Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Jonesin' 3:55 (Erin) 


LAT untimed (Jenni) 


NYT 3:32 (Amy) 


The New Yorker untimed (pannonica) 


Universal untimed (Matt F) 


USA Today 2:58 (Sophia) 


WSJ untimed (Jim P) 


Xword Nation untimed (Ade) 


Elizabeth C. Gorski’s Crsswrd Nation puzzle (Week 604), “Knock Around the Block!”—Ade’s take

Crossword Nation puzzle solution, Week 604: “Knock Around the Block!”

Hello everybody! Here is hoping you are doing well and thawing out from this past weekend, at least for those who were affected by the brutal winter storm. Definitely hoping all are safe as well!

Today’s crossword causes us to take a long walk around the puzzle, as each of the words that make up the perimeter of the grid is a word that can also come before the word “block.” “board.” (Typos and errors happen, people. Definitely had “board” in my head when writing it up, but not sure what happened in the execution, outside of not executing it correctly at the end. I should make more mistakes, by design, to generate more discussion then!)

      • CHESS (1A: [Musical with the song “One Night in Bangkok”])
      • STAR (6A: [Twinkler in Orion’s Belt])
      • CLIP (10A: [Rate of speed])
      • PLANNING (13D: [Setting goals for the New Year, say])
      • BOOGIE (49D: [Move and groove on the dance floor])
      • SKATE (68A: [Stingray relative])
      • DART (67A: [Classic dodge model])
      • HEAD (66A: [Eye site?])
      • SANDWICH (35D: [Reuben-esque snack?])
      • CHEESE (1D: [Word said while smiling at a camera])

Lots and lots (and lots) of themes, and sometimes it’s hard not to immediately go to the border entries and fill them all out once discovering the theme, which was done pretty quickly here. Loved the pair of long acrosses, with LEAVES TOWN (21A: [Gets out of Dodge?]) and WANDERLUST, which is what I was definitely feeling when I was holed up in my place this past weekend with the brutal cold having descended upon the Northeast (55A: [Travel lover’s urge]). Also, how about the the pairing up of a couple of iconic music pieces in terms of women’s empowerment, with I AM WOMAN (12D: [Helen Reddy feminist anthem]) and LEMONADE, if you look at the latter through the 2016 Beyoncé album of the same name that touched on the empowerment of Black women throughout (11D: [Picnic drink])

“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: MESSI (33A: [Argentine footballer whose World Cup victory photo set an Instagram record]) – Here is the record-breaking photo, in terms of number of likes, of Argentina soccer player/captain/god-in-cleats Lionel Messi holding the World Cup trophy after Argentina defeated France in penalty kicks in the World Cup Final after the teams finished tied 3-3 after 90 minutes of regulation time and 30 minutes of added extra time after regulation ended 2-2. Yes, the game earlier this month was probably the greatest World Cup match of all time. At the end, the 35-year-old Messi finally matched what another Argentine footballing deity, Diego Maradona, accomplished back in 1986: winning the World Cup. Oh, here’s the photo, which broke the Insta likes record of a photo of an egg. Yes, just a regular egg.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Leo Messi (@leomessi)

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

Take care!


Gary Cee’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Flight Maneuver”—Jim P’s review

Theme: SEAT CHANGE (62a, [Irritated passenger’s request, and a hint to the ends of 17-, 27- and 48-Across]). The other theme answers are familiar phrases whose final words are anagrams (i.e. a CHANGE) of SEAT.

Wall St Journal crossword solution · “Flight Maneuver” · Gary Cee · Tue., 12.27.22

  • 17a. [They may include camomile or rose hips] HERBAL TEAS.
  • 27a. [Cooking Channel show that might feature a funnel cake bacon cheeseburger] CARNIVAL EATS. Never heard of this show, and it doesn’t sound like something I’d want to watch. I wonder if they track carnival eaters’ heart conditions on that show. Probably not.
  • 48a. [Bill Graham’s Big Apple rock venue] FILLMORE EAST. Didn’t know this one either. It was only active from 1968 to 1971, so that probably explains it.

Solid Tuesday theme. Not knowing two of the three entries added to the difficulty, but I think they’re fair crossword entries. My other problem was not knowing 33d [Not kosher] was TREF, so the F in FILLMORE EAST was a little bit harder to come by. But it was the letter that made the most sense and I learned something new today, so it’s all good.

I’m really digging the long fill today: WORD SALAD, POOL PARTY, ALL EARS, PANACEA, NO SWEAT, and POLI SCI. Good stuff.

