Zachary David Levy’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “You Wouldn’t Understand”—Jim P’s review
Theme: INSIDE JOKES (61a, [You might not get them, and what the circles contain]). Well, not really. Those aren’t “jokes” inside the other themers, they’re the results of jokes.
- 17a. [Domineering type] HARD CHARGER.
- 24a. [Column attachment] STEERING WHEEL.
- 39a. [Doing the dishes and taking out the trash, for two] HOUSEHOLD CHORES. Nice find.
- 50a. [Okinawa empire that reigned for 450 years] RYUKYU KINGDOM. Be honest, you read this in Curly Howard’s voice, didn’t you? New to me and, I’m sure, a lot of solvers. If we had been stationed in Okinawa as part of our Air Force career—which seemed likely for a period of about a month—I’m sure I would have heard of this. You can read more about it here.
Despite my quibble about those hidden words being “jokes,” I enjoyed the theme entries, including the last one. What would be a better revealer? I’m not sure, but maybe something having to do with laughing on the inside.
USUAL FARE and AUSTRALIA make for nice marquee non-theme entries. I also liked seeing Gloria ESTEFAN, and GO TO POT is fun (though I wanted GO SOUTH to answer the clue [Deteriorate]).
I cahn do without ICAHN and OLEAN, though. I’m fairly familiar with HSBC [Europe’s largest bank], since I lived in England for a time, but I don’t know about the average solver. I would have thought Deutsche Bank was bigger. Hmm. According to Wikipedia, BNP Paribas is biggest with HSBC at number two. Deutsche Bank is down at number eight.
And that’s all I have. I like the theme, but the revealer doesn’t work. 3.3 stars.
Will Nediger’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s recap
The theme revealer is 58a. [Ominous request from a teacher … or a hint to the first words (and following letters!) of 17-, 26- and 43-Across],
“SEE ME AFTER CLASS.” Those other themers (BUSINESS MEETING, GYM MEMBERSHIP, GERMAN MEASLES) are phrases whose first word is also a high school class (at some schools), and the second word starts with ME. SEE that ME that comes AFTER that CLASS?
Fave fill: RISING STAR, IGLESIAS, VESPA.
Did not know: 38d. [Major pilgrimage destination in Spain], SANTIAGO.
Fave clue: 13d. [They run when they’re broken], EGGS. This is fine so long as those eggs will be thoroughly mixed, for an omelet or a baking recipe. Do not come at me with runny eggs on a plate, with whites and yolks not fully immixed!
Quiara Vasquez and Brendan Emmett Quigley’s AVCX, “AVCX Themeless #57” — Ben’s Review
It’s a themeless week at the AVCX! This week’s puzzle is a collab from Quiara Vasquez and Brendan Emmett Quigley, and as editor Ben Tausig put it, they’re a real power duo.
- It took me a second to get ZOOM FATIGUE as my last entry in the grid, despite the fantastic clue “Screened-out condition?”, but it’s nicely balanced with the easier DOMESTIC ALE (“Sam Adams, e.g.”)
- I hadn’t really thought about what the various components of a CHOCO TACO are supposed to represent, but I’ll take “Good Humor treat on which the peanuts represent, I don’t know, salsa” as a decent explainer for part of it.
- I can feel BEQ’s music-y influence on this one, from genres like SKA and BAROQUE POP in the fill to clues like “Pick up a bass, say” for ANGLE and “Name in hard rock ratings” for MOHS
Stella Zawistowski’s Universal crossword, “Get Down” — pannonica’s write-up
Not sure that this theme hasn’t been done before, but there’s nothing wrong with dipping back into the well every so often.
- 35dR [Oscar-winning Donna Summer song, and a hint to the starred answers’ ends] LAST DANCE. For the Thank God It’s Friday soundtrack. The film poster (below) looks as if it was illustrated by someone on the Mad magazine payroll. Can’t think of the specific artist I have in mind, though.
- 3d. [*Not-too-spicy dip] MILD SALSA.
- 28d. [*Relaxing place to sway] PORCH SWING.
- 25d. [*Affectionate touch] LOVE TAP.
- 9d. [*Gig on top of one’s primary job] SIDE HUSTLE.
Salsa, swing, tap, hustle. Wasn’t sure that swing was correct as a name rather than a genre, but Wikipedia gives it some credence as a standalone term, despite listing all sorts of types in the category.
- 39a [Is loudly angry with] RAGES AT.
“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light …” —Dylan Thomas
- 42a [Black, Red, or Yellow] SEA. Is it just me, or does this clue seem a little open-ended, even for a mid-week level crossword, and despite the capitalizations?
- 58a [Silent place to find a volume] LIBRARY. >squint, moue<
- 68a [Medium’s power, for short] ESP. That reminds me: I misread 17a [Frying medium] OIL as “Flying medium” and was thinking of someone—a charlatan if not a fictional character—who goes above and beyond the typical.
- 24a [Group of mah-jongg tiles] MELD. Need to remember that the term applies here as well.
- 21d [ __ Madness (shopping board game)] MALL. Sounds horrific.
- 37d [Garment with a band measurement] BRA. How you know your constructor is female.
Solid and well-made crossword, but not super-exciting.
this is not disco
Aimee Lucido’s New Yorker crossword—Amy’s recap
A quick recap today.
Fave fill: “YOU DON’T SAY,” “TA TA FOR NOW,” DOOMSCROLL, “EVEN BETTER,” SANDCASTLE, TILT-A-WHIRL, BUM DEAL, UGG BOOTS, “FAIR ENOUGH,” “I’M A REAL BOY.” Very chatty long entries!
Bleh fill: BSS, CAHN, ACR, LIRA, LESE, RENA, YAYS, LSTS.
Fave clue: 1a. [Does the damn thing], ACTS. Just do it! And yes, I tried SINS here first.
Four stars from me, because the five-star long fill is offset by the short glue.
Winston Emmons’ LA Times crossword – Gareth’s summary
We get an interesting double theme today. DRAMA is the revealer and we have, in order, LINE, SCENE, ACT and PLAY. Further, each phrase is DRAMAtic: CROSSTHELINE, CAUSEASCENE, REFUSETOACT and BOTCHTHEPLAY; quite a broad secondary theme, but makes for a doubly fun revealer!
Clue-wise the puzzle played quite easy but with a few tricky names. RIPRAP and KNESSET I knew, but could see them proving tricky for some solvers. My error was at ISITOn/SnEETS. I have never heard of the superhero Booster Gold or SKEETS. Will I be alone?