Saturday, May 2, 2020

LAT 4:47 (Derek) 


Newsday 17:24 (Derek) 


NYT 4:41 (Amy) 


Universal tk (Jim Q) 


WSJ untimed (pannonica) 


Paolo Pasco’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up

NYT • 5/2/20 • Sat • Pasco • solution • 20200502

What a pretty, flowy grid! Sort of a super S with various paths to meander while solving. Not as challenging as I was hoping, though.

It’s a chatty grid. There’s the Twitter-friendly SAID NO ONE EVER, down-home “LAND SAKES’ ALIVE,” “DENY, DENY, DENY,” and “CLIMB IN.” I’m also fond of FREE-THINKING, VEGETABLE STOCK, SANSKRIT, and LIFEHACK.

Seven more things:

19a. [Emulate Beyoncé in 2003] GO SOLO. This week’s new Beyoncé content is the remix of Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage,” and Queen Bey’s guest verses are all rapped. The money Megan and Beyoncé earn from the song is going to an organization called Bread of Life Houston.

29a. [Kind of diet that can help lower blood pressure], NO SALT. That’s not really a thing, I don’t think. No added salt. Reduced salt. But straight-up none? You’d end up hyponatremic, losing your mind from not having enough sodium in your bloodstream.

27a. [Leaves back at the house, maybe], FORGETS. I absolutely decided this clue was talking about tree leaves in the backyard.

Did not know: 14d. [Heroine in Verdi’s “Il Trovatore”], LEONORA.

15d. [Get carried away], DRIFT. Just seeing the word in the grid implanted a “Drift Away” earworm.

31d. [Caddy alternative], TEA RACK. This is maybe a thing I have never heard of? I guess restaurants might have them? Do you know anyone with a tea rack at home?

50d. [Obsessive fan, slangily], STAN. Inspired by Eminem’s song, “Stan.” It’s also a verb, as in “Paolo put SAID NO ONE EVER in his grid and we have no choice but to stan.”

Four stars from me.

Lars G. Doubleday’s Newsday crossword, “Saturday Stumper” – Derek’s write-up

Newsday 05/02/2020

I thought I had this one in the bag! I had about 1/3 of the grid filled in almost immediately. Then it became a Stumper. The left half of the grid I found fairly easy, and for once I had 1-Across and that whole area filled rather quickly! But, as you can see from the error marks in the grid, it was quite the slog. I forget who this pseudonym is a hybrid of, but this is quite the puzzle. I hope you found it a satisfying challenge as well! 4.6 stars today.

Some of that hard stuff:

  • 27A [Sushi restaurant serving] SAKE SET – I have no idea what this is. Is it one word? Is this a set of sake cups? Bottles??
  • 36A [Humorous movement] SCHERZO – This is really hard, unless you’re a classical musician!
  • 54A [Mexican pork-and-hominy dish] POSOLE – This can be spelled with a Z instead of an S, at least that is what Google told me. I have never had this, but it sounds tasty!
  • 60A [Whodunit plot element] RAT POISON – Yes, and the butler did it.
  • 63A [Mozart, fraternally] FREEMASON – Does that mean he was part of the Illuminati as well?
  • 65A [Timber flaw resembling flowers] STAR SHAKE – Again, is this one word or two? I suppose a lumberjack would know this, but I learned a new term here.
  • 12D [Torn] IN A DILEMMA – I had this ending in A, and had no clue. But after solving, I think this was a great “a-ha!” moment.
  • 13D [Father-to-be] SEMINARIAN – Oh, THAT kind of Father!
  • 28D [Whistler in 10 films] ARTOO DETOO – This was another head-slapper after solving. An entertaining clue!
  • 30D [Hopping Saharan rodent] JERBOA – I guessed at this, only because I remember Jerboa Jump from the old Tennessee Tuxedo cartoons! Yes, I am that old.
  • 56D [Your expression] LOOK – I wrote MIEN in here at first. LOOK is too easy!

I will stop there! There is finally a day to do yardwork! Also, there is a new Panda Magazine coming out later today! Lots to do!

Trent H. Evans’s LA Times crossword – Derek’s write-up

LAT 05/02/2020

I am sure I have done puzzles by this constructor before, but it seems like it has been a while! I should probably be keeping some sort of database about who I am blogging about; there’s another fine quarantine activity to get started! Breezed through this one, so maybe I am rounding into ACPT form, if that in fact does happen this coming September. Will we be back to normal soon? It is hard to say. Until then, we will keep puzzling! I think I am on Trent’s wavelength, and I vaguely remember saying something similar when reviewing his puzzles before. A fun solve this week; 4.3 stars.