Clue of note: 44a. [Rapper’s appeal]. “OPEN UP!” One rapping on one’s chamber door, perhaps, not a hip-hop artist.

Solid theme, lovely fill. 3.5 stars.

Matt Jones’s Jonesin’ Crossword, “Catch Me If You Can” – Erin’s write-up

Jonesin' solution 12/27/22

Jonesin’ solution 12/27/22

Hello lovelies! Hope you’ve had some holiday break time for relaxing and solving. Did Matt rope you into his latest puzzle? Each theme entry contains a hidden rope con-trap-tion:

  • 17a. [Heavy cannon turret used in the “Star Wars” universe] TURBO LASER. A BOLA is a set of weights connected by a cord that is thrown at an animal to catch it.
  • 26a. [Native American ballerina who’ll be on one of the five 2023 American Women quarters] MARIA TALLCHIEF, whose Osage name was Ki He Kah Stah Tsa. A RIATA is another name for a lariat or a lasso.
  • 43a. [Even considering consequences] DESPITE THE RISK. A TETHER is a line attached to an animal to restrict its movement.
  • 56a. [2022 follow-up to “Knives Out”] GLASS ONION. As stated above, LASSO is another term for lariat or riata.

Other things:

  • 39a. [“Hold ___ your butts!”] ONTO. Robert Zemeckis reportedly uttered this line while sitting down for reshoots for Death Becomes Her, and screenwriter David Koepp liked it so much he added it to the script he was working on for the original Jurassic Park movie.

(Alt text: Samuel L. Jackson speaks in a dark room with a cigarette dangling from his mouth. Text at the bottom in large white letters reads “Hold onto your butts.”) via GIPHY

Let’s just leave it at that, because my kid needs to go to bed and I can’t top Samuel L. Jackson saying “Hold onto your butts.” Wishing you peace and good health this holiday season and always. Until next week!


Lynn Lempel’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s recap

NY Times crossword solution, 12 17 22, no. 1227

The name of the game is DOUBLE-CROSS, [Betray … or a hint to what’s found in this puzzle’s shaded squares]. The highlighted squares contain words embedded within longer words/phrases, and each one can follow double as well as crossing another such word:  STAND AT EASE crosses SPARKLE with double DATE and double-PARK within. BEAGLE and MAGENTA, a double EAGLE (golf term) crossing double AGENT. CHINA and DIPLOMACY, a double CHIN and double-DIP. Last, BILLY and the BEANSTALK hide a double BILL and double-TALK.

Literary vibe here, with Virgil’s AENEAS, Melville’s BILLY Budd, Thomas KYD, and W.H. AUDEN. Works for me, a former English major.

3.75 stars from me. Good night, folks!

Margaret Seikel’s Los Angeles Times crossword — Jenni’s write-up

Happy day after Boxing Day! No boxing or unboxing going on here unless you count the ritual stowing of the Hanukkah gear. This puzzle has nothing to do with the season, which is perfectly fine. I didn’t completely grok the theme right away even with the revealer. It’s a solid and smooth Tuesday solve.

Did you figure out what the theme answers had in common?

Los Angeles Times, December 27, 2022, Margaret Seikel, solutiong

  • 6d [*Small child, facetiously] is an ANKLE BITER.
  • 10d [*Endangered cat that turns white in winter] is a SNOW LEOPARD.
  • 16d [*Salad of corn and black-eyed peas that originated in Texas] is COWBOY CAVIAR.
  • 26d [*Sleeping option that lacks a box spring] is a PLATFORM BED.
  • 32d [*Cinnamon roll with currants] is a CHELSEA BUN. I know about these thanks to The Great British Baking Show.

And the revealer: 62a [Start, as a computer, and what each answer to a starred clue has?] is BOOT UP. The first word of each theme answer is a kind of BOOT and they all go UP the grid. I was not familiar with the CHELSEA BOOT – or rather I was familiar with the boot and did not know that’s what it was called. For the record, this is what they look like. Also, for the record, my 22 yo daughter knows what it is and now wants to know why it’s called a CHELSEA BOOT.

Chelsea boot (women’s)

Fun theme! I like the added fun of having all the answers in the Downs so that the revealer works more thoroughly. It doesn’t change the solving experience, which is fine – it’s Tuesday, after all – and it does make the puzzle seem more cohesive.

A few other things:

  • It’s warmed all the way up to 23° F here today (I know that’s positively balmy compared to much of the country) and I am thinking dreamily of a CABANA.
  • This is what LE MONDE brings to mind.

