Erica Hsiung Wojcik’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s recap
This grid reminds me a bit of KAC’s Monday New Yorker grid, with a wide-open center ringed by four corner sections, though here two of the sections connect to the middle through two avenues.
Fave fill: ONLY NOW, BEARD OIL, DANCE AROUND a difficult topic, fascinating SYNESTHESIA ([Neuropsychological trait in which one might ascribe colors to numbers or tastes to words]), ER NURSES, “SO CLOSE!”, “MY PRETTY,” WILLA CATHER, LOOSE CHANGE, SUE BIRD, REESE’S.
Puzzle felt easier than the Friday NYT to me. Was that your experience?
Most mystifying clue: 32D. [Capricorn’s symbol], SEA GOAT. I know Capricorn’s symbol is the goat, but SEA GOAT?? Apparently it’s a mythical half fish, half goat. A mergoat, if you will. Live and learn.
Apparently I don’t follow any MEME ACCOUNTs because 31A. [Source of some popular Instagram or Twitter postings] didn’t ring a bell for me.
Kate Chin Park’s Los Angeles Times crossword — Stella’s write-up
I’m short on time today, so I’ll point out one thing I really liked and one I really disliked:
- 1A [Staying safe, in a way] is MASKING UP. Almost nobody is doing it, even in NYC, these days. I’ll admit that I wasn’t, up until three months ago when my dad died of COVID-related complications. I’m all for getting on with our lives, but I am now also for putting a mask on when with a group in close quarters.
- 56A/44D crossing of the awkward ENSHRINEE with the unfamiliar MACEO was the source of 30 seconds of my above-average time. (And as you can see from the screenshot, I gave up and picked the wrong letter.)
Freddie Cheng’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Do It Again!” — pannonica’s write-up
Just some straight-ahead wordplay involving the prefix RE-.
- 26a. [Put the vacation itinerary in order again?] RE-SORT DESTINATIONS.
- 37a. [Follow venture capitalists again?] RE-TAIL INVESTORS.
- 48a. [Hoodwink religious ministries again?] RE-CON MISSIONS.
- 68a. [Frisk an aide again?] RE-SEARCH ASSISTANT.
- 84a. [Match instructional books with each other again?] RE-PAIR MANUALS.
- 94a. [Dole out pounds again?] RE-SERVE CURRENCY.
- 104a. [Procure a new board again?] RE-SOURCE MANAGEMENT.
In each case the author tried clue the entries far removed from the definitional sense of the original re- word.
(Song below is NSFW, believe me. But it’s catchy.)
- 7d [Finished edges] HEM. 43d [Be in a bee] SEW.
- 11d [Prepare for the fair, say] FATTEN. A bit dark.
- 20d [Chin-ups strengthen them] LATS, 61d [Shoulder presses strengthen it] DELT … I could’ve sworn there was a third clue like this.
- 27d [Short way to go?] DIR. First I thought VIA, then AIR.
- 33d [Carnival ride] CRUISE. Ride seems a bit iffy to me. Wonder if there was editorial discussion about using a question mark.
- 34d [“Tastes awful!”] BLEAH. Was expecting BLECH. Bleah is my preferred spelling, but I tend to use it more for describing situations rather than, say, flavors.
- 39d [Brest bestie] AMI. 34a [Pals, in texts] BFFS.
- 52d [Facial spots] was a misdirect for ACNE: SPAS.
- 86d [Nice round number] PAR, 87d [Just a number, supposedly] AGE.
- 95d [Crossword constructors, often] CLUERS. I genuinely thought this was going to be CLEVER, and was ready to opine on the cheekiness.
- 106d [Breeze (through)] SAIL. 1a [Crushing, as a final] ACING.
- 117d [Canal buildup] WAX. Specifically, an ear canal.
- 24a [Modern hieroglyph] EMOJI. That’s how I think of them.
- 74a [Dilute] THIN DOWN, with the THIN part being superfluous. But hey it’s idiomatic.
- 81a [Where It.’s at] EUR. The capital letter and the period give the game away.
Lester Ruff’s Newsday crossword, Saturday Stumper — pannonica’s write-up
Was surprised at how fast my time was, especially since I wasn’t hurrying. Truly a less rough offering!
- 15a [Cleaner named for its “round-the-clock” value] DIAL. Was unaware of that aspect of its origin.
- 17a [Magnetic north, to magnetic south] ANTIPOLE. First I got the -POLE, then the ANTI-.
- 18a [’20s mentee of Gertrude] ERNEST. Stein, Hemingway. 14d [Creator of Olga, Masha and Irina] ANTON Chekov. We often see Three Sisters invoked as a means of cluing OLGA.
- 19a [Top of Apple Records’ logo] STEM. Whereas the Apple Computer logo lacks a stem (but has a leaf).
- 22a [Very briefly, these days] A MO. For “a moment”, presumably. That doesn’t strike me as a recent formulation, or even something that’s more commonly said now than in the past.
- 31a [Human herbivores] VEGANS. Are herbivores still a descriptor for certain Japanese men? Wikipedia has a page on it.
- 47a [Word before “!” on direct-mail order forms] YES, but I first tried YOU.
- 51a [Take a dip] SWIM, 51d [Dipped] SLID.
- 57a [Spiritual reader’s resource] LIFE LINE. 5d [Spiritual reader’s resource] ESP.
- 1d [Android ancestors] PDAS. Isn’t Android the operating system and not the phone itself? Don’t we refer to an Android phone and not simply an Android?
- 7d [Word from the Greek for “milk”] GALAXY. My first entry filled.
- 9d [“Eezy Out” kitchen cooler] ICE TRAY. Are we laying groundwork for future use of EEZY in a crossword?
- 11d [2016 Best Actor Saturn Award role] HAN. Okay, that seems obscure cluing to me. But since I never saw it, the crossings filled it in automagically.
- 23d [No-cook fish dish] TUNA TARTARE. Spent a little too much time wondering how ceviche was going to work there.
- 27d [One of the Twelve Olympians] HERA. Needed crossings to eliminate ZEUS and ARES.
- 50d [Guy in a jeep on ’70s “TV Guide” covers] ALDA. Seemed tough at first, but a few moments’ reflection brought this crossword staple’s name to the fore.
- 53d [Hurricane following Gerda (1969)] INGA. Made the mistake of popping in a leading H here, forgetting that not all named tropical depressions become fully-fledged hurricanes.
Bruce Haight’s USA Today crossword—Matthew’s recap
Three themers contain words associated with bowling:
17a [Reason for some picket lines] LABOR STRIKE
39a [Ice cream parlor order] BANANA SPLIT
64a [Gap between completion and a deadline] TIME TO SPARE
With only three themers and 78 words, most of my enjoyment here was finding nuggets in the clues. I quite liked [Iftar fruit] for DATE, in particular.
Have a good weekend!