Elizabeth C. Gorski’s Cr♥ssw♥rd Nation puzzle (Week 425), “Members of the Board!”—Ade’s take
Good day, everyone! Here is hoping all is well and that most of you did not have too much difficulty during the heatwave of 2019!
Today’s crossword puzzle will not leave you bored, but it definitely deals with a lot of boards, with each of the five longest answers ending with a word that also can come before the word “board.”
- BARRY WHITE (17A: [Disco-era crooner with a rich, bass voice])
- PHOEBE SNOW (24A: [“Poetry-Man” singer with a four-octave range])
- FRANCIS SCOTT KEY (38A: [“Defence of Fort M’Henry” poet])
- DARREN STAR (49A: [Creator of TV’s “Melrose Place” and “Sex and the City”])
- CLINT BLACK (61A: [“Killin’ Time” and “Nobody’s Home” country singer])
Outside of Kelsey Grammer, the only person whose name I surely remembered being on the cast of Frasier was David Hyde-Pierce (Niles), so getting PERI (Gilpin) was a little bit of a slog today (24D: [One of Kelsey’s “Frasier” co-stars]). Absolutely in love with the clue for LUVS diapers (59A: [Producers of bum wraps?]). I might have said this before on here, but, if I haven’t, then I’m making sure that I tell you now that I recommend that you watch SELMA, just one of the wonderful movies and productions from the mind of Ava DuVernay (21D: [2014 film by Ava DuVernay]). Finished her latest work, When They See Us, chronicling the heartbreaking and maddening story of the group known as the Central Park Five, and it is borderline required watching. Knew it was a huge deal back when I first encountered it when I was just under 10 years old, but, this four-episode recreation really makes the angst and anger hit home once they detail the treatment of them by authorities (lawyers, police), celebrities and the public when the story first came out. Hope you have a Netflix account!
“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: THE KNICKS (11D: [Walt Frazier led this NBA team to the franchise’s only two NBA championships]) – One of the flagship teams of the current top basketball league in the country, the New York Knicks played in the first game of the history of the National Basketball League (then called the Basketball Association of America, or BAA), on Nov. 1, 1946, against the Toronto Huskies at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. Yes, the first game in the history of the NBA, arguably the most popular league in the world and currently featuring 29 teams headquartered in the United States, originated in Canada. (Of course, the game of basketball’s creator, Dr. James Naismith, is also Canadian.)
Thank you so much for the time, everyone! Have a wonderful rest of your day and, as always, keep solving!!
Max Carpenter’s Universal Crossword, “Life’s a Breach”—Judge Vic’s write-up
THEME: Max offers phrases, the last word of which may precede whale. As to the title, dictionaries define the verb breach “rise and break through the surface of the water,” noting that it’s said of a whale and takes no object. I did not know this. I also did not know that a right whale was a thing. Check it out:
- 19a [*”Not doing so hot” (note each starred entry’s last word)] I’M FEELING BLUE
31a [*”Everything’s fine”] WE’RE ALL RIGHT
39a [*”Awesome!”] THIS IS KILLER
52a [What the starred entries’ speaker is having by the end of this puzzle?] A WHALE OF A TIME
Other noteworthy stuff: ARMY ANTS, TERI GARR, CAT FLEA, MEDIA BIAS, LOST SOULS, FLAMENCO, ICKIEST.
Kyle Dolan’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
In this 14×16 puzzle, my fellow Chicagoan Kyle riffs on the 1981 Grover Washington song “JUST THE TWO OF US” ([1981 hit with the lyric “We can make it if we try” … or a possible title for this puzzle]) which I don’t think I remember (though the songs that kept it from the #1 spot on the charts are super familiar to me). The other three themers contain US twice: “EXCUSES, EXCUSES!”, MARCUS AURELIUS, and a WALRUS MUSTACHE.
I’m going to deduct seven stars from my rating for 38a. [Giggle], HEHE. People have got to stop typing “he he.” “Hee hee,” if you must. Please. Never “he he.” That’s just a coupla pronouns strung together. “He” is not a laughter syllable, not spelled that way. *gavel gavel*
Three more things:
- SOCCER BALL‘s clue is great: [Necessity for achieving one’s goals?].
- 5d. [Rapper Lil ___ X], NAS / 62a. [Alternatives to Ho Hos], YODELS. Yodels are some regional snack cake I haven’t seen. However! Viral yodeling boy Mason Ramsey is on a new remix of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” though he doesn’t exactly do a legit yodel line in it. Cute video all the same.
- Some of the fill seemed a bit supra-Tuesday-level to me: ESTER, maybe SEDUM, the Guld of ADEN, foreign OSO and SERA, ASPS, and [Apartment building V.I.P., in slang], SUPE. It might only be New Yorkers who use super or supe for someone who works at a residential building.
3.5 stars from US.
Matt Jones’s Jonesin’ Crossword, “Starter Cash” – Derek’s write-up
Some people would love some “starter cash” to start their own business venture; I am NOT one of those people. It would be great to make money doing crosswords, but I don’t have that kind of time and I don’t think I have the talent that the ones that do make a living at this have. Maybe I am wrong; I surely have more talent than Timothy Parker! Let’s examine how this puzzle relates to cash:
- 17A [British currency for entering a website?] POUND SIGN IN
- 28A [Brazilian currency to be unearthed years later?] REAL TIME CAPSULE
- 44A [South Korean currency exceeding in frequency?] WON OUTNUMBERING
- 59A [Multi-country currency sprung at the last minute?] EURO POP QUIZ –
Did you know they used a won in South Korea? I did not. At current exchange rates, if you had 100,000 ₩, you would have about $85. I have no idea if I wrote that correctly! Nicely done; not too complicated, and lots of interesting fill. 4.2 stars.