  • 22a was indeed the DROID you were looking for.
  • I always have to remind myself that the model is NAOMI Campbell and the actress is Neve.
  • As long as I’m posting videos, here’s what APSE evokes.

What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: see above re: CHELSEA boot. COWBOY CAVIAR was also new to me.

Gary Larson and Amy Ensz’s Universal Crossword – “Say What?” – Matt F’s write up

Universal Solution – 12.27.22 – “Say What?” by Gary Larson and Amy Ensz

Sorry for the late post today — the holiday weekend went by too fast and all of a sudden it was Tuesday! Squeezed this in between baby feedings and making breakfast. Lesson learned: it is much easier to tackle these the night before after all the kids are in bed!

Theme: Turning adjectives into verbs to put a fun twist on common phrases. Say what? Let’s take a look:

  • 20A [Confess confidential information?] = STATE SECRETS
  • 36A [Recite “Jabberwocky”?] =UTTER NONSENSE
  • 54A [Deliver dialogue?] = EXPRESS LINES

These fun phrases reframe the first word as a “way to speak” (state, utter, express). Brilliant! I love a good pun theme, and all of these brought me a light chuckle as I slotted them in. Can’t ask for much more than that!

Standout fill: BUM STEER [Piece of false information], PARSIMONY [Stinginess], SWAN SONG [Final public performance], GAS PUMPS [Fuel dispensers].

Clever clues: [Kind of mirror or street] = TWO WAY (no “two-way” radio, though?), [Her ashes were the subject of a Frank McCourt memoir] = ANGELA, [Part of it is west of Los Angeles, oddly] = NEVADA, [“Get off my lawn!”] = SCAT, [Carnival follower] = LENT, [Caboodle’s partner] = KIT.

See you next week!

Enrique Henestroza Anguiano’s USA Today Crossword, “Rocky Starts” — Sophia’s recap

Editor: Anna Gundlach
Theme: The first word of each theme answer begins with a type of rock.

USA Today, 12 27 2022, “Rocky Starts”

  • 20a [Lecture with blackboard illustrations] – CHALK TALK
  • 36a [Publication with the column “Dear Prudence”] – SLATE MAGAZINE
  • 56a [Bread with light and dark braids] – MARBLE RYE

Cute theme and title! I don’t always think of CHALK as a type of rock in the same way as SLATE and MARBLE, but it still fits. CHALK TALK specifically reminds me of when I used to play basketball, and our coach would call a chalk talk to draw out plays. That’s the main context I know the phrase from. I’m a regular “Dear Prudence” reader, so SLATE MAGAZINE was easy for me, although I did hesitate for a second on the “magazine” part of the answer.

The grid feels a little segmented to me, particularly in how closed off the NW and SE corners are from the rest of the puzzle. However, it doesn’t feel like there are a million 3 letter answers, which it can when the puzzle feels choppy, so that’s nice. There were a bunch of fun bonus downs today – SKINCARE, KIDS TABLE, QUIZZICAL, LEAD ROLE – and most of them didn’t rely on pop-culture name knowledge, which makes the puzzle easier for more people.

Wyna Liu’s New Yorker crossword — pannonica’s write-up

New Yorker • 12/27/22 • Tue • Liu • solution • 20221227

No write-up as yet. This is a post-facto post, as I was unable to do crosswords for a few days. I’ll try to drop in some more discussion (still) later on.

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29 Responses to Tuesday, December 27, 2022

  1. MaryS says:

    Crossword Nation – I didn’t work this puzzle, but the grid caught my eye in the writeup. Rather than the theme answers being words that can come before “block,” are they not words that can come before “board”? I assume the answers “side” and “board” (shown in gray) are the revealer.

  2. AmandaB says:

    NYT – LETS ON bugged me [Pretends]. I mean, isn’t letting on giving a tell? Pretending would imply NOT letting on. Or PUTS ON?

  3. JohnH says:

    I don’t know about others, but I found the NW of TNY (extending to the end of the first entries) significantly harder than the rest. Make that impossible, which didn’t cheer me up at all.

    In time I realized that my memories of when it was verboten to tip the barber were no longer helpful, giving me the I in GUMMI BEARS (I had had a Y, as with the candy I knew, unlike Disney stuff). From the idea of a garden and _ E _ ED, I figured I better accept RAKED, while still wondering how to look after rocks too hard to cut and too heavy to move. PLEATS seemed obvious enough from wording of the clue, even if I’d never heard of the clothing line.

