Monday, March 11, 2019

BEQ DNF (Jim Q) 


LAT 4:01 (Nate) 


NYT 4:50 (Ade) 


The New Yorker 25:21 (joon—d.o.) 


Universal 7:11 (Judge Vic) 


WSJ untimed (Jim P) 


Trent H. Evans’s New York Times crossword—Ade’s take

New York Times crossword solution, 03.11.19

Hello there, everyone! Hope all is well with you, and hope daylight saving did not cause too much chaos to you and your day yesterday!

Today’s puzzle, brought to us by Mr. Trent H. Evans, is full of commonly-used phrases that also happen to be oxymoronic in nature, with the four theme entries all being two-word phrases in which the two words in the phrase happen to contradict each other. I think what makes this grid even more enjoyable is that, for at least a couple of the entries, I never had in mind the contradictory nature of the phrases during all of the times that I had uttered them in my life until doing this grid and seeing them all in one place.

  • LIVING DEAD (17A: [Zombies])
  • RECORDED LIVE (26A: [Like a concert album])
  • FOUND MISSING (46A: [Like a stolen object, when it’s not where it’s supposed to be])
  • OPEN SECRET (62A: [Supposedly unknown but actually well-known fact])

Was a very smooth solve, though, for some reason, I initially put in “sedate” instead of SERENE in my haste (49D: [Tranquil]). For those who are into horses or equine-related activities and things, there’s both COLT (1D: [Indianapolis footballer]) and GELD (18D: [Neuter, as a male horse]) in the grid, and then there’s SADDLE just for good measure (6D: [Equestrian’s seat]). Oh, and just noticed another horse-related entry, STUD, even though it’s referenced as the card game that I would probably be terrible at if I was sitting at a poker table anytime soon (68A: [Variety of poker]). Loved the paralleling, chunky entries of both STATE LAW (8D: [Measure after the governor’s signature]) and MONEY PIT (39D: [Interminably expensive project]). Oh, and what actually makes this grid really awesome? The inclusion of one of the great voices in music (and a woman of Nigerian heritage, mind you) in SADE (32A: [One-named Grammy winner for “Soldier of Love”])

“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: SEED (67A: [No. 1 ____ (tournament favorite)]) –  Going into last year’s NCAA Tournament a.k.a. March Madness, teams that have had the distinction of being the No. 1 seed in a region since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985 had been a perfect 132-0 in first-round games. That number creeped up to 135-0 during last year’s tournament, but on the night of Friday, March 16, 2018, the impossible indeed became a reality; The No. 1 seed in the South Region, the University of Virginia, was stunned, defeated by No. 16 seed UMBC (University of Maryland Baltimore County) as the Retrievers became the first No. 16 seed to ever win a first-round game and defeat a No. 1 seed in the Big Dance. Will we have to wait another 33 years for a another No. 1 seed to lose in the first round of the NCAA Tournament?! 

Thank you so much for the time you spent on here to start your week!! Have a wonderful rest of your Monday!

Take care!


C. C. Burnikel’s Los Angeles Times crossword—Nate’s write-up

Can a puzzle’s water break? Because this puzzle has four broken waters!

LAT 3.11.19

LAT 3.11.19

17A: WALL POSTER [Movie buff’s collectible]
24A: WOOL SWEATER [Warm winter wear]
35A: WEED EATER [Tool for whacking unwanted grasses]
49A: WATCHED OVER [Looked after]
58A: WATER BREAK [Time for a drink at the gym … or what can literally be seen in 17-, 24-, 35-, and 49-Across]

A pretty straightforward take on the ‘split a word across the ends of each themer’ type of puzzle, but I enjoyed it. WALL POSTER, for example, splits the word water at either end of the theme entry: WA LLPOS TER. I appreciated that the word was split differently across most of the themers and understand why it would have been impossible to split it as WATE_R.

Overall, the fill was also largely straightforward. I had a bit of trouble with Seiji OZAWA and BASRA, but I was glad to learn of them. Otherwise, my only other thought was how bummed I was that the only woman represented in the cluing/fill (aside from the constructor herself, obviously) is a ship (SHE). Hopefully in the next grid!

David Alfred Bywaters’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Art Collection” — Jim P’s review

Today I did everything but the kitchen sink. No wait, that’s not right. Today I only did the kitchen sink. That’s it. I spent nine hours removing and replacing my kitchen sink and grumbling about the Lowe’s employee who said it would be easy, so I’m pretty tired. Plus, this puzzle posted late, so I really want to call it a night. I will make this brief.

