Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Jonesin' 6:09 (Erin) 


LAT untimed (Jenni) 


NYT 3:29 (Amy) 


The New Yorker untimed (pannonica) 


Universal untimed (Matt F) 


USA Today 4:08 (Sophia) 


WSJ untimed (Jim P) 


Xword Nation untimed (Ade) 


Matt Jones’s Jonesin’ Crossword, “Change of Pace” – Erin’s write-up

Jonesin' solution 11/8/22

Jonesin’ solution 11/8/22

Hello everyone! It’s time to slow things down…or speed them up, if you prefer, by substituting letters in the word PACE.

  • 17a. [“Umbrella Academy” actor] ELLIOT PAGE
  • 21a. [Wrinkly “Dick Tracy” villain in a Ned Flanders flashback] PRUNEFACE
  • 34a. [Cold War-era treaty of 1955] THE WARSAW PACT
  • 41a. [Add-on that adds new objects and characters to a game] EXPANSION PACK
  • 54a. [Down-to-the-wire election] TIGHT RACE. I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot of these in the next 24 hours.
  • 62a. [Glass sheet] WINDOW PANE

Other things:

  • 15a. [“For real”] NO CAP. From AAVE cap, meaning “lie.”
  • 4a. [Winner of the 2002 World Series] ASTRO. I’m Philly-adjacent so I didn’t need the reminder of one of the two major championships Philadelphia lost that day.
  • 64a. [Philosopher Descartes] RENE. Also the name of Amy Reynaldo’s husband who ran the New York City Marathon last weekend! Congrats!
  • 51d. [Animated movie series with Gingy] SHREK. Gingy is the nickname of The Gingerbread Man in the movie franchise.

Until next week!

Elizabeth C. Gorski’s Crsswrd Nation puzzle (Week 597), “Rear-View Mirroring”—Ade’s take

Crossword Nation puzzle solution, Week 597: “Rear-View Mirroring”

Good day, everybody! I hope you’ve been doing well lately and enjoying the summer, err, fall weather so far! Almost 80 degrees in New York today…my word!

You literally had to look forwards and backwards to figure out today’s theme, as puns were created from common phrases by adding a word at the end of the phrase. It turns out that the final word of the originating phrase is spelled backwards in the added word AND forms an actual word as well that ends up making the pun-centered magic happen!

      • CUSTOM-MADE EDAM (16A: [Dutch cheese that’s not mass-produced?]) – Custom-made + Edam
      • VICTORY LAP PAL (28A: [Friend at a track star’s celebratory run?]) – Victory lap + pal
      • TRUCK STOP POTS (45A: [Cooking vessels at a highway diner?]) – Truck stop + pots
      • STICKY BUNS SNUB (60A: [Rebuke of gooey pastries?]) – Sticky buns + snub

Liked the touch of having COMPETES intersect the “victory” part in the second theme entry (5D: [Vies]). Oh, and then there’s the intersection of ARENAS (58A: [Sports venues]) and ESPN, a very fitting meet-up if there ever was one in a grid (59D: [“Baseball Tonight” airer]). Of the stacked eights in the northeast and southwest, definitely was a fan of NARCISSI, even if I can’t get having to read Narcissus and Goldmund in my junior year of high school out of my head at the moment (35D: [Yellow flowers]). We’ll be seeing/worrying about many a POLL over the next 24 hours or so given Election Day is upon us. (8A: [Gallup survey]).

“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: PENN (65A: [Sean of “Mystic River”]) – Many sports fans are familiar with the 1979 NCAA Men’s Final Four, which featured Magic Johnson’s Michigan State team defeating Larry Bird’s Indiana State squad in the national championship game, still the highest-rated basketball game (any level) in the history of the Nielsen ratings. There were two other teams who competed in the Final Four. One of the teams was DePaul, led by future NBA All-Star and champion Mark Aguirre. The other was the last Ivy League team to reach the Final Four, the University of Pennsylvania. Penn made one of the most improbable Cinderella runs in NCAA Tournament as the East’s No. 9 seed (there were only 10 teams in each region), defeating Iona, top-seeded North Carolina, Syracuse and St. John’s to reach Salt Lake City. Penn would lose in the national semifinals to Michigan State before dropping an overtime thriller to DePaul in the third place (consolation) game.

