Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Jonesin' 4:22 (Erin) 


LAT untimed (Jenni) 


NYT 3:35 (Amy) 


The New Yorker untimed (pannonica) 


Universal 7:20 (Matt F) 


USA Today tk (Sophia) 


Xword Nation untimed (Ade) 


WSJ 4:15 (Jim) 


Matt Jones’s Jonesin’ Crossword, “10, 9…” — from start to finish. – Erin’s write-up

Jonesin' solution 6/25/24

Jonesin’ solution 6/25/24

Hello lovelies! This week’s Jonesin’ theme took me a moment to get. The theme entries begin with J, then 10th letter of the alphabet, and end with I, which is the 9th.

  • 17a. [Guest list for a private party?] JUST YOU AND I
  • 28a. [Author of “The Namesake” and “Whereabouts”] JHUMPA LAHIRI
  • 43a. [Indescribable thing] JE NE SAIS QUOI
  • 58a. [Australian actor in “Saltburn”] JACOB ELORDI
Photo of greater scaup (top) and lesser scaup (bottom)

Photo of greater scaup (top) and lesser scaup (bottom)

Other things:

  • 32a. [Wild diving duck] SCAUP. There are apparently greater and lesser scaup, with slight differences in size, wing coloring, and head shape.
  • 37a. [Sorta academic-sounding, in a way] SCIENCEY. This looks weird to me. SCIENCY doesn’t look “correct” to me, but it looks less wrong than SCIENCEY for some reason.
  • 15a. [Nearsighted horned beast] RHINO. Their eyes are on opposite sides of their head, and they are myopic and colorblind. Their senses of smell and hearing, on the other hand, are great and the adult rhino’s only real predators are humans, so they don’t need to see that well.

Until next week!

Zhouqin Burnikel’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “What’s the Damage?”—Jim’s review

Theme answers are familiar(ish) phrases whose first words indicate some kind of damage.

Wall St Journal crossword solution · “What’s the Damage?” · Zhouqin Burnikel · Tue., 6.25.24

  • 17a. [Possible result of an ended relationship] BROKEN HEART.
  • 28a. [Singer’s nightmare on stage] CRACKED VOICE.
  • 47a. [Features of some multiplayer games] SPLIT SCREENS.
  • 62a. [Thin-sliced meat served in white sauce] CHIPPED BEEF.

Ha! I solved this puzzle while waiting for a tow truck to come and take me away. How apt. The damage to my vehicle isn’t covered in this puzzle though; it’s a puncture wound to a tire in my new Kia EV9. (Kia, in their infinite wisdom, doesn’t give you a spare, but a tire sealant kit instead which…didn’t work.)

Aside from the serendipity of the theme to my particular situation, it’s great to see Zhouqin’s byline again! It’s been a while.

Fun theme, but I’m not so keen on CRACKED VOICE as a theme entry; it feels like green paint. “Cracked wheat” would’ve fit here or else “cracked wise” or “cracked down” would’ve been good substitutes by singularizing 47a.

We have impressive stacked 9s in the corners: OHIO RIVER and FULL-SCALE as well as ICE PELLET and NAIL SALON. Also good: BARCODE and PSYCHIC.

Clue of note: 7d. [Number divided by two?]. DUET. Very nice clue. Nothing to do with math at all.

3.75 stars.

Elizabeth C. Gorski’s Crsswrd Nation puzzle (Week 683), “Grrrrr!”—Ade’s take

Crossword Nation puzzle solution, Week 683: “Grrrrr!”

Hello there, everybody! Here is hoping that you’re doing well and, for those experiencing a heat wave in the location that you reside, you’re making it out just fine!

Today’s puzzle will definitely leave people growling about it, in a way! The theme answers are puns that are created by changing a word in the original phrase/noun that leads to the “grr” syllable being added to the end.

      • COMIC CONGER (17A: [Eel that tickles your funny bone?]) – ComicCon
      • STAND-UP GEIGER (23A: [Courageously-loyal Hans, inventor of a counter?]) – Stand-up guy
      • ME MYSELF AND IGER (37A: [Yours truly, along with Disney exec Bob?]) – Me, Myself and I (an awesome song by De La Soul, by the way!)
      • MOTLEY KRUEGER (48A: [Kaleidoscopic rock band founded by Freddy of Elm Street?]) – Mötley Crüe
      • AARON BURGER (60A: [Fast food favorite named for a dueling Vice President?]) – Aaron Burr

The non-themed long answers of UNDERDOGS (11D: [Winners in an upset]) and I’M ON MY WAY definitely stood out in a good way with this grid (33D: [Message from someone who’s en route]). Can’t say that I’ve ever had ONIONS on a pizza before, but there’s a lot of toppings I haven’t had on pizzas in the past since I’m pretty conservative with my choices of toppings (4D: [Rings on a pizza]). Initially put Malmo instead of ESPOO given that the first letter I had filled in the grid was the last O, even though we’re talking two different Scandinavian countries with those cities mentioned (20D: [Finland’s second-largest city]).