Our theme today is two-word phrases whose second word is re-interpreted as a work of art.

WSJ – Mon. 3.11.19 – “Art Collection” by David Alfred Bywaters

  • 17a [Leftover wall painting?] EXTRA MURAL. I’m thinking the base phrase is the opposite of “intramural” which is more commonly used in my experience.
  • 26a [Proud parent’s sculpture commission?] BABY BUST. Again, the opposite of the base phrase, “baby boom,” is far more widely used.
  • 36a [Bird statue?] TURKEY CARVING. This doesn’t strike me as an in-the-language phrase.
  • 49a [Reptile portrait?] SNAKE OIL. There, that’s more like it.
  • 60a [Little woodcut?] SMALL PRINT. This works, too, although I didn’t know a woodcut was a print.

Only two of the phrases were instantly recognizable to me, so I was puzzled by the theme for a while. If you’re more familiar with those other phrases, I suppose it works fine, but I was left wondering what a BABY BUST was.

Unfortunately, the long fill is decidedly ho-hum with TIED UP IN, CREASING, TRENDILY, UNFASTEN, and ABSORBS. HASHTAG is nice, as is MALIBU, MR. HYDE, UTOPIA, and “SURE IS!”

Mostly this didn’t do much for me. The theme entries felt uneven and the fill did not elevate it. 2.9 stars.

Mike Torch’s Universal Crossword, “Cheers!”–Judge Vic’s write-up

Mike Torch’s Universal Crossword, “Cheers!” – 3/11/19 solution

My friend Mike is having fun with, by punning upon, spirits in today’s crossword:

  • 20d [Wines in ceramic urns?] POTTERY CHARDSChard, pronounced the same as shard, a broken piece of glass or pottery, is what I call a short-form synonym for the longer word, chardonnay. So, with one wine in the cellar, let’s see what’s next.
  • 37a [Septet of poisonous wines?] SEVEN DEADLY ZINS–What I said about chard, vis-a-vis chardonnay, we can pretty much incorporate by reference here, subbing in zin and zinfandel. And then round out the wine rack with
  • 49a [Easy-to-swallow wines?] LIQUID GEL CABS–Bravo! How stellar to connect cabernet with the second half of gelcap! It’s funny, it’s punny! Tres cool theme!Other noteworthy stuff:
  • 3d [Cleared, as a hurdle] JUMPED OVER–Good ILSA here.
  • 9d [Dumpster fire] EPIC FAILDumpster fire is not to be taken literally, like I almost did when solving. It is a metaphorical ILSA of recent vintage that has really come into its own. The same may be said of epic fail.
  • 23d [Intensifies] AMPS UP–Another ILSA of reasonably recent vintage.
  • 31d [Mourns] GRIEVES FOR–I like this entry, even with its terminal (and unneeded) preposition. It’s great for a crossword, because people say it, think it, and write it!
  • 38d [Sauce-filled pizza style] DEEP DISH–I love a deep-dish pizza. I’ll have mine with beef, green pepper, and red onion, please!

A nice field of shorter ILSA’s is featured here, as well: ON TOP, ARE SO,  DO IT, NO LA, I’M ON, GO TO, I-BAR. Fifteen ILSA’s total? That’s amazing!

Great work, Mike and David! 4.2 stars!

Anna Shechtman’s The New Yorker crossword—joon’s write-up

The New Yorker crossword solution, 3.11.19

The New Yorker crossword solution, 3.11.19

joon here with the review of anna shechtman’s new yorker crossword this week. i suspect many of you have seen—but i equally suspect many of you have not—the profile of anna that ran last week in the daily beast. if you haven’t, go read it! it’s very good. (i’ll wait.)

welcome back! one of the things the article mentions about anna’s puzzles is that they feature “sharp-tongued feminism, politics, and hat-tips to the cultural zeitgeist of the day”. in general, i’ve found that to be an accurate characterization of her puzzles, and i admire them very much. on the other hand, whenever i start solving one of anna’s puzzles downs-only, i have a larger-than-usual fear that i just won’t be able to finish. that possibility seemed very high with today’s puzzle, but ultimately i worked everything out, and there were only a few totally unfamiliar entries. one of them, of course, was the seed entry at 1-across, {Neologism popularized by Kris Jenner} MOMAGER. i didn’t have the clue, of course, but it wouldn’t have been very helpful to me anyway. nevertheless, i managed to piece it together, since 1-, 2-, 3-, and 5-down were basically gimmes. i got EDWARDIAN and REORIENT much later, after a breakthrough in the middle-left section, and then the last part of the grid i managed was the upper/middle-right, after guessing SNEAKER____ for {Footwear enthusiast} and finding it worked pretty well.