    Fair enough, but that still left me with no way to resolve a designer and a Chinese phrase crossing a game-show host. Yuk.

    • sanfranman59 says:

      My two (or three) cents … This relatively easy TNY Tuesday kinda, sorta makes up for yesterday’s undoable (for me) offering. I flew through a lot of it in a very un-TNY-Tuesday-like fashion. But I ended up having to do an awful lot of guessing to finish in the same area that JohnH mentions. ISSEY MIYAKE {17A: Designer whose “A Piece of Cloth” concept entails creating a full outfit from a single tube of fabric} is a completely new name for me (I don’t really do fashion, as anyone who has seen my “wardrobe” will tell you). I had no idea about NI HA OMA {20A: Mandarin phrase that literally means “You good?”}. I think I had AISHA {3D: “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” host Tyler} in a recent puzzle clued this way (possibly one of last week’s TNYs?), so maybe there was still a neuron or two up there that fired on that one. GUMMI BEAR {5D: Any of several colorful, anthropomorphic characters in a candy-inspired Disney series} was a total guess off of GU_______ (and surprisingly correct, though I spelled it wrong). I’m not aware of the Disney series. GRATUITY {23A: What’s left after a haircut?} also gave me trouble. Like JohnH, I misspelled GUMMI BEAR with a Y and wasn’t at all sure what was wrong with GR_T_YTY (until I was). YOU ALL {18D: Everyone out there, from a speaker’s perspective} is a weird clue/answer combo, imho. Having a typo in ORAL LAW {36A: Jewish doctrine codified in the Mishnah, having previously been unwritten} (ORAL sAW? … doh!) sure didn’t help matters in getting YOU ALL from ___ALs. Frankly, I’m not sure how I managed to put everything together, particularly with the misspelling, the typo and the completely uninferable name and Chinese phrase, but I did.

    • sanfranman59 says:

      p.s. I think that the type of Japanese rock garden referred to in the clue for RAKED is what’s also known as a Zen garden. Though I’ve never tended one myself, I assume that only the gravel parts of these gardens are RAKED.

    • Eric H says:

      The NW corner was hard for me, since I kept trying to cram Isaac Mizrahi in for the designer. (MIYAKE doesn’t sound at all familiar.) I finally cracked it when the PLEASE of PLEATS PLEASE became obvious from crosses and the PLEATS from the clue’s hint about the alliterative name.

      As sanfranman59 noted:
      — the Japanese rock garden is likely a zen garden, with artfully raked gravel.; and
      — overall, the puzzle was much easier than yesterday’s New Yorker puzzle.

    • JohnH says:

      Of course, I did mean it when I said “fair enough,” up to the point of those three insoluble crossing entries. The rest I mentioned were nasty but totally workable by process I described. But I should also mention that, to make the corner still less pleasant, if that’s possible, I needed every crossing for GAMERA and it sounds aimed at overgrown children.

      • Eric H says:

        GAMERA was a gimme for me. We used to be devoted watchers of “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” I can still sing the song they had for GAMERA.

      • sanfranman59 says:

        GAMERA brought back very fond memories of watching Japanese monster movies as a youngster in the late 60s and early 70s. He’s a giant turtle that I remember as being mostly protective of humans and was one of my favorites. I was very surprised to see him in a TNY puzzle since they tend to lean towards much more current pop culture references.

        • Eric H says:

          Wikipedia says that Netflix just last month greenlit a new GAMERA movie.

          There was also a GAMERA reboot in the late 1990s — early aughts, so maybe younger people have fond memories of him, too.

    • Amy Reynaldo says:

      So many men in this thread complaining about the hard fill! This one played like a mere Friday NYT for me. Didn’t know the PLEASE part, but Miyake famously designs with unusual pleats, and has done so for decades. Google _issey miyake 1990 collection_ to see some examples.

      Man, I would love to bitch and moan about every dumb little OTT and GTO I’ve had to absorb from crosswords, but they’ve been so plentiful for so many years, it would be exhausting.

      We’ve seen NI HAO (Mandarin for “hello”) in the puzzle before. I didn’t know the MA bit at the end, but the first five letters cooperated nicely.

      Enjoyed Wyna’s puzzle!

      • sanfranman59 says:

        Amy (not sure that you or anyone else will see this response, but I feel like I have to comment) … I enjoyed Wyna’s puzzle too (as I do almost every puzzle I do). “So many men in this thread complaining”? Who was “complaining” and/or “bitching”? Maybe JohnH was a little, but I don’t think either EricH or I were. My intention with my comments was to summarize my experience in solving the puzzle. Is that not something that you want us to do around here?

