Matt Jones’s Jonesin’ Crossword, “Repartee Report” — injecting some humor. – Erin’s write-up
Hello lovelies! Hope you’re ready for some WITty banter, because this week’s Jonesin’ theme involves inserting WIT into common names and phrases.
- 17a. [Untouchable Ness who now only focuses on silly people?] TWITS ELIOT (T. S. Eliot)
- 26a. [The splendor of fading roses?] WITHER MAJESTY (Her Majesty)
- 42a. [How to say “Thanks for activating the lights” in German?] DANKE SWITCH ON (danke schön)
- 56a. [Voting bloc that cool, Daddy-O?] BASE WITH IT (base hit)
Other things (with a medical twist):
- 10d. [Block-dropping game] TETRIS. Some studies suggest that playing Tetris after a traumatic event can reduce the number of flashbacks related to the event in the following weeks.
- 2d. [Fuzzy fruit] KIWI. Studies have shown that eating two kiwifruit daily can improve constipation more than psyllium, a common constipation remedy. They taste a lot better too!
- 30d. [Blood bank’s “universal donor”] TYPE O. O negative is the universal donor because O negative blood does not have either A or B blood type antigens or Rh(D) antigen, so the person receiving blood will not develop anti-A, anti-B, or anti-Rh(D) antibodies to the donated blood. There are a ton of other blood group systems that can lead to badness, but ABO and Rh are the two we hear most about.
Until next week!
Benjamin McAvoy-Bickford’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Drip Drip Drop”—Jim’s review
Theme answers are familiar phrases that feature the letters WATER in circles “dripping” downward. The revealer is FALLINGWATER (23d, [Frank Lloyd Wright house, and a hint to the circled letters]).
- 4d. [“Worst case scenario, it’s still okay”] “WHAT’S THE HARM?”
- 5d. [Endure hardship with minimal damage] WEATHER THE STORM.
- 9d. [Welcomers in some big-box stores] WAL-MART GREETERS.
Pretty nice. Usually these types of themes have a progression as the falling/moving word proceeds down or across the grid. I don’t think that’s strictly necessary in this case, at least not for me. I’m left with the impression of water dripping off the EAVEs as I look out a window. Not bad.
I like the positive messages in the fill such as EAT HEALTHY, GET WELL, and TO LIFE. Other goodies include RAMADAN and “WHO’S ‘WE’?” [“Speak for yourself!”]. I’ve never heard of GREY GOO [End-of-the-world scenario with out-of-control nanobots], but I’m glad to learn about it.
- 64a. [Rice or Oates, e.g.]. WRITER. Anne and Joyce Carol, I’m guessing?
- 10d. [K-pop group named for a type of planet]. EXO. Who else confidently put in BTS since that’s the only K-pop group they know?
- 47d. [Shout of pain]. YOW! I was going to say I think I usually see this spelled “Yeow!” but then an image from Schoolhouse Rock came to mind. Who am I to argue with Schoolhouse Rock?
Nice puzzle. 3.75 stars.
Elizabeth C. Gorski’s Cr♥ssw♥rd Nation puzzle (Week 648), “Finding One’s Inner Artist”—Ade’s take
Hello there, everyone! Here is hoping you’re all doing well as spooky season continues to be all around us.
The work of art that is this grid is an homage to a bunch of well-renown artists. Each of the five theme answers is a multiple-word entry in which the name of a famous artist is hidden, spanning at least two if the words in the answers.
