Saturday, July 30, 2022

LAT 2:48 (Stella) 


Newsday 26:32 (pannonica) 


NYT 5:18 (Amy) 


Universal tk (Jim Q)  


USA Today 1:49 (Matthew) 


WSJ untimed (pannonica) 


Good news! Aficionados of solving via a .puz file can once again turn to Martin H’s server for the easy-peasy access to the Universal, WSJ, and Jonesin’ crosswords. Big thanks to Martin for wielding his technical wizardry and server power for the benefit of crossword junkies who just want their puzzles exactly the way they want them.

Lance Enfinger’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up

NY Times crossword solution, 7 30 22, no. 0730

A solid 70-worder today.

I hadn’t known that FILET MIGNON was 24d. [Literally, “dainty slice”]. Makes sense!

Two Irish singers are in the mix: ENYA is 4d. [Singer who owns Manderley Castle in Killiney], and 18a. [Irish form of “Jane”] evokes SINEAD O’Connor.

Fave fill: THREE-LEGGED RACE, GUIDE DOG, LEAD BALLOON, and SLIDING DOOR clued as 10d. [Future-altering decision point, metaphorically].

Druggie two-fer: 44d. [Pot holder] is a BLUNT if you’re smoking pot, and at 48d the same clue works for CHEF.

Three more things:

  • 31d. [Pac-12 squad], UTES. The Pac-12 will be losing at least two teams soon! It remains to be seen if the conference rebrands itself with a different number, or dispenses with a numeral altogether. The Big Ten has, what, 14 teams now?
  • 5d. [Word added as an intensifier], ASS. As in big-ass, bad-ass, ugly-ass, and so on.
  • 26d. [Location designed to attract whales], HOTEL CASINO. It’s amazing when those whales breach!

Less keen on bits like suffix -DOM, TRU, Italian grammar MIA, and ERST, but overall pretty solid. 3.5 stars from me.

Kate Chin Park’s Los Angeles Times crossword — Stella’s write-up

Los Angeles Times 7/30/22 by Kate Chin Park

Los Angeles Times 7/30/22 by Kate Chin Park

There’s enough good stuff in this themeless that I’ll forgive it for being too easy. Such as:

  • 13A [Acrobatic Brazilian martial art] I don’t believe I’ve encountered CAPOEIRA in a puzzle before, and I was glad to.
  • 22A [[I’m a ghost!]] is a cute way to clue BOO.
  • 40A [“Good gravy!”] is JEEZ LOUISE. Both the clue and the answer are fun to say!
  • 60A [Person to split a bill with] is a nicely deceptive clue for COSTAR.
  • 61A [Age line?] made me laugh: I FEEL OLD. Boy, do I.
  • 28D [Standing order?] is also a nice pun for PLEASE RISE.
  • 35A [Hands-on experience, hopefully] for TRUST FALL: The punny hits just keep on coming!

19A POPS, as clued [Stands out] was a bit of a trigger for me, but that’s because I work in advertising. If I had a dollar for every client who’s said “make it pop!” about everything on a particular page or screen, I wouldn’t have to work in advertising. Hint to everyone: If you bump up the intensity of the graphic design on multiple elements of the same page, then none of them will pop because they’re all fighting for your attention. Okay, climbing off the soapbox now.

Highly enjoyable, though I could’ve wished for it to be a bit harder.

Mike Shenk’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Addled” — pannonica’s write-up

WSJ • 7/30/22 • Sat • “Addled” • Shenk • solution • 20220730

A straightforward add-some-letters theme, in this case it’s the trigram LED suffixed to words/phrases. So it’s a lot of past-tense stuff. Followed by led, heh.

  • 22a. [Shop tool bent under pressure?] SAW BUCKLED (sawbuck).
  • 24a. [Berth in a tournament clinched?] OPEN SEALED (open sea).
  • 37a. [Fruit preserved in brine?[ CHERRY PICKLED (cherry-pick).
  • 48a. [Crucifix sent down an alley?] CROSS BOWLED (crossbow).
  • 62a. [Boxer’s assistant blending in with others?] SECOND COMINGLED (second coming). Didn’t know that term in this particular context. Probably descends from a duelist’s second.
  • 79a. [Infant scurried away?] BABY BUSTLED (baby bust). The original phrase is the 96d [Opposite in character] POLAR complement to a baby boom, such as Generation X.
  • 90a. [Flooring decor choice sorted out?] CARPET TACKLED (carpet tack).
  • 103a. [Radio operator committed larceny?] HAM BURGLED (Hamburg).
  • 105a. [Distiller’s product was a failure?] GIN FIZZLED (gin fizz).

I found these to be mostly fun and entertaining.

Can’t think of any good explicitly LED songs, so I’ll share this earworm, which at least has the letters.

