabis.
[54. Caustic 1956 play that surprised London audiences with the sight of an onstage ironing board … or an alternate title for this puzzle]: LOOK BACK IN ANGER. The play was revolutionary in its presentation of social class and sexuality and, while scandalous at the time, is now recognized as a classic.
Smashing job as usual for a Chronicle puzzle, taking something from literary culture and devising an air-tight theme set from it. So I start a revolution from my bed, cause you said the brains I had went to my head.
James Sajdak’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up
If anyone is still reading this, my apologies for the lateness.
Yesterday’s theme involves adding UP to the end of four answers, making them UPENDED. The consistent placement and letters make this letter addition theme a little easier than some Fridays. The set was very nicely chosen, particularly lively base phrases were TRAILMIX, HOTDOGSTAND, and PERPWALK all of which would be at home anchoring a stack in a themeless.
- [Spot for a springbok], VELDT. In South Africa, where the word is still in use, we spell it VELD. The ‘t’ spelling mirrors Dutch, that without is the Afrikaans spelling. I wonder if it’s possible to make a springbokkie cocktail in the US. That is one part Amarula two three parts creme de menthe. It is named for the rugby team, not the antelope directly.
- [Cheshire can], TIN. It’s a trap! I put in an ‘L” and waited for either LOO or LAV to emerge…
- [Ivanhoe, e.g.], SAXON. This clue mystified me for a long time, as I didn’t have TRAILMIXUP when I passed it the first time…
- [Grad’s award], SHEEPSKIN. Take it this some sort of odd slang?
- [Nest egg choices], IRAS. I’ve taken out an RA as of last year. I only connected the dots between US IRA and South African RA at that time.
Nice Friday NYT, which I found easier than usual. SELENIC was a nice word to learn, and a good trick — my mind immediately was thinking of variations of LUNAR.
Was surprised to see IOS clued as the island and not the operating system.
Nice puzzle — but shoulda been a Tuesday/Wednesday. My only small slowdown was deciding between ITALIA and ITALIE, but EOCENE fixed that.
I had EON ONE in there for EOCENE for a while.
ITALIO? why not.
Very nice job on the Puns And Anagrams puzzle, E.A. Enjoyed it.
25D:SELENIC can also refer to the element selenium, for good reason: the element was named for the moon, in analogy with the chemically similar tellurium (rarer, but discovered earlier) named for the earth. “telluric” can likewise refer to either earth or the element.
Well, Selene is the Greek Goddess of the Moon, so it all makes sense.
Wait – Brie Larson won for Best actress in 2016, not 2015. 2015 winner was Julianne Moore. Come on now.
Ah, right. Oscar clues are often tricky because the Best Actress from 2015 movies is honored in the 2016 ceremony. For my job, fact-checker Jon Delfin flags clues that are confusing when it comes to movie vs. award year, and we fix them so that there’s no ambiguity. Those clues tend to be a little stilted as a result, but given the choice between stilted and confusing/seemingly inaccurate, gotta give the edge to stilted.
Simple fix for at least this case is omit the year, so clue should simply be “Best Actress winner Brie”.
Type the original clue “2015 Best Actress winner Brie” into any search engine and you will get Julianne Moore, stilted or not.