“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: MAYS (55A: [Baseball great Willie, who wowed the crowd with “The Catch”]) – We lost Willie Mays last week, who passed away at the age of 93 last Tuesday. He was, arguably, the greatest baseball player of all time. I could go on and on about his exploits, but I’ll just talk quickly about the event mentioned in the clue, “The Catch.” In the 8th inning of Game 1 of the 1954 World Series, Mays, playing for the New York Giants, made a near miraculous over-the-shoulder catch (and throw back to the infield) in deep center field off the bat of Cleveland’s Vic Wertz. The play occurred with runners on first and second and no one out, which made the play even more crucial to keep Cleveland from taking the lead. The Giants won the game in extra innings on the way to sweeping Cleveland, who went a staggering 111-43 during the regular season and set an American League record for wins in a season. (That wins record wasn’t broken until 1998.) Oh, here’s the catch by the Say Hey Kid! Rest in power, Mr. Mays.

Thank you so much for the time, everybody! Have a wonderful and safe rest of your day and, as always, keep solving!

Take care!

Seth Bisen-Hersh & Jeff Chen’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s recap

NY Times crossword solution, 6/25/24 – no. 0625

I liked the theme except for the fact that BLACKJACK has the same number of letters as the synonymous revealer, 33a. [Card game whose winning hands can be found hidden in 17-, 27-, 42- and 54-Across], TWENTY-ONE. I grew up in a blackjack home. The four other entries contain a king and ace in SUCKING FACE, ten and ace in TENNIS BRACELET, queen and ace in QUEEN ANNE’S LACE, and ace and jack in RACER JACKET. That last one, clued via [Sleek leather outerwear], is an unfamiliar term for me. Is this the same as a motorcycle or biker jacket, or is it worn by car racers?

Overall, an easy puzzle. I was able to fill in most of the grid by just marching through the Across clues in order. Didn’t read many of the Down clues along the way, nor notice that fill.

Fave fill: SIM CITY, ice cream SWIRLS, COLGATE, Rep. ELISSA Slotkin, “GAME ON” (though awkward to have this crossing SIM CITY with “game” in its clue), QUEASY, RARE GEM, and an ACL TEAR.

Four stars from me.

Anna Shechtman’s New Yorker crossword — pannonica’s write-up

New Yorker • 6/25/24 • Tue • Shechtman • solution • 20240625

… and this week the pendulum has swung back to the ‘easy’ side.

  • 1a [Algorithmic measure of relevance] PAGE RANK. Would like a ‘certain’ modifier in the clue.
  • 16a [Misogynistic online harassment campaign used as a recruiting tool for the alt-right] GAMERGATE. I feel that the general public is not aware enough of this event and pall it casts over the political landscape to this day.
  • 18a [Literary protagonist who “ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls”] LEOPOLD BLOOM. Bloomsday (16 June) was a mere week-and-a-half ago.
  • 24a [Prime Minister whose birth was announced by the Prime Minister’s office] TRUDEAU. Justin, son of Pierre. 62a [Relatively helpful path to success?] NEPOTISM.
  • 26a [1930 drama in which Marlene Dietrich kisses another woman] MOROCCO. I had SIROCCO at first.
  • 39a [Campus grp. for aspiring ensigns] NROTC. So this must be the same initialism as the Army’s ROTC, but with Navy or Naval added to the beginning. It ends up looking like a vowel-challenged rendering of neurotic.
  • 41a [Island in the Seine] ÎLE, which is a direct cognate.
  • 48a [Dalmatians, for example] CROATS. Not the dog breed but the people.
  • 49a [Body of Supreme Court matters that are often ruled upon via unsigned order] SHADOW DOCKET. Sounds suitably nefarious.
  • 1d [Individual scoring average: Abbr.] PPG, points per game.
  • 10d [Fellini film from which the term “paparazzi” originated] LA DOLCE VITA. Actress ANOUK AIMEE died very recently.
  • 19d [British mil. award just below the Victoria Cross] DSO, Distinguished Service Order.
  • 46d [“The rich must live more simply, ___ the poor may simply live”] SO THAT. This completes an unofficial triumvirate (along with 16a and 49a) that I perceive in the crossword. Is the quote from Mahatma Gandhi? Charles Birch? Some other source?
  • 51d [Psychiatrist’s ref. book] DSM, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (of Mental Disorders).
  • 53d [Murderous ending] -CIDE. “Middle French, from Latin -cida, from caedere to cut, kill” (m-w.com)

Amie Walker’s Los Angeles Times crossword — Jenni’s write-up

Well, if I have to be stuck, there are worse places than the SF Bay Area and worse reasons that going to Westwords, which was AWESOME. I thought I’d be blogging this puzzle from the airport before my flight this morning. I’m in an airport hotel instead waiting for my flight tomorrow morning. Not complaining! Totally worth it.

