Monday, August 5, 2019

BEQ 2:38 (Andy) 


LAT 5:03 (Nate) 


NYT 2:43 (Jenni) 


The New Yorker 6:52 (Ben) 


Universal 6:06 (Vic) 


WSJ 5:24 (Jim P) 


Tracy Gray’s New York Times crossword—Jenni’s write-up

I think we’ve seen something like this before. I don’t have access to the theme databases nor do I have an eidetic memory. Anyone know? I figured out the theme with the first theme answer. I still enjoyed the puzzle – it’s a fun, accessible Monday theme, and it’s well-done.

All the theme answers run vertically.

New York Times, August 5, 2019, # 805, Tracy Gray, solution grid


  • 3d [Air-punching pugilist] is a SHADOW BOXER.
  • 7d [2006 Matt Damon spy film] is THE GOOD SHEPHERD.
  • 9d [Place with beakers and Bunsen burners] is the CHEMISTRY LAB
  • 21d [Lecturer’s implement with a light at the end] is a LASER POINTER.

See it yet? If not, Tracy gives us a revealer: 28d [Popular yoga pose … or a literal hint to the ends of 3-, 7-, 9- and 21-Down]: DOWNWARD DOG. I’ll give them a pass on having “down” in the clue, since I think it’s unavoidable in a Monday puzzle.

A few other things:

  • I’m so accustomed to hearing HUDDLE in a work context that I’d forgotten it comes from football. We HUDDLE every day to discuss our patients.
  • 40d [Bus. concern] is not what the business does, but the “concern” itself. It’s CORP.
  • 56d [Colorful flower with a “face”] is a PANSY. I guess it has a face. Not sure I see it.

  • 59d [Pump or oxford] is a SHOE.
  • 62a [Gemstone measure] is CARAT. Pro tip: wait for the crossing to fill in the first letter.

What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: never heard of the Matt Damon movie.

Jeffrey Wechsler’s Universal Crossword, “Take Two”—Judge Vic’s write-up

Jeffrey Wechsler’s Universal Crossword, “Take Two,” Aug. 5, 2019, solution

H and T are removed from *ight words in familiar phrases:

  • 17a Seeks desert orchard employment? WANTS TO PICK A FIG
  • 32a Offshore hairpiece production site? THE ISLE OF WIG
  • 40a Query to a committee on naval incarceration? ANY BRIG IDEAS
  • 60a Manipulate a boxing match the second it’s announced, say? RIG FROM THE START

Other entries that caught my attention include:


This is a fun, competently constructed and nicely clued puzzle.

Ed Sessa’s Los Angeles Times crossword—Nate’s write-up

This puzzle has everything … quite literally!

LAT 8.5.19 Solution

LAT 8.5.19 Solution

17A: COMBINATION LOCK [Wall safe access]
29A: CHICKEN STOCK [Base for many soups]
46A: PICKLE BARREL [Classic country store container]
60A: THE WHOLE SHEBANG [What the ends of 17-, 29- and 46-Across figuratively compromise]

LOCK, STOCK, and BARREL is indeed THE WHOLE SHEBANG. I like it. The theme is straightforward for a Monday but feels like a playful embracing of such a fun phrase. The fill was largely clean and quick to plunk in. SANTE and DOG IT were tougher for me, but not ungettable.

My only main qualm with this puzzle was in how olde time-y it felt. Clues / fill like [Tea service carrier], DOG IT for [Shirk work], CECIL DeMille, [Old Metro automaker], [Cash alternative] for CHECK, [Computer message] for EMAIL, and PICKLE BARREL as a [Classic country store container] made the puzzle feel like it was from a different ERA. References to Manilow, the Bible, the Berlin Olympics, and a [Country divided in 1945] didn’t help. Maybe the only bits of “modern” touches were IN BETA, ANNE Hathaway, ETSY, and Lena OLIN. Throw in Sophia LOREN and there feels like some correlation here between fresh fill and including women in puzzles to consider.Ed

The Wall Street Journal crossword—Jim P’s review

Due to a mix-up, we inadvertently reviewed the wrong puzzle here. A correct one will be posted shortly.