        Reading back over my comments again now, the only thing that I think I was even a little critical of was the YOU ALL clue/answer combo. I stand by that opinion, but in no way did I think it was a show-stopper or that the puzzle sucked because of it. I mostly just mention the things that I struggled with and hadn’t heard of. (Again I ask, do you prefer that we not post about things like that?) Just because I say “I had no idea” about this or “I’m not aware of” that doesn’t mean that I’m complaining or bitching about it, does it? If I think a puzzle is unfair or sucks, I’ll say that and why I have that opinion. Yeesh.

        Personally, I really like sports-related clues/answers because it’s one of my favorite subjects and one that I’m particularly knowledgeable about. You apparently prefer fashion. Great. I have no problem with that at all or with having a fashion reference or two in the crossword puzzles I do. Can’t we all have our favorite subject areas? FWIW, I agree that crossword puzzles have been slanted toward particular topic areas over the years and that some topics have received relatively less coverage. I have no objection whatsoever to that changing. I like to learn new things, but with a crossword, I want to be given a chance to complete the puzzles I choose to do.

        I doubt that I’m ever going to find the fashion industry to be of much interest and I’m pretty sure that I’ll never be able to remember the name ISSEY MIYAKE from scratch. Maybe I’d have a chance if it was something as simple as Ott, which is just three letters and is surely at least recognizable as a name to almost anyone who might be doing a crossword puzzle published in the United States. GTO is a slightly different story, but it’s still only three letters and there’s at least one iconic song about that car model. In other words, a solver should be able to make a pretty good guess at both of these answers. I don’t think that’s true of ISSEY MIYAKE, particularly when you cross it with something like PLEATS PLEASE (at least that answer was somewhat inferable) which crosses NI HAO MA. If you don’t know the designer’s name, there’s not a single letter in it that could be inferred by most people solving the puzzle.

      • JohnH says:

        That’s just not fair. It’s not about whether I prefer sports to fashion (mostly neither) or about what’s too hard (as if I’ve ever complained that a Saturday NYT is too hard). It’s about what’s solvable. FWIW, I have little to know idea what Mel Ott did and know him from crosswords, where he’s become beyond gimme.

        • JohnH says:

          Maybe I should put it this way: it’s not about which factoids I prefer or whether the puzzle is flattering my tastes in pop culture rather than yours, and it’s not about hard or easy puzzles. It’s about whether to mind it’s even a crossword! When has it become instead a game of trivial pursuit? I’m sure you like trivia night a lot more than I, but is it really why we come to a puzzle? Of course, maybe I’m biased by agreeing with the Brits and cryptic fans that crossword puzzles depend for their challenge on something other than your favorite stars. Yet there’s a reason the complaints are almost always about TNY and not other publications with their views of what makes a crossword!

          And what’s this men thing you’re obsessed on? True, mostly men comment and several very fine women post the full reviews. But the women who do comment don’t differ all that much from other commenters, and the men are not in protest against the women who review. I know I’m not.

          BTW, Ott thankfully, like ONO, is only three letters, so they’re less likely than the fashion designer or Chinese phrase to mess things up.

          • Amy Reynaldo says:

            What the above replies to my comment are missing is any acknowledgment that constructors may be choosing fill in order to right the wrongs of the decades of crossword editors deciding what’s “worthy” to be in a puzzle, what they feel is familiar to their imagined solver. For all those years of the editors all being white men, and the majority of constructors also in that demographic, all the other demographics of solvers had to just go along with the OTT hegemony (as I’ll call it). You can declare that you have no interest in learning anything about the fashion world, or the names drawn from Africa, Asia, indigenous peoples, and so on. But the constructors who value representation will continue to include such material in their crosswords. I mean, you really gonna tell Wyna Liu that an Asian name or phrase is unfair just because *you* don’t happen to know it? Come on, now. You’re never guaranteed a puzzle you can finish. Broaden your horizons, embrace the new knowledge, maybe Google something while solving if you’re stumped.

            • sanfranman59 says:

              Amy … I’m not sure if your message is directed at me, but if so, I never said that I thought any answer in Wyna’s puzzle was “unfair”. In fact, I said that I enjoyed solving it (as I almost always do, even if I think there is an “unfair” cross in it). Nor did I say that fashion-related names and topics shouldn’t be allowed in crosswords (I think I said just the opposite). Though I can’t find it now, somewhere along the line this week, I might have said (or at least implied) that I thought the section of the grid that included ISSEY MIYAKE was borderline unfair. In any case, all I was attempting to do was share my experience in solving this particular puzzle. That’s it.

