Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Jonesin' 4:10 (Derek) 


LAT 2:46 (Derek) 


NYT 4:35 (Amy) 


Universal tk (Jim Q) 


WSJ 5:12 (Nate) 


Xword Nation untimed (Ade) 


Elizabeth C. Gorski’s Crsswrd Nation puzzle (Week 464), “Puppy Run”—Ade’s take

Crossword Nation puzzle solution, Week 464: “Puppy Run”

Hello there, everybody. Hope all of you are holding up OK being cooped up inside with your loved ones — human and otherwise.  

Today’s crossword puzzle gives some love to a few furbabies, as four of the five theme entries, all going down, feature circled letters that spell out a type of dog breed. The catch is that those words, when read from top to bottom, are backwards, and the fifth theme entry, UPWARD FACING DOG, lets us know to read from the bottom up to make sense of the theme (11D: [“Sibling” of a famous yoga pose (and the puzzle theme!)]).

  • FRENCH BAR{RETTES} (3D: [Hair clips imported from Paris]) – Setter.
  • B{ATIK A}RTIST (5D: [Craftsperson who hand-dyes fabric]) – Akita.
  • COOKIN{G UP} A STORM (7D: [What folks will be doing on Thanksgiving eve]) – Pug.
  • VER{BAL} IRONY (27D: [Literal device such as: “I’m too frightened to be scared”]) – Lab.

Though I was very familiar with the British funny women who starred in AB FAB (1A: [BBC sitcom with Patsy and Edna]) right away, I was completely unfamiliar with another British woman, AIRD, that intersected the former, and the spelling made me think I committed an error somewhere (4D: [Mystery writer Catherine]). Along with the entry of Aird, I was slowed by typing in “cooking up a feast” down the middle and having to untangle that last word. If you re-imagine a couple of the entries in the southeast, you have a very musical feel to that section, with OLDIE (62A: [“Golden” song from the past]), RAGS (57A: [Cleaning cloths]) and SING SING, though the people who were in Sing Sing faced the music more than anything else (40D: [Famed New York prison]). I’m far from a Yiddish expert, but know enough that the alternate spelling of TREF did not leave me second-guessing myself (34A: [Not kosher])

“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: COE (10D: [Running star Sebastian)]) – Though I could have talked at length about British sporting legend Sebastian Coe, who won four Olympic medals in track and field and won the Olympic gold in the 1500 meters in 1980 and 1984, I want to mention Coe College in this space, the small liberal arts college in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (enrollment: 1,400+) that, somehow, has produced a number of influential people in the world of sports over the years. Coe alumni include Hall of Fame coaches such as Marv Levy, who led the Buffalo Bills to their run of four consecutive Super Bowl appearances in the 1990s, and Bill Fitch, who won 944 games as an NBA head coach and led the Boston Celtics to the 1981 title. Then there’s Fred Jackson, the former running back who had three straight seasons rushing for 900 yards and, in 2009, became the first player in NFL history to record over 1,000 rushing and 1,000 kickoff return yards in the same season. Coe also produced a couple of prominent African American sportscasters: Curt Menefee, the current host of the Fox NFL Sunday pregame show, and former CNN and Turner Sports anchor Fred Hickman. 

Thank you so much for the time, everybody! Have a wonderful — and safe — rest of your day and, as always, keep solving!

Take care!


Andrew Kingsley’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up

NY Times crossword solution, 4/21/20, no. 0421

The theme revealer is 26d. [Dessert add-on … or what the answer to each starred clue has?], FRUIT TOPPING, and the five themers, all running downwards, begin with a hidden fruit:

  • 3d. [*Teeth, slangily], PEARLY WHITES, with a PEAR.
  • 7d. [*Peacock’s pride], PLUMAGE, with a PLUM.
  • 9d. [*Rite of passage celebrating a 15th birthday], QUINCEAÑERA, with a QUINCE.
  • 30d. [*Air Force aircraft], FIGHTER JETS, with a FIG.
  • 46d. [*Big French daily], LE MONDE, with a LEMON.

Nice! Those fruits are so well disguised.