Thank you so much for the time, everybody! Have a wonderful and safe rest of your day and, as always, keep solving!

Take care!


Aaron Ullman’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “I Can’t Talk About It”—Jim P’s review

Theme: Things you’re not supposed to talk about. The revealer is SAY NO MORE (65a, [“I got you, fam”]). Nudge nudge, wink wink.

Wall St Journal crossword solution · “I Can’t Talk About It” · Aaron Ullman · Tue., 11.8.22

  • 17a. [As a rule, 65-Across about this group in a 1999 cult classic film] FIGHT CLUB. First rule of Fight Club: Don’t talk about Fight Club.
  • 24a. [No, no, no–65-Across about this Disney uncle] BRUNO MADRIGAL. I needed all the crossings since I didn’t recognize the name. I never saw the film Encanto, but I did hear about the song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.” I’m assuming “No, no, no” is a line from the song. (It is.)
  • 40a. [Shhh! 65-Across about that–it’s just between us] OUR LITTLE SECRET. After the very specific instances in the first two entries, I was a little let down by this one. But like the others, it’s something that shouldn’t be talked about openly.
  • 52a. [Alert! 65-Across about the plot twists] MOVIE SPOILERS. Similarly, this felt pretty generic, especially since spoilers apply to TV and books as well.

So yeah, the first two entries led me to believe we’d be looking for specific items from pop culture, so I had to get over that. But I did really enjoy the premise here, and lacking any other specific potential entries, the latter two do indeed work for me.

YOGI BERRA and “TRUE STORY!” are both fun long fill entries. At the other end we have some of the usual suspects appearing in today’s crosswordese catalog: ICI, ETAT, EEOC, ERTE, LOCI. But mostly the fill is solid and gettable.

Clue of note: 1d. [Amazon’s Bezos]. JEFF. The E is crossing ELO [“Don’t Bring Me Down” rockers]. This seemed like a good place for a JEFF Lynne clue.

And that’s all I have. Nice grid. I had to adjust my expectations a bit, mid-way through, but it’s all good. 3.5 stars.

Enrique Henestroza Anguiano’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s recap

NY Times crossword solution, 11 8 22, no. 1108

Theme revealer in this 16×15 puzzle is EYE OPENERS, or 67a. [Enlightening experiences … or what 18-, 26-, 41- and 54-Across have, phonetically speaking].

  • 18a. [Affirmative at sea], “AYE, CAPTAIN.” Sounds like “eye.”
  • 26a. [Hit BBC series of 1976], I, CLAUDIUS. My mother, Claudia, likes to begin sentences in texts with “I, Claudius.”
  • 41a. [Award-winning Chinese artist/activist], AI WEIWEI.
  • 54a. [Bart catchphrase on “The Simpsons”], “AY CARAMBA!”

Solid, with lively choices for the themers and a nice revealer.

Fave stuff: ROCK clued as [One supplying strong emotional support, metaphorically]. Jordan Peele movies in the TERROR clue (I’m low-key afraid to watch Nope). ORDER HERE, I love takeout because I wouldn’t dare take off a mask and dine in. Been a while since I had AREPAs but I’ll get back there soon enough.

Hey! We’ve got ROCK crossing COD, and you know what that means: It’s time to reread Daniel Lavery’s “My Real-Time Response to Learning What the Rock Eats Every Day.” Spoiler alert: There will be cod. Ample amounts thereof.

Four stars from me.

