Peter A. Collins’s New York Times crossword — Sophia’s write-up
Happy Monday everyone! Today’s theme is three phrases that all have the same structure:
- 19a [Start a subway ride] – HOP ON THE TRAIN
- 27a [Wash oneself quickly] – JUMP IN THE SHOWER
- 48a [Seize an opportunity] – LEAP AT THE CHANCE
All of them start with a word that can mean “bound”, which is how we arrive at the revealer: BOUND TO HAPPEN. I guess the “happen” part is that an action takes place after the bound word? But I’m not exactly sure if I’m missing another part of the theme, let me know if so. JUMP IN THE SHOWER was my favorite answer, although after putting it in I still wanted “jump at the chance” over LEAP AT THE CHANCE.
I really liked some of the fill today, like STUNTWOMAN, PIKACHU and TAQUITO. On the other hand, there were more difficult answers than the usual Monday. KNUTE and F TROOP were both total mysteries t0 me – after getting the first two letters I thought the answers was the name of a fort, like Ft. Knox (although I know that doesn’t really make sense with the clue).
There were also more “crosswordese” answers than normal, like EDO AIG SIL. Taken together, it gave the puzzle a little more of a retro fill (ironically, I had that as an answer instead of the correct PASSE). This puzzle is a pangram though – every letter in the alphabet appears. Not sure if that ties into my comments about the fill or not, but worth pointing out as a potential tradeoff.
Zachary Schiff’s Los Angeles Times crossword — Stella’s write-up
I know from experience that it’s really freakin’ hard as a crossword editor to run a theme that’s timed to the release of a movie or TV show: Editorial calendars are set months in advance, but release dates can change if there are production issues. Add the 2023 industry strikes, and you’ve got a recipe for a big pain in the butt. So I’m guessing the constructor and editor were hoping very much that the film that’s the theme of this puzzle would still be in theaters at the time the puzzle came out — and it is! I guess if there had been an announcement of a delayed release, the clue for the revealer could always have been changed to be about the book, not the movie.
Anyway! I’ve gotten ahead of myself; the movie in question, which is clued at 49A as [2023 musical film produced by Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg, and an apt title for this puzzle] is THE COLOR PURPLE, because each of the other three theme answers begins with a shade of purple:
- 20A [Thoroughfare in New York City’s Little Italy] is MULBERRY STREET. You say Little Italy, I say Chinatown, we’re both right.
- 25A [Hit song from Taylor Swift’s “Midnights”] is LAVENDER HAZE. T-Swift is emphatically not an area of expertise for me, so it’s good that I was mostly solving with the Down clues.
- 43A [Meatless cheesy entree, familiarly] is EGGPLANT PARM. Between this and the clue for 20A, is there a secret Italian-American mini-theme here?
Wyna Liu’s New Yorker crossword—Amy’s recap
Big thanks to Kyle for covering for me on the Friday and Saturday NYT themelesses! I don’t think I’m back up to speed just yet, as a Wyna New Yorker puzzle really shouldn’t take me as long as this one did.
Fave fill: “I CAN RELATE,” STREET FOOD (though my only tlayudas exposure comes through a terrific local Oaxacan restaurant), “IT’S THE ALGORITHM,” GRIND IT OUT, AS SEEN ON TV, PRESTO CHANGO, ATOMIC AGE (man, I thought Oppenheimer was coming to streaming with no extra charge, but apparently it’s 2/16 instead and it costs $5.99 now).
Did not know: 44a. [Folkloric goblins], BOGLES. Scottish/Northumbrian folklore, apparently.
Fave clue: 30a. [Make an impression?], MIMIC.
3.75 stars from me.