              I think you’re being a little disingenuous in equating OTT with ISSEY MIYAKE or KUJICHAGULIA (which EA included in Wednesday’s TNY puzzle). Surely, you can see that it’s at least feasible for a solver to come up with OTT through inference and knowing how words work in our language whereas that can’t be said about the other two answers.

              Regarding your rather condescending implication that I might not be sufficiently intellectully curious, one of the reasons I enjoy solving crossword puzzles is because I frequently learn new things and they “broaden my horizons”. I always Google things that I don’t know or want to learn more about, even if they’re from topics in which I generally have little or no interest (e.g., the fashion and cooking shows). However, I don’t Google while I’m solving unless I absolutely have to in order to complete the puzzle. I solve this way because I record my solve times and looking things up introduces unmeasurable bias. I use these data to semi-objectively evaluate the difficulty level of the puzzle (I’m a nerdy retired statistician … what can I say?).

              I fully understand that crossword constructors and editors are under no obligation to cater to my nerdy whims, but I’ve been solving crosswords for a very long time. I’ve solved somewhere in the neighborhood of 30,000 to 40,000 of them over the years and recorded my solve times for about 25,000. I’m pretty good at them (though not nearly as good as you are judging solely by the solve times you post). With the puzzles that are in my regular daily routine, I solve about 98% of them without needing to look anything up. Who wants to play a game that they can only win by cheating (I recognize that “cheating” is just my interpretation of Googling for answers)?

              Re “What the above replies to my comment are missing is any acknowledgment that constructors may be choosing fill in order to right the wrongs of the decades of crossword editors deciding what’s “worthy” to be in a puzzle” … I wholeheartedly agree that constructors and editors should provide as much diversity as possible in the subject areas covered by the puzzles they publish. I don’t know if you’re suggesting this or not, but I don’t believe that sports, automobile makes/models and whatever other topic areas may have historically been over-represented should be completely excluded until we’ve somehow made up for the mistakes of the past. I believe that there should be as much balance as possible going forward.

              [Wow, I guess your latest message in this thread really got my juices flowing! Sorry about the length of this, but now that I’ve spent all this time composing it, I feel like I have to post it.]

            • Eric H says:

              I’m perfectly happy with constructors introducing me to people and ideas that are outside of my knowledge base.

              My objection to the ISSEY MIYAKE and PLEATS PLEASE answers is that both are long and cross in one corner of the grid. It wasn’t “unfair,” simply a challenge that maybe could have been avoided if PLEATS PLEASE had been in the SE corner. (I’ve done some construction, so I know that might not have worked.) I was grateful to whoever put the reference to alliteration in the PLEATS PLEASE clue, because once I had half the answer, the other half was easy.

              You say that we’re “never guaranteed a puzzle [we] can finish.” Maybe not, but I’ve got enough experience solving crossword puzzles to think that I can solve most puzzles in a mainstream publication. (For what it’s worth, I couldn’t solve the Monday New Yorker without some outside help. But I don’t consider that puzzle “unfair,” either.)

  4. sanfranman59 says:

    WSJ … I’m surprised the FILLMORE EAST was only open for a little more than three years. Thanks for the trivia, Jim. I lived about a mile from the original Fillmore in San Francisco for 23 years and regularly hung out in that area.

  5. Eric H says:

    Universal: The theme answers were all relatively amusing. UTTER NONSENSE worked the best for me.

    PARSIMONY. A great word that I can’t remember ever seeing in a grid before.

    And I’ve seen the factoid about Los Angeles vis-à-vis Nevada, but it always makes me look at a map.

  6. sanfranman59 says:

    I remember being surprised the first time I came across this fact in a crossword puzzle years ago. It’s about a 160 miles as the crow flies from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe (which is on the California/Nevada border, for those who aren’t aware of it). It’s hard to believe that LA is that far east, but it is. In fact, I think it’s about 250 miles east if you draw intersecting lines due east of San Francisco and due north of LA.

    [Doh! I intended to post this as a reply to Eric H’s post above about today’s Uni puzzle.]

    • Eric H says:

      It’s hard to tell from Google Maps (and I’m to lazy to find and actual paper map), but you’re probably right about how far east of San Francisco LA actually is.

      30 years ago, we drove the California from Eureka to Oceanside. I tend to think of that as driving south, but it’s obviously more SSE.

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