Friday, September 18, 2020

LAT untimed (pannonica) 


NYT 4:42 (Amy) 


The New Yorker 6:16 (Rachel) 


Universal 4:37 (Jim P) 


Anne Larsen & Daniel Larsen’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up

NY Times crossword solution, 9 18 20, no. 0918

Isn’t it vexatious when you make a careless typo and then it takes awhile to find it? Adjacent-key typo gave me NEETLE crossing EPALAN in lieu of BEETLE and EPA LAB. Oops!

Fave fill: BEYOND MEAT (though I can’t summon up much interest in eating fake meats—I like my vegetarian food to be its honest self), NET NEUTRALITY, GAME PLAN, and CHE GUEVARA.

I wasn’t feeling the vibe for NOT A HOPE, NONSLIP, “YOU BET I CAN,” ONE-SEATERS, EPA LAB, and EM SPACE.

Five more things:

  • 18a. [Much-discussed immigration measure first introduced in 2001], DREAM ACT. It bears noting that the DREAM Act never passed. Instead we have DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals}, which the current administration has been chipping away at and I disapprove of that.
  • 39a. [Pat on the back, maybe], BURP / 46a. [Nice things to get on the back, but not on the face], SLAPS. Nice clue combo here.
  • 55a. [Area including Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas], RICE BELT. In another 20 to 40 years, that likely won’t be true. Climate change will make it too hot for farming in those states, Pro Publica reports.
  • 6d. [Fortification-breaching bomb], PETARD. This was an answer to a recent Learned League trivia question: “What is the name for the instrument of war—a small box filled with gunpowder and used as a bomb to blast through a gate or barricade—that appears in a famous quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, in reference to how Claudius was hoist with one of his own making?” I do enjoy Learned League. So do some quizzers in India, according to the Hindustan Times! (See also: 49d. [Member of the South Asian diaspora], DESI. That’s not pronounced like Desi Arnaz—it’s closer to day-see. Thank you to comedian Hasan Minhaj for enlightening me!)
  • 1a. [Part of a boot], TOECAP. That’s not a part of most boots, is it? No, it isn’t. Primarily work boots. I’ve never had a pair of work boots in my life.

3.25 stars from me. Enjoy your Friday! (Thank goodness for the crossword schedule to give me some idea of what day of the week it is.)

Anna Shechtman’s New Yorker crossword – Rachel’s writeup

Gooood morning, it is Friday! Short bullet-pointed writeup today because of an 8am faculty meeting. Truly inhumane.

The New Yorker crossword solution • Anna Shechtman • Friday, September 18, 2020

  • I had some highs and lows with this puzzle! I really enjoyed the SE corner, with SHTICKY, CATNIP, RED PENCIL, REDUCTIVE, and of course RACHEL. I was less excited about some of the other long entries, like DRY COUNTY / RAW CARROT.
  • Tricky crossing at DERRIDA / SLA — was able to guess, but this might be a tough spot for some solvers?
  • I adore Troy Polamalu (who is SAMOAN by heritage, per the clue) with my whole heart and wear his jersey almost every Sunday from September-January (let’s see how that goes this year, eh?)
  • Some partials that were not ideal (IT AND / ONE EAR)
  • Never heard of RAM DASS, will have to read the wikipedia article later!
  • Representation:  Lots of 20th century feminists [MARY BEARD, Betty Friedan, Pauli Murray], Troy Polamalu/The Rock
  • I swear I’ve seen this clue for BROMANCE before [It might bloom between buds?]? Oh, yep, a Neville Fogarty 2018 NYT. It’s a good clue!!
  • Love the grid design
  • Not keen on plural IKES / ESTS, and is that how you spell UPSY-daisy? I think I thought it was “Oopsy”

Overall, plenty of stars from me, with minor deductions for a few tricky spots/less than ideal fill. Happy weekend!

David Van Houten’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

LAT • 9/18/20 • Fri • Van Houten • solution • 20200918

Perfect revealer, which is pretty obviously (as is so often the case) the inspiration for the theme.

  • 55aR [Hangover … and a hint to 20-, 34- and 41-Across] MORNING AFTER. The bigram AM—which ostensibly stands for ante meridian—is affixed to the ends of existing phrases for the standard dose of wackiness.
  • 20a. [Nickname for the first Web user?] INTERNET ADAM (internet ad). À la mitochondrial Eve, et al. (38d [Portentious time] EVE.)
  • 34a. [General Motors toy?] BABY GRAND-AM (baby grand).
  • 41a. [Cheese snack for the road?] DRIVER’S EDAM (driver’s ed).

These work well.