Daniel Bodily’s Universal Crossword – “On the Rise” – Matt F’s write up

Daniel Bodily’s Universal solution, 11 08 22, “On the Rise”

Theme: We have a smattering of clues marked with an asterisk in which the answer doesn’t match the clue — that is, until you read the word backwards and also append “UP” to it. Quite the trick! Let’s take a closer look:

  • 1D [*Meet a challenge] PETS (STEP [UP])
  • 7D [*Fill the tank] SAG (GAS [UP])
  • 13D [*Grabs immediately] SPANS (SNAPS [UP])
  • 27D [*Like an outdated internet connection] LAID (DIAL [UP])
  • 38D [*Imaginary] EDAM (MADE [UP])
  • 49D [*Makes energized] SERIF (FIRES [UP])
  • 59D [*Draft, as a contract] WARD (DRAW [UP])
  • 62D [*Slight advantage] GEL (LEG [UP])
  • 40A [Honest course, or a hint to reading as well as interpreting each starred clue’s answer] UP AND UP

Like me, you might have locked in a few of those starred clues on crosses before looking back and realizing the answers go in backwards(!) in the grid. This type of trickery caught me off guard at first, as it’s not the type of theme I’m used to seeing from Universal. It was one of those puzzles that caused some head scratching at first, but once I caught on it became easier to reverse engineer the answers. Kudos to the constructor for pairing these off symmetrically and smacking in a fun central reveal; and also ensuring the words made sense on their own in the “normal” direction. I’m choosing to interpret that reveal as a mathematical AND, i.e. plus sign, which seems to fit the theme better, as in UP + UP.

The long bonuses were exceptional in this puzzle, making up for the lack of length in the theme. I don’t think there’s a single long answer I don’t love here. NOT A TOY, TEST PREP, RED HAIR, SIDE EYE, UT AUSTIN, P.O.W. CAMP, BLOW ME AWAYLION CUB, and EAT CROW are all great.

Memorable clues:
41A [Game dev’s alteration, or ’60’s slang for “chic”] was a fun TIL – who knew that MOD was slang for “chic” in the ’60’s?
56A [Have humble pie] is perfect imagery for EAT CROW
[Source of pride for the pride?] = excellent wordplay for LION CUB
[Perform a floor routine?] for MOP… so clever!

If I had to groan about anything in this puzzle it would be the clue at 30A [Prefix for “favor”]. DISfavor seems like a word that has fallen out of the lexicon. A clue such as [Prefix for “service”] would have landed better for me.

David Karp’s Los Angeles Times crossword — Jenni’s write-up

I’m writing this on Monday; it will appear on Tuesday, which is Election Day here in the US. It’s not hyperbole to say that the future of our democracy is at stake. This crossword gave me a brief and pleasant break from my obsessive worrying.

I thought we were looking at letter patterns in the theme answers. I was wrong.

Los Angeles Times, November 8, 2022, David Karp, solution grid

  • 17a [Shiver during a horror film, perhaps] is TREMBLE WITH FEAR
  • 29a [Thick fast-food beverage] is a CREAMY DRINK. This is not a thing people say. When I got to the revealer, I understood the choice to include it.
  • 46a [Finalize an agreement, say] is SEAL THE DEAL

I couldn’t figure out why EA was a thing. Luckily there’s a revealer to reduce my confusion. 61a [Start of a KC and the Sunshine Band title, and 17-, 29-, and 46-Across] is SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE. Which is why we have CREAMY DRINK. It’s a very cute theme and I certainly have no better suggestion, so I’ll give it a pass on the awkward not-in-the-language theme answer.

A few other things:

  • 9d [Off course] is ASTRAY which made no sense until I realized I misread the clue and it’s OFF, not OF.
  • 10d [Like a movie star’s personal life] is OFFSCREEN. Also nothing I really ever want to know about.
  • 33a [Prepared to pray] is KNELT. I’d like a “for some” added to that clue. We don’t kneel. We stand. Sometimes we bow. We definitely don’t kneel.
  • 43a [Odd sock’s lack] is a MATE. I think we may finally have found and disposed of all the single socks my daughter left under the furniture when she went to college in 2018. And the only reason they’re all gone is that we redecorated the living room last year.
  • What did we do with corners like the SW before RAMI Malek made a name for himself (so to speak)?

What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: that ERNIE lives at 123 Sesame Street.

And of course I leave you with part of the soundtrack of my youth.

