Friday, October 27, 2023

LAT untimed (pannonica) 


The New Yorker tk (Matt) 


NYT 4:18 (Amy) 


Universal 5:00 (Jim) 


USA Today 3:46 (Darby) 


Adrian Johnson’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s recap

NY Times crossword solution, 10/27/23 – no. 1027

Really enjoyed this fairly breezy themeless. Lots of chatty fill, like “OH, BEHAVE!”, “BE SEATED” (courtroom fun!), “SADLY, YES,” “SPARE US,” “IT’S NOT EASY” (which is maybe not as idiomatic as the rest), “CAN I SEE?”, and “I DON’T WANNA.” There’s also plenty of other fill I liked.


Did not know two of the names:

  • 30d. [Actress George of “Animal Kingdom”], LEILA. She’s Australian and relatively new on the scene.
  • 49d. [Romanian philosopher Cioran], EMIL. Here’s his Wikipedia page. Sounds like an interesting guy, and his hair was wild. He was a 34d NIHILIST.

4.25 stars from me. A likable puzzle!

Dylan Schiff’s Universal crossword, “A Little Off”—Jim’s review

Theme answers are familiar phrases whose final words are one letter off from the word QUITE. The revealer is NOT QUITE RIGHT (54a, [Amiss, or a hint to the ends of the starred clues’ answers]).

Universal crossword solution · “A Little Off” · Dylan Schiff · Fri., 10.27.23

  • 19a. [*Saying under a senior’s headshot] YEARBOOK QUOTE.
  • 36a. [*End a relationship] CALL IT QUITS.
  • 42a. [*Hotel amenity for a wedding party] BRIDAL SUITE.

I finished the puzzle still puzzled about the theme. I was focused on the wrong word in the revealer thinking that there was going to be some play on the word RIGHT. I did notice the similarity of those final words, but it still took a few beats to put it all together.

I don’t know that I can make logical sense of the phrase NOT QUITE RIGHT as it applies to the theme. It seems like QUITE, NOT RIGHT or NOT-RIGHT QUITE would make more sense, but the fact that it seems “a little off” is strangely thematic and therefore acceptable. Maybe it’s best to just not think too hard on it.

Nice fill in CINEPHILES, REGIMENTED, OPAQUE, and LACQUER. I needed nearly all the crosses for singer Nick LACHEY and I’m surprised that ASMARA, Eritrea, is completely unfamiliar to me. Other than those two sticking points, very smooth fill.

Clues of note:

  • 23a. [Enjoy a bit of a sea breeze?]. SIP. No idea on this one. That’s a drink, is it?
  • 35a. [Second person?]. EVE. I’m liking less and less the assumption that the Bible is a common point of reference for all solvers. I don’t really object to the clue, but I would prefer it to be something like [Biblical second person].

Nice puzzle. 3.75 stars.

Doug Peterson’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

LAT • 10/27/23 • Fri • Peterson • solution • 20231027

Four different spellings of the phoneme /′bē/ are suffixed to the theme entries.

  • 20a. [Phrase on a card in Desert Monopoly?] DO NOT PASS GOBI (Do Not Pass Go).
  • 33a. [Doll with many advanced degrees?] GENIUS BARBIE (Genius Bar).
  • 41a. [Part of the year that’s filled with possibility?] MONTH OF MAYBE (month of May).
  • 56a. [Sport whose players wear furry hides?] BEARSKIN RUGBY (bearskin rug).

These are … okay?

  • 29d [Myanmar, once] BURMA. Still is, to many,
  • 38d [Element of a warrior pose] KNEE BEND. See: virabhadrasana.
  • 36a [Nevada city on I-80] ELKO. I of course tried RENO first, so was primed for 69a [Nevada city on I-80] RENO.
  • 52a [Bamboo fencing?] KENDO. Nice clue.

Chandi Deitmer’s USA Today crossword, “Sink Ships”—Darby’s recap

Editor: Amanda Rafkin

Theme: Each theme answer includes SHIP, which appears progressively lower in the grid, imitating its sinking.

