Friday, May 22, 2020

Inkubator untimed (Rebecca) 


LAT untimed (pannonica) 


NYT 4:34 (Amy) 


The New Yorker 7:13 (Rachel) 


Universal 5:17 (Jim P) 


Hal Moore’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up

NY Times crossword solution, 5 22 20, no. 0522

Is it just me or was there a definite “old rich dude” vibe here? We had Ronald Reagan cited in the EVIL EMPIRE clue, the Benny Hill–linked YAKETY SAX, PEAT to flavor scotch, AUG clued with reference to corporate reports, Warren Buffett in the EBAY clue, TAX HAVENS, some IDEOLOGUES in that PATRIARCHY, YACHTIE (?!), and the fictional Jack DONAGHY. It’s too much!

On the women’s side, we have Hillary RODHAM, Bambi’s fictional AUNT Ena the DOE, and fictional ALICE. Blurgh.

Seven things:

  • 1a. [Proverbs and the like], FOLK WISDOM. First thought was BIBLE BOOKS but I checked crossings before filling any of that in.
  • 38a. [Internet user’s aid], SITEMAP. Who actually uses a sitemap? Anyone?
  • The image on my favorite hoodie.

    49a. [Soul group that did the soundtrack for “Car Wash”], ROSE ROYCE. A total gimme for me, since I saw the movie and listened to top 40 radio in the ’70s. Watch a joyful Soul Train performance of the song, below.

  • 2d. [Who wrote “Poetry comes fine-spun from a mind at peace”], OVID. Nice quote clue.
  • 4d. [Sheet by a bed, perhaps], KLEENEX. You know what I have discovered in these recent pandemic months? That store-brand facial tissues are perfectly fine, and my longstanding preference for Puffs is needless. My brand loyalty has been shot to hell by so many items being out of stock.
  • 7d. [They’ll surely be mist], SPRAYS. Cute. Although there are sprays that aren’t mists.
  • 24d. [Classic source of damask], SYRIA. Named for Damascus.

3.5 stars from me.

Elizabeth C. Gorski’s New Yorker crossword – Rachel’s writeup

Short writeup today! Although I loved the marquee entries in this puzzle (HARLEM NOCTURNE / YOU’RE KILLING IT) and the cluing was top-notch, the fill is a bit clunky in places, so I can’t say I was blown away by this puzzle. I enjoyed the solve, but it wasn’t my favorite themeless I’ve encountered this week.

The New Yorker crossword solution • Elizabeth C. Gorski • Friday, May 22, 2020

Other great long entries included DAYCATIONS, COSA NOSTRA, COLANDERS (which I could have sworn had two Ls in it), OUTSKIRTS, AESTHETE, PARSNIPS. It was weird to see ECOLAW in the puzzle the day after it appeared in the NYT—not a super common entry!

Fill I could live without: NRA (thankfully clued without reference to the domestic terrorist group, but still better left out of the grid altogether), OIS, YDS, ROK, ZEP, TEM, PAS, H. ROSS, A DROP, OLEO, KNORR. A pretty long list, and though it was in service to marquis entries I enjoyed, I’m not convinced the tradeoff was worth it here.

Favorite wordplay clues: [Straight partner] for NARROW and [French bread since 2002] for EURO, both without ?s!

Overall, lots of stars for the long entries and cluing, but not all of the stars due to the rickety fill. Happy Friday team!

Alex Briñas’s Inkubator crossword, “Period Piece”—Rebecca’s review

THEME: Period products are hidden in each theme answer

Inkubator, “Period Piece” Alex Briñas, May 21, 2020, solution grid

  • 18A [Art of hat-making] MILLINERY
  • 23A [Halt, as something harmful] STAMP ON
  • 36A [Confessed] DISCLOSED
  • 50A [Hinge or Tinder alternative] OK CUPID
  • 56A [Frivolous adventures] ESCAPADES

When I saw the title of this puzzle, I was hoping it would be menstruation related, and as soon as I came to STAMP ON I got excited. I really enjoyed the range of the theme answers as well – their randomness tied together by the theme. The set of products felt very full as well, with nothing left out.

Really smooth fill throughout the grid – with a lot that was very much in my wheelhouse, letting me fly through the puzzle. So many great people in this puzzle – including the ICONIC Little RICHARD, ALI WONG, Tracee ELLIS Ross, and KARAMO Brown.

Great clue for EMPIRE [Galactic government ruled by the Sith in “Star Wars”], given that yesterday was the 40th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back. My favorite clue, as an owner of Red Eared Sliders and lover of TMNT and all things Mario, goes to TURTLE [Leonardo or Koopa Troopa… more or less].

And here’s a best of ALI WONG if you need some laughs:

Kevin Christian’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

LAT • 5/22/20 • Fri • Christian • solution • 20200522

It’s one of those before-and-after type word sequences. What TIES these four TOgether (≈27d) is that the transitional word functions as a homonym for a letter.

  • 17a. [One studying the waters near England?] IRISH SEA {C-} STUDENT.
  • 27a. [Communication device with a fancy patterned case?] TIGER EYE {i} PHONE.
  • 47a. [Part of a Chinese restaurant’s expenses?] OOLONG TEA {T-} BILL.
  • 62a. [Nutrition for a leading insect?] QUEEN BEE {B} VITAMIN.

All well and good, though I’m disappointed the transitional ‘letters’—C-I-T-B—don’t spell or phoneticize to anything.

