Matt Jones’s Jonesin’ Crossword, “Now in 3-D” — I think it’s solid reasoning – Erin’s write-up
Hello lovelies! This week’s Jonesin’ grid involves adding three Ds to phrases and allowing hilarity to ensue:
- 20a. [Like trash that’s tampered with?] RANK AND FIDDLED (RANK AND FILE)
- 24a. [Got confused about the meaning of “horsepower” when fixing a car?] GARAGES ADDLED? GARAGE SADDLED? (GARAGE SALE) I feel like the correct verb here is ADDLED, not SADDLED, but I don’t get why GARAGE would be plural here.
- 42a. [European capital in a bewildered state?] MOSCOW MUDDLED (MOSCOW MULE)
- 48a. [What happened at the coronation of Charles III?] OLD KING CODDLED (OLD KING COLE)
- 44d. [One of the Big Three credit rating agencies] MOODYS. The Big Three are Moody’s, S&P, and Global Ratings, and Fitch Group. I completely confused this with the Big Three consumer credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion).
- 24d. [“Doritos & Fritos” duo 100 ___} GECS. The American musical duo released their latest album, “10,000 gecs,” this year.
- 32a. [National Coming ___ Day] OUT. Coming Out Day falls on October 11, but the clue is a nice reminder that Pride Month starts this week! A happy month to all those Los Jibbities who celebrate!
Until next week!
Elizabeth C. Gorski’s Cr♥ssw♥rd Nation puzzle (Week 626), “Bridgerton!”—Ade’s take
Hello there, everyone. Hope all of you had a good holiday weekend.
We have an interesting little theme in today’s grid, as, initially, the bubbled letters in the circles led me to believe that there was going to be some fun with anagrams. But as the title suggests, if broken up into two, the letters R-T-O-N appear consecutively in the theme answers and act as a bridge in connecting multiple words in those entries.
- IN THE AIR TONIGHT (17A: [1981 hit single by Phil Collins])
- HAIR TONIC (24A: [Coif-grooming formulation])
- WATCH YOUR TONGUE (39A: [“Hey, stop the rude talk!”])
- PORTO NOVO (51A: [Benin’s capital])
- I ANSWER TO NOBODY (63A: [“You’re not the boss of me!”])
We have some lovely long, non- themed fill with the paralleling entries of ANTIPASTI (3D: [Italian appetizers]) and AGITATORS, and really like the clue with the latter since I thought there would be a mislead to an instrument that’s actually used to stir things (36D: [They’re bound to stir things up]). I’m sure that the clue/answer pairing for DAWG took some people back, as, as much as I know about a lot of old cartoons, this was one that I was not able to catch in syndication when growing up (5A: [TV toon Deputy ___]). Was just at a basketball game last night (Heat/Celtics Game 7), and as much as in-arena music has changed over the years, it’s nice to hear the classic sound of an ORGAN playing at a ball game (10D: [One might pull out all the stops to play it?]).
“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: HOWE (26D: [Hockey legend Gordie]) – What do you call the act of scoring a goal, recording an assist and getting into a fight in the same game? If it’s a hockey game, it’s long been called a “Gordie Howe hat trick.” Before Wayne Gretzky came along and shattered all of his records, it was Howe, aka Mr. Hockey, who was considered the best player the National Hockey League had ever seen, as he ended his career with 801 goals, 1,049 assists and 1,850 points. .
Thank you so much for the time, everybody! Have a wonderful and safe rest of your day and, as always, keep solving!
Chase Dittrich’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Picture Perfect”—Jim’s review
We get a basic lesson in photography with this puzzle. The first words of familiar phrases tell us how to take a picture. The revealer is SNAP DECISION (53a, [Thing made in haste, or perhaps after the first words of 20-, 34- and 40-Across]).
- 20a. [Question of parliamentary rules] POINT OF ORDER.
- 34a. [Conference setting, sometimes] ZOOM MEETING.
- 40a. [Market research panels] FOCUS GROUPS.
Cute. I’ll admit to not having grokked the theme until after I finished the puzzle and after a few more moments of trying to parse the theme revealer’s clue. That may be due to our holiday activities (which means a margarita before dinner and wine with dinner). But eventually I got to the aha moment and I enjoyed it. I do wish those 9-letter Across entries (SHOE STORE and ROSA PARKS)—while very nice—weren’t distracting from the theme answers, though.
Top bit of fill has to be ANTONIO (my grandfather’s name), plus the aforementioned ROSA PARKS, FLORIDA, VLASIC, and SLOT CAR. The oddest bit of fill has to be plural AMMOS [Arrows, darts, bullets, etc.] which generally doesn’t need the S to be plural.
Clues of note:
- 8a. [One of twelve in a box]. JUROR. Haha! Not DONUT.
- 22a. [Result from a day at the beach]. TAN. It’s summer!! Make sure to wear that sunscreen, though!
Nice puzzle. 3.75 stars.