things i liked and didn’t like this week (h/t zach lowe):

  • {Sister of Rumi and Sir} BLUE IVY. here’s some of that cultural zeitgeist the daily beast article mentioned. this is the name of beyoncé and jay-z’s oldest daughter, now aged 7. i didn’t know the names of her younger siblings.
  • {Trendy no-carb diet} KETO. this one too! i have long had KETO in my word list, but scored very low as befitting its status as a random chemical prefix. but nowadays it is, in fact, a standalone word. its nowness makes it more than useable as fill, and its friendly letter pattern means we’ll be seeing quite a bit more of it, i suspect. a very similar thing happened with PALEO a year or two ago, although at least the prefix PALEO was less esoteric than KETO to begin with.
  • {Like “Peter Pan” and “Peter Rabbit”} EDWARDIAN. yikes, this is a difficult clue. beatrix potter’s the tale of peter rabbit and j.m. barrie’s play peter pan were indeed both published in the first few years of the 20th century, but of course, that’s not the first thing you think of that they have in common. i enjoyed figuring it out, though.
  • {Part of an emergency kit, maybe} EPI PEN. i like seeing the full name of this instead of just the particle EPI, and the clue offered just enough resistance that i couldn’t fill it in right away but guessed it from the initial E once i had tried TASSELS at 8a. conversely, its near neighbor {Commercial prefix since the nineteen-fifties} STYRO was less fun as a commercial prefix, unable to stand alone.
  • {“Of how I thought and dreamed and ran / After him thus, day after day: / He lived as one under ___”: Edward Thomas} A BAN. that is a lot to read for a not-very-fun partial, although at least the rhyme scheme offers a hint. also, what is this poem? who is edward thomas? apparently he was an english poet who was buddies with robert frost and was killed in WWI. the poem is called the other. i don’t love it, but i can see the relationship to frost here—apparently their walks together inspired frost’s “the road not taken”, one of my absolute favorite poems. okay, so i still don’t love A BAN as fill, but i learned something.
  • {Price per unit?} CONDO FEE. this is a great clue, and also a great entry. i tried ROOM RATE at first, but the acutal answer is both better and a closer fit to the clue.
  • {Biblical twin} JACOB. this may be the first time in the history of crosswords that this clue has been used for JACOB rather than his brother ESAU. i literally laughed at the role-reversal.
  • {Bit of late-capitalist jargon that you might find in Forbes} FINTECH. this is a neologism for financial technology. i want to call it a portmanteau, but technically it’s an acronym, like benelux. but it feels more like a portmanteau than an acronym when there are only two words combined and each contributes its entire first syllable. i’m going to start calling it an acromanteau.
  • {Total effort} ONE’S ALL. i have always found the phrases including ONE’S to be a little awkward as fill, and this one looks especially weird to me. maybe because it seems incomplete without some form of “give” attached.
  • {Where you might meet your match} TINDER DATE. i missed this clue because it was an across, but wow. A++.

that’s all for me. lovely puzzle as usual; 4.2 stars.

Brendan Emmett Quigley’s Themeless Monday crossword #508—Jim Q’s review

Everything seemed like it was falling in place so well today! I thought for sure I’d get myself out of the jam in the NW. Nope.

BEQ Themeless Monday #508 – 3-11-19–solution


  • 16D [Bush whacking in the 90s?] DESERT STORM. Not 100% sure I understand the “whacking” part of the clue, but 90s + Bush = Desert Storm.
  • 19D [It’s seen outside a cutting room] BARBER’S POLE. Clever. Took me a while to accept the clue wasn’t referring to an editing room.
  • 14D [Skipping function] FAST FORWARD. Another misread clue had me picturing someone engaging in the act of skipping (as in “skipping down the street”).
  • 16A [Character with lilac-colored hair and cat eyeglasses] DAME EDNA. Needed no crosses here, unlike…
  • 29A [Nickname of the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson] SPLASH BROTHERS. Had to rely on crosses and infer- never confident SPLASH was right since I floundered so badly in the NW.