  • 23a [California peaks, with “the”] SIERRAS. SHASTAS, my first try, was misbegotten in more ways than one.
  • 46a [Volume-increasing addition, usually] ESS. Took me a while to understand this wasn’t -ess but simply -s in its pluralizing role (as opposed to its possessivizing one, as in its).
  • 61a [SoFi Stadium NFLer] LA RAM. Had to look up the company. Social Finance, Inc. This is a brand-new arena. I guess they know all about it at the Los Angeles Times. I suppose we’ll be seeing SOFI as a crossword entry in due course.
  • 1a [Sit tight] BIDE, 66a [Remained idle] SAT.
  • 14d [Adjective for Alexander’s day, in Judith Viorst’s kids’ book] TERRIBLE. Others are horrible, [no] good, and [very] bad.
  • 26d [It might be spitting] IMAGE. Corrupted from ‘spit-and-image’ (probably).
  • 35d [Baby beds] BASSINETS, which always sounds like a musical instrument to me. Merriam-Webster suggests the etymology as “probably modification of French barcelonnette, diminutive of berceau cradle”, while American Heritage says “French, small basin, diminutive of bassin, basin, from Old French bacin; see BASIN“. Unfortunate that this clue not only duplicates but crosses themer BABY GRAND-AMS.
  • 59d [Pound sound] MEW. We usually think of pounds as being dog-centric, yes?
  • Favorite clues: 13a [Isn’t with more people?] AREN’T – a well-established misdirection, but I like the phrasing here. 17a [French toast part] SANTÉ – ditto (a votre santé). 12d [Example, for instance: Abbr.] SYN – a well-disguised clue for synonym.
  • 60a [Ambient music pioneer Brian] ENO.

Roland Huget’s Universal crossword, “Look for a Guy”—Jim P’s review

This is almost the same theme as yesterday’s WSJ puzzle. This one however has generic words for guys hidden in well-known phrases (but without the added constraint of the outer letters spelling a different word).

Universal crossword solution · “Look for a Guy” · Roland Huget · Fri., 9.18.20

  • 17a. [*Traditional Easter meal] LAMB ROAST
  • 25a. [*Brahma or Devi] HINDU DEITY
  • 36a. [*2010 act that gave coverage to millions, informally] OBAMACARE
  • 51a. [*Intensive care enclosure] OXYGEN TENT

This works. Nothing too flashy, but the theme answers are all interesting and well-chosen.

I will note this here though I failed to note it yesterday where it was more apt, but it’s a nice touch that the “guy” words are all in the exact centers of their phrases.

The nine-letter central theme answer means our corners have stacks of sevens, and there isn’t any particularly long sparkly fill to admire. The sevens are mostly good though with ECLIPSE, GYM GEAR, LOW TIDE, SWEETIE, ANXIOUS, “I’M YOURS,” and VITAMIN. I like GRANITA, too, though I tried to stretch GELATO to get in there.

Is a FOOT SPA [Place for a pedicure] an actual place? I can’t imagine any actual location dedicating their business to just fancy foot work (tee hee). Googling the phrase only shows me small home appliances in which you stick your feet.

Solid theme, but not a whole lot of sparkle besides. 3.4 stars.

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9 Responses to Friday, September 18, 2020

  1. Dinesh Krithivasan says:

    I am a longtime reader of the blog and actually learned about LearnedLeague from one of your earlier posts. I didn’t know anyone who was already part of the league to recommend me and so took a chance and wrote to Thorsten directly. He was nice enough to admit me into the league. Once I got in, I realized that there were many Indian quizzers who I already knew (including Samanth who is a good friend and was quoted in the article) that were part of LL.

    Anyway, wanted to thank you for introducing me to LL which is now (along with crosswords of course) an essential part of my day!!!

  2. JohnH says:

    In TNY, DERRIDA was a gimme for me. Can’t tell you how many hours I struggled with the book named there and half a dozen others. Let’s just say that deconstruction was a very big deal in the philosophy, literature, and arts communities in the 1970s and 1980s.

    I didn’t care at all for the NE with ARRIVAL and THE WORM crossing ORVIS. (I’ve never fished.) But it seemed like it had to be those, from other crossings, so I lived. Didn’t care at all that once again, since they don’t believe in preparing a pdf, the printed puzzle lapped over onto a second sheet of clues.

    • A says:

      When you click Print, there’s a button that looks like three sliding bars — click that, and it allows you to adjust the font size of the clues. You can make the font smaller until the clues all fit onto one page.

      • JohnH says:

        Of course then you have to know it’s the 1 in 10 times you need to. That’s why there exists preformatted output like pdf

      • Ellen Nichols says:

        Thank you! I have futzed around with my printer settings to no avail, and this will save me paper.

  3. Ethan says:

    I hate to contradict the Learned League, but Hamlet is referring to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, not Claudius, in that petard quote.

  4. Hi says:

    Spitting image is the usual modern form of the idiom meaning exact likeness, duplicate, or counterpart. The original phrase was spit and image, inspired by the Biblical God‘s use of spit and mud to create Adam in his image. But spitting image has been far more common than spit and image for over a century.

  5. Dave S says:

    LAT – I made it tougher on myself by erroneously answering generals rather than admirals and undivided instead of undamaged.

Comments are closed.