  • 9d [Connects to a space station on a return trip] REDOCKS. A bit tortured cluing, and even so I’m not sure that it’s accurate.
  • 32d [Private doctors] MEDICS. Little army punnery there.
  • 73d/54a [Chestnuts, e.g.] STEEDS, HORSES.
  • 81d [Chicken __ (buttery dish)] KIEV. Clever way to get around the now-preferred Ukrainian spelling Kyiv. Names of food dishes would seem to lag behind current events. We still sometimes see Ceylon tea and Celebes coffee!
  • 89d [Word that’s ironically a trochee] IAMB. Thus it is not an autological word; it is heterological. 26a [Well-versed sort] POET.
  • 98d [Big gulp] CHUG. First SWIG, then, SLUG, finally CHUG.
  • 27a [Artistic creations] OPUSES. Had OPERA—technically a plural—first, but that would have duplicated 2d [Title princess in a Gilbert and Sullivan opera] IDA.
  • 47a [Menswear designer Behar] IKE, 107d [Fashion designer Posen] ZAC. Didn’t really know these.
  • 52a [Lower in social class] DECLASS. That’s a verb. More commonly we see the adjective borrowed from French, déclassé. SEE ALSO (20d) 112a [Cheapen] DEBASE.
  • 57a [Plains tribe] KANSA. Obviously the namesake for Kansas, but I don’t recall seeing it in a crossword before.
  • 75a [Another name for the piranha] CARIBE. This I did not know. Wikipedia indicates that it’s a localized term, especially in Venezuela.

Was going to include a vintage scientific illustration, but my eye caught this curious image. Intrigued, I followed the link and learned that, in chemistry, a ‘piranha’ is an irreversible binder

Steve Mossberg’s Newsday crossword, Saturday Stumper — pannonica’s write-up

Newsday • 7/30/22 • Saturday Stumper • Mossberg • solution • 20220730

Well, another one that kicked my butt. And another one where the lower left section was the final area to fall.

  • 1a [H’s horizontal] CROSSBAR. I confidently filled this in right off the bat, but then rescinded it when none of the crossings seemed to work, especially 6d [AAA recommendation] which seemed certain to be RTE. Reader, it was BNB. >>shakes fist<<
  • 13a [Inculpatory adage ender] SHAME ON ME. The other parts are “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice …”
  • 14a [Literally, “the god”] ALLAH. Had EL CID for a time. That means “the lord”, as it turns out.
  • As usual, there were a bunch of clues that felt just outside the realm of the gettable, but then were. A localized cluster—as an example—includes 17a [Sit on it] GLUTE, 21a [Charging option] AMEX, 23a [It all comes down to them] HEIRS. The key to making a successful Stumper is calibrating everything to be just on the edge of the critical mass where it becomes unsolvable. It’s like one of those chemical solutions where you shake it enough and the particles fall out of suspension.
  • 26a [Pre-grilling advice] ADMIT NOTHING. I was kind of expecting a misdirection like this, but it was still difficult to hit on. Great clue.
  • 33a [Curler collection] REPS. This is a tryhard gym clue and I don’t think it works.
  • 37a [State bordering the most provinces] MONTANA. I would have thought it would be an eastern one, like New York, WHICH ALSO HAPPENS TO FIT.
  • 41a [Paradoxical feedback] I’M SPEECHLESS. You know what also fits? I CAN’T HEAR YOU. Another fine clue.
  • 53a [Word from the French for “sorting”] TRIAGE. Was very helpful to my solve to have known this.
  • 55a [Basin descriptor] TIDAL. Was thinking it might be GREAT. Combine this with tough long downs and a nearby cross-referenced pair of short across entries and you can see why this was such a tough area to complete.
  • 60a [Do business] HAIR SALON. Ooh, tricky. No one expects such a terse pun, right?
  • 3d [Novel by the author of “the great ‘GF'”] OMERTA. Okay, this is obviously Mario Puzo and GF = godfather, but … wha-a-a-a-a-a-a-t?
  • 5d [Walk-on part] SOLE. This would be a great Shrödinger clue for ROLE as well.
  • 32d [Electronic stop] BASS PEDAL. I don’t think I understand this one. >checks Wikipedia< Oh, I see was just ignorant of what those things were called.
  • 39d [Trekker’s British counterpart] WHOVIAN. There’s a lot of overlap and transoceanic cross-pollination between Star Trek and Doctor Who fans.
  • 56d [Watch term since the ’70s] LED. Flashback to the WSJ crossword!

Amanda Rafkin’s USA Today crossword, “Spread the Word”—Matthew’s write-up

Amanda Rafkin’s USA Today crossword solution, “Spread the Word,” 7/30/2022

Familiar theme type to kick off the weekend today, as we’ve got “WORD” bracketing three themers:

  • 19a [Document of facts or events] WRITTEN RECORD
  • 35a [Platter for serving charcuterie, often] WOODEN BOARD
  • 53a [Widely celebrated] WORLD RENOWNED

Amanda’s made the most of the flexibility afforded by only three entries, and for my money the long downs are the star of the show: WINK WINK, TEETOR TOTTER, I’M OLD FASHIONED–I particularly love [“My preferences are a bit antiquated”] to clue that!–and MIND MELD. I was pleased, as well, to Google “On Her Own Ground” (32d) and learn it’s a biography of African American entrepreneur and philanthropist Madam C.J. Walker. I knew of Walker, but not of the biography, which was written by one of her descendants, and I’m frankly not sure I would have Googled the clue if I weren’t writing this review. So I’m a bit curious why Walker wasn’t name-dropped in the clue — it wouldn’t have meaningfully changed the difficulty, I don’t think — but I found my way to some learning, so all’s well that ends well.

