David Hanson’s New York Times crossword
What a cool debut puzzle: There’s a string of PALINDROMIC WORDs running around the perimeter of the grid. Are you a sucker for palindromes, too? I’ll bet you are. The border answers include the family set of DAD, MOM, and SIS (BRO is here too but sits alone at 59a, left out of the palindrome party); “PIP-PIP!” ([Brit's "Goodbye!"]); and DEED, LEVEL, MINIM, TENET, TAT, TOOT, REDDER, and SOLOS.
I like the palindrome trick, but I’m also fond of the fill. LENA OLIN glories in having her full name included for a change, instead of her crossword-friendly first or last name alone. U.S. ARMY is a solid entry, and much better than the Army’s URL, goarmy.com. “I will never shop there again. The selection was positively goarmy.” See? It doesn’t sound good. The absolute best entry is “I’M TELLING,” the [Schoolyard snitch's words]. Also evoking good thoughts are George CARLIN, NUTMEG, Hank AZARIA, L’CHAIM, and the word SMUDGE. Then there’s the [Family name in Chicago politics], DALEY; the outgoing mayor’s brother Bill might take mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel’s place as White House chief of staff.
I’m less crazy about fill like ECU (the [French coin of old]), “IS IT I?”, old-school crosswordese ALAE ([Wings, in zoology]), [English poet laureate Henry James] PYE (never heard of him, but I know there’s a Joe Pye weed), the plural abbreviation CENS (for “centuries”), and OLAF I. I don’t know about you, but I’m making a mental note about this PYE poet. I bet I’ll encounter him again someday in another crossword.
David W. Cromer’s Los Angeles Times crossword – Jeffrey’s review
Theme: Wear It!
- 53A. [Abridged maxim about accepting an apt description, and a hint to this puzzle's theme found in 20-, 34- and 40-Across] – IF THE SHOE FITS
- 20A. [How many fall in love] – HEAD OVER HEELS
- 34A. [Temperature control devices] – HEAT PUMPS
- 40A. [Bonneville Speedway terrain] – SALT FLATS
One-line review for those in a hurry: The rarely seen abridged maxim theme that goes right to your sole.
- 1A. [Like serious collectors] – AVID. My wife is an AVID shoe collector.
- 8D. [New Age musician John] – TESH
- 11D. [Fish also called a sockeye] – RED SALMON. Only long fill 1.
- 12D. [Candle count, on many cakes] – AGE. Unless there is one more for good luck.
- 28D. [Tenants' strike leverage] – RENT. Odd clue. Is it really leverage?
- 33D. [Places with valuable veins] – GOLD MINES. Only long fill 2.
- 42D. [Actor with nothing to say] – MIME. Kind of like me on this puzzle. Fill is standard stuff.
- 45D. [Like some sweatshirts] – HOODED. Is a hoodie the same as a hooded sweatshirt? And what shoes go with that?
Donna S. Levin’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post puzzle, “Loose Rhymes”—Evad’s review
Gonna have to be a quick recap today–had a late night last night and have to get ready for work in a few minutes. Today’s CS offers four phrases which end with a rhyme of LOOSE:
- “Beverage that may be ruby red” is GRAPEFRUIT JUICE, sadly now on my list of banned foods due to my recent struggles with acid reflux.
- “Why bother?” and WHAT’S THE USE? are both great phrases.
- “Ceases hostilities” is CALLS A TRUCE.
- Finally, another problem food for me, CHOCOLATE MOUSSE is a “Fluffy French dessert.”
It’s interesting that the sound /us/ has multiple spellings, highlighting the vagaries of the Queen’s English. Anyone for Esperanto? I thought the entries TED TURNER, BOOTLEG (without a golf course reference this time, but instead “distribute illegally”–is this both an adjective and a verb?), and BOWLS OVER were fun to discover. I had COWHIDE before RAWHIDE for the chew toy material, DART for DASH, and AMWAY before ALMAY for the skin care brand. Renaissance poet Torquato TASSO is definitely some up-market fill, has anyone read his Jerusalem Delivered, written in 1580?
Matt Jones’s Jonesin’ crossword, “The Big 500″
Congratulations to Matt Jones and his editor, Matt Gaffney, on publishing 500 Jonesin’ crosswords! No, I don’t know why this one’s file name is jnz501 rather than 500.
I waited all day for the blogging muse to visit, and she steadfastly refused to appear. (Oh, well.) Matt expanded the grid to 16×16 and monkeyed with the placement of the black squares (asymmetry!) to accommodate a fearsome midsection that approximates an 8×7 grid. When do you ever see such a crossword zone? Pretty much never, that’s when. Impressive.
Highlights: NANNY STATES (despite arbitrary pluralization), SPARE TIME, FRIDA KAHLO, NAME NAMES, HOLD ON A MOMENT, DYNAMO, THE BLUE NILE, and a respectable B PLUS. Not wild about the contrivances LOST A RACE, STONE HOUSES, and an EVEN TWELVE. Smack dab in the middle of my musical ignorance are LADY BE GOOD and LOVE GENERATION.