Kameron Austin Collins’s New Yorker crossword—Ben’s review

New Yorker 8/5/19

KAC is up for this Monday’s New Yorker puzzle, and as always with him the grid is beautiful.  I especially like the tribute to the Satellite of Love running down diagonally.

Enough ogling the grid, let’s dig into the fill:

  • Today’s featured clue, HACKER WAY (25D, “Facebook HQ’s street address”), points to an article from last fall about Mark Zuckerberg.
  • The unusual positioning of black squares in this grid allows for some great distribution of long fill: GARAGEMAN, INDIE FILMS, BOY PROBLEMS, RED ROBIN, SPAR DECK, NICENE CREED, TALK DOWN TO, and MOTHBALLS
  • Cluing I liked: “Stand against the wall” for ETAGERE, “Cutting-edge feature?” for SERRATION, and “Current events?” for EL NINOS

Brendan Emmett Quigley’s website crossword, Themeless Monday #528—Andy’s review

BEQ Themeless Monday #528, 8.5.19

Quick review today.

This grid is an obvious pangram. The central 15 is COOKED ONE’S GOOSE [Ruined another’s chances], but MEXICAN BLEND and SQUEEZED SHUT do a lot of the heavy lifting Scrabble-wise, as does KJV with the brutal clue [Alternative to the Douay-Rheims: Abbr] (requiring you to know the Douay-Rheims is a Bible). Wouldn’t have been so tough except for the, again, brutal clue on the crossing with JETT [Title thief played by Carla Gugino in a Cinemax series]. That series premiered in June 2019, and I had not heard of it until this clue.

Speaking of brutal clues, [Pulse in a kitchen] for PEA! As in this sense of pulse. Jeez.

A few really nice clues:

  • [Going places] for URINALS;
  • [Pearl clutcher] for OYSTER;
  • [Name of a North Carolina emu that’s been on the run this past week (the owner must have a crossworder’s sense of humor)] for ENO.

Lots of post-solve Googling here, which is unusual for me. Even so, not too much of a struggle to solve.

Until next time!

Mike Shenk’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “A/C Units”—Jim P’s review

Note: I inadvertently posted a review of the wrong puzzle here at first. The following is the correct puzzle for today.

I’m an idiot for not figuring out the theme of this grid before finishing the solve. I guess I was going for speed and wasn’t expecting such a straightforward theme.

Wall St Journal crossword solution · Constructor · “A/C Units” · Mon., 8.5.19

  • 17a [It’s around 66.5 degrees south latitudeANTARCTIC CIRCLE
  • 23a [“Danger over” signalALL CLEAR
  • 28a [Numerical prefix, of a sortAREA CODE
  • 44a [Homeless felineALLEY CAT. I had STRAY CAT at first and I was looking forward to posting a “Stray Cat Strut” video, but then I sorted out the correct answer and was saddened. But then STRAYS appeared at 46d, so the video is back on (see below)!
  • 48a [Symbol on viola music] ALTO CLEF
  • 58a [The USS Gerald R. Ford, for one] AIRCRAFT CARRIER

So yes, the theme is very straightforward (two word terms starting with the letters A and C), but that’s as it should be on a Monday. The entries are solid and the clues are good, making this a good entry-level grid.

OH COME ON!” (great) and RECITALS (so-so) are our long Downs with RAW DATA (strong) in the backup position. I also like ON MEDS as an in-the-language phrase.

MY EAR gets a poetic clue [“A voice there is, that whispers in ___”: Alexander Pope], but always think it should get a clue like [Van Gogh exclamation?].

And that’s all I have. A solid, straight-over-the-plate grid. 3.5 stars. And now, as promised…

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22 Responses to Monday, August 5, 2019

  1. pannonica says:

    NYT: “I think we’ve seen something like this before. I don’t have access to the theme databases nor do I have an eidetic memory. Anyone know?”

    A mere week ago, as Monday’s Wall Street Journal offering.

    Correction: That puzzle is from August 2016. (See below for more context)

  2. Martin says:

    Boy, am I confused. I solved a DOWNWARD DOG puzzle by Steve Faiella as last week’s AVX (titled “Diving Spots”). And I didn’t remember the WSJ puzzle, which is from 2016, not last week.