This puzzle was fun for a tired Tuesday. For some reason I like it when theme answers go down. It’s – different. In this case it’s also integral to the theme.

Los Angeles Times, June 25, 2024, Amie Walker, solution grid

  • 1d [Temporary housing-cost regulation] is a RENT FREEZE.
  • 4d [“What’s with the dad jokes all of a sudden?”] is YOU USED TO BE COOL. This was my favorite.
  • 7d [Streamlined date?] is NETFLIX AND CHILL.

And the revealer: 28d [Post-workout water therapy option, or a description of the ends of 1-, 4-, and 7-Down] is COLD PLUNGE. I started with SHOWER. PLUNGE is better. Obvs.

A few other things:

  • Since vinyl is hip again, RPMS isn’t a fusty reference.
  • METAVERSE is a fun word.
  • I like having OREO and OUZO stacked together. It’s very pleasing.
  • 62a [Reason to branch out during yoga class?] is a fun clue for TREE POSE.
  • BOND was not my first thought for 57d [Open up to, with “with”]. Not sure what my first thought was, but it wasn’t that.

What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle (or at least hadn’t remembered): that BURL Ives recorded “Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer.” Hey, I didn’t grow up doing Christmas and my mother didn’t tolerate Christmas television except for Charlie Brown.


Amie Walker + Shannon Rapp’s Universal Crossword, “Summer Themeless Week, Puzzle 2” — Matt F’s Review

Universal Solution 06.25.2024

It looks like we are in the midst of a themeless week at Universal! This is a nice change of pace from the typical themed puzzles, and I am all for it. Given the title, maybe we can expect a week like this every season? We’ll see!

This grid has good flow, with nice long answers in every corner and clean fill throughout. Given the recency of the film, I suspect 22A LILY GLADSTONE (“Killers of the Flower Moon” star nominated for the best actress Oscar) might have been the seed for this puzzle. The lack of proper names elsewhere in the grid really makes this entry stand out. The crossing words are fairly clued to help solvers get a toehold on the entry even if they have zero knowledge of the actress or the film – a sign of careful craftsmanship! There are some fun crosses through this entry, too: 4D LAVA LAMP (Novelty light with bubbles), 17D BIG KID BEDS (Cute name for a toddler’s post-crib sleeping spot), and 24D SUCH A MOOD (“This is exactly what I’m feeling!”). I also like the stacked 9’s at 10/11D PARTNER UP / SPARE TIME (Break stuff? <–excellent clue!); and 29/30D TOP-BILLED / EMPANADAS. My favorite clue in the puzzle is 35D – Pass up? – for ALLEY-OOP. The fill is so clean I can’t find a single entry worth complaining about. Great puzzle all around!

Thank you to Amie and Shannon for building this grid, and to David Steinberg for the editorial touch.

This entry was posted in Daily Puzzles and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Tuesday, June 25, 2024

  1. Gary R says:

    NYT: A pretty good Tuesday puzzle. Fairly entertaining theme and pretty good fill – though RACER JACKET didn’t ring any bells for me, and RARE GEM seems a little green-painty.

    I was a little surprised to see ELISSA Slotkin in the puzzle. She happens to be my U.S. Representative and she’s running for a U.S. Senate seat, so it was a gimme for me – but I don’t know that she’s made any big news during her time in the House, so that might be a little obscure for most solvers on a Tuesday (crosses were fair).

    • Eric H. says:

      RARE GEM is a real phrase, often used metaphorically.

      TUNA CAN, on the other hand, strikes me as a bit green-painty.

      • David L says:

        RAREGEM struck me as green paint too, although Google suggests it is indeed a phrase with some idiomaticity (?).

        TUNACAN struck me not only as green painty, but also wrong. Wouldn’t you say ‘can of tuna’?

        • Papa John says:

          Not if you’re referring only to the container. “Can of tuna” refers to the contents.

          • David L says:

            Well, sure, but I assume the cat owner has cans of tuna in the cupboard. The empty tuna cans go in the recycling bin.

    • pannonica says:

      Whoa, RARE GEM is in the New Yorker today as well.

