Matt Jones’s Jonesin’ Crossword, “Study Time’s Over” – Erin’s write-up
Hello! This week we’re removing the suffix -ology from some phrases and allowing hilarity to ensue:
- 17a. [Offices of a N.Y. conglomerate (as opposed to their online services?)] PHYSICAL GE (physical geology). GE here is General Electric. Physical geology is the study of the solid Earth as it is now, which historical geology studies the past and environmental geology examines the interactions between humans and the planet.
- 32a. [Bad thing to say at a driving test when asked to put it in neutral?] REVERSE PSYCH (reverse psychology). “Psych” or “sike” was used mostly in the 80s and 90s after saying something false to fool someone. I guess the person is doing their driving test and the instructor asks them to put the car in neutral and the person replies “Reverse…psych!” and puts it in neutral as asked?
- 41a. [Underwater version of a Britney Spears hit?] AQUATIC TOXIC (aquatic toxicology). Aquatic toxicology is the study of the effects of harmful substances on aquatic wildlife. It is not the study of venomous sea creatures like the blue-ringed octopus, the marbled cone snail, or the stonefish.
- 59a. [Option to take during “Choose Your Own Oration?”] SPEECH PATH (speech pathology). This entry hits on two things that I like: Choose Your Own Adventure books, and speech-language pathologists. This is my favorite of the bunch.
- Also related to the theme is 52a. [It’s full of -ologies] SCIENCE.
- 1a. [Oscar follower?] PAPA. This almost seems to go along with a Sesame Street motif as seen in 22a. and made me think of Oscar the Grouch, but it’s actually O from the NATO phonetic alphabet, so the next in line is PAPA for P.
- 22a. [He’s (spoiler alert) “The Monster at the End of This Book”] GROVER. Not sure if we need a spoiler alert for a 50-year-old book at this point, but it’s still such a fun read.
- 37d. [Part of a 2022 U.S. women’s soccer negotiation] EQUAL PAY. It’s about damn time.
- 1d. [Sneeze inducer] PEPPER. It’s not just small particles hitting your nostrils. The other culprit is piperine. The chemical which gives pepper it’s kick irritates nerve endings inside the nose, leading to your body’s efforts to get rid of the offending compound.
Elizabeth C. Gorski’s Cr♥ssw♥rd Nation puzzle (Week 574), “The WORD is Out!”—Ade’s take
Good day, everybody! I hope you all are well. I am sure that a number of you reading this space either has been a member of the armed forces or know someone in your family who was/is an active duty member, and I absolutely want to express my gratitude to those who have served and to those who served who are no longer with us. Thank you.
Today’s edition may not leave you speechless, but there definitely are places in the grid where you are left without finding the right words…as in, the first letter in each of the four themes are removed from its originating phrase, though the newly-formed puns still make sense with their clues. When those four omitted letters are combined, they form the word… WORD.
- ALT DISNEY WORLD (16A: [Nontraditional resort venue in Orlando?])
- SCAR DE LA RENTA (28A: [Nickname of a fashion designer who voiced Simba’s uncle in “The Lion King”?])
- EARVIEW MIRROR (45A: [Windshield item that provides close-ups of a cornfield?])
- UKE OF EDINBURGH (60A: [Hawaiian strings made for a British royal?])
We see a few more long, non-themed entries in this week’s puzzle compared to last week, and seeing CALZONES makes me wonder aloud how I have yet to have one despite having almost everything else that any legitimate pizza shop can offer (11D: [Cheesy turnovers made with pizza dough])? Today’s solve was a case when reading a clue for one answer totally threw me off for another, as after putting in SCENE V (24D: [Part of Act I in “Macbeth”]) made me think exclusively of Shakespeare when I saw the clue for TOWN (53A: [Hamlet relative]). “Wait a minute! Claudius doesn’t fit in this space!”
“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: OH MY (59D: [“Heavens!”]) – One of the all-time great sports broadcasters of all time was the incomparable Dick Enberg, who’s remembered mostly for bis work doing play-by-play for NBC Sports from 1975-1999, as well as being the voice of UCLA’s men’s basketball team from 1966-1977, during which time UCLA won eight of its 10 national championships under legendary coach John Wooden. The reason I mention him in this space is because of his trademark phrase that he would use when calling outstanding plays and moments during sports games: “Oh, My!”
Thank you so much for the time, everybody! Have a wonderful and safe rest of your day and, as always, keep solving!
Amy Goldstein & Lorraine Goodman’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Men of the Cloth”—Jim P’s review
I enjoyed the humorous title. It’s not referring to religious guys, but famous (men’s) last names paired with a rhyming type of cloth.
- 18a. [Baseball player Pee Wee’s favorite fabric?] REESE FLEECE.
- 28a. [Composer Scott’s favorite fabric?] JOPLIN POPLIN.
- 49a. [Theater director Hal’s favorite fabric?] PRINCE CHINTZ.
- 64a. [General George’s favorite fabric?] PATTON SATIN.
To be honest, I wasn’t too sure about this theme as I was solving. But once I finished and glanced at the title, the penny dropped and I smiled. Cute. My only NIT would be how all these men are from decades long past. Hal Prince only died in 2019 but his major works span from the ’60s to the ’80s. Everyone else is older than that.
In the fill I liked SINGAPORE, FIRE PIT, NESSIE, and ARMOIRE most of all, with BANNER ADS and TRIPODS up there as well. I’m on the fence with MILKS IT; it’s an interesting phrase, but it looks odd in the grid without context.
Clue of note: 65d. [Some like it hot]. TEA. I figured this clue could go with a lot of things, but the answer definitely makes sense.
Pleasant Tuesday outing. 3.5 stars.