  • 21A [Indian breads] NANS. Having never seen it spelled in a way other than NAAN, I assumed “bread” in the clue meant something else. Like perhaps a currency I wasn;t familiar with.
  • 13A [Poke’s gear] LARIAT. Difficult to determine if “gear” in the clue is singular or plural, so I toyed around with RIATAS and LASSOS, though I wasn’t comfortable with the spelling of either. Nope. LARIAT.
  • 6D [Give an edge to] STROP. With the P in place, I thought it ended in “UP“- as in ONE UP, or LEG UP.
  • 15A [Prisoned] IN STIR. Completely whiffed here.

Not my most successful solve, but still enjoyed it, and enjoyed the AHAs as I shamefully threw in the towel.


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

25 Responses to Monday, March 11, 2019

  1. Huda says:

    NYT: I agree. Fun, smooth, lovely.

  2. Norm says:

    Seven Deadly Zins is actually a real wine. And very good. Highly recommended from this corner.

  3. anon says:

    UC: DEEP DISH pizza is sauce-filled? I don’t think so.

    • Mike T says:

      From Giordano’s in Chicago website:

      Deep Dish
      Perhaps the most famous of the Chicago style pizzas, the deep dish pizza has helped the Chicago pizza become legendary. The crust holds thick layers of mozzarella cheese and thick, chunky-style sauce that has helped make the pizza so well known.

      • Amy Reynaldo says:

        Pfft, NO.

        The classic Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza consists of a crust that’s over 1/4 inch thick and has a perpendicular edge that rises over an inch. Then there’s a thick wad of mozzarella, plus whatever toppings you might want, and the chunky tomato sauce (chunkier than Giordano’s I think). The cheese and sauce layers are thicker than the crust layer, but the non-sauce portions make up more than half of the bulk. “Sauce-filled” seems wrong.

        • anon says:

          Even if we grant that there could be a lot of sauce in a deep dish pizza, my point was that because the sauce is on the top of the pie (unlike a standard pizza), the sauce doesn’t “fill” it.

  4. JohnH says:

    I guess I should by now just count it as normal that TNY doesn’t post a pdf for a long time. Guess I just have to wait. Hard to know why they bother, then, with the print link that leads to a lousy graphic.

    • Mo Pelzel says:

      You should be able to save to pdf … that’s what I do every week. Select that setting in your print dialog box, download the file, and then open it and print it normally.

      • JohnH says:

        It’s true that I can create a pdf out of the Web page rather than print it directly, but that doesn’t take me back to the source code from which they’d create a pdf or otherwise improve on print quality. Compared to a genuine pdf, it still is fainter, blurrier, and laden with the footer and header of a browser’s print. The solution lies in TNY, not us.

        • Norm says:

          I print to Adobe PDF and then print, and I’ve never had a quality issue. I believe you need to delete the footer and header settings for your web pages to get rid of that junk, since I think that’s your settings rather than NYT.

          • JohnH says:

            I don’t mind the footers. I just want the crisp, hi-contrast look of something other than a Web page. All other puzzle pages can deliver, so why not this one?

            And sure, you can put off printing until you print to pdf, if that’s your idea of a good time. But why?

          • Amy Reynaldo says:

            Norm, are you talking New York Times or the New Yorker? John’s complaining about the New Yorker but you said NYT.

  5. David L says:

    FOUNDMISSING? Do people really say that? I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t.

  6. M483 says:

    WSJ: extramural doesn’t seem in the language to me. I’ve never heard it before. Apparently it is used for scholarly pursuits. In athletics intermural is the opposite of intramural.

  7. dj says:

    Is RECORDED LIVE really an oxymoron? All recordings are of live performances in one way or another. This really doesn’t work.

    • RunawayPancake says:

      I see your point, but I always thought RECORDED LIVE meant the recording of a live performance in front of an audience, as opposed to, say, a studio recording. I could be wrong.

  8. Penguins says:

    If TNY replaced their crosswords with quizzes would anyone notice?

  9. pannonica says:

    BEQ: I’ve sat on this one all day, hoping someone else might mention it:

    20a [Gecko cousin] EFT


  10. Christopher Smith says:

    TNY: I know we’re all cool liberals here but tossing “late capitalism” into the FINTECH clue seems gratuitous.

Comments are closed.