Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Jonesin' 6:24 (Erin) 


LAT  untimed (Jenni)  


NYT 5:15 (Jim) 


The New Yorker untimed (pannonica) 


Universal untimed (Matt F) 


USA Today tk (Sophia) 


Xword Nation untitled (Ade) 


Note: No WSJ puzzle due to the holiday.

Matt Jones’s Jonesin’ Crossword, “Get the Hook” — another letter, please. – Erin’s write-up

Jonesin' solution 7/4/23

Jonesin’ solution 7/4/23

Hello lovelies! This week’s Jonesin’ involves adding a J to the theme phrases.

  • 20a. [Driver’s permit that’s only for the First Lady?] LICENSE TO JILL. This entry confuses me. The other theme entries are formed by adding a J, so this entry should be made by adding a J to LICENSE TO ILL. At first I thought it was changing the K in LICENSE TO KILL, but that doesn’t follow the other entries. Then I thought of the Beastie Boys album, but that is LICENSED TO ILL with a D. This is the more likely explanation, but I don’t love it. Please let me know if you have another explanation
  • 38a. [“That sound! Is it a giant keyring?”] WHAT’S YOUR JANGLE (WHAT’S YOUR ANGLE?)
  • 51a. [Either of my kids, compared to me?] THE YOUNG JONES (THE YOUNG ONES)

Other things:

Slimer, a bright green blobby ghost, with a juice box of Hi-C Ecto Cooler

Slimer with Ecto Cooler

  • 66a. [Old-school icons, slangily] OGS. Short for original gangsters.
  • 18d. [Hi-C ___ Cooler (“Ghostbusters”-inspired drink)] ECTO. I loved this stuff as a kid, but I’m sure it would be disgusting if I tried it now.

Until next week!

Elizabeth C. Gorski’s Crsswrd Nation puzzle (Week 631), “We’re Cutting Carbs!”—Ade’s take

Crossword Nation puzzle solution, Week 631: “We’re Cutting Carbs!”

Hello there, everyone! Here is hoping that you’re well and have a fun and/or relaxing day ahead of you on this Fourth of July!

If you’re reading this in the morning, then this puzzle’s theme is perfect, given that the five lines that have circled letters, which span two different answers in each line, are all types of bagels, with BAGELS appearing as the reveal as well (12D: [Sliced ___ (breakfast buffet offerings … and the puzzle theme!])

        • MELONI (17A: [Christopher of “Law and Order: Organized Crime”]) + ON ONE LEG (18A: [How a flamingo might stand]) = Onion
        • COLOSSAL (23A: [Huge]) + TASSEL (26A: [Loafer adornment]) = Salt
        • SAMURAI (36A: [Japanese warrior]) + SINNERS (38A: [Breakers of Commandments]) = Raisin
        • COUGAR (50A: [Mountain lion]) + LICENSED (52A: [Officially approved, as an electrician]) = Garlic
        • CAROUSES (59A: [Goes bar-hopping]) + AMELIA (61A: [Aviator Earhart]) = Sesame

RINGS IN is definitely an apt answer to have in today’s grid, as I’m sure fireworks are going off as we speak where you are as we usher in the national holiday (42A: [Welcomes, as the new year]). Had never heard of SURIGAO before today and needed every cross to get that entry (33D: [Port city of Mindanao Island, Philippines]).

“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: LEY (29A: [Emmy-winning sports anchor and reporter Bob __]) – One of the original anchors hired by ESPN in 1979 (he was hired three days after the channel’s launch), Bob Ley was a stalwart on the anchor desk for the sports cable channel, with his most notable work being the studio host of the sports news/investigative journalism magazine show Outside the Lines.

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

Take care!


Ella Dershowitz’s Los Angeles Times crossword — Jenni’s write-up

If weekday LAT puzzles had titles, this one could be “Bye, Bye, Baby.” Each theme answer starts with a different spelling of the same syllable.

Los Angeles Times, July 4, 2023, Ella Dershowitz, solution grid

  • 17a [Purposely cause a delay] is BUY SOME TIME.
  • 24a [Dismissive send-off that originated in an Ice Cube film] is BYE FELICIA. Apparently the movie is “Friday.”
  • 38a [Annual celebration involving a pink, purple, and blue flag] is BI VISIBILITY DAY.
  • 48a [Generally speaking] is BY AND LARGE.
  • 60a [Drink with Sao Paulo Strawberry and Burundi Blueberry flavors] is BAI LEMONADE.