  • At 13-down [Comprehends] I was hedging between GETS and SEES. Turned out to be the former, but l&b 22a comes along and it’s the same clue with SEES as the answer!
  • 16a [“Odyssey” enchantress] CIRCE. Anyone else pronounce this with hard Cs (Kirkē)?
  • 36a [Dinner party insert] LEAF. Huh? Someone explain?
  • 38a [There are two pennies in a classic one] ADAGE. Thoughts? Thoughts? Opinion, anyone?
  • 26d [Antepenultimate Greek letter] CHI (… psi, omega).
  • Liked the colloquial quality of 37d [“I’d like to know more”] FILL ME IN.
  • 48d [Rookie, briefly] NEWB. Wikipedia’s newbie entry lists additional variants noob, nub, and n00b. It further elucidates: “in some contexts a ‘newb’ refers to a beginner who is willing to learn; while a ‘noob’, refers disparagingly to an inexperienced or under-talented hacker or gamer who lacks the determination to learn.”
  • Appreciate the non-triggering framing for 63d NRA, [FDR “fair practices” agency]. Now if we could just make a concerted effort to present 51a LEER differently; a good option would be ‘to read’ in Spanish. It’s a common verb and appropriate to word puzzles.
  • 24d [“Nessun dorma,” e.g.] ARIA.

Fred Piscop’s Universal crossword, “Dehydrogenated”—Jim P’s review

Dehydrogenation is the removal of hydrogen from a molecule, ergo we have theme answers missing an H.

Universal crossword solution · “Dehydrogenated” · Fred Piscop · Fri., 5.22.20

  • 17a [Person listening for melodious bird calls?] TRILL SEEKER. Thrill…
  • 28a [What a matching set of tires shares?] COMMON TREAD. …thread.
  • 45a [“Sap stick” comedy group?] TREE STOOGES. Three.
  • 58a [What every astronaut needs?] ROCKET TRUST. …thrust.

Yesterday I gave a lesson in speaking Chamorro (Guamanian). Today’s theme seems like another one. I’ve been hearing people speak like this since I was about, oh, tree years old. Other Chamorro words you should know: true (“to get to the beach, you have to go true the jungle”), trow (“trow me that coconut”), and triff (“look at this nice shirt I got at the triff store!”). Needless to say, I enjoyed this theme.

Other goodies in the fill I liked: “SILENCE!,” ME TOO, BARISTAPYREX, DABBLE, “I’M BEAT,” and PSALTER, even though that last one was tough. There are some mid-range entries ASSORTS, EMENDS, ACETONE, O-RING that are on the DRAB side.

Clues of note:

  • 27a. [Bossy remark?]. MOO. New to me. I didn’t know farmers referred to cows as “boss.” Here’s why.
  • 30d. [Silence-breakers’ movement]. ME TOO.  I don’t usually care too much about clues duping entries, but SILENCE is in one of the marquee spots in the grid, so maybe this one should’ve been changed.

Nice theme (extra fun for me) and solid-enough fill. 3.5 stars.

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

19 Responses to Friday, May 22, 2020

  1. John A says:

    It’s just you.

  2. WhiskyBill says:

    Re: LAT puzzle, 36a: “LEAF.”

    When one is throwing a dinner party, and one has a particular kind of dining room table, to accommodate the additional guests, one pulls the table apart and inserts a wooden LEAF (of the table) into the opening. The two ends are pushed back together, and a longer, more accommodating table is the result.

    I googled looking for a nice link, and found a few serviceable ones, but none worth putting here.

  3. BarbaraK says:

    LAT: “36a [Dinner party insert] LEAF. Huh? Someone explain?”
    With more people, you need a bigger dining room table, so you insert the removable leaf.

  4. pannonica says:

    Oh, of course. I know what a table leaf is. Just wasn’t thinking that way. Thank you both.

  5. Dave S says:

    LAT felt a bit tired, starting with the always unwelcome “neato.”

  6. Gene says:

    Not sure why PEAT, and especially IDEOLOGUES, suggest “dudes”. Seems to me that’s only a predisposition to seeing dude culture.

    • Amy Reynaldo says:

      There’s a lot of expensive scotch out there, and a majority of American whisky drinkers are men (my go-to PEAT reference would be natural bogs). Hal Moore’s constructor notes at Wordplay linked SEN. Tom Cotton to IDEOLOGUES; Cotton isn’t rich but he’s certainly powerful. Also, the other entries with the “rich dude” vibe primed me to view everything else through that lens, just as a crusty piece of crosswordese at 1-Across primes me to pick up on other crusty fill throughout the puzzle.

    • Billy Boy says:

      Shhhh, we’re under attack.

      I despise peaty whiskys, therefore I know to avoid them.

      Cheers, but not with Ardbeg.

      • WhiskyBill says:

        Ardbeg is as over-the-top agressive as many IPAs, but there are many lovely lightly-peated whiskies, at least to my palate.

      • WhiskyBill says:

        There are many lovely lightly-peated whiskies, at least to my palate.

  7. Christopher Smith says:

    TNY: Um, COSA NOSTRA without the “La”? As if the initials LCN weren’t commonly used? Perhaps New York doesn’t have enough history with this organization.

    • Amy Reynaldo says:

      Beg pardon? I know the term mainly from crossword clues for COSA, and none of the 56 COSA clues in Cruciverb’s database include “La.” I’ve never seen the initials. Maybe you travel in more mobbed-up circles than I do?

  8. RichardZ says:

    I believe 38A [ADAGE] in today’s LAT refers to the saying “A penny saved is a penny earned.”

  9. A says:

    Anyone else having trouble printing the NYT variety puzzles?

  10. Billy Boy says:

    Finally got to and did Universal late in the day, as usual highly enjoyable.

    Re: MOO – Bossie like Bessie might be more common spelling as regards a cow name as the piece states but wouldn’t work as a clue. However, it would make the pair a gimme. I had no problem with it didn’t give it a second thought until the comment seen.

    Feel free to ignore this comment.

  11. Dave MB says:

    La Times – May 22. 50 down: “Whatevs”. How does that relate to “I’m easy?”

Comments are closed.