  3. Stephen B Manion says:

    I have always heard the pose described as “down dog” or “downward facing dog” although there is plenty of support for “downward dog.” It is considered a resting pose, although it is not much of a rest, because the practitioner often moves from “plank,” which is tough after any extended amount of time, to “down dog,” which is slightly less stressful on the arms and substantially less stressful on the core. Yoga is very dog friendly as it also features “up dog” (or upward facing dog) and “puppy pose.”

    Here is a link to Down Dog:
    Fun puzzle.


    • Lise says:

      Yoga is indeed dog-friendly. My dog was an enthusiastic helper, adding in her nose, or a paw, or sometimes her entire body. It was her opinion that if I were on the floor, I should be giving her tummy rubs.

      The more dog puzzles, the merrier ???

  4. Martin says:

    BTW, “pansy” is from the French “pensée” (thought) because the face was perceived as contemplative. Not sure I see that.

  5. C. Y. Hollander says:

    The New Yorker puzzle was fairly smooth for me today, but a couple of the clues had minor phrasing issues, IMO. “Condescend” (42A) cannot take the place of TALK DOWN TO, as it requires its own preposition. “Be condescending towards” would have been a better clue for that. A street address (25D) surely includes a number as well as a street name (Google tells me that Facebook’s is 1).

    I can’t find fault with BOY PROBLEMS as an entry, if it’s a phrase people say, but as far as the phrase itself goes, assuming that it’s analogous to “girl problems”, surely the mot juste would be “guy problems”, given that the young women and men in question are of dating age.

    • RJ says:

      No issue with the clue for “boy problems” but I agree with your other points. Also, the clue for 4D should surely read “regiment,” and I’m not even sure if that would be correct.

      In general, the clue writing and editing for The New Yorker are very inconsistent!

      • C. Y. Hollander says:

        Yeah, no problem with the clue for BOY PROBLEMS, and not even a major problem with the phrase either; only it’s not the phrase I’d choose myself. My comment about that was incidental to the puzzle.

        Good catch on “regimen”. I overlooked the typo, and didn’t even consider that it might not be the correct term in any case, but from what I can gather, you were right to be skeptical of that: “regiment” doesn’t seem to pertain to the Air Force at all. “Unit” would have been a better choice of word.

  6. Glenn says:

    It’s worth noting that the circulated WSJ for today is NOT the one that is reviewed here and present at this link. The one accessible from PDF on the WSJ website is entitled “A/C Units” by Mike Shenk.

    • GlennG says:

      Here’s a PUZ I cooked up off the PDF, if people want it until it gets changed on site here. Let me know if something’s wrong and I’ll fix it. As for the one reviewed here, it played like a Wednesday, so I’m guessing something got posted wrongly for a time.

    • JohnH says:

      Yes, I’m confused.

    • Jim Peredo says:

      You’re correct, Glenn. I’m still trying to sort out what happened. I will probably update my post above soonish.

    • Martin says:

      Proper puzzle is posted now. This was my fault, folks.

      • BarbaraK says:

        Got a puzzle from later this week through some kind of time warp? Did they happen to send stock prices or lottery numbers too? :)

        But speaking of the .puz files, when I try to open the WSJ .puz from this site with Puzzazz on my iPhone, it says, “At the request of the Wall Street Journal, this puzzle may only be solved in their app or on their website…” Are these legit? Across Lite on my desktop never complains about them.

    • Jim Peredo says:

      My post has been corrected above. Sorry for the mix-up.

      • M483 says:

        WSJ: It’s not your fault, Jim. I got the same puzzle this morning and read your review. Thank you. Your review was not wasted.
        So, someday will we download a WSJ puzzle and try to figure why a new puzzle seems so familiar?!

  7. Zulema says:

    I am very confused by the New Yorker’s clue “Pronto, to Paolo” and its answer AHORA. Paolo is not a Spanish man’s name. It’s Italian. The term “Pronto” is how the phone is answered in Italian usually, and it has other uses also. AHORA is a Spanish word meaning NOW. So, is there an editing problem here, or have I lost my mind?

    Sorry I could not comment sooner.

Comments are closed.