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

21 Responses to Saturday, July 30, 2022

  1. Eric H says:

    NYT: Impressive and fun debut puzzle from Lance Enfinger. Almost no glue, a couple of really great clues, and a nice triple stack of 15-letter words in the middle.

    • gyrovague says:

      Agreed. Some interesting trivia (Go Fresno!) and tough but getable cluing (math abbr. for COT, betrayal angle for FLIP ON, etc.) made this a solidly challenging Saturday. Congrats, Lance!

  2. Cynthia says:

    Thank you, Martin, for bringing two of my favorite puzzles (Universal and Jonesin’) back for us! The Across Lite version of Universal is 100 times better than the web version. And I’ve missed Jonesin’ altogether during the past few weeks.

    • marciem says:

      Welcome back Martin, and thank you so much for your continuing on going efforts to give us AL puzzlers “what we want the way we want it” ! :D :D

      And another shout out & huge thanks to our Jim P for taking on the job on top of his others here (nevermind real life :D ) to keep us from missing out on our favorites in Martin’s absence.

      You’re both heroes!!

  3. BillT says:

    Yay! The drought is over! Glad to have the puzzles back, cold turkey is painful.

  4. David L says:

    Stumper: the lower left corner defeated me, even after I had much of it correctly filled. No way I was going to come up with BASSPEDAL, and NOLIMITS for “breakfast buffet offering” is a very Stumpery clue that doesn’t quite work, IMO. But the biggest problem was that I interpreted ‘legend’ in the clue of 44A and 59A in the Washington Irving sense rather than the atlas sense.

  5. sanfranman59 says:

    LAT … Wow … I don’t know when I’ve ever been more at odds with the experience of the reviewer than I was with this puzzle. This one almost completely missed my wheelhouse (almost as much as Malaika’s puzzle from two weeks ago).

  6. Foreigner says:

    WSJ – I’m struggling to understand why the clue ‘off the hook’ is LIT. Can someone please explain?

    • marciem says:

      From Mirriam-Webster:

      ‘Lit’ has been a slang term meaning “intoxicated” for over a century. ***More recently, it has acquired the meaning “exciting,” as well as a broader meaning along the lines of “excellent.”*** i.e. “off the hook exciting”

      I don’t do social media much, so around here is the main way I keep up with newer language changes.

    • JohnH says:

      That one thoroughly puzzled me, and it didn’t help that it crosses a proper name. I also didn’t car for the crossing of two other names, CAAN and AMA. Besides, that one is from a 50+ year old thoroughly awful TV show and the other a figure a bit out of the political action for even a well-meaning American. And yeah, I do see online that there’s been an effort to restart the TV show.

      I also somehow missed the Baby Bust, although crossings were fair.

  7. Mr. [Not At All] Grumpy says:

    I’d love to see breaching whales in a hotel casino [NYT 26d], but where would they come from? Maybe sneak up from under the dealer at a poker table?

    • gyrovague says:

      Ah, whale watching. There’s nothing like seeing them in the wild as they emerge from airport limos, arm candy in tow, gasping for air and free top-shelf cocktails.

      • Amy Reynaldo says:

        When they strain those complimentary cocktails through their baleen, it’s a sight to behold.

        Watch out for a whale who’s got an ace down its blowhole, though.

    • JohnH says:

      I had to search online to find out what it meant, although it was not unfairly difficult to get.

  8. Gary R says:

    NYT: Thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle. Chewy, but it never left me feeling like it was hopeless. I thought the fill was very good, but the SLIDING DOOR metaphor was new to me, and COUNT ONE’S LOSSES still doesn’t feel very “in the language” to me. When I first filled it in, based on a lot of crosses, I thought “yeah – okay,” but on further reflection, I don’t know if I’ve ever hear the phrase.

    Stumper: Also thoroughly enjoyed this one. I almost gave up after 15 minutes and just a handful of entries scattered all over the grid, but then a few things started to click, and it was slow, but steady progress from there. Lots of clever cluing – but I agree with others who looked sideways at the NO LIMITS breakfast clue. :-(

    Overall, a very good Saturday!

  9. Tom Hobbs says:

    Universal July 30,2022. By Evan Mulvihill: 30 across’ Totally answer online is AlL. But the 3,22, 23 down answers make the answer “Yes”, for clue 30 across.

    Don’t know who to contact for the Errata.

Comments are closed.