Monday, April 8, 2024

BEQ tk (Matthew) 


LAT 1:44 (Stella) 


NYT 4ish (Sophia) 


The New Yorker 5:14 (Amy) 


Universal untimed (pannonica) 


USA Today tk (tk) 


WSJ untimed (Jim) 


Peter Gordon’s New York Times crossword — Sophia’s write-up

Happy Monday all! I’m writing this after a very fun but *extremely* tiring weekend at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, so I’m a little puzzled-out. But I’ll do my best here for y’all!

New York Times, 04 08 2024, By Peter Gordon

Theme: Songs that are solar eclipse appropriate

  • 17a [1971 Cat Stevens hit that would be apt to play during a 46-Across] – MOON SHADOW
  • 23a [2007 Santana hit that would be apt to play during a 46-Across] – INTO THE NIGHT
  • 36a [1997 U2 hit that would be apt to play during a 46-Across] – STARING AT THE SUN
  • 46a/ 57a [Event across the U.S. on 4/8/24… and, with 57-Across, 1983 Bonnie Tyler hit that would be apt to play during a 46-Across] – TOTAL ECLIPSE/OF THE HEART

The eclipse is happening tomorrow morning! A very fun subject for a tribute puzzle. MOON SHADOW is a perfect themer, and of course TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART works too. At first I misread the clue and put in “solar eclipse”, but that was a quick fix. It’s a very tight set overall – I’m stunned that the symmetry worked out.

This puzzle has the classic problem of early-week puzzles with a pop culture related themes – either you know them or you don’t. But here the eclipse connection  between the answers should make it easier to parse them out. I was not familiar with INTO THE NIGHT or STARING AT THE SUN, but I got them both after getting some crosses.

Favorite fill: THANOS, POLONIUM, ESCHEW (I just like that word)

Favorite clues: [Like corgis, by origin] for WELSH, [Red ___ (spicy candies)] for HOTS

New to me: Painter Joan MIRO

Alex Eaton-Salners’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Look Up!”—Jim’s review

Theme answers are familiar phrases whose first words identify stages of a solar eclipse. The revealer is ECLIPSE GLASSES (53a, [Equipment you’ll need today to safely observe the sequence at the starts of 19-, 24- and 44-Across]).

Wall St Journal crossword solution · “Look Up!” · Alex Eaton-Salners · Mon., 4.8.24

  • 19a. [Adjustable bolt remover] CRESCENT WRENCH.
  • 24a. [Optimist’s bit?] SLIVER OF HOPE.
  • 44a. [Popular Mexican beers] CORONA EXTRAS.

Happy Eclipse Day! Do you have any plans for viewing the big event? Are you in the path of totality? Let us know how it goes.

Alex brings us a straightforward but tidy Monday theme apt for today. Seeing CRESCENT and then SLIVER, I thought this was going to be about the moon (and there’s MOON SHOT right there at 9d). So the revealer provided a nice little twist along with the aha moment. Nicely done.

In the fill I loved MOON SHOT and FROG LEGS as well as how smooth the rest of the grid was. Nothing too tricksy or weird for a Monday morning.

Clue of note: 1d. [“Back in Black” band]. AC/DC. We also would have accepted [Band that inspired a new logo for the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament]. Check this out. Wyna Liu, the Connections editor for NYT Games, hosted a one-off Connections game during this weekend’s ACPT where she unveiled her logo. She even has a snazzy shirt for purchase.

Smooth Monday grid to go with your eclipse viewing. 3.5 stars.

Christina Iverson’s Los Angeles Times crossword — Stella’s write-up

Los Angeles Times 4/8/24 by Christina Iverson

Los Angeles Times 4/8/24 by Christina Iverson

Um. It took me at least three times as long to figure out the theme of this puzzle as it did to solve it, which makes me think this is a theme that belongs on a Tuesday or even a Wednesday. The revealer at 39A [“We’re almost there!,” and what can be said about 17-, 25-, 51-, and 64-Across?] is THE END IS IN SIGHT. After much brain-racking, I figured out that the second word in each theme answer is something found in the eye:

  • 17A [Curtain holder in a bathroom] is SHOWER ROD. A ROD is a type of cell found in the retina.
  • 25A [Purple flower with a fuzzy patch] is a BEARDED IRIS. The IRIS is the colored part of the eye.
  • 51A [Orange marker in a construction zone] is a TRAFFIC CONECONEs, like RODs, are cells in the retina.
  • 64A [Student at the top of the honor roll] is a STAR PUPIL. The PUPIL is the opening in the IRIS that dilates and contracts depending on how much light there is to take in.