- LIVED A LIE (17A: [Misrepresented one’s true self]) – Salvador Dalí
- LET’S GO YANKEES (27A: [Chant at a Bronx baseball stadium]) – Goya
- PEAR PIE (37A: [Fruity autumn dessert]) – Jean Arp
- ANKLE EXERCISE (45A: [Lower leg strengthener]) – Paul Klee
- BEER TENTS (61A: [They’re pitched at Oktoberfest]) – Erté
Though they’re not too fun to be around, loved seeing NUDNIKS in the grid (10D: [Annoying folks]). The crossing of XZIBIT (47D: [Rapper who hosted “Pimp My Ride”]) and AZT is a pretty tricky one, and I blanked on the former and who hosted the show for a while (50A: [HIV-treating drug]). For those supervocalic sleuths, we have AEIOU making an appearance, and I wish I had the mind like many others on here who can locate those words almost instantaneously (32A: [String of vowels]). Who knows: I might have used a supervocalic in this review and not know it. OK, enough here. Now for the main course. :-)
“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: CEASE (41A: [Stop]) – Just one season ago, Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease was one of the best hurlers in baseball, as he finished with a 14-8 record in 2022 while ranking in the top 10 in the American League in ERA (2nd, 2.20), games started (3rd, 32), innings pitched (10th, 184) and strikeouts (2nd, 227). Cease finished second in the Cy Young Award voting in the AL, behind the Houston Astros’ Justin Verlander.
Thank you so much for the time, everybody! Have a wonderful and safe rest of your day and, as always, keep solving!
Daniel Grinberg’s New York Times crossword — Emily’s write-up
Theme: each themer is a punny one-liner for ending a relationship by the creature in the clue
- 20a. [Breakup line from a vampire?], YOURENOTMYTYPE
- 24a. [Breakup line from a werewolf?], TIMEFORACHANGE
- 44a. [Breakup line from Frankenstein’s monster?], THESPARKISGONE
- 50a. [Breakup line from a mummy?], LETSWRAPTHISUP
A very timely spooky puzzle theme, though it’s curious why NYT didn’t hold this another week and drop it on Halloween (next Tuesday!). I enjoyed the references to the creature clued—blood TYPE for the vampire, full moon CHANGE for werewolf, SPARK of life for Frankenstein’s monster, and WRAP-ping for mummy. I’m impressed that the theme works so well for some many of them! Cue “The Monster Mash” song—it’s time for a party with all of these newly singles!
Favorite fill: GOSHNO, SPAM, FURBY, and STAYCLASSY
Stumpers: MOP (kept thinking of the idiom instead of a practical use), PEA (needed crossings, as I never think of—nor eat these—in the singular), and ALDER (new to me)
Overall a fairly smooth solve though it took me a bit longer than usual. NYT Tuesdays can be a grab-bag for me as far as difficultly goes. The bonus fill was great too and the cluing was a nice mix to keep it feeling fresh throughout with a few callbacks with related and similar clues. Really enjoyed this fun puzzle, and hope you like my silly write-up which seemed appropriate given the theme and themer set.
David Tuff’s Universal Crossword – “Same Old Song” – Matt F’s Review
Theme answers run vertically for a good reason today. Clues are in the form, “[Artist A] hit, covered by [Artist B],” with “cover” implying the song is played in the style of Artist B. In the grid, the hit song title takes the lower half of the answer, while the musical style of the cover artist takes the top half – literally “covering” the song in the grid.
- 4D – [2017 Calvin Harris hit, covered by the Foo Fighters?] = ROCK SOLID (Foo Fighters sing rock music, covering the song, “Solid.”)
- 7D – [2019 Taylor Swift hit, covered by Bad Bunny?] = LATIN LOVER (Bad Bunny sings Latin music, covering the song, “Lover.”)
- 10D – [2016 Rihanna hit, covered by Avicii?] = HOUSE WORK (Avicii plays house music, covering the song, “Work.”)
- 33D – [2001 Enrique Iglesias hit, covered by Bob Dylan?] = FOLK HERO (Bob Dylan plays folk music, covering the song, “Hero.”)
- 38D – [2015 Maroon 5 hit, covered by … Maroon 5?] = POP SUGAR (Maroon 5 sings pop music, covering the song, “Sugar.”)
It took me a minute to wrap my head around this theme, but by the end of the solve I was truly impressed by the clever gimmick. The theme answers appear in the grid as though the new genre is literally on top of (covering) the name of the hit song. Great visual representation of the theme! I thought the clue for the last themer was a fun little twist that gave the puzzle a little sense of humor. It worked for me! Staunch solvers might have preferred the same A|B clue structure as the rest of the theme set.