Jeffrey K. Martinovic’s Universal Crossword – “Throw One Back” – Matt F’s write up
I had to sit with this for a minute after solving to figure out the theme. The title tells us what’s going on but it’s a little cryptic. Looking at the theme set, I realized that the end of each theme answer, or, the “back,” is something that can be “thrown.” Let’s take a look:
- 17A – [Spoke convincingly yet insincerely] = TALKED A GOOD GAME
- 32A – [Bowlful at a school dance] = FRUIT PUNCH
- 44A – [Match made in heaven] = PERFECT FIT
- 63A – [Donkey group] = DEMOCATIC PARTY
Some of these sections played tougher than what I’m used to from Universal. I think this is mostly due to the proper nouns that were out of my wheelhouse: River TRENT, playwright Henrik IBSEN, English director David YATES, and Maple Leafs GM KYLE Dubas. In the end all the crossings were fair and I was able to finish just a tad slower than average, so it wasn’t that difficult, but I did have to pause more than usual in a few areas. The long and mid-length fill was fun, especially PAL AROUND, IT FIGURES, BIOTECH, and SIGN AWAY.
JAPAN’s current capital is Tokyo, which is an anagram of its former capital, Kyoto. This was a fun angle for the clue, and something I had not considered before. Kyoto was the capital of Japan for more than 1,000 years, from 794-1868.
Thanks for the puzzle, Jeffrey!
Kathryn Ladner’s New York Times crossword–Amy’s recap
I like bird themes but I hadn’t seen the theme at all till after I finished solving. The two-part revealer’s second half was the last answer in my grid, filled in via crossings. The 4d/50d revealer cites the EIGHT / BIRDS that appear within the mostly shortish theme answers: robin in PROBING, eagle in BEAGLES, tern in FRATERNITY, lark in MALARKEY, wren in LAWRENCE, loon in BALLOONIST, egret in REGRETS, and owl in SCOWLED. As the revealer clue notes, each of these birds is centered within the longer entry, which adds a note of elegance to the theme.
It’s 11:17 pm on Monday and I haven’t yet gotten around to the Monday New Yorker, so I’ll sign off here with a rating of 4 stars. No MALARKEY!
Amie Walker’s Los Angeles Times crossword — Jenni’s write-up
I saw the connection among the theme answers. The revealer took me by surprise and will be the “what I didn’t know before I did this puzzle” for today.
- 18a [One in a snuggly pair] is LITTLE SPOON.
- 23a [Office fund for odds and ends] is PETTY CASH.
- 53a [Insignificant weakness] is a MINOR FLAW.
- 59a [Without much warning, with “on”] is SHORT NOTICE.
The revealer is in the middle, and for some reason I solved this puzzle in a spiral and came to it last. 34d [With 36-Down and 38-Across, Blink-182 hit song, and a description of four long answers in this puzzle] is ALL THE SMALL THINGS. Never heard of the song. It does indeed describe all the theme answers. I like the fact that they all have synonyms for “small” and they’re all solid. It’s not the constructors fault that I’m too old for this puzzle.
Brooke Husic’s New Yorker crossword — pannonica’s write-up
Sort of stumbled my way into completion of this grid, which had a fair amount of material I did not know.
I haven’t yet done yesterday’s crossword in the New Yorker, so I can’t compare this one to it, but it feels as if it’s more difficult than a typical Monday there.
A satisfying workout.
- 9a [Star cluster?] A-LIST. Pretty nice spin.
- 14a [Artistic essence, in Indian aesthetics] RASA. New to me.
- 18a [Phase in which one subverts the expectation to be nice] VILLAIN ERA. 30d [Modern aesthetic that embraces a folkloric ferality] GOBLINCORE. We’ve seen goblin mode at least twice in crosswords previously—Natan Last’s New Yorker on 3 April of this year, and BEQ’s “Modern-Day Monsters” from 1 December 2022)—but combining it with the trendy -core suffix is a new formation to me.
- 20a [Story with a point?] looks like a misdirection toward FABLE, but it’s ATTIC.
- 26a [C6H2(NO2)3CH3] looked vaguely familiar, but I needed a letter to see that it was TNT, trinitrotoluene.
- 27a [Dialect spoken in some Black communities] AAVE, African-American Vernacular English, which is so much better than ‘ebonics’—remember that?
- 33a [Imperative that opens Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!”] LET’S GO GIRLS.
- 36a [They’re bound for a good time] ROPE BUNNIES. I have no idea what this is, and my final letters to fill in included this entry’s I. Okay, it’s related to what I thought it kind of might be (I see now that when I said “no idea” that was rhetorically hyperbolic): it’s a slang term in BDSM for someone who enjoys being tied up.
- 40a [Went 👋] WAVED HI, but if you had told me that wavedhi was the answer to 14-across, I would’ve thought it seemed plausible.
- Factette! 60a [Component in the mortar of the Great Wall of China] RICE.
- 64a [Name hidden in “mistaken identity’ ENID. This may have been the first answer I filled in. Was a relief to have a can’t-miss one.
- 5d [Trio in a miniseries subtitled “The Queens of R&B”] SWV, Sisters With Voices.
- 6d [Dragon’s hideout] LAIR, 57d [Winter digs] DEN.
- 7d [Baby bird that might have a heart-shaped face] OWLET. Probably a barn owl, then. Are we thankful or disappointed that the clue didn’t use the word cordiform?
- 12d [“To __, to seek, to find, and not to yield”] STRIVE. This from Tennyson’s “Ulysses“.
- 19d [Trade off] ALTERNATE. Note the absence of a hyphen in the clue, signalling that it isn’t a noun.
- 25d [Ironic choice of pasta to serve fra diavolo] ANGEL HAIR. Cute … and yep, I’m indeed finding several results online for cappellini fra diavolo.
- 48d [Ancient celebrant of Lughnasadh] DRUID. It’s a holiday marking the beginning of the harvest season.