Monday, October 21, 2019

BEQ tk (Jim Q) 


LAT 3:51 (Nate) 


NYT 2:59 (Jenni) 


The New Yorker 7:42 (Rachel) 


Universal untimed (Rebecca) 


WSJ 4:07 (Jim P) 


Joe Deeney’s New York Times crossword—Jenni’s write-up

Quickly – we have company coming. And the revealer is baseball-related and I don’t want to think about baseball today.

The theme answers:

New York Times, October 21, 2019, #1021, Joe Deeney, solution grid

  • 17a [Is highly versed about something] is KNOWS ONE’S ONIONS.
  • 26a [Major athletic event along the Thames] is the LONDON MARATHON.
  • 44a [Bob Dylan album that he called “the closest I ever got to the sound I hear in my mind] is BLONDE ON BLONDE.
  • 56a [Romantic getaway for a married couple] is a SECOND HONEYMOON. They’re married on the first honeymoon, too.

And the revealer: 36a [Bases loaded … or a hint to the contents of 17-, 26-, 44- and 56-Across] is THREE ON. I would have preferred if none of the theme answers had ON as one of the words, but that’s VERY picky.

What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: the Dylan quote.

Kevin Salat’s Los Angeles Times crossword—Nate’s write-up

A quick review of Monday’s LAT for me – I’ve been out of town all weekend and just got back home a bit ago.

LAT 10/21/19 Solution

LAT 10/21/19 Solution

17A: MARTINI GLASS [Vessel for Bond] – NIGLAS in circles
28A: AS LONG AS I LIVE [“…for the remainder of my days”] – NGASIL in circles
47A: TANNING SALONS [Places to get bronzed skin] – INGSAL in circles
62A: MIXED SIGNALS [Communication confusion … or what’s literally found in this puzzle’s three sets of circles]

Each of the theme entries impressively contains the letters from SIGNAL sequentially in some kind of mixed / jumbled form. I’m not even sure how one would go about finding themers for a theme like this, but I’m impressed that these are not only symmetrically-lengthed, but also in the language. The only thing I wrestled with here was that, technically, each themer has a mixed signal (singular), not mixed signals. We’ll say the plural comes from putting all the theme entries together. Even still, I was impressed and enjoyed the quick solve.

Other random thoughts:
– 14D [Clock radio toggle] tricked me! I put in AMFM, but it was AMPM. It took me a beat to figure out that FROAM should be PROAM at 20A.
– Wait, why wasn’t LIV clued as a woman’s name? That seems like a really easy way to include another woman in the grid. Same with IDA.

Patrick Berry’s New Yorker crossword – Rachel’s write-up

I woke up extra early to solve today’s puzzle because I have a meeting at 7:30am and I was worried a New Yorker Monday would take me a long(ish) time. I’m pleased to announce, however, that this Patrick Berry offering went about as fast as last Friday’s puzzle, and boy did it go down smooth (just like the LUSITANIA — too soon? Ok, just like ED MEESE after the Wedtech scandal– better?) . Clearly 6am solving and reviewing is not ideal for serious crossword critique, so you can expect this one to be short and silly.

The New Yorker crossword solution • Patrick Berry • Monday, October 21, 2019

Favorite entries:

  • CRIMELORD (it’s like a Time Lord, but with crimes!)
  • BRASS HAT (it’s like a tinhat, but with a copper-zinc alloy!)
  • DAIRY MEN (it’s like Derry Girls, but for bros!)

Proper names I didn’t know:

  • Incredibly, I knew all of them! Although I was slow to get EDEN and LORRE
  • I take it back, I didn’t know ADAM BEDE, which I suppose is a fictional proper name.

Favorite wordplay clues:

  • High point on an ocean voyage? for CROWS NEST
  • Jersey boys? for the aforementioned DAIRY MEN

Fill I could live without:

  • AS OF
  • Actually, that might be it. Very clean puzzle!

Overall: tight, clean, a little less pretty and exciting than other recent Patrick Berry puzzles, but that’s an awfully high bar. Several stars from me.

Mark McClain’s Universal crossword, “Monday to Wednesday”—Rebecca’s review

THEME: Letter swap puzzle – the M in well known answers has been swapped with a W

Universal crossword solution · Mark McClain · “Monday to Wednesday” · Mon., 10.21.19


  • 20A [Talented bugler playing “Reveille”?] WAKE UP ARTIST
  • 34A [Routine matters for an estate lawyer?] GENERAL WILLS
  • 41A [Records maintained by the complaint department?] WAILING LISTS
  • 56A [Roadblock for spending spree plans?] SHOPPING WALL

Another fun, clean puzzle to kick off the week, with a theme that gave some entertaining answers. Letter swap themes often leave me wondering about the specific answer choices – but answers like WAKE UP ARTIST and SHOPPING WALL funny enough that I didn’t hang on to that for too long.

