Elizabeth C. Gorski’s Cr♥ssw♥rd Nation puzzle (Week 422), “Pool Party Recipe”—Ade’s take
Good day, everybody! Hope you all had a good Canada Day on Monday and celebrated as only a wild and crazy party animal north of the border would! Here is hoping that you did so while having some PINA COLADAS, as ingredients that make up the look of the popular drink are the answers to the first four theme entries (57A: [Poolside drinks made with ingredients 1, 2, and 3]).
- JAMAICAN RUM (17A: [Ingredient #1])
- PINEAPPLE JUICE (23A: [Ingredient #2])
- PAPER PARASOLS (35A: [Festive toppers for 57-Across])
- CREAM OF COCONUT (47A: [Ingredient #3])
If you have ever taken the A TRAIN (46D: [Famous subway line on an Ellington song]) during rush hour before, something that I have done a countless number of times while growing up right next to the Euclid Avenue A train station in Brooklyn, you’ll know that you’ll definitely feel like a SARDINE more than on any other train in New York City (42A: [Packed-in subway rider, metaphorically]). Absolutely fitting those two entries were in the same grid! Speaking of things I like in the grid, have to always give love when Africa is referenced, and today that comes in the form of MALI (33A: [Land bordering Algeria]). Loved the long fill on the corners, though hoping all the food and drink in the grid, including PEAR TART (35D: [Pastry made with boscs or anjous]), doesn’t make people have to use some ANTACIDS (12D: [Heartburn remedies]). Honestly, the only things that were missing from this grid was the kitchen sink and a nude woman…oh, wait, there’s MAJA (1D: [Goya’s “La ____ Desnuda”]). Well, there’s still no sink!
“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: PURDUE (45D: [Indiana university)]) – For a good long while, Purdue University, located in the wonderful little town of West Lafayette, Ind., was known as the “cradle of quarterbacks.” Why? Well, to start, Pro Football Hall of Fame signal-callers and Super Bowl winners Len Dawson and Bob Griese, both at the peak of their professional powers in the late ’60s and ’70s, played collegiately at Purdue while former Pro Bowl quarterback Jim Everett and College Football Hall of Fame members Mark Herrmann and Mike Phipps also attended the school and played QB. However, all have been surpassed by the greatest quarterback who once donned the Boilermaker black and gold, current New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who is the National Football League’s all-time leader in passing yards (74,437) and second in touchdown passes (520, just 19 behind Peyton Manning).
Thank you so much for the time, everyone! Have a wonderful rest of your Tuesday and, as always, keep solving!!
Peter Gordon’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
Celebrity trivia time! The theme answers are well-known actors who played film characters with the same initials:
- 17a. [Actor with the same initials as Michael Rezendes, his role in “Spotlight”], MARK RUFFALO.
- 49a. [With 31-Across, actor with the same initials as Alfred Hitchcock, his role in “Hitchcock”], ANTHONY / HOPKINS. Cute that other Anthony ***kins, Mr. Perkins, starred in Hitchcock’s most famous film, Psycho.
- 62a. [Actor with the same initials as Jake Blues, his role in “The Blues Brothers”], JOHN BELUSHI.
- 11d. [Actress with the same initials as Linda Marolla, her role in “Arthur”], LIZA MINNELLI.
- 25d. [Actor with the same initials as Jefferson Smith, his role in “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington”], JAMES STEWART.
I’ll bet Peter has a list of other people who fit this category (although we’d want to rule out any whose characters shared the performer’s first name—see also: all the TV roles where Tony Danza played a Tony), and wonder if any women had the right letter counts and degree of fame to replace any of the men. I don’t ding a 4 men + 1 woman theme for not having all five the same gender, as that constraint would make for far too many all-dude themes and this is 2019.
Lots of nice fill in this 15×16 grid. To wit: The TWIST/TWIRLER/TWINE twio, BIKER BAR, UNWRITTEN, and some other longish fill that’s entirely unimpeachable if not exciting. Rather less keen on NBAERS, letter ESS, LEA clued as a [Grassy field] when I daresay few of us encounter that sense of the word outside crosswords, abbrevs SST and SGT. I usually dislike STYE but will excuse it this time because I have a story. Last week at the gym, my trainer said she had another client who, at the end of his session, rubbed his eye and said he thought he was getting a stye. Dude, don’t rub gym germs in your eye—this is how you pick up Staph infections!
Tuesday-easy, fairly smooth puzzle. I say this one did not Tuezz. 3.9 stars from me.
David Alfred Bywaters’s Wall Street Journal crossword—Nate’s write-up
Who are we “Dropping Off” today? Let’s find out:
18A: FLUSH LUSH [One bingeing on Chateau Lafite?]
23A: FLEA LEA [Meadow that you shouldn’t walk your dog in?]
38A: FLANDERS LANDERS [Arrivals at Antwerp International Airport?]
50A: FLAB LAB [Dietary scientist’s workplace?]
59A: FLOCK LOCK [Sheepcote security feature?]
It turns out that there is quite the F LOSS in this puzzle: each theme entry has a first word that has its F drop off to form the second word. The theme struck me as consistent and tight, but the cluing wasn’t on my wavelength at all. I’ve never heard of Chateau Lafite or sheepcotes, so I needed the crossings to get a toehold into some of these themers. Otherwise, the fill felt quite clean (aside from bits like NIM).
– [Flower holders] seems off for STEMS. Maybe [Flower supports] would be better? I plunked vases into 1A at the start and it took me a bit to take it out of the grid.