Not the most creative theme on the face of the earth, but solid and consistent.

What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: see above.

Barbara Lin’s New York Times crossword—Jim’s review

Theme answers are common phrases that included toppings for a BURGER (63a. [Common cookout fare whose toppings can be found stacked in this grid]).

NY Times crossword solution, 07 04 23, no. 0704

  • 18a. [Movie rating scale with “Fresh” and “Rotten” labels] TOMATOMETER. Fresh entry!
  • 26a. [2022 murder mystery movie with cameos by Serena Williams and Yo-Yo Ma] GLASS ONION. Also fresh.
  • 46a. [Sport craze of the 2020s] PICKLEBALL. Yet another fresh one. I didn’t know this was a craze until just now. Then I found out it was invented in my (current) home state of Washington in 1975, and just last year Gov. Inslee made it the official sport of the state.
  • 58a. [Moon’s makeup, fancifully] GREEN CHEESE. Not quite as current a phrase as the others but fun nonetheless.

Great choices in theme entries! I’ll admit I wanted them all to stack up a little bit more neatly, but we all know that a slidey tomato doesn’t always stay where you want it. Another nit: Who puts the tomato on top of onions and pickles? That’s just weird. And I guess we’re watching our carb intake since we’re going bunless. But it’s a pleasant theme, executed nicely with fun entries.

Fill highlights include ICE SKATE, HITS A NERVE, ANTI-MATTER, TAKE BETS, and PREMIERE. Nice to see MOHAWK but I wouldn’t have minded if it was clued with respect to the people and not the hairstyle, especially since their communities are located in New York state. In fact, the MOHAWK “Skywalkers” made significant contributions to skyscraper construction in New York City, including the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the World Trade Center.

That’s all from me. 3.75 stars.

Happy 4th, and please take care of your pets on this potentially traumatic day for them.

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

New Yorker • 7/4/23 • Tue • Agard • solution • 20230704

Found this one significantly tougher than yesterday’s offering. Tough, but fair: I was able to plow my way through it eventually, revisiting sections numerous times as I managed to incrementally fill in answers here and there. In other words, it played exactly how I would wish a challenging crossword should.

  • 14a [Mean guy?] AVERAGE JOE. Despite having a suspicion about what the wordplay was pointing to, I still needed several crossings before seeing the answer. Same experience for 17a [They can help with firm deadlines] LEGAL ASSISTANTS.
  • 20a [Cracks] SOLVES. So many ways that clue can be interpreted. Didn’t help that the crossing 10d [Reason to crack a window] STALE AIR served as distraction.
  • 30a [Clean cut?] RADIO EDIT. Great, simple but clever clue.
  • 31a [Nigerian uprising of 1929] WOMEN’S WAR. Unfamiliar to me, and the first letter here was a mystery, as I suspected it was a proper noun possessive. The crossing answer was also tough, except in retrospect: 31d [Camping shelter with vertical sides] WALL TENT.
  • 32a [Extremely flimsy] PAPER THIN.
  • 40a [Self-titled 1978 album with the single “I’m Every Woman”] CHAKA Khan. Embarrassed to confess that with the CA– in place my answer was CARLY Simon. Annoying because of course I know the song and it isn’t really her style.
  • 51a [Weaving projects] WEBS.
  • 1d [No actor has a part in this] BALD CAP. >groan< got me good.
  • 2d [Another name for the mountain Sagarmatha] EVEREST. That’s the Tibetan name. There’s a Chinese name too.
  • 6a [Actor Studi who has played Geronimo, Red Cloud, and Wovoka] WES.
  • 8d [Important piece in le jou d’échecs] ROI. Just now seeing the answer and hence understanding that the clue is referring to chess.
  • 18d [Like some traditional Spanish marzipan] TOLEDAN. Okayy.
  • 37d [ __ beans, a.k.a. cowboy beans] CHARRO. This is basically a straight-up translation.

To reiterate: a solid challenge. Reading through the clues again for the write-up, I’m struck by how many of the clues establish their difficulty via understatedness and subtle ambiguity.

