Michael Hawkins’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
You don’t often get back-to-back constructors with the same surname! Michael, no relation to constructor Kate Hawkins, is married to a Kate. Go figure.
I went to my computer to get the puzzle, and my son came into the room to tell us that Chadwick Boseman had died. So then I spent the next hour or two feeling sad and absorbing the many social media posts grieving that loss. A huge talent, a good guy, and astonishingly strong to have made so many films while fighting a cancer none of us knew he had. Suffice it to say, I’m not feeling too focused on the puzzle tonight.
The crossword is jam-packed with great fill: CASH ONLY, HIT MIC, “AFTER YOU,” CHINOOK, TYLENOL, HEADFAKE, US VS THEM, “OH, IT’S ON NOW,” SIDE HUSTLE, K-POP, “MAHNA MAHNA,” and IDIOT-PROOF. ANT-MAN, as played by Paul Rudd in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, shared the screen with Boseman’s Black Panther in two movies.
Nice to see POLAND get a Marie Curie clue.
4.5 stars from me. Really enjoyed the puzzle.
Gary Larson’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Perfect Pitch” — pannonica’s write-up
Classic advertising slogans reimagined as being applied to other businesses/industries.
- 24a. [Slogan for a law firm?] WE TRY HARDER. Playing on the judicial definition of ‘try’.
- 26a. [Slogan for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America?] THIS BUD’S FOR YOU. Buddies.
- 44a. [Slogan for the Anti-Defamation League?] STRONGER THAN DIRT.
- 67a. [Slogan for Tinder?] THE QUICKER PICKER-UPPER. hm.
- 92a. [Slogan for a gossip tabloid] HOME OF THE WHOPPER. Seems more honest than such a publication would wish to advertise. I do like how it’s symmetrically opposite to the DIRT one at 67-across.
- 109a. [Slogan for a psychiatrist?] THINK DIFFERENT. I gather this would suggest cognitive behavioral therapy, that that’s what’s indicated here?
- 116a. [Slogan for the NSA?] INTEL INSIDE. This one actually includes the original company’s name. (26-across presents a shortened form).
I guess I’m buying what Larson’s selling.
- 1a [Well-connected device] PUMP. Ooh, tricksy, no-question mark clue right at the start. So that’s how it’s gonna be. 103d [“Okay, now the gloves are off!”] IT’S ON.
- 34a [ Crude or rude] COARSE. Always appreciate it when one of these two-example clues have an extra element such as alliteration or, as here, a rhyme.
- 43a [Two-tone mammal] ORCA. Just the other day I saw a clue for this crossword habitué that was something like [Six-ton mammal]. (That would apply to a male specimen.)
- 56a [She sang at the march where Martin Luther King Jr. made his “I Have a Dream” speech] ODETTA. 59a [Song of praise] HYMN.
- 75a [Winner of both comedy and drama Emmys for the same role] ED ASNER. Have always liked this bit of trivia. Role of course is Lou Grant, first in the Mary Tyler Moore Show and then in the more serious, eponymous spinoff.
- 99a [Straw in the wind] OMEN. Huh? … (some moments later) … Huh! I was unfamiliar with that idiom. Another new one on me: 62a SKETCH in the sense of [Hilarious person]. m-w doesn’t list it, but American Heritage does.
- Another esoteric—or at least recondite—definition! 72d [Click beetle] ELATER. Once again, m-w omits this sense and American Heritage provides it.
- 78d [Whiff] ODOR. I always appreciate it when this word is clued without being pejorative.
- 82d [Approving online initialism] FTW, “for the win”.
- 119a [Cockpit gauge] ALTIMETER. This was the best way I could find to shoehorn a reference to Charlie Parker into today’s write-up. It’s his centennial today. Unbelievably, no Google doodle!
Gail Grabowski’s LA Times crossword – Derek’s write-up
Fun one today! Quick time on this one, but I actually tried to rush. I had a decent time at the recent Lollapuzzoola, but I still do not fly around the keyboard while solving like some of these others. Which is weird since I have been solving for years on a computer! I think I need to stop using the mouse; that slows me down moving from the mouse to the keyboard and back. We shall see. In the meantime, great puzzle Gail! 4.4 stars.
