Jonathan Kaufman’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s recap
We just saw a BALD CAP and DID (or DO) A SOLID this week in other puzzles. Apparently bald caps are in vogue! Better go get yourself one and start sporting it.
Fave fill: HERD MENTALITY, “WHAT’S THE POINT?”, a Chinese EGG TART (apparently kin to the Portuguese nata egg custard tart, yum!), SOLANGE Knowles (she’s Beyonce’s sister), SPA TREATMENTS, GOING TOE TO TOE, LIL BABY, and IRIDIUM.
Food for thought: 1a. [“In all chaos there is a ___, in all disorder a secret order”: Carl Jung], COSMOS. This is what I say to anyone casting aspersions on my workspace.
Three more things:
- 28a. [Remover of dirt … or spreader of dirt], RAG. As in a cloth cleaning rag vs a tabloid spreading tawdry rumors.
- 29d. [Awards for great pitchers?], CLIOS. Pitchers as in salespeople, as in an ad agency’s creative types. Anyone much encounter the Clio award outside of crosswords? Can’t say I do.
- 53d. [Wireless network std.], LTE. Stands for “long-term evolution” and it’s roughly equivalent to 4G phone service, apparently. I’m on 5G, no idea if I ever had LTE. Sounds faintly familiar?
Brynn & Mark Diehl’s Los Angeles Times crossword — Stella’s write-up
I don’t have a ton of time to write this one up, but I thought there were a lot of lovely clues for short answers in this one, and on the whole enjoyed those more than I did the clues for some of the marquee entries. Favorites:
- 15A [Complex concerns?] for RENTS.
- 27A [Tennis clinic topic] for GRIP. Also a powerlifting clinic topic!
- 29A [Dinosaur in the den] is a fantastic clue for VCR.
- 39A [Take a turn for the worse] for SPRAIN is also very clever.
- 42A [Wanders around the airport?] for TSA made me guffaw. Get it? Wanders! People who wave a wand at you!
- 50A [Cops who need collars] is CANINE UNIT.
- 9D [Zedonk parent] is ASS. First of all, I love putting ASS into a puzzle, and second, the word “zedonk” is fun to say.
- 25D [Greek equivalent of the Hindu god Kamadeva] feels fresh for the very common fill EROS.
- 31D [Works in a hotel lobby] is ART PRINTS. The misdirect with “works” didn’t fool me very long, but I still needed a lot of crossings to determine that it was ART PRINTS and not ART-something-else.
Gary Larson and Amy Ensz’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Done With Ease” — pannonica’s write-up
The ENDINGS (53d) of the theme phrases have been augmented with an /-ēz/ sound
- 22a. [Actually living the lifestyle one depicts on Instagram?] TRUE TO YOUR SELFIES (… yourself).
- 33a. [Pacts with the Netherlands?] DUTCH TREATIES (… treat).
- 67a. [Deliciously creepy feeling one gets while watching a horror movie?] GOOD WILLIES (goodwill).
- 67a. [Bambi and Thumper?] FLOWER BUDDIES (… bud). Flower, you will recall, was the little skunk’s name.
- 110a. [“A friend of a friend told me…” rumors?] SECONDHAND STORIES (…store). (4d [Rumor has it…”] I HEAR.)
- 3d. [Small change for making wishes?] FOUNTAIN PENNIES (… pen).
- 48d. [Snacks for stress eaters?] PRESSURE COOKIES (… cook).
A few of these require a doubled letter, so it isn’t as straightforward as just adding -IES.
- 41d [Serious and unadventurous] STAID, for which I first had SOBER.
- 51d [Wisconsin native] BADGER. That’s a demonymous nickname.
- 64d [Sentence segment] YEAR, as in a prison sentence.
- 105d [T choice] LARGE. Shirts.
- 40a [Cork masses] IRISH. The county.
- 50a [Oxonian’s rival] CANTAB, short for Cantabrigian.
- 58a [Sailor of legend] SINBAD.
- 107a [Carrier in “Back in the USSR”] BOAC. Haven’t seen that in a crossword in quite some time. British Overseas Airways Corporation. 56a [China Clipper flier] PAN AM.
- 123a [Black Sea port] ODESSA. Most style guides are now spelling it ODESA, the Ukrainian way. Strange that the clue isn’t qualified in some way.
Steve Mossberg’s Newsday crossword, Saturday Stumper — pannonica’s write-up
This one felt rather resistant, with the top left and bottom right being the final areas to be filled in.
For the latter, letting go of DEBATE CLUB for 29d [Summer academic workshop] in favor of DEBATE CAMP allowed me to finish up that section without any trouble.
For the former, I’ve never heard of 1a [Sharp-turn rollercoaster] WILD MOUSE, so that required heavy crossing. This was not helped by interpreting 1d [From Washington to Lincoln] as state-to-city, which would be EAST. I’m now presuming there’s a city or town in Nebraska called Washington, which Lincoln is WEST of? Experienced another turnaround in interpreting 5d [Went 1 for 2?] MERGED, for which I first ventured HALVED.
- 42a [Spicy quesadilla items] TOSTITOS. (1) Tostitos are spicy? (2) they’re part of quesadillas??
- 36a [Have something] AIL. 34a [36 Across, picked up the wrong way] ALE; picked up as in heard; these are homophones.
- 45a [Boarded] FED, as in room and board.
- 49a [Space starter first seen in an ’82 sci-fi story] CYBER-, which is Greek for pilot. If my trivia memory is correct, the work is Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash.
- 60a [Crown jewel] PREAKNESS. One of the three races constituting the Triple Crown.
- 3d [Scottish soup staple] LEEK, but that’s the national symbol of Wales.
- 12d [Collegiate quarters] ELITE EIGHT. NCAA quarterfinals. Really sneaky clue.
- 24d [ __ Scarlett O’Hara] KATIE. I did not know this, having never seen the film nor read the book. Full version: Katie Scarlett O’Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler.