Friday, May 24, 2024

LAT untimed (pannonica) 


NYT untimed (Amy) 


Universal 3:25 (Jim) 


USA Today tk (Darby) 


Carolyn Davies Lynch’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s recap

NY Times crossword solution, 5/24/24 – no. 0524

It felt like we’d been seeing more male NYT bylines of late, so I was pleased to open up this crossword.

Fave fill: SWIFTIES, GET THE SCOOP, soccer RED CARDS, STIMMING (if you or someone you know is on the autism spectrum, you probably know this term for [Repetition of self-calming movements, such as finger-tapping or hair-twirling]), the CHA CHA SLIDE (sure didn’t know any of the words, though), BUYOUTS, “PLEASE DO,” and the increasingly relevant “AT MY AGE …”

New to me: 14a. [Fourth card in Texas hold ’em], THE TURN. Nearly everything I know about poker is from crosswords! Also new to me: 25a. [___ Garibaldi, revolutionary sometimes called the “mother of Italy”], ANITA, and that SOLAR NEBULA.

Surprising clue: 7a. [Cooking product originally invented for soapmaking], CRISCO. Eww!

Plural METROS felt a bit weird to me. Just me?

Four stars from me.

Margi Stevenson’s Los Angeles Times crossword — annonica’s write-up

LAT • 5/24/24 • Fri • Stevenson • solution • 20240524

A P has been prefixed to various phrases, to resumably amusing effect.

  • 17a. [Stellar essay?] PROSE GOLD (rose gold).
  • 22a. [Modest proposal?] PRUDE REMARK (rude remark). Sounds kind of intrusive, but maybe I’m taking the IDIOM (50d) too literally.
  • 35a. [Compliment a nice thatching job?] PRAISE THE ROOF (raise the roof).
  • 49a. [June celebrant’s social media posts?] PRIDE SHARES (rideshares).
  • 56a. [Comparison shop at BevMo?] PRICE WINE (rice wine). “BevMo” is … not an appealing name for an establishment (website?).

We’ve got a few stray Ps elsewhere in the grid, which is fine I guess. No stipulation against that.

  • 2d [Like Scrooge] ORNERY. I did try MISERLY first, but it didn’t fit and rendered itself as MISERY when the Y replaced the L.
  • 10d [Big little tech release of 2005] IPOD NANO. I guess that was a long time ago now? The device has come and gone. There are two more Apple-centric clues in the crossword.
  • 25d [“Never gonna happen, bud”] AS IF, crossing 24a [“Never gonna happen, laddie!”] NAE.
  • 31d [Who Othello declares “is most honest”] IAGO. Whom?
  • 36d [Many a wedding guest] RELATION, though I first had RELATIVE.
  • 45d [Label founded by Clive Davis] ARISTA. Are we supposed to know who Clive Davis is? He seems like a big-deal player, but I didn’t recognize the name.
  • 52d [Like a kite] ALOFT, not AVIAN.
  • 13a [ __ myrtle] CRAPE. Also spelled crepe or crêpe, and named for the appearance of the flowers.
  • 19a [Zero-stress period] ME TIME. Oh, this is so, so incorrect.
  • 62a [Subsequently] AFTER.
  • And we end things with 65a [Turn on] START. Not a revealer but I wanted it to be one.

Drew Schmenner’s Universal crossword, “Quiet on the Set!”—Jim’s review

Theme answers are familiar phrases that feature a single silent letter. Collectively, these letters spell out FILM. The revealer is SILENT FILM (53a, [Any early Charlie Chaplin movie … and what unpronounced letters in 16-, 21-, 36- and 46-Across spell]).

Universal crossword solution · “Quiet on the Set!” · Drew Schmenner · Fri., 5.24.24

  • 16a. [Like Utah, among states by date of admission] FORTY-FIFTH. TIL that apparently some people don’t pronounce the second F in “fifth.”
  • 21a. [“Be on your best behavior”] “NO FUNNY BUSINESS!”
  • 36a. [Question asked while waffling] “SHOULD I?”
  • 46a. [Recall aids such as Roy G. Biv] MNEMONIC DEVICES.

I like the concept, but I personally pronounce that second F in “fifth” and the M at the start of “mnemonic”. But I concede that some people may not, so it’s not a dealbreaker for me. Other than those nits, a good theme, and I love the apt title. Although, I will note that conversely, a SILENT FILM would not require a quiet set since audio would not be recorded.

DEFIES LOGIC and FALSE MEMORY are wonderful long Downs. Everything else in the fill is solid and smooth, so no complaints from me. Clues are straightforward contributing to a quick Friday solve.

Four stars from me.

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29 Responses to Friday, May 24, 2024

  1. Ethan says:

    METROS felt perfectly natural to me.

    i also look at the byline and i saw it was a woman and was, like you, pleased: as a dude, i often learn something or have to stretch my mental muscles in new ways when the puzzle is authored by a woman (or anyone else with widely different lived experiences than me!).

    Really loved how this one ranged all the way from classical literature (the clue for AENEAS was a gimme for me) to makeup (MATTES clued in reference to eyeshadow was def not a gimme) to astronomy (SOLAR NEBULA) to pop culture (SWIFTIES).

    didn’t have the sense there’d been a reduction of late but will keep an eye out.

    • Gary R says:

      I was also okay with METROS.

      The clue for SOLAR NEBULA seemed a little off to me. I thought the term referred specifically to our solar system, in which case plural “suns” seemed off. But I’m certainly no expert.

      CHA CHA SLIDE utterly unknown (but I try my best to avoid weddings). Liked the other two long downs.

      Nice Friday puzzle.