Brooke Husic’s USA Today Crossword, “WAP“ — Emily’s write-up
Turn up the tunes today! A delightful puzzle filled with entries, clues, and a theme that sings. Lots of fun!
Theme: Each themer is a three-word phrase with each word, respectively, starting with W…A…P…
- 19a. [Tolstoy work that inspired “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812”], WARANDPEACE
- 35a. [“Gosh, that’s too bad!”], WHATAPITY
- 52a. [Dessert often served a la mode], WARMAPPLEPIE
A classic novel, WARANDPEACE remains on my to-be-read list though I better get to it sooner than later before watching the clued the electropop opera that it inspired. WHATAPITY is a fun phrase for this themer set. WARMAPPLEPIE was also always served with a slice of extra sharp cheddar cheese in my family, though it also makes me think of American Pie.
Another layer to the theme today is the reference to CARDI B’s song “WAP” (the title track on her 2020 album), featuring Meghan THEE Stallion, both of whom appear as entries. A controversial song with lots of commentary about it, one particular article argues why it is feminist and contextualizes its importance within the music scene.
Favorite fill: AFROPUFF, HIGHPONY, YOURANG, and RAITA
Stumpers: LAV (needed crossings but now know him and will be adding his films to my watchlist), BALL (took me crossings today, despite the solid cluing), and NOONE (kept thinking “none” until crossings made it clear)
Great bonus fill and even some related entries, including the rappers and a couple of hairstyles. I also really enjoyed the asymmetrical grid, which opened up so many possibilities and additional entries. This puzzle certainly makes me WANNA dance—and blast tunes—a perfect start to the day!
Anna Shechtman’s New Yorker crossword — pannonica’s write-up
‘Moderately challenging’ is the rating here, and I feel it’s accurate. I enjoyed the experience.
Since there were those long acrosses to start of the grid in the northwest, I shifted to the shorter ones in the northeast and was able to start right away with 12a [Device that might calculate an E.T.A.] GPS and 18a [N.Y.C. agency whose logo is designed to look like a train rushing by] MTA. I do have a fondness for its two-toned predecessor as well. Wouldn’t have needed those crosses for 13d [“M” star] PETER LORRE, and from there it was pretty much off to the races.
- 21d [Lead role on “Insecure”] ISSA. I knew it was ISSA Rae’s show, but didn’t know the character was also named ISSA (Dee).
- The longest answers are all stacked. Tripled elevens for the acrosses and tripled tens down the sides. CREATIONIST/YELLOW LINES/SELFIE STICK, TELETHERAPY/I SEE HOW IT IS/CLOSET SPACE (described as a room in the clue); GYM TEACHER/PETER LORRE/SPARSENESS, GENTLY USED/REORIENTED/ALMA MATERS (slightly odd plural).
- 15a [They may prohibit passing][ YELLOW LINES. Was actually envisioning yellow tape such as at crime or accident scenes but now I see that it’s about roads.
- Half-forgotten: 21a [Ancient Roman road] ITER.
- 25a [People reading manuals, usually] USERS. Ha, ha, ha.
- 29a [Post spring-cleaning event for a brownstone resident] STOOP SALE. Very New York entry.
- 42 [Ending for party or movie] GOERS. Thinking of Henry Green and Walker Percy.
- 3d [Scallion’s center?] ELLS. Wonder if it’s New Yorker house style to use ‘ell’ rather than ‘el’ for the letter.
- 27d [Changed course] REORIENTED. Not sure I agree with the clue here.
- 30d [Slope of the line y = x – 17,602] ONE. I will take the author’s word on this.
- 41d [Collection of Blaise Pascal’s writings, whose title translates to “Thoughts”] was easy enough to guess/know: PENSÉES. Unlike the following entry, for which I needed the crossings: 43d [Confit d’___ (goose dish)] OIE.
Ed Beckert’s Larson’s LA Times Crossword, — Jim Q’s write-up
Wow. It’s been a minute since I solved the LA Times. I think I’ll jump on board more often. Let’s just say things are notably different.
- [Shabby and dated] RETRO CHIC.
- [Tunes for fogies] CLASSIC ROCK.
- [Blubber] LOVE HANDLES.
- [Hopelessly out of touch] OLD SCHOOL.
- (revealer) SUGAR COAT.
I thoroughly enjoyed this. So simple. So clean. A little ageist perhaps! I’m starting to feel OLD SCHOOL myself, and I rather enjoy some CLASSIC ROCK now and again. AGING even makes an appearance in the fill. Thanks for that!
It felt so smooth along the way to boot. New to me were SIROCCO (who else entered MOROCCO?) and the CIC initialism (commander in chief). Also the manga series LONE Wolf and Cub. But I don’t think I know any manga series.
Great clue for EDITORS [Cosmopolitan group?]
4 stars from me.
Sam Buchbinder & Brad Wilber’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up
Oops. Spent Memorial Day bingeing shows about time travel (Dark on Netflix, Undone on Amazon Prime Video), so is it any wonder that I didn’t realize that Monday evening means blogging the Tuesday puzzle?
The theme is held together with the revealer, 38a. [Suggestion to defer discussion … and what might be said of 17-, 25-, 46- and 60-Across], LET’S PUT A PIN IN IT. (I’ve heard the phrase but it’s not one I use.) The four themers are things you stick pins in: VOODOO DOLL (straight pin), CLOTH DIAPER (with a diaper-specific safety pin, not a straight pin!), BOWLING LANE (bowling pins), and ATM MACHINE (PIN number—and please, no bitter complaints about ATM machine and PIN number being redundant, since both are well within the language now). Nice that all four of the pins involved are different from one another.
Nice grid (though I’m not a fan of NO OIL as an entry), nice clues. Overall vibe, four stars.