I got off to a slow start by filling in CHATS for 1a [Some preserved conversations], as in a customer-service chat that’s preserved, and CLICKS for 1d [Selects with a finger, as an app] … but unfortunately, those answers needed to be TAPES and TAPS ON. Oops.

Fave fill: CURLICUES! And KRISHNA, the [Hindu god of love and compassion]. We could all use some compassion these days.

Tardy clue: 54d. [One living the high life?], STONER. In the 4/21 puzzle, not the 4/20!

56d. [Winter hrs. in Winter Haven, Fla.], EST. We’ve been back on daylight saving time for a few weeks, but some people persist in using “EST,” “CST,” PST,” etc. As if we are still on standard time. No fewer than two of my Facebook friends have this as a personal peeve, people inviting them to things in “EST” when we’re not on standard time. I can’t get worked up about it myself. We know what they mean, right? If only the two-letter ET were used to represent the Eastern time zone regardless of standard vs. daylight, eh?

15a. [Bottle that might be labeled “XXX”], ALE / 67a. [Like films labeled “XXX”], ADULT. Missed opportunity: including VIN in the grid and cluing him as [Diesel of 2002’s “xXx”].

Four stars from me.

Matt Jones’s Jonesin’ Crossword, “Around the World in 1,000 Steps” – Derek’s write-up

Jonesin’ 04/21/2020

As the flavortext, let’s take a “world tour”: of a typical home!

  • 17A [*Largest city in Somerset, known for Roman-built spas] BATH, ENGLAND 
  • 21A [*Brooklyn neighborhood, colloquially] BED-STUY 
  • 39A [*City in southern Ontario, a little over an hour from Toronto] KITCHENER, CANADA 
  • 55A [*Country home to Legoland] DENMARK
  • 59A [*Portland thoroughfare often mispronounced by visitors (it’s an “oo” as in “boot”)] COUCH STREET 

I would think unless you are in a mini-studio apartment, you live in a space that has all of these elements: bath, bed, kitchen, den and couch. And if you are missing a den, just pretend it is the area in front of the TV! Nicely done this week. Perhaps another puzzle that is the result of self-isolation and Matt wandering around his house unceasingly? That’s my guess! 4.3 stars this week.

A few more points:

  • 16A [“Ceci n’est pas ___ pipe” (Magritte caption)] UNE – The famous “this is not a pipe” painting that is a pic of a pipe!
  • 23A [Hulu show starring Aidy Bryant] SHRILL – I have heard of this! I may have even seen part of an episode!
  • 2D [“Blue Rondo ___ Turk” (Brubeck song)] A LA – You know this song. Google it if you think you don’t!
  • 18D [2010 Eminem song featuring Lil Wayne] “NO LOVE” – This one I don’t know, but I’ll bet if I do what I just said in the comment for 2D I would find I DO in fact know this song!
  • 51D [Fictional anchorman Howard of “Network”] BEALE – Nice alternative to a street in Memphis!

I will stop there! I am back to work, so I have to wrap this up!

Chase Dittrich’s LA Times crossword – Derek’s write-up

LAT 04/21/2020

Have you ever been on a wild goose chase? That is sort of the mood that is hinted at by this puzzle’s theme! Allow me to explain by listing the theme entries:

  • 20A [Stretched wall hangings] CANVAS PRINTS
  • 27A [Semi-casual garment named for an Atlantic island] BERMUDA SHORTS
  • 42A [Major blood vessel in the neck] CAROTID ARTERY
  • 48A [Waste one’s time … or what 20-, 27- and 42-Across contain?] RUN IN CIRCLES

See what I mean? We are zipping at a high pace in this puzzle, but we literally have running terms in circles. Very nicely done. Kind of how I feel at work sometimes! But who doesn’t anymore! A solid 4.3 stars for this one.