      • PJ says:

        I agree about SOLAR NEBULA. I think the term is specific while the clue felt more general.

        Also, I don’t equate strategy and TACTICS. I’ve always considered a strategy as a higher levell plan while tactics are the means for executing a strategy.

        I agree that it’s a nice Friday puzzle

        • DougC says:

          I agree with both of these points. This was an odd puzzle for me, because it felt harder than it played. I was actually well under my average time, but at several points had to go back to fill in a word I had passed over with the thought “that can’t be right.”

          I attribute that to the near-misses on several of the clues. To the problems already mentioned, I’ll add ORIENT clued as “acclimatize.” Those words mean something quite different to me, and I can’t recall ever hearing them used interchangeably.

          • Me says:

            I agree that ORIENT and acclimatize aren’t really the same thing.

            I was a bit surprised to see SWIFTIES because that is very “of the moment” and will grow stale quickly. Particularly when clued by referring to the Eras Tour. But perhaps Joel isn’t concerned about long-term playability in the way that I think Will was.

            • Amy Reynaldo says:

              SWIFTIES is “of the moment”? Swift is only 34 and her fan army will likely continue to exist for decades to come. She’s known for having cultivated an unusual sense of friendship and intimacy with her social media followers, so her fan army may well age with her.

      • Martin says:

        Technically, there is only one solar system in the universe and it was formed from the only solar nebula.

        But in everyday speech, “other solar systems” is a common and convenient shorthand for “other systems of stars and exoplanets.” And of course, should we talk about the formation of those other solar systems, we would have to speak of other solar nebulae.

        • David L says:

          For extrasolar planets, the phrase ‘stellar nebulae’ is sometimes used.

          More to the point, the solar nebula is usually defined as the cloud of gas and dust surrounding the young sun — which had already formed by that time.

          The clue is kind of garbled, IMO, if not exactly wrong.

    • JohnH says:

      This was a hard Friday for me, because of my lack of currency, so I guess it’ll have done me some good. STIMMING is too new to have made it into either RHUD or MW11C, and MW online gives first use in 1983, but anyway new to me (and harder because of the sports reference adjacent). The definition of ON THREE, THE TURN, that property of TIN, the origins of SKI, the wedding dance, and ANITA all new to me as well. Interesting, well, most of the time. The apparent duplication in “for short” and “abbr.” should have tipped me off sooner, but so it goes.

      I wasn’t comfortable with METROS not so much because it’s plural as because I’d never used it in the singular either. I’d always heard “metro area” or, far more often, “metropolitan area,” or just plain, well, city. But I’ll take the puzzle’s word for it.

  2. Eric H says:

    NYT: I was almost done in by the center section. 19D CHA-CHA SLIDE means nothing to me, but I haven’t been to a wedding since my own, and that was almost 10 years ago. (I see that the song is almost 25 years old, so it’s possible I would recognize it if I heard it.) And then I had STARTER seTS at 16D, making it impossible to see the logical 39A SKI (which should have been a gimme, since skiing is one of my favorite things in life).

    I’m pleased that I remembered 3D STIMMING, but chagrined that it took me as long as it did to figure out 49A SYN.

  3. cyberdiva says:

    Would someone please explain SYN (49a)? I got it from the crosses, but I have no idea what it abbreviates.

  4. RCook says:

    NYT: Isn’t saying BCE precedes AD like saying THREE precedes QUATTUOR? BCE pairs with CE, not AD.

    • Martin says:

      “BC” and “AD” are not considered abbreviations of foreign phrases, but standard English. So your example isn’t quite applicable. Therefore, it’s fine to say that AD and CE are synonyms, although one assumes a religious viewpoint and the other is secular.

      Of course, you can’t clue BCE with CE so the synonym is useful.

      • PJ says:

        Surprising to me that Anno Domini isn’t a foreign phrase or that AD is independent of it. Thanks for the clarification

  5. David L says:

    For those unfamiliar with CHACHASLIDE, here is SNL’s take with John Mulaney.

  6. Amy Reynaldo says:

    I haven’t been to any weddings lately, and everything I know about the CHA CHA SLIDE, I learned from this SNL sketch with guest host John Mulaney:

    • huda says:

      I’ve been to quite a few weddings but never seen the CHA CHA SLIDE. But that sketch makes me want to go to one where they do it!

  7. Lester says:

    @[P]annonica: No, please don’t use “Whom” in “Who Othello declares ‘is most honest.’” “Who” is the subject of “is most honest”; it is not the object of “Othello declares.” The “Othello declares” part is essentially an appositive. It’s easier to see if you add commas: “Who, Othello declares, is most honest.” For “whom” to be appropriate, the sentence would be “Whom Othello declares to be the most honest.”

  8. Dan says:

    NYT: It didn’t occur to me while solving, but Amy’s question about METROS led me to notice I’ve only encountered METRO AREAS, not METROS, and METRO seems to me to be an adjective and not a noun.

    • DougC says:

      Or a name for a transit system, which could (in theory) be pluralized. I’ve never heard METROS used as clued, and it definitely sounds clunky to my ear.

    • DougC says:

      So if this is a usage that is current primarily in “high-cost metros,” that would explain why I’ve never encountered it, as those are places I try to avoid.

  9. Cyberdiva says:

    Martin, thanks pointing out how the SYN clue works. I should have caught that, but instead it caught me.

  10. Sophomoric Old Guy says:

    Don’t care what the constructor’s sex, age, minority status, etc. are when it comes to a puzzle. For the subscription price, I expect the NYT to publish the best puzzles submitted to them by constructors.

    This was a nice Friday. Flowed very well for me. Northwest corner was the worst for some reason. Still finished in a better than average time.

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