These things are in fact all found in the eye, but there are two visible-to-the-naked-eye structures and two cells here, and then the revealer can’t be read literally (IN SIGHT, not IN EYE), so this was not Monday-appropriate IMO.

Matt Forest and Taylor Johnson’s Universal crossword, “Mmm … Tasty!” — pamommica’s write-up

Universal • 4/8/24 • Mon • “Mmm … Tasty!” • Forest, Johnson • solution • 20240408

It’s as easy as 1, 2 … 3.

  • 47dR [Mars products, or what you’ll find in 16-, 33-, 40- or 59-Across?] MANDMS, or more conventionally M&Ms. Anyway, each of those entries contains first a single M and then a pair of Ms.
  • 16a. [Drinks associated with the Crimson Tide] ALABAMA SLAMMERS.
  • 33a. [The trolley problem, for one] MORAL DILEMMA.
  • 40a. [“The Kelly Clarkson Show” won six in 2023] DAYTIME EMMYS.
  • 59a. [News sources for the masses] MAINSTREAM MEDIA.

Normally, I’m in favor of variation in distribution/spacing in this sort of theme, but here the final entry is simply an ODD (27a) one out—the paired Ms aren’t contained within the same word and it seems peculiar. Otherwise, it’s pretty neat.

  • 10d [See red?] OWE. Not necessarily about anger.
  • 15d [“All good here”] I’M COOL. 41d [“Reckon so”] I S’POSE. 44d [“Totally, bro!”] YEAH MAN. 66a [“I guess that’s that] WELP.
  • 36d [Hair division] PART. Not about the play.
  • 52d [Dating around?] CIRCA. My favorite clue of the puzzle.
  • 39a [More, paradoxically] LESS. Feels as if there should be some qualifier here, such as “to some” or “in a phrase”.
  • 65a [Flavor enhancer found naturally in tomatoes: Abbr.] MSG. I knew it was a natural compound, but not that tomatoes contain it.

Alex Eaton-Salners’s New Yorker crossword, “Light switch”–Amy’s recap

New Yorker crossword solution, 4/8/24 – “Light switch”

This one’s themed but is synced to today’s eclipse so it didn’t run on a prior Friday instead. The revealer at 65a is [Heavenly display that’s visible today . . . and that’s illustrated three times within this puzzle], ECLIPSE. Three 15s have the letter sequence SUN blotted out by the MOON. Comes under fire becomes COME MOONDER FIRE. Atomic mass unit is ATOMIC MASMOONIT. And Citizens United is CITIZEN MOONITED. I guess the roundish space in the center of the grid might be a moon as well?

It feels weird to have each base phrase starting with a word that ends with S, and that’s obliterated by the MOON so the resulting phrases just read oddly.

Fave fill: PO’BOY, PEPITA. Enjoyed the clue [Call to inaction] for “STOP IT!”

3.5 stars from me.

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16 Responses to Monday, April 8, 2024

  1. huda says:

    NYT: I thought this was a thing of beauty. Really enjoyed it.
    I live on a street that was supposed to be named Moonshadow, but somebody in some registration office somehow messed up the name.
    Excited about the eclipse today!

    • David L says:

      Me too! I am about to set off on what I hope will be a 2 1/2 hour drive to reach the path of totality.

      • Gary R says:

        Give yourself plenty of time. I drove through Indiana yesterday on I-65 and I-69. They had electronic message boards set up from about 50 miles south of Indy to nearly the Michigan border warning people to expect heavy traffic congestion – “Fuel up. Arrive early. Stay put. Leave late.”

  2. Alan D. says:

    New Yorker is a themed puzzle today. Have they changed their formats yet again?

  3. Greg says:

    Enjoyed both the Times and New Yorker eclipse/themed puzzles.

  4. Gerald A. Connell says:

    Today’s Universal has this clue at 1A: I GET IT NOW!. The answer is AHH. Well that’s ridiculous. AHA is good, even OHO. Am i missing something?

    • sanfranman59 says:

      Such a ridiculous way to start a puzzle. Clue/answer combos like this should never be the first thing a solver sees.

    • Eric H says:

      No, the 1A answer is OHH.

      I tried AHA first, but it was quickly obvious that it was not going to work with the crosses.

      OHH works for me, though.

  5. David Roll says:

    WSJ–Regarding the eclipse, it is reported that the sun was very upset today because it got mooned!

  6. Lois says:

    NYT: Just read now in Wordplay that Peter Gordon wanted to have “Paint It Black” as one of the songs, but it wasn’t allowed. Too bad. It would have been the one song I knew.

Comments are closed.