Some of that fun stuff:

  • 15A [Green getaway] ECOHOTEL – The ACPT might be my next stay in a hotel. I have no plans as of this moment!
  • 22A [When things just don’t click] OFF DAY – I had BAD DAY in here at first. I think I had that song by Daniel Powter in my head from another puzzle this past week!
  • 37A [High-speed metaphor] PEDAL TO THE METAL – Not quite how I drove my UPS truck!
  • 65A [Father figure?] DAD BOD – I am getting one of these. I need to get back to running. I might even have a “grand-dad bod” at this point; everything is falling apart!
  • 6D [Not very much] A TINY BIT – No NYT hits for this. I am not sure this would even be allowed there; they have limits on partial phrases, which this kind of is.
  • 13D [Divided island north of Australia] TIMOR – Where East Timor is, obviously. No, there is no West Timor. I don’t think.
  • 14D [“Don’t Rain on My Parade” composer] STYNE – Why don’t I know who this is??
  • 35D [Nevada tourist mecca] TAHOE – Let’s go. In 2021.
  • 40D [Choice event] ELECTION – I had ELECTIVE, as in an optional class in school. Elections as a choice almost seems like an oxymoron!
  • 45D [Prepared a bed, maybe] WEEDED – I will be doing this today! It will be warm today!

Everyone have a safe and healthy weekend!

Gary Larson’s Wall Street Journal, “The In Crowd” — pannonica’s write-up

Let’s just put this here first, shall we?

All right, now that we have some mood music going, here’s the crossword.

WSJ • 5/2/20 • “The In Crowd” • Larson • Sat • solution • 20200502

Theme is two-word phrases—the first word ending with -IN—parsed as three words, with IN becoming a preposition.

  • 23a. [Missed the “Wet Varnish” sign on a bench?] SAT IN FINISH.
  • 25a. [Recording studio engineer’s mistake?] MUFF IN MIX.
  • 45a. [Good-natured sorts serving at a trial?] SPORTS IN JURY.
  • 68a. [Name-tape inscription on a cleric’s robe?] INITIAL IN VESTMENT. Ooh. Definitely the marquee entry.
  • 93a. [Mistake when typing a “Star Wars” name?] SPACE IN VADER. Meta!
  • 114a. [Steal from one’s neighbors?] ROB IN HOOD.
  • 118a. [Poster image for Lundgren’s bank heist flick?] DOLPH IN SAFE.
  • 37d. [Austin Powers’s nemesis on a camping trip?] EVIL IN TENT.
  • 51d. [What “Land ho!” often indicates?] KEY IN SIGHT.

These are all quite clever and entertaining. And there are quite a lot of them.

Puzzle flowed smoothly for me, with a slight snag finishing up MUFFIN in the northeast. Affected by the tough-ish clues for 34a [Knight spot?] CASTLE, 35d [People] SOULS, 13d [Very] AWFULLY, 43a [Follower of a touchdown, perhaps] LAYOVER.

I believe some of us can relate.

  • 19a [Trouble for an intelligence agency] LEAK. Also trouble for a 20a [Washroom fixture] TOILET.
  • 3d [Relay needs] BATONS.
  • 9d [Twiggy digs] NEST, 41d [Piggy digs] STY.
  • 53a [Word of encouragement] OLÉ, 54a [Tourists , in Hawaii] HAOLES.
  • 89d [Peter Gunn’s girlfriend] EDIE. That’s reaching back quite a ways for an alternative to Falco, Brickell, Sedgwick.
  • Favorite clues: 48a [Post with advice] EMILY, 52a [Under the influence?] SWAYED, 106a [Stranded item] PEARL.
  • 91a [Saxophonist Beneke] TEX. Had no idea about this one. He played in Glenn Miller’s orchestra, most notably.
  • 7d [Outfielder’s cry] MINE.

This entry was posted in Daily Puzzles and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Saturday, May 2, 2020

  1. maxine nerdström says:

    I really liked the NYT but it did seem easy for a Saturday. Maybe I was just really on a wavelength with the constructor, but my time was about 1/3 what the app says is my average for a Saturday puzz. I thought the same thing about NOSALT— that diet isn’t one eaten by living people. FREETHINKING is a wonderful 1A entry and the rest of the fill was super fresh. It was fun seeing ROSA Diaz too.

    • Kate says:

      I set a new time record for this one, too (NYT) – definitely easy for a Saturday, I think!