  2. Andrea says:

    NYT: I take issue with 44D. That is a pure Mexican expression, probably used in parts of Central America (maybe, I’m not even sure), but definitely NOT used by Spaniards, as hinted by the GOYA clue.
    Spanish is spoken in 20 countries and its usage, particularly when it comes to colloquialisms, varies greatly from one to another.
    This clue could’ve been better if used in reference to Speedy Gonzalez (not loving the stereotype here, but still, apter).

    • huda says:

      I took exception with ANDALE crossing ENDUE on a Tuesday.
      Cool theme overall.

    • Doug says:

      Not contradicting but adding to what you’ve said: my college friend said “andale” a lot. He is a native Portuguese speaker whose family is from the Azores.

  3. damefox says:

    NYT: Obviously I just don’t know enough about how to play the card game in question, but I was distracted the entire puzzle by the fact that KING/QUEEN/JACK/TEN + ACE clearly equals 11, not 21. But Wikipedia tells me ACE can score 11 in some versions of this game, so that’s on me. Otherwise a fun solve – I liked all of the themers, especially TENNISBRACELET and SUCKINGFACE.

    • DougC says:

      I’m not surprised you were distracted. This theme seemed to me overly complex for a Tuesday, in that paying attention to it did nothing to aid the solve. I chose to ignore it, and finished in a considerably faster time than Monday. One of my fastest Tuesdays in quite a while, in fact, so pretty seriously easy.

      Going back to look at the themers afterward, my reaction is “OK, I see what you did there” but also “what exactly was the point of that?” (from the solver’s perspective). More like an Easter egg sort of thing, I guess, than actually being integral to the process of solving the puzzle. I’ll admit it’s a clever trick, but I found it underwhelming, I’m sorry to say.

    • Lois says:

      I found both Monday’s and Tuesday’s Times crosswords to be good examples of the usefulness of the reviews here. In both cases, I partly noticed the themes but didn’t pay much attention. In each case, the themes were more richly carried out than I had realized.

  4. JohnH says:

    I wonder if others, faced with a 3-letter source of a song in the WSJ, with middle letter L at that, confidently entered ELO. Now if only the art-themed Sunday NYT had featured ONO, ARP, KLEE, and MIRO along with DALI. (Just kidding. I know that almost no one can name a single work by any of them.)

    • Gary R says:

      If you’re not familiar with the song, and you have the “L,” ELO seems like a reasonable guess. But “Waterfalls” was very popular (30 years ago, or so) and the word “waterfalls” is part of the chorus, which helps, if you’ve heard the song (and if you’ve heard the song, you wouldn’t mistake the group for ELO).

      Paintings, at least for me, are a bit different. I may recognize a painting, and even know the painter, but not know the name of the painting (as was the case on Sunday, with Girl With a Pearl Earring). And sometimes, the painting itself doesn’t give you any clue – why is she called “Mona Lisa?”

      I have a reproduction of a Klee painting on my bedroom wall. I can’t tell you what it’s called – something to do with “moon” or “moonrise.” When I google it, I find images of various Klee paintings with moonrise in the title – none of them mine (c.f. Monet and “haystacks”).

      • Papa John says:

        The story behind title of the portrait presumed to be Lisa del Giocondo is complex and uncertain, but certainly worth a read in Wikipedia.

        Mona Lisa is version of Madona Lisa or Madam Lisa.

  5. DTL says:

    Thanks to the link provided today I found out that “Rational Wiki” exists, and I gravely regret clicking on that link. My goodness. I think I lost several brain cells reading it for a few minutes.

  6. Margaret says:

    Jenni, I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to meet you Sunday at Westwords! Super fun event, I hope it becomes an annual thing. I posted about it in yesterday’s comments but probably too late in the day, thanks to the organizers for a wonderful event!

  7. Eric H. says:

    New Yorker: Having never heard of GAMERGATE (or having forgotten about it if I have heard of it) nor P(oints) P(er) G(ame), I had no confidence in that G. And having just yesterday seen my husband throw out his graphic design portfolio, I wasn’t thinking of stocks for 36D. So I was surprised to plug in the O there and see that I had solved the puzzle.

    Aside from the unknowns in the NW, everything I didn’t know was easily inferable — SUPA DUPA FLY, MADGE, MOROCCO — so with the gimmes like AMBER and LA DOLCE VITA, this one did seem pretty easy. It probably helped that I could fill in LEOPOLD after getting BLOOM, despite not remembering that description at all.

    On the other hand, I thought yesterday’s puzzle by Erik Agard was a return to the difficulty level that the New Yorker’s early week puzzles had when I started doing them about 18 months ago.

  8. Seattle DB says:

    TNY: Pannonica’s clever wit cracked me up with the comment “NROTC” might be a rendering of “neurotic”, lol!

Comments are closed.