Theme Answers

Chandi Deitmer's USA Today crossword, "Sink Ships" solution for 10/27/2023

Chandi Deitmer’s USA Today crossword, “Sink Ships” solution for 10/27/2023

  • 3d [Chinese opera singer who doubled as a spy] SHI PEI PU
  • 20d [Toronto dish with rice crust and fish toppings] SUSHI PIZZA
  • 10d [Element of the Tarpan ritual] ANCESTOR WORSHIP

I love that SHIP descends further and further in this puzzle. I’d never heard of SHI PEI PU before, so I was pretty dependent on the crossings in order to fill it in, which was not a problem. 38a [Trembling in fear] SHUDDERING was both fun for its length and for its helping me solidify 3d. SUSHI PIZZA came like a sudden revelation, and it sounded so much odder based on the clue than it did once I actually filled it, which made me laugh. ANCESTOR WORSHIP took me a second too, but I got there.

There were a lot of fun things that I loved about this puzzle. 64a [Sounds from 12-Down] BLEATS from EWES made me laugh so hard. BLEATS is an excellent word. I also just really loved highlighting a historical figure like SHI PEI PU. People have such interesting LIVES!! I also really liked 14a [Informercial’s “Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime buy!”] CALL NOW and 17a [“Wait until I give the signal”] ON MY CUE.

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12 Responses to Friday, October 27, 2023

  1. Dallas says:

    Pretty fun Friday—all went smoothly, top to bottom, till the SW corner. I put in SAD TO SAY at first, which really bogged me down… then changed it to SAD TO SEE, till finally fixing it all up at the end. Faster than my average, and faster than yesterday’s too. I liked that the science fill (XENON and IONIC) were also clued well :-)

    • Mutman says:

      Agreed. Fun puzzle but humbled in SW. Also erred with SAD TO SAY and just couldn’t decipher PE CLASS. Was looking for some pregnancy term that I haven’t heard of.

    • JohnH says:

      I had SADLY first, with the Y making me think “tiny” for miniature. But then I saw AVE MARIA, so that wasn’t right, and with the A suggested “nano” for tiny, so I did try “sad to say,” and then, sure, I adjusted to “sad to see,” which didn’t work. So lots to work out, and a reasonably challenging Friday.

  2. Eric H says:

    New Yorker: I don’t know why, but several of the last few Friday New Yorker puzzles have taken me longer than I would have expected.

    Today’s has a perfectly fine theme, but it’s the kind where getting one theme answer doesn’t really help you with the others. PERIOD TRACKER was the last theme answer I got, probably because it’s not something I have ever had to think about.

    Looking at the grid, the only things I see that aren’t familiar are BELLA Ramsey, LFG, MOMO and KOOPA. (Once again, a crossword puzzle expands my knowledge of texting terminology, Asian cuisine and Super Mario.)

    I enjoyed the clues for SNAKE PIT, IVIED and POP-UP BOOK.

    • Lester says:

      TNY: I was hoping for an explanation of LFG. Google suggests that it stands for Let’s Fucking Go. With that wisdom revealed, I can die happy. I also didn’t understand in 1D why a tilde might be seen under ETC. Apparently it may be a coding thing?

      • Eric H says:

        Thanks for reminding me to look up LFG. That’s a new one for me.

        You’ve got a mistake in your puzzle. The answer for 1D is ESC, as in the key located near the tilde on many keyboards.

      • JohnH says:

        For once, it was a genuine theme, meaning takes thought, but alas the fill was the kind that does make me feel out of it. LFG and KOOPA were part of that, and Figj’s capital? No hope. Oh, well. I didn’t enjoy it, but maybe someone else will.

  3. GG says:

    Hoping to see someone review the WSJ. Totally perplexed about this one.

    • JohnH says:

      We don’t want to discuss the WSJ until after the contest deadline has passed. An entirely separate post will appear Monday.

      For me, I admit that can be a burden. I am just awful at “meta” answers to the point of not trying, but do struggle with the fill, which I’m often eager to discuss, which this week I found way too pop knowledge heavy for me. But rules are rules and, here, only fair.

    • Eric H says:

      Without spoiling it for anyone, I think I can say that the meta is pretty easy.

      But maybe my answer is completely wrong.

Comments are closed.