Simeon Seigel’s New York Times crossword — Zachary David Levy’s write-up
Difficulty: Challenging (18m22s)
Today’s theme: TAKE FIVE (Get some rest … or what to do with the end of the previous answer to solve each starred clue), i.e. take five letters from the prior horizontal answer to complete the themer:
- ASSIGNOR + AMUSES = IGNORAMUSES
- STRAPS + HOOTERS = TRAP SHOOTERS
- FOREVER + BERATES = REVERBERATES
- SHINDIG + NATION = INDIGNATION
Similar theme to last Thursday’s puzzle, though a bit trickier. In truth, the vast majority of my solve time was spent trying to suss out the NW corner, with ASSIGNOR and CUT NO ICE crossing GOOPY and PINTA proving really inscrutable. I am, however, a big fan of cluing COCO as Gauff, and not the Nazi spy.
Cracking: really liked LOTUS POSE, YKNOW what I mean?
Slacking: YKNOW that the puzzle also contains the word ASSIGNOR?
Sidetracking: RATSO Rizzo is walkin’ here!
Karen Steinberg & Paul Steinberg’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Ups and Downs”—Jim’s review
Apt for the WSJ, today’s puzzle brings us a representation of the stock market. The circled squares at the bottom spell out a period of a rising BULL market, then, after the STOCK MARKET PEAK, we have a falling BEAR market. Also, focusing on that peak is the phrase INFLECTION POINT, and finally, that apex of the market is a rebussed LB indicating the transition from bull to bear.
I’ll admit I wasn’t too familiar with the phrase INFLECTION POINT. In Math, it indicates a change in direction of a curve. In business, it indicates a turning point. So its usage is quite apt here.
For whatever reason, my solving software (Black Ink) didn’t like my rebussed LB square, hence it’s red in the picture.
The theme is fine, but it doesn’t really seem representative to me since you rarely see a graph of the stock market with such an even rise and equally even decline. But for a crossword, it worked and helped me resolve those two lower corners.
I think I enjoyed the fill more with LAST EXIT, ANTI-VENOM, HEADLINED, SAKE SETS, ICE BATH, and MACARON.
Clues of note:
- 30a. [Colorful sandwich cookie]. MACARON. Nice to see a different sandwich cookie for a change.
- 47a. [Epson competitor]. BROTHER. Nice little twist to have this clued as a brand name when there are so many other ways to do it.
- 59d. [Lod lander]. ELAL. Needed all the crossings here. Ben Gurion International Airport is located just 5 miles outside the city.
Robyn Weintraub’s New Yorker crossword – Kyle’s write-up
Thanks Robyn for another enjoyable Thursday puzzle.
- Entries I liked: NATURE HIKE, “I’VE GOT THIS”, “IN THAT CASE”, “OH COME ON!” SNOW CRAB, DOOMSCROLL
- Clues I liked: [What a novice parallel parker might hit repeatedly] for CURB, [Walking-trail activity that might include learning the names of trees or birds] for NATURE HIKE
- House style notwithstanding, I’d argue there shouldn’t be a hyphen in the clue for 7D VICE [___-President (Kamala Harris’s title).
Kelly Nguyen Dickson’s USA Today Crossword, “Behave Yourself (Freestyle)” — Emily’s write-up
Mixing it up today with a themeless freestyle.
Favorite fill: NAUGTHYLIST, TCHALLA, CRAFTSTORE, and ABSOFSTEEL
Stumpers: SAMOA (new to me), TRILL (needed crossings), and ENAMOR (also needed crossings)
A fast time for me today. Starting out, the top third of the puzzle in the acrosses were too familiar and made me start worrying that it was a little stale for me but then everything changed for the better. Perhaps that was just the fill needed to achieve everything else (which I completely understand, having filled puzzles myself including some that never turn out). The grid design otherwise looks fantastic and I love the overall fill, in particular the plethora of lengthy ones. What a puzzle! I hope to see more soon from Kelly. Nicely done!
Grant Boroughs’ LA Times crossword — Gareth’s summary
Quite a loose theme type is employed by Grant Boroughs in this LA Times puzzle. Syllables are added to phrases to make the last word into a vegetable. Clues are then shoehorned to be about a County Fair:
- [Proud proclomation at the county fair produce contest?], THATSMYCU(CUMBER)
- [Praises a prizewinner…], HAILSACAB(BAGE)
- [Cause of a frantic seach…], LOSTART(ICHOKE)
- [Squashes a rival’s entry…], GOESTOETOTO(MATO)
Not too much to note: a couple of recent TV actors again: [Catherine…] OHARA, Tracee ELLIS Ross.
The one clue which tricked me was [Part of a pen], GATE. Sheep.
Only one area, the ASSIGNEE REARER row, was a bit ugly.