Solid construction all around. I particularly enjoyed the AMALIE, HELENA, ALL SET corner – but there were answers throughout to really keep the grid smooth and the puzzle moving.

3.25 Stars

Mike Shenk’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Wingspans”—Jim P’s review

The puzzle posted on the WSJ website very late, so this will be brief.

The title is your clue that you should be looking for birds in the circled squares that span multiple entries.

Wall St Journal crossword solution · “Wingspans” · Mike Shenk · Mon., 10.21.19

The entries and birds in question are: OSCAR / DIN / ALCOA, CRATER / AVENGERS, FLIMFLAM / INGOTS, and TONAL / BAT / ROSSI. The presence of a winged MAMMAL (BAT) in there is noted, but I didn’t find it distracting.

Kudos for using bird names of longish letter lengths. I especially like the FLIMFLAM/INGOTS pairing. This of course reminded me of our visit to the Denver Zoo this weekend and flamingos therein who are a terribly smelly bunch. Phew!

Surrounding fill is solid though not too sparkly. I like the SYRINGE / PATIENT duo in the North, and the word AFFABLE is just one of those words you have to like.

An easy, breezy and fun start to the puzzling work week. 3.75 stars.

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13 Responses to Monday, October 21, 2019

  1. RSP64 says:

    I’m a big baseball fan and I don’t recall ever hearing “three on” as a phrase. ‘Two on, two out” is very common, but I think everyone says “bases loaded” when there are base runners at every base. I also dispute “no carb” as a diet. There are lots of low carb diets, but I’m not sure it’s possible to not eat ANY carbs.

  2. Jeff says:

    “Three men on,” yes. “Three on,” no. Too bad because the puzzle was smooth. The revealer, not at all.

  3. Glenn says:

    >14D [Clock radio toggle] tricked me! I put in AMFM, but it was AMPM. It took me a beat to figure out that FROAM should be PROAM at 20A.

    Not so much a trick but mistaken on the part of the constructor/editor. It’s not the first time I’ve seen it, but I can say the dictionary or any other usage doesn’t support this, not at least in a way I can buy. A toggle denotes a switch between two states (“a setting that can be switched between two different options by performing a single action (such as selecting a menu option or pressing a key)”, or “Prevent bad habits by intervening when kids toggle between texting and studying”).

    Here it would more properly be AMFM according to the definition, as there is indeed a switch on the clock radio that performs this function. AMPM would more properly be termed an “indicator” (e.g. a thing that indicates something), which is indeed true on a clock radio.

    More poor communication in crosswords, which is unfortunately too endemic.

    • Jon Delfin says:

      @Glenn: Thanks, I thought I was the only one who was bothered by this.

    • R says:

      Many clock radios (e.g. have a button to toggle between AM and PM when setting the time. It’s less common than an AM/FM toggle, but sometimes (well, almost always) crossword clues are more interesting when the answer isn’t the most immediately obvious one.

    • Kevin says:

      Kevin the constructor here—good insight that I should have clarified before sending in. I had originally clued it has “12-hour toggle on clocks” to make it super clear it was not talking about radios, especially since PROAM is not super well known.

  4. Mary Flaminio says:

    No wsj crossword today?

    • Karen says:

      I can open it using the wsj app but can’t get it through the link here.

    • Martin says:

      It’s there now. According to my log, it was late to appear this morning. Karen must have gotten to it just after it posted and while my script was still converting it.

  5. David Steere says:

    LAT: Today’s puzzle not available at Cruciverb as of 9:30 am Arizona Time (12:30 EST). Problems?

  6. Noam D. Elkies says:

    NYT: Pity to have so many ON substrings outside the theme. I suppose that it’s such a common substring that it’s too hard to avoid in a Monday puzzle. The grid does avoid using the word “on” outside the theme, though some of the clues (5A, 31A) don‘t . . . At any rate, it made for a good Downs-only solve, even though I got the revealer too late to help with the other theme entries.


  7. Alan D. says:

    Re: New Yorker. Yes, another Berry masterpiece. Maybe not as edgy as other New Yorkers but 68-words and NOT ONE abbreviation, partial, or initial (unless you count NATO). Oh, and there are only four 3-letter words.

Comments are closed.