Alan Arblesfed’s New York Times crossword
Okay, so the theme entries were created by moving the letter L up three spots in various phrases. Why is this so? This may be one of life’s imponderables. Here are the theme answers:
- 17a. [FAA supervisors?] could be considered PLANE BOARDS, in a way. This one riffs on the thrill-a-minute phrase panel boards. Is “panel boards” a redundant term for an advisory group, or are these pieces of wood? I have no idea.
- 24A. If you MIND BLOGGING, you might [Object to online commentary?] or maybe find it a hassle to keep writing a blog, day after day. Hey-o! This one slides the L in mind-boggling.
- 37a. CHRISTMAS CLAROS are [Holiday smokes?], claro being a kind of cigar and Christmas carols being your familiar base phrase.
- 48a. [Cleaned up after a spill?] clues BLOTTED WATER, changed from bottled water.
- 58a. Adam Sandler turns into ADAM SLANDER, or [Defamation in the Garden of Eden?].
- 29d. CARRY-ON BAG! Terrific entry.
- 5d. THE KINKS! Great fill.
- ODIC EREI ELHI ASET MANI AMIR AAS ITAR? You don’t say. Can I use those in a sentence? Let’s see. Years before I became an AMIR, I taught literature at the EL-HI level and specialized in ODIC poetry—ERE I switched to journalism for ITAR-Tass, where I always needed A SET of AA’S for my clunky tape recorder and replacing those batteries was hell on my nails so I had to get a weekly MANI. See? Ugly.
Steve Salitan’s Los Angeles Times crossword – Jeffrey’s review
Theme: Wet stuff falling from the sky
- 17A. [Throat soothers] – COUGH DROPS
- 23A. [Edible pastry decorations] – CAKE SPRINKLES
- 47A. [High-quality bed linen] – PERCALE SHEETS. It’s raining linen!
- 57A. [Wet bar containers] – ICE BUCKETS. Ice could fall as well.
- 65A. [Phenomenon described by the ends of 17-, 23-, 47- and 57-Across] – RAIN
One-line review for those in a hurry: Showers, anyone?
- 5A/60A. [Noodle product derived from "The San Francisco Treat!"] – PASTA-RONI. I bet he had to work to clue this one. Can’t think of a better one.
- 21A. [Stackable cookie] – OREO. You don’t see OREO enough in crosswords.
- 31A. [Stingless male] – DRONE BEE. Does anyone say DRONE BEE instead of just DRONE? Ulee?
- 36A. [Gonzalez in 2000 news] – ELIAN. At what point does this return to obscurity?
- 63A. [Swedish furniture giant] – IKEA. Also, Hawaiian Apple product.
- 3D. [Liftoff spot] – LAUNCH PAD
- 5D. [West Coast team in the 1998 World Series] – PADRES. Is West Coast added to make this more Tuesday-ish?
- 10D. [Wall hole filler] – SPACKLE. Who named this?
- 13D. [French noodles?] – TETES. More noodles.
- 28D. [Provide with a roof] – CEIL.
- 32D. [King David's wife] – BATHSHEBA. Didn’t he have lots of wives? Or was that Solomon?
- 40D. [New Hampshire city known for its annual motorcycle week] – LACONIA. Population 16,000. The bar keeps moving down.
- 45D. [Irrational fear] – PHOBIA. I have a fear of small-town crossword clues.
- 46D. [Violinist Menuhin] – YEHUDI. Finally! This puzzle isn’t very music-clip friendly.
Matt Jones’s Jonesin’ crossword, “Prez Pet Parade”
Are you up on your presidential pet trivia? I believe Congress passed a law decades ago mandating that every president must have a pet dog or cat in the White House. The theme entries are formed by combining two White House pet names:
- 18a. LUCKY SOCKS are [Athlete's superstitious footwear from Reagan and Clinton?]. Was Lucky a dog? Socks was a cat.
- 24a. [Board game partner from Nixon and Clinton?] is a CHECKERS BUDDY. Both dogs.
- 39a. Ha! I love this one. HIMBO is clued as a [Dumb male hunk from LBJ and Obama?]. Both dogs.
- 50a. [Pasta-corn concoction from Kennedy and Carter?] clues MACARONI GRITS. No idea what sort of animals these were.
- 60a. [Park worker's hangout for Bush Sr. and Bush Jr.?] clues RANGER SPOT. Those sound like dog names.
You want 10 more clues? You can have them:
- 20a. [New Mexico or Colorado county] is OTERO. Wait, when did Colorado get an Otero County? The clue is usually just about New Mexico. Wikipedia tells me the NM one has more than 60,000 people, while the CO one has a sparse 20,000. In contrast, Cook County, Illinois—where I live—has 5.2 million people, so only 21 states have larger populations.
- 30a. ["I hate ___ to pieces!" (Mr. Jinks catchphrase)] clues MEESES, a jocular form of “mice.” I confess I don’t know who Mr. Jinks is.
- 33a. MAHAYANA is a [Major school of Buddhism]. You wanted ETON but it was too short, right?
- 43a. [Charlotte ___ (clothing store)] is missing its RUSSE.
- 56a. ["Takin' Care of Business" group, to fans] is B.T.O., or
- Bachman Turner Overdrive. My aunt gave my sister a B.T.O. album for Christmas in the mid-’70s but my sister wasn’t really into B.T.O. Still exciting to receive a record album to call her own.
- 59a. [Response to "Swiper, no swiping!" on "Dora the Explorer"] is “OH, MAN!” Who knew? Not I.
- 2d. [Roof location] is your MOUTH. Great place to stash some peanut butter.
- 11d. [How some tableware is created or etched] clues IN CRYSTAL. Don’t care for the wording of that answer one bit.
- 33d. [Johnny formerly of The Smiths] is Mr. MARR.
- 48d. SANRIO is the [Company behind Hello Kitty].
Randolph Ross’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post puzzle, “Matriculating”—Evad’s review
- “What a boss might enroll in?” is an EXECUTIVE CLASS. I’m thinking airplanes here, but only coach, business and first classes come to mind. Are there airlines (or maybe trains?) that offer this type of class?
- “What a body shop owner might enroll in?” is a COLLISION COURSE. This is cute, I think of old Star Trek episodes with planets hurtling toward each other and only Captain James T. Kirk can prevent the impending intergalactic armageddon.
- “What an elf might enroll in?” is SANTA’S WORKSHOP. Here, the workshop isn’t a place where toys are made, but a class to learn how to make them I guess.
I thought the entry for “Sweet as could be” (SO KIND) was rather odd,
can you put SO in front of any adjective and consider it a valid phrase? SO THOUGHTFUL, SO PRETTY and SO ON….? And is Batman considered a SUPERHERO? I think of him in the vein of Spiderman as reluctant saviors of us maladroit mortals. Liked the double-R action of R-RATED, threw me for a bit of loop there as I worked the crossing entries. And any gauchos reading this blog, do you still use BOLAS to capture cattle? Here are some pictured at left. I read here that there are some models with 8 or 9 weights. Egad…I’d hate to be the cattle that sees that coming toward him! He might just have to call Batman!