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