I found it peculiar to see 43A (TLC) clued as the musical group. There are other angles for TLC that would not have duped the theme, so this stood out to me. I did enjoy a lot of the clues in here, like 21A – [It might help an arm rest] = SLING, 39A – [John, Paul or John Paul] = POPE, the interesting court case cited at 18A, and 59A – [Company that created a Sonic boom?] = SEGA.
The grid’s left-right symmetry looks cool, too, and I can’t imagine how tricky it was to fill the top section – triple 10’s running down, through a crossing 9 that is hamstrung by 3 theme answers – I’ll take INAMORATO as the sacrifice to hold this all together so cleanly.
Thanks for the puzzle, David!
Samuel A. Donaldson’s Los Angeles Times crossword — Jenni’s write-up
I’d like to come up with a clever lead-in to this review and I can’t, so we’ll cut to the chase. The theme made itself very clear from the beginning.
- 18a [“So tasty!”] is NOM NOM NOM.
- 20a [Disco hit with the repeated lyric “How do you like it?’] is MORE MORE MORE.
- 36a [Dance syllables] are CHA CHA CHA.
- 54a [“Exactly right!”] is DING DING DING.
- 58a [“Wait for it”] is DOT DOT DOT.
Nice, solid, consistent Tuesday-appropriate theme. That’s a lot of theme material for a 15×15 grid and the fill suffers a tiny bit. I’m not crazy about APERY and REPOSES and I especially don’t like to see them in the NW corner where they color my experience of the puzzle more than they would elsewhere. I liked the puzzle overall, though.
A few other things:
- My first thought for [Sign of dehydration] was SKIN TENTING. The answer is DRY MOUTH. Sometimes a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
- HENRI Matisse had some ELAN, don’t you think?
- Am I the only one who hears YES MOM in my head with a certain tone of voice? The clue suggests it’s said by a polite child. That’s not exactly how I imagine it, which probably says something about me as a parent. Or as a child.
- I’m glad to see ANN Patchett and URSULA K. LeGuin in the puzzle! Love both of their very different styles.
- 55a [Aussie mate-ing call?] is a cute clue for G‘DAY.
What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: that Tina FEY graduated from UVA. Hey! That rhymes!
I leave you with the music of my youth.
Patrick Berry’s New Yorker crossword — pannonica’s write-up
This one felt on the easier side of the New Yorker‘s ‘moderately challenging’ Tuesday offerings.
- 5a [Author Eric Van __, who continued the Jason Bourne series after Robert Ludlum’s death] LUSTBADER. I knew the name from other books, not being aware of his substitute gig. What I didn’t know is that he’s from Greenwich village.
- 18a [Scientist who coined the term “radioactivity”] MARIE CURIE. Also did not know this, but of course it makes a lot of sense.
- 20a [Undisguised] OVERT. Tried NAKED first.
- 36a [Make tracks, in a way] SKI. Nudged by the nearby 32a [Went downhill, as relations] SOURED. 23a [Lays down a blanket?] SNOWS.
- 39a [“T’aint funny, __!” (old radio catchphrase)] MCGEE. I’m going to assume this is Fibber MCGEE, about whom I missed a question in the most recent Learned League season.
- 47a [Age-old psoriasis remedy] TAR. More of a treatment than a remedy—although I guess those terms are essentially synonymous. Modern biologicals do a much better job, anyway.
- 49a [Flower in Paris?] SEINE. Saw through this immediately. On the other hand, I was flummoxed by 8d [Fancy beverages?] THIRST. So, uh, “water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink”?
- 7d [Scattered] STREWED. Initially dismissed that avenue because I only considered the too-short STREWN.
- 35d [Religiously diverse capital sometimes called the Jerusalem of Europe] SARAJEVO. Interesting to learn.
- 42d [Día de __ (holiday)] FIESTA. Just a generic holiday.