- 15A [Carpenter’s accessory] NAIL APRON – Do they still use these? Even Norm didn’t always wear one on The New Yankee Workshop, a show I desperately miss watching. (This just in: a lot of the episodes are online! And in the one I was watching, he DID have a nail apron on!)
- 33A [Diner’s grazing spot] SALAD BAR – Do these still exist in the COVID era?
- 43A [11-time Gold Glove-winning shortstop Vizquel] OMAR – Might be hard for a non-sports fan, but this is a gimme for me.
- 54A [Did some course work] COOKED – This is a sneakily good clue!
- 59A [Douze mois] ANNEE – My French from school all those years ago still pays off!
- 63A [Enclosure for dangerous underwater cinematography] STEEL CAGE – No thank you. I will never be in one of these.
- 11D [Bremner of “Black Hawk Down”] EWEN – This dude had better make more movies and become crazy famous for crossword purposes!
- 13D [Avenue after Reading Railroad] ORIENTAL – Haven’t seen a Monopoly reference in a puzzle in quite a while.
- 21D [Model 3 autos] TESLAS – My 8 year old would know this clue!
- 35D [Toys that run on tracks] SLOT CARS – My 8 year old would also enjoy one of these! Perhaps I will get him one like I had when I was his age!
I will stop there! Off to do more puzzles!
Matthew Sewell’s Newsday crossword, “Saturday Stumper” – Derek’s write-up
Stumped again. There was a slightly easier offering by Stan in the last week or so, which should have warned me. I have had some trouble sleeping this week, so that is my story and I am sticking to it! After the mighty struggle, I am surprised I only had the two error marks visible on the left side of the grid. But this was a brutal struggle. I may need a nap today. 4.5 stars for a toughie
- 1A [Creators of story lines] ARCHITECTS – Great entry for 1-Across! Wonderful clue.
- 15A [Approaches a runway too fast] COMES IN HOT – This is evoking a terrifying mental picture.
- 25A [The high-flying Global Hawk] SPY PLANE – I think these were called AWACS years ago. Or maybe that was a different type of plane. I have no idea what I am talking about.
- 43A [Copy righting] ERRATA – This is another good clue.
- 46A [Queen Victoria learned it from an Indian Muslim] URDU – There are so many languages to learn. Why learn this one? I’ll bet it is difficult.
- 61A [Ferocious problem-solvers] TIGER TEAMS – I don’t know this term. Where is this even from?
- 8D [Green-haired Lincoln or Washington] CHIA PET – I always said this was the type of cat my wife could have. We now have an actual cat, and it is sitting next to me as I type this!
- 10D [Villain in numerous fairy tales] STEP-PARENT – Is there a fairy tale other than Cinderella that this appears? Maybe Hansel & Gretel?
- 24D [Disney’s Toontown patsy] ROGER RABBIT – Was this a Disney movie as well? I don’t remember it being Disney when it first came out decades ago.
- 28D [Zachary Taylor/Santa Anna battle] BUENA VISTA – This is difficult. I am not that familiar with Mexican-American War battles!
Everyone have a safe and healthy weekend!
Christopher Adams’ Universal crossword — “Get Cooking” – Jim Q’s Write-up
Delicious fare served up by Christopher Adams today!
THEME: Samin Nosrat’s cooking book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat
- 15A [Bratty girl in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”] VERUCA SALT.
- 23A [Talk, talk, talk] CHEW THE FAT.
- 45A [It’s in lemons and limes] CITRIC ACID.
- 54A [’60s band that indirectly took its name from Sterno] CANNED HEAT.
- 33A [Author of the influential 2017 cookbook whose title appears at the ends of 15-, 23-, 45- and 54-Across] SAMIN NOSRAT.
I confess that SAMIN NOSRAT is completely new to me, and I needed every cross, but I loved this grid! Looks like a themeless, doesn’t it? Not often you see a 7-letter entry at 1-Across in a themed puzzle. And it was fresh, too! Great fill included AT THE HALF (a bit of side eye for crossing AT RISK though), UNLEARN, SO IT GOES, Cuddle SESH, and BE REAL.
New for me was SCIMITARS and LAHTI. Unfortunately, they cross at the tough-to-infer T.
I went down a rabbit hole looking up SAMIN NOSRAT. She seems like the most fun person in the world. A Netflix documentary is coming out this October with the same title as the book. Looking forward to that!