Friday, April 19, 2019

LAT 5:21 (GRAB) 


NYT 4:49 (Jenni) 


The New Yorker tk (tba) 


Universal untimed (Vic) 


The Chronicle of Higher Education is now on its summer schedule with puzzles every two weeks.

Caleb Madison’s New York Times crossword—Jenni’s write-up

I don’t think I’ve ever done a Friday puzzle in under five minutes. I usually do them first thing Friday morning – maybe that’s it. Or I’m channeling Amy, since this is her usual blogging slot. Or maybe this is a easier-than-usual Friday, and I had a head start because I know what epistaxis means. Whatever the reason, I really liked this puzzle.

NYT 4/20, solution grid

  • The fun starts right at 1a [Outburst after a nefarious plan is hatched]. The answer is MWAHAHA, the transcription of an evil laugh. This is a wonderful entry. Has it appeared before?
  • I also really liked 17a [Response to a joke], which is RIMSHOT.
  • The NE corner was also enjoyable, with HAS A COW and ONE LOVE.

Music break!

  • I found the near sight-rhyme of GEODESIC DOME  and ICE CREAM CONE very pleasing.
  • This puzzle is ECLECTIC in a very good way.

What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: that Al MICHAELS was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 2013. This is the one I remember:

and this is the other Al Michaels clip even non-sports fans have seen.

Evan Kalish’s Universal Crossword, “Initial Offering”—Judge Vic’s write-up

Evan Kalish’s Universal Crossword, 4-19-19, solution

Evan, aka E.K. for present purposes, offers up a group of starred people for an  apt student org.A.V. CLUB:

  • ABE VIGODA, and

That’s it. To get into this theme, all you had to do was have a last name starting with V and be born to parents who would christen you with a name starting with A. Nothing wrong with this.

With more than a fair amount of theme matter, Evan delivers on non-theme matter as well:

    • HOME EC
    • OWES TO
    • MR. ROBOTO
    • TIE ONE ON

Lots of nice ILSA’s there.

Not an earth-shaking theme, but a nice one. And with nothing troubling in the fill, I’m giving this one 4 stars.


David Alfred Bywaters’ LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up

LA Times

Today’s wacky Friday features homophones. The sound in question is “əʊl” with all the “to” forms being spelt “ole”. The set of five answers are shorter than many, but I found some to create strong images, my favourite being a selfish bunny as a (HOLE)HOG. The rest of the set are (SOLE)MATES, (POLE)TAX, EGG(ROLE) and SUPER(BOLE).

The strangest clue/answer pair was REDAS as a [Trio in the logo…] – RED A’S. I hate partials at the best of times, but “red as” a beet is considerably less bizarre than that. Actually, I don’t get [Energizes], GOOSES either. Goose as a verb to me involves stimulation that I wouldn’t typically describe as “energizing”. On the other hand, I enjoyed the pedantry in the ROOT clue: [Carrot (always) or stick (sometimes)]. A third clue of note for me was [Product of Bali], BRA. New BRA clues are rare; I’m guessing that this is an American brand? [Paging our fiendish bra guru…]

3,5 Stars

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14 Responses to Friday, April 19, 2019

  1. cyberdiva says:

    I see that Friday’s puzzle reviews include a listing for the Chronicle of Higher Education. I’ve been trying to find that puzzle all week (from Fiend’s “Today’s Puzzles” page), but I keep getting a “Not Found” sign. Is there a puzzle for this week?

  2. Brian says:

    NYT had MWAHAHAHA (i.e. with three HAs) a couple months ago.

  3. VB says:

    It is extremely rare for me to encounter a themeless that I find both easy and fun. Bravo to Caleb Madison for achieving both in today’s NYT.

  4. David Steere says:

    NEW YORKER Weekend:
    Please forgive me being an ignoramus, but is accessing the New Yorker weekend crossword supposed to be so difficult? I finally was able to today by going to and then right clicking (in private browsing mode) the link for today’s Berry puzzle. Without using “private browsing” on Firefox, one is blocked. Is there some easier way to do this…both on Monday’s and Friday’s?

    Thanks for any advice.

    • Victor Fleming says:

      No problem here. Google The New Yorker. Click on main site. Scroll to the bottom and click on PLAY THE CROSSWORD.

      • David Steere says:

        Thanks, Victor, but not really any better of a solution for me. Using your method, I still get the “HIT THE WALL” message asking me to subscribe. Going there via private browsing avoids this message. I’m just unclear whether we have to always go through such contortions.

        • Steve Faiella says:

          Are you sure you’re being asked to subscribe? You do need to create an account to solve the puzzle, but it’s free.

          • David Steere says:

            Hi, Steve. It doesn’t seem to be a free account I’m being asked for. It is telling me I don’t have a subscription and am blocked. The exact wording on the big yellow “block” box is

            “You’ve hit the wall.
            You’ve read your
            last complimentary article.
            Print + Digital access.
            Plus, get a free tote bag. Cancel anytime.”

  5. Michael says:

    Re: epistaxis – was the clue trying to appeal to the non-medical folks by using the “fancy” qualifier? I don’t think it’s any more fancy than, say, diaphoresis or otitis.

Comments are closed.