Erik Agard’s New Yorker crossword — pannonica’s write-up

New Yorker • 11/8/22 • Tue • Agard • solution • 20221108

This week’s Tuesday crossword proved to be a stiffer challenge than previous offerings. I’d rank it as comparable to a Friday/Saturday NYT puzzle. Note also that Monday’s New Yorker crossword was also tougher than usual. Is it a trend or an aberration? Tune in next week!

The marquee entry is 33a [Founder of the disability-advocacy organization Ramp Your Voice!] VILISSA THOMPSON. I knew of her but had forgotten the name. Unrelated, I have a Latvian friend whose name is Vilis.

  • 5a [Degree program for a computational scientist, possibly] MD-PHD (just in case anyone didn’t know how to parse that letter string).
  • 15a [Handy type, briefly] DIYER, do-it-yourselfer.
  • 16a [S.N.C.C. adviser Baker] ELLA. A nonfitzgerald ELLA!
  • 27a [Whom the Osage call Wakanda] CREATOR. Coincidence with the African kingdom of Marvel Comics?
  • 38a [Video-game character animation] EMOTE. Yes, I play a game that features emotes. No, I won’t disclose which. Nice change from the hammy verb.
  • 40a [Sounds from leaky pipes] HISSES. Funny how it took me so long to consider a pipe that wasn’t a liquid conduit.
  • 54a [Part of GLITS, for short] TRANS. Okay, Wikipedia returns a page for Graham’s Line Identification Tone System. I’ll have to go farther afield… aha! It’s Gays and Lesbians Living in a Transgender Society. Hate to say this, but the acronym is off, omitting a letter, and their logo is pretty crappy. Undoubtedly the organization has a noble mission, but it looks as if they could use some design help.
  • 59a [Prep for meal prep] SHOP. SHOP before you chop!
  • 3d [Harder to watch] UGLIER. A thoughtful way to clue this nonoffensively.
  • 6d [Groups from the Greek for “to scatter”] DIASPORAS. Makes perfect sense, no?
  • 7d [Surname similar to Heep?] PYLE. Heh.
  • 12d [Art form that originated with the Roma people of Andalusia] FLAMENCO.
  • 21d [Transparent swimmers] GLASS EELS, which are not a species but a life stage. Young eels, or elvers, are often transparent.
  • 28d [Mononymous actress in “Good Girls” and the unrelated “Good Boys”] RETTA, whom I’d not heard of.
  • 31d [Affected by condensation?] SHORTENED. I knew from the question mark that something about the answer was going to be a little skewed, but needed many crossings to see just how.
  • 34d [{Clasps hands to heart}] I’M IN LOVE. 36d [{Throws hands up}] IT’S A MESS. This resonates with some recent film rewatching I’ve done over the past few days. Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love and Michelangelo Antonioni’s La Notte. I warn people, however, against seeing them as a double feature, as I fear it would be too intense.
  • 47d [Lieutenant who gives out the Thunder Badge in Pokémon] SURGE. okay sure whatever?

Again, a really nice and chewy themeless.

Zhouqin Burnikel’s USA Today Crossword, “Raised Bed” — Sophia’s recap

Editor:  Erik Agard
Theme: Each vertical theme answer has the string “DEB” in it, so the word “BED” looks like it’s going up.

USA Today, 11 08 2022, “Raised Bed”

  • 3d [Bracelet made from a green gemstone] – JADE BANGLE
  • 5d [Mom’s ciabatta, for example] – HOMEMADE BREAD
  • 23d [Source of extra income] – SIDE BUSINESS

Solid puzzle this morning. Honestly, my biggest problem here is that the title phrase “Raised Bed” is kind of boring! Given that it’s the de facto revealer, it would be nice if it was something a solver would be excited to see in the grid itself. Even something like “Loft Bed” would feel a little more in the language.

Not only did I not figure out the theme until I was done solving, I didn’t even know if the theme answers were the across or down answers! I think that speaks volumes about the high quality of fill present today. JADE BANGLE and HOMEMADE BREAD are both great entries. I tried so hard to make “side hustle” fit where the answer was SIDE BUSINESS, so I’m still a little salty about that answer.

Favorite entries: BATMAN, WASN’T ME, BLIND DATES

Favorite clues: 47a [Stat in which Natasha Cloud led the WNBA in 2022] for ASSISTS, 58d [Classification for cheese or salsa] for MILD.