Justin Werfel’s Universal Crossword – “Speed Climbing” – Matt F’s write up

Universal Solution 07.04.2023

With all the holiday hubbub I forgot to blog this puzzle on time – sorry about that! Hope everyone who got time off yesterday made the most of it. Now let’s take a look at today’s puzzle.

Theme Synopsis:

A vertical theme orientation can be advantageous for certain themes, like today’s. The reveal at 68A, buried way down at the bottom, tells us what’s going on – [Incur, as charges … or a hint to this puzzle’s indicated letters] = RUN UP. Each vertical theme answer contains a synonym for “run” written in reverse:

  • 5D – [Staying with a series of people while traveling] = COUCH SURFING (rush)
  • 7D – [Pandora offering] = INTERNET RADIO (dart)
  • 17D – [Unlikely to happen] = NOT IN THE CARDS (race)
  • 23D – [Becomes adept at] = GETS A FEEL FOR (flee)

Overall Impressions:

The theme lengths (2-12’s and 2-13’s) make for a challenging construction, but Justin pulls it off well and works in some decent mid-length words, like COMP-SCI, EN GARDE, and ALMANAC, and keeps the grid smooth overall.

Thanks for the puzzle, Justin!

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14 Responses to Tuesday, July 4, 2023

  1. Philip says:

    Fun little NYT. But re 20A, have the constructor or editor been in a library lately? I am writing this while sitting in a library. The shushing era is long past. And no, I’m not complaining, or lamenting its loss. Or perhaps the movement towards newer-style libraries is not evenly distributed.

  2. JohnH says:

    There won’t be a WSJ puzzle on the holiday.

  3. PJ says:

    TNY – Over half of the puzzle put up little resistance while the four of the five long central across entries gave me trouble. I saw GROWWEARY fairly quickly. This resulted in an 11:08 solving time.

    I decided 24D involved TWIN and had WEWON for 28D. PAREVE was new to me. It took way too long for me to see PIRATES and I also resisted WALLTENT. Once those clicked my earlier errors became apparent. 30A is a great clue. I found the clues for the grid spanners better than the answers.

    Overall, a very enjoyable solve.

    • Gary R says:

      Very similar solving experience (though a much longer solving time) for me. I’m sure I’ve seen PAREVE before, but couldn’t bring it to mind. I had to work to complete that middle section, but it was satisfying when I did. Fun puzzle!

      • JohnH says:

        I know PAREVE as a secular Jew, but never having observed it I didn’t know the preferred spelling. I’d always gone with PARVE, as I’d pronounced it, which clearly didn’t fit, so I looked for something else.

        I’m still at the puzzle, but it’s a tough one in a reasonably good way so far, a surprise from Erik Asgard. (Of course, I can’t yet rule out its getting a bit worse.)

    • Eric H says:

      We used to shop at a grocery store in a part of town where a lot of Jewish people live. I remember seeing PAREVE on containers for various food products, especially around Passover.

      Nice puzzle.

  4. dh says:

    Is there any significance to the fact that the NYT published a 27 x 27 puzzle on July 4, 1976?

  5. Mr. [very very very] Grumpy says:

    The thought of putting GREEN CHEESE on my BURGER turned my stomach, and I was offended to see a banner ad for a book about Vladimir Putin when I went to the NYT puzzle app. On the FOURTH OF JULY ?!? Are the NYT ad people complete idiots? My apologies for the mini rant, but I found that ridiculous, intolerable, and many other words [learned from my Marine Corps father] not fit for print.

    • JohnH says:

      Didn’t bother me, in part because I didn’t think of putting, say, glass onions on a burger either. And in part I didn’t even think of it as meaning cheese that’s turned. (It would have to have turned a heck of a while ago to have turned mostly green.) I associate it just with the moon.

      Didn’t bother me, either, that one wouldn’t use all the toppings, at least not in that order. I just figured the revealer was exaggerating a bit regarding what were choices, in order to get the pun on “stacked” as appearing in successive rows.

  6. Dallas says:

    Pretty fun Tuesday / July 4th puzzle; solved it with the nearly 8yo next to me, so my time was average. Today also managed to be my 500th puzzle solved on the NYT app, and I’m continuing my year-long streak… have a great holiday everybody!

    • Scott says:

      How do you know it was 500? Is there a counter or do you do it manually?

      • Dallas says:

        The NYT crossword app has total number of puzzles solved in “stats”; there are also stats online too. Also keeps average times, fastest times, etc.

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