Some of that interesting fill:
- 11A [TikTok, for one] APP – I am tired of the of the ads for this app. I know I am old, as I have no desire to even download this.
- 19A [“Blue Rondo ___ Turk” (Brubeck song)] À LA – You have heard this song before:
- 36A [“She Blinded Me With Science” singer Thomas] DOLBY – You’re heard this song before too!
- 53A [Naomi of “Vice”] WATTS – If I remember correctly, she is just about my age. Haven’t seen her in anything recent that I remember; what stands out is the horrible King Kong movie from a few years ago!
- 63A [“If I Had a Hammer” singer Lopez] TRINI – I think I have brought this up before, but I thought this was a female for the longest time!
- 10D [All out of shape, like a wrecked bike frame] BENT UP – I feel this way some mornings …
- 25D [Craft-selling site] ETSY – I have never purchased anything from this site, but I have actually done quite a lot of crafty stuff in my day. I have done crochet, latch hook, needle point, cross stitch, among other things. Perhaps I should check this site out!
- 38D [Dryer component] LINT TRAP – Believe it or not, this would be a NYT debut entry. It seems benign, but this is actually a great entry.
That is all!
Bruce Haight’s LA Times crossword – Derek’s write-up
I didn’t understand this theme at first, but now I get it. Sometimes it takes a minute!
- 18A [Realm first led by Augustus] ROMAN EMPIRE
- 26A [Result named for expanding circles from a rock tossed into a pond] RIPPLE EFFECT
- 37A [Did something a bit shocking] RAISED EYEBROWS
- 52A [Hobnobbed (with)] RUBBED ELBOWS
- 61A [Fixed things … or, in four parts, what you’ve done when filling in 18-, 26-, 37- and 52-Across?] MADE REPAIRS
Get it? Perhaps it should be read MADE R-E PAIRS and that would help! All of the theme answers simply have the initials R.E. I think I just overthought it!
- 16A [“All right, sure”] “OH, OK” – This is a fairly common entry, but only in the last decade or so. This is why computers making puzzles can only aid; the people make the difference.
- 48A [“Can’t argue with that!”] NO DOUBT – This could have been clued as the popular band, if this was a Pete Muller puzzle!
- 64A [Youngest Brontë sibling] ANNE – Maybe it is just my perception, but these writing sisters come up an awful lot in puzzles. But I checked, and ANNE can be and is clued in a myriad of different ways.
- 12D [Ordinance that sets quiet hours] NOISE LAW – I’m all for it. As I get older, I just want it quiet!!
- 13D [Police who may enforce a 12-Down] BEAT COPS – Nice tie-in clue. Made me think for a sec, which is always good!
- 24D [Nats’ former stadium, briefly] RFK – I remember this stadium; the Redskins played there for years. I thought it was torn down, but it is still there.
- 37D [2016 “Star Wars” prequel] ROGUE ONE – This movie wasn’t bad, but I am not a Star Wars groupie.
- 48D [American-born Jordanian queen] NOOR – She is still alive; I remember reading about her when I was much younger. She married the King of Jordan in 1978. Man, time flies …
I will stop here. It didn’t Tuez! Have a great week.
Michael Paleos’s Wall Street Journal crossword—Nate’s write-up
17A / 19A: CANNONBALL / ETAL
22A / 26A: UNCLESAM / BATMAN
35A / 38A: FIREFOX / TROTSKY
52A / 54A: SUNTAN / GOESDEEP
59A: BREAKDANCE [Head-spinning routine, and a hint to this puzzle’s theme]
There was a lot that I liked about this puzzle!
– The title was cute, apt, and effective. “May I Cut In?” referenced both the dances themselves, and the fact that a black square had, indeed, cut in to separate each one.
– The visual of the finished puzzle was also nice, in that the circled squares start at the top right and slow transition down and to the left. That’s a nicely executed construction constraint!
– The clue for 68A BOYS [Roughly half of a typical kindergarten roster] leaves room for more than two genders and for gender non-conforming kids. THAT is the way you write an inclusive clue. : ) (Think kids that age are way too young to know themselves? Kids develop a sense of their gender identity by the time they are three- to five-years-old! Another good read is here.)
– 30A ETS [Alleged Area 51 specimens, briefly] was all too timely a clue!
– This puzzle also felt relatively modern with fill like DEETS, BATMAN, and FIREFOX, even if most of the pop culture references were from decades ago.
– Men vs. women referenced in this puzzle? ADAM, UNCLE SAM, BATMAN, STEVEN Tyler, Lenin, TROTSKY, OREL Hershiser, ERTE, BOYS, SAL Mineo, Noah, vs. MADAMS and Sophia LOREN. 11 vs. 2. : / (And no other genders represented, that we know about.) It’s odd because entries like RAGGEDY could easily be clued via Raggedy Ann, etc.