More fun stuff:

  • 16A [Cub or Brave, briefly] NL-ER – They are talking of restarting baseball and doing it like spring training at just a few areas. I wonder how that will work.
  • 5D [The “T” in DPT] TETANUS – Can they add a “C” to this shot for COVID-19??
  • 25D [With 32-Across, record-setting New Orleans Saints quarterback] DREW BREES – Nice that both entries crossed each other. He and Tom Brady are playing chicken seeing who will retire first. The one who stays the longest will likely have passing records that will last for years.
  • 42D [Country with the longest coastline] CANADA – Not much of it is beach!
  • 51D [“The Son of Man” painter Magritte] RENE – This painter was referenced in a Jonesin’ clue today!

Everyone have a great week and continue to stay safe!

Amanda Rafkin & Ross Trudeau’s Wall Street Journal crossword—Nate’s write-up

This power duo is back for another fun puzzle. Hopefully “Blue Notes” won’t make us too sad:

WSJ 4.21.20 Solution

WSJ 4.21.20 Solution

16A: PRISON GUARD [Con tender?]
28A: JACKSON GALAXY [Host of Animal Planet’s “My Cat From Hell”]
34A: ENDS ON GOOD TERMS [Parts amicably]
42A: PRESEASON GAME [Match that doesn’t go on one’s record]
58A: BREAKUP SONG [Track for an aching heart, and a hint to 16-, 28-, 34- and 42-Across]

Each theme entry’s words break up the word SONG. PRI SONG UARD, JACK SONG ALAXY, etc. Nice! I liked that all of the theme entries felt fresh and the cluing, as usual with this pair, was top notch. There were also a number of fantastic women represented in this grid, including LARA Croft, ADA Lovelace, Amy TAN, TERI Garr, and Jane Austen’s EMMA. It’s also not every day that you see a grid with four Xs just casually included throughout!

The only entry I wasn’t super keen on was DR OZ, since he continues to spread misinformation and make incredible statements that surely don’t represent his peers in the medical profession. For example, he recently said it might be worth opening up schools sooner in these Coronavirus days, even if it meant that some children would die. From the linked article: [Oz] said the idea of reopening schools was “an appetizing opportunity” in light of an article in a medical journal “arguing that the opening of schools may only cost us 2 to 3 percent in terms of total mortality.” Yikes.

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7 Responses to Tuesday, April 21, 2020

  1. Billy Boy says:

    NYT, I have a 44A. 29A & 13D (NIT) uh-uh and uh-huh respectively (NAY & YES)

    Phonetically the negative in spoken American English is UNH-uh, uh-uh is a stammer or stutter (Is that Abelist?)

    Anyway, I definitely want quince and fig on my vanilla pudding tonight. Being a fruit and being a legitimate fruit topping are a small overlapping area on a Venn Diagram. But mostly, I thought this puzzle really lacked any rhythm.

    Lovely little puzzle, fun to solve but
    JACKsongALAXY – a new name entirely to me
    Yes there is a SONG in the middle, but the remaining letters so far to me on either side are nonsense. Awaiting insight!


    • pannonica says:

      In my experience, yes is uh-huh (occasionally yah-huh) and no is (phonetically with a glottal stop) uh-uh or nuh-uh.

      Perhaps it’s regional.

      • R says:

        I’d say the same. I definitely hear a nasalized vowel to the first syllable in the negative “uh-uh” in some speakers, but I wouldn’t say it’s universal and I definitely wouldn’t say there’s any standardized way to spell it.

        • placematfan says:

          Watching “Ozark” with subtitles, I encountered for the first time “mnh-mnh”, which I thought a very apt spelling of that particular utterance. I guess it’s “uh-uh” or “nuh-uh” with the mouth closed.

          • Billy Boy says:

            Yeah, I saw that (O$Zark or is it Oz$ark without the ‘special symbol …), too, we’re almost done with S3.

            I’m from CT originally and I guess that’s where I learned unh-uh
            e.g. Wannago?
            UNH-uh, NO way!

            Learn some good things here.

    • Flinty Steve says:

      Breakup Song=the word song is broken (son-g) between two different words in each theme answer.

    • JohnH says:

      I didn’t know Jackson Galaxy either, but it just had to be J, so I was fine with it. OTOH, just to its left and down, I somehow missed the POG trend and what wasn’t a great movie even by Stallone standards (which is saying something), so I was left unsure about the crossing. Maybe “pod” crossing Judd something, I thought?

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