Merry Christmas and continuing Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate, Happy Wednesday Off Work to those not celebrating a holiday on the 25th, and belated Festivus felicitations to all!
Bruce Haight’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
Theme is “Ho, ho, ho!” with familiar phrases that include the letter pair HO finding that HO expanded to HO HO HO:
- 17a. [What Santa said when his sleigh touched down?], LAND HO HO HO.
- 23a. [What Santa might say on his North Pole hotline?], PLEASE HO HO HOLD.
- 38a. [What Santa said when the reindeer went on strike on Christmas Eve?], IT’S HO HO HOPELESS.
- 50a. [What Santa said when going down a chimney that had a lit fireplace?], HO HO HOLY SMOKES.
- 61a. [What Santa says around dawn on Christmas Day?], I’M HO HO HOME.
Kinda cute holiday theme.
Three more things:
- 12d. [Syria’s Bashar al-___], ASSAD. This vile man can eff off, and it would be nice to not see his name in our entertainments. See also: 65a NOOSE.
- 3d. [Place to get a C.D. or an I.R.A.], S AND L. Ah, yes, the spelled-out ampersand entry. Not a fan.
- 9d. [Place where one might hear “That’s my cue!”], POOL HALL. Cute clue.
3.3 stars from me. Good night, and leave some cookies out!
Erin Rhode’s AVCX, “Wet Blanket” — Ben’s Review
Merry Christmas, to those who celebrate! Since it is Christmas (and because my relatives can sense when I’ve sat down to engage in Leisure Time rather than helping out in the kitchen), this is going to be a quick write-up of Erin Rhode’s Christmas tree-shaped grid. Here’s what’s going on:
- 6A: *Sedan that spans two lanes? — WIDE CAR
- 41A: *Add plumage to a pet salamander? — FEATHER YOUR NEWT
- 64A: *Single-issue voter who just wants their party to nominate someone who can drunkenly belt “Don’t Stop Believin'”? — KARAOKE WINGER
- 4D: *Either main character in 1990’s “Nuns on the Run”? — WIMPLE MAN
- 5D: *Feel that the clock is ticking, as it were? — WANT A BABY
- 18D: *Flirtatious signal from the chef? — KITCHEN WINK
- 22D: *Baby who requires a diaper change in the middle of dinner? — TABLE WETTER
- 61D: *Cranked a cuckoo clock to make it go off at 7:00 A.M.? — WOUND THE ALARM
- 62D: *Lie about a sale in a storefront display? — WINDOW WHOPPER
- 91D: Seasonal coating or, read another way, correction you might make when entering the answers to this puzzle’s starred clues — SNOW
Read that final answer as “S? NO, W!” and you’ll have what’s going on — SIDECAR becomes WIDE CAR, SIMPLE MAN becomes WIMPLE MAN, etc. Happy Holidays, all!
LET IT SNOW
Blake Slonecker’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s write-up
Happy 25th of December.
The core theme idea of the four “special senses” & touch as a classical set is solid. The revealing COMETOYOURSENSES is idiomatic, though COMETOYOUR is fairly clumsy as an indicator for “occurs at the end of answers”. The theme entries are well selected in that they aren’t literally the senses, though the meanings are inevitably not that far from them in some cases. I’m not sure about how broadly familiar CODESMELL will be. I’m only a programming dilettante, and long out of practice, but I’m also in a family of programmers and I’ve never heard it once. The ideas of spaghetti code and other overly convoluted coding practices is not foreign however.
OTRAVEZ is interesting as an uncommon bit of Spanish. I do think it is actually a net positive in the puzzle, though crossing it with French ETRE at a vowel could vex some solvers.