– CSA :/
– [Bride’s destination] is a clue that has so much loaded into it. Why not [Husband’s destination]? Could it be the social assumption that women are expected to get married and that doing so is part of their expected path through life? Having a woman anywhere in the pipeline of this puzzle’s development might have resulted in a better clue for ALTAR.
– Thankfully, we have a few women recognized for their accomplishments: Queen ANNE, CLIO, and LINDA Ronstadt. But why not clue SOFIA through the context of a woman with that name?
Ken Albright’s Universal Crossword, “You Can Say That Again”—Judge Vic’s write-up
THEME: Redundant phrases (as said by actual people, presumably).
- 15a [Direction-switching flow, redundantly] A.C. CURRENT—A.C. stands for alternating current, so when people say “A.C. current,” they’re re-saying the same thing over again redundantly.
- 22a [Nest egg, redundantly] IRA ACCOUNT–People do say individual retirement account, but the term promulgated by the IRS was (and I think still is) Individual Retirement Arrangement. Which, arguably, abates the redundancy … but since most people think account, rather than arrangement, does that abate the abatement?
- 47a [Certain monitor, redundantly] LCD DISPLAY—Liquid Crystal Display. I don’t hear or see this one much.
- 59a [Car’s unique code, redundantly] VIN NUMBER—Vehicle Identification Number. This one I hear lot, in court. “Officer, did you run the VIN number on that automobile through the crime information center?”
Not much else to comment on, positive or negative. Clever idea, though. And competently rendered.
Matt Jones’s Jonesin’ Crossword, “The Secret Ingredient” – Derek’s write-up
As Matt churns out a seemingly endless number of puzzle theme ideas, I can imagine him in the kitchen preparing a recipe, which undoubtedly contained a certain spice:
- 17A [Get a message across] COMMUNICATE
- 20A [Location of Ball State University] MUNCIE, INDIANA – A gimme for me! This is about 2 hours from my front porch!
- 38A [It’s equal to the sum of the two before it] FIBONACCI NUMBER
- 55A [Durational patterns in music] RHYTHMIC UNITS
- 61A [And your secret ingredient is …] GROUND CUMIN
Cleanly done. All are different anagrams of CUMIN, and now I am getting hungry! Sorry for the late post, but it has been a busy couple of days. Those holiday weeks! A solid 4.5 stars for Matt this week.
Some more stuff:
- 1A [American realist art school] ASHCAN – I had an error in the grid here; I blanked on this name. I am not comfortable with art; mainly because I am highly uncultured.
- 32A [Went on an unfriending spree, maybe] PURGED – I need to do this to my social media accounts. Too many posts to keep up with!
- 66A [“Red Rocks” city of Arizona] SEDONA – I know some people with a cabin out there. I should take them up on the winter vacation offer!
- 3D [“Let me think …”] HMMM – Also part of my error. I thought it might be MMMM. It would have worked!
- 12D [Sultanate on the South China Sea] BRUNEI – Isn’t this Sultan the richest dude in the world?
- 28D [Multiple-choice question choices, perhaps] ABCDE – I had A, B OR C. This also would have worked!
- 52D [___ forth] AND SO – This makes me think of the Billy Joel song And So It Goes, which would be a great musical clue for the Muller Music Meta, which came out yesterday!
- 58D [Pool props] CUES – Oh, THAT pool! I admit: I was a little fooled. Have I mentioned I’m tired?
It is late in the day Tuesday; I think I am going to bed soon! Here’s some music to enjoy:
Emily Ludolph & Jeff Chen’s LA Times crossword – Derek’s write-up
I am getting to the blog post late today, and now I am a little sad that I am, because this may be a debut puzzle by Emily Ludolph. Her name is not in the comprehensive name database used to tag these posts, so if this is in fact a debut, congrats! Knowing Jeff as I do, he is great with working with constructors. We have even been kicking a few ideas around, so who knows when our collaborations will see the light of day. But enough about me!
Today’s LAT is all about invisible things, which are tied together in the clues:
- 18A [Invisible impediment in the workplace] GLASS CEILING
- 58A [Invisible impediment in the sky] SOUND BARRIER
- 12D [Invisible impediment in the theater] FOURTH WALL
- 29D [Invisible impediment in science fiction] FORCE FIELD
I would call this a timely theme, since between the US Women’s soccer team poised for another World Cup victory, and with several highly capable females vying for the presidency, the GLASS CEILING looks like it is in serious threat. Time will tell, but I enjoyed this puzzle. Looking forward to more from both of these folks! 4.3 stars.
A few more things:
- 1A [Former NFL running back Jennings who won “Dancing With the Stars” in 2017] RASHAD – I remember this player. I don’t remember watching him dance, though.
- 21A [Solar phenomena] SUN SPOTS – This is my explanation for anything that doesn’t work
- 31A [Average schlub] JOE SCHMO – Great entry. This has not appeared in a NYT, per Jeff’s site xwordinfo.com that he helps maintain.
- 50A [“Reservoir Dogs” co-star Harvey] KEITEL – I liked him in Pulp Fiction, also a Tarantino film, I believe.
- 5D [Marketing jargon] AD SPEAK – Another great answer. I had AD SLANG and AD LINGO in at first, but I was tired. That’s my story and I am sticking to it!
- 30D [Packaged buy including shower curtain, towels, etc.] BATH SET – Another great entry, with only one NYT occurrence.
- 38D [Slalom setting] SKI SLOPE – Not a place I want to be, and less so as I get older.
- 43D [Producer of curls] HOT IRON – I remember hot combs being around when I was younger, but I only have one sister and no daughters, I am not usually around curling irons. It’s much safer that way!
Congrats again! And enjoy the day off later this week!