  2. Pamela Kelly says:

    Really wonderful puzzle. Enjoyed it from start to finish! Thank you Paolo!

  3. Gary R says:

    Fast Saturday NYT for me, as well. Would have been even faster if I hadn’t held onto VEGETABLE broth at 50-A for a long time. I think the cluing was unusually straightforward for a Saturday puzzle – almost no misdirection or clever wordplay.

    I did not know STAN or STACY, but the crossing wasn’t hard to guess. When I looked at STAN, I assumed it was a portmanteau of something and “fan.”

    I looked up the lyrics to the Eminem song, and was surprised that they seemed familiar (I don’t listen to a lot of Eminem). Then I realized some of the lyrics are very similar to Dido’s Thank You. Turns out Dido is listed as a co-writer on Stan, and Stan is the guy Dido was singing to in the earlier song.

  4. Billy Boy says:

    NYT easiest yet for me, Amy’s time reinforces that. Less than a cup of coffee here. Checking the comment made so far, the verdict is unlikely to change. Good puzzle, nonetheless.

    ST(alker F)AN made perfect sense, thought it sport, not white rap

    I really liked your address to NO SALT, I guess no (added) salt is a bit like ice(D) tea, against the grain for a word freak/grammarian.

  5. MattF says:

    The NYT started out slowly for me; I was bracing for a slow solve. But then, all of a sudden, it was done, in a time much below average for a Sat. Good puzzle.

  6. R Cook says:

    I had the opposite experience with the Stumper (i.e., the right side was easy). I got hung up on food terms I didn’t know and a refusal to admit CHEZ can mean ”with“. (Also, not knowing who Ed Ames is didn’t help.)

  7. huda says:

    NYT: Well done! I liked how talky it was.

  8. David L says:

    Hmm, I found the NYT a tad harder than yesterday’s, and there were several things I didn’t care for. NOSALT, as Amy said, is just wrong. LANDSAKESALIVE seems like two expressions jammed together. GETSFAT and IBAR are pretty random. There was good stuff too but overall this seemed kinda average to me.

  9. Stephen B. Manion says:

    Easy puzzle.

    The expression for NO SALT that I lived with for many years is SALT FREE. My mother had a serious kidney condition when I was growing up that required her to live on a SALT FREE DIET. I grew to love SALT FREE bread from DiCamillo’s bakery in Niagara Falls. If you ever visit the Falls, stop in to DiCamillo’s, the best bakery in the history of the world.

  10. RM Camp says:

    Spot on with FORGETting the leaves. I have two huge spots of mud and dead grass in the front yard beneath the leaves that we finally cleared out this week. I didn’t forget them, per se, but I got sick (with what I believe was pre-pandemic CoV) during the week I’d planned to get around to it.

    I initially put in LO SALT, which threw me for a bit but the solve was indeed considerably quicker than average.

  11. Me says:

    Gary R, I couldn’t really tell from your message whether you know this already or not, but Dido’s Thank You came out first, in 1998. Eminem’s Stan took several lines from the song and had Dido sing them on the Eminem track in 2000. Then, at least in the US, Dido’s Thank You was released as a single after Stan was released, and it became a hit in 2001. But it was written earlier.

    Both are great songs, though.

  12. pseudonym says:

    “The left half of the grid I found fairly easy…”

    Me too, Derek. JERBOA, JUDE LAW, SCHERZO, STAR SHAKE, POSOLE. ORLEANS, GERI, and others in the east. Good puzzle still.

  13. Norm says:

    Liked the WSJ but a couple of the “in” phrases were off key. No one — even SPORTS — sits IN a jury: we all sit ON a jury. I had the same issue with initial IN vestment. No no no; it was ON the ROBE. The others made up for it — especially SPACE IN VADER … and I had to pause to wipe up the coffee I spit out when I got that one. Lovely puzzle; I just had to pick those nits.

  14. Seth says:

    NYT: How are DENTS bits of progress?

    • pannonica says:

      dent noun (1)
      Definition of dent (Entry 2 of 6)
      1: a depression or hollow made by a blow or by pressure
      2: an appreciable impression or effect often made against resistance
      hasn’t made a dent in the problem
      specifically : a weakening or lessening effect
      costs that have made a dent in the budget

      ( )

  15. Teedmn says:

    The Stumper was awesome in a really tough way. Having logIc at 8D for most of my solve kept me out of the NW for a long time. 30A ending in LAW – scoffLAW didn’t fit. Must add JERBOA to my rodent collection!

Comments are closed.