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

11 Responses to Tuesday, November 8, 2022

  1. Dallas says:

    Near the start of the pandemic, John Hodgman and Eliot Kalan put out a great episode-by-episode watch of I, Claudius: https://maximumfun.org/podcasts/i-podius/
    I started with OSTER for 1-Down, then fixed it… only to get to use it again later; ANGLES / EDGES was good too, though I had FACES in at first. Fun Tuesday.

    • Papa John says:

      In one of (many) Latin classes I took in high school, the teacher had a mild meltdown about the common pronunciation the “I” in “I, Claudius”. He insisted that it should be said as the fifth letter in our alphabet, “E”. I think he made a good point that was missed in this puzzle.

      • Lester says:

        I don’t get it. If he wanted it to be Latin rather than English, why didn’t he want it to be “Ego, Claudius?”

      • JohnH says:

        I don’t get it either. I was assigned it in junior high English (not Latin), and the teacher never once tried to get us to pronounce it as if the title were in any other language. (FWIW, I didn’t like it and gave it another chance just last year. Still didn’t like it, but I didn’t like anything else I’ve read of Graves either.)

  2. sanfranman59 says:

    USAT: As an avid gardener, I was hoping the theme would be related to that when I read the title. Oh well. It’s a fine puzzle anyway and taught me a new food-related word (MAPO {65A: ___ eggplant (dish made with doubanjiang)}), a common event with USAT puzzles and particularly one of CC’s. I’m pretty sure I’ve come across it before, but for whatever reason, it takes a while for the names of unfamiliar culinary delights to stick with me. I’m hoping that maybe commenting on it here will make it stickier.

  3. Gary R says:

    TNY: Wow – the raters are haters today! I’m not always a fan of e.a.’s puzzles, but I thought this one was solid. Several entries I didn’t know, but crossings seemed fair. Considerably easier than yesterday’s TNY, I thought.

    Liked the clues for SEANCE, PYLE, WINCE, LOST A BET and VEHICLES. Not so much for TIE CLIP – doesn’t seem particularly like “formal-wear” to me.

    • PJ says:

      Yeah, doesn’t make sense to me either. I didn’t know the central entry and I could have gotten naticked with 28d but the T was easy once I determined the last name was THOMPSON.

      And I had almost the exact thoughts you expressed about favorite clues and TIE CLIP.

    • JohnH says:

      What can I say? Count me among the haters, and I’m glad to see I’m not an outlier. It was one of those quizzes rather than crosswords, start to finish. Takes absolutely zero ingenuity or language skills to work it out. You know it or you don’t.

      • Gary R says:

        John – any specifics? In almost any challenging puzzle there are entries that “You know it or you don’t.” But that’s what the crosses are for – and in this puzzle, I thought they were fair.

        I didn’t know VILISSA THOMPSON, nor RETTA. But as PJ mentioned, that crossing was pretty obvious.

        I happened to know MOESHA, both from her music and the TV show, though I didn’t know her last name in the show. But again, the crosses seemed reasonable, regardless.

        TRANS was not obvious to me from the clue, but those crosses were pretty straightforward, too.

        Most of the rest seemed to be pretty common words and phrases, with some nice cluing, as I mentioned above.

    • Adam says:

      Yeah, critiquing his puzzles can actually feel like quite the tightrope walk if you care about the same things he does.

      As a millennial solver, I used to get really excited when I’d see his byline because I knew his fill would be lively and I wouldn’t be expected to know the name of a tertiary character from some failed sitcom from the 80s. But his grids have been increasingly trivia-laden. Technically the crosses are always “fair” or “gettable” and if I sit with them long enough, I can usually figure it out. But it’s a slog. He’s undeniably doing really important work for crosswords. I have no doubt that, say, “The Other Blacklist” is a worthy book. But it only has 33 ratings on Goodreads. In terms of the solving experience, an obscure answer is an obscure answer.

  4. Rock says:

    Lol Amy !! Loved the link to the toast. Too funny

Comments are closed.