Wednesday, 4/11/12

NYT 3:17 
LAT 3:31 (Jeffrey -paper) 
CS untimed (Sam) 
Onion untimed 
Celebrity untimed 

*Not yet blogged.

David Kwong’s New York Times crossword

NY Times crossword solution, 4 11 12 0411

Grr. The applet wasn’t registering my “Done” click and I angered it by clicking a second time. Poof! Puzzle vanished. Ergo, a solution grid courtesy of XWord Info.

Just read an Entertainment Weekly interview with Garrett Morris, ’70s SNL star. Did you know he’s on that Two Broke Girls sitcom now? The article mentioned his “beisbol been bery, bery good to me” skit. You know what” Beisbol not been bery good to me. It mostly bores me. At least today’s theme is inspired by baseball literature rather than baseball trivia. Yay! CASEY, mighty Casey, who struck out in “Casey at the Bat,” caused there to be NO JOY IN (fictional, right?) MUDVILLE. And his three [Strike]s here are defined as a MILITARY ASSAULT, LABOR PROTEST, and BOWLING SCORE. Nicely conceived and executed idea. There’s also a little CHICK LIT in the fill, and most of the fill’s smooth. Nobody’s too excited by ENTO-, -ATIC, ENE, OLEO, OLAF, ARNO, UNUM, APSE, SITU, or PLEB, but I whooshed past most of those without noticing. They’re no sore-thumb BLOATER, is what I’m saying.

When I typed PLEB up there, I mistakenly typed the scientific word BLEB. That sent me off Googling it … and then doing a Google image search … and then reading a story of a horrendous rattlesnake bite that caused a giant bleb on the guy’s hand and damn near killed him. Click through if you like such stories and aren’t squeamish.

Four stars. More inventive than the usual “all of these things define the same word/clue” theme.

Jack McInturff’s Los Angeles Times crossword – Jeffrey’s review

Los Angeles Times crossword solution Wed Apr 11 2012

Theme: T-A-X-E-S

Best theme ever! I’m sure Sam will agree. Theme answers:

  • 32A. [Org. concerned with the word spelled by the starts of 18-, 24-, 36-, 54- and 59-Across] – IRS
  • 18A. [Porterhouse relatives] – T-BONE STEAKS
  • 24A. [Hannibal Smith underling] – A-TEAM MEMBER
  • 36A. [Any of five Wolverine films] – X-MEN MOVIE
  • 54A. [Some online shoppers] – E-BAY BIDDERS
  • 59A. [Pot holder, perhaps] – S-SHAPED HOOK

All legit theme answers, if not quite things you say every day.

I wish this wasn’t in the puzzle today: 65A. [Immunity agent] – T-CELL. Too theme-y.

I wish these crossed at the !: 69A. [Board game with an exclamation point in its name] – SORRY! and 55D. [Internet giant with an exclamation point in its name] – YAHOO!

What’s with all the M’s in the middle? We’ve got 25D. [Injure severely] – MAIM, 26D. [Marceau, notably] – MIME, and 34D. [Sra.'s French counterpart] – MME.

What’s with all the ID’s in the middle? 38D. [Caesar's "I saw"] – VIDI and 39D. ["__ it my way"] – I DID. Wait … M-ID … MIDdle! Awesome.

Two guys with a connection to Montreal: 50D. [Actor Quaid and pitcher Johnson] – RANDYS.

Yes, that is how it is spelled: 41D. [Former Romanian president] – ILIESCU.

A great Canadian: 62D. [Hockey great] – ORR.

Some music:

  • 61D. ["__ Song": #1 country hit for Taylor Swift] – OUR
  • 66A. [Porter's "__ the Top"] – YOU’RE

You had me at TAXES. ****1/2 stars.

Updated Wednesday morning:

Randolph Ross’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Berry Truly Yours” – Sam Donaldson’s review

Solution to Washington Post/CrosSynergy crossword, April 11

Here’s the 4-1-1 on today’s 4/11 crossword–it features five expressions beginning with a word that can also precede “berry:”

  • 20-Across: An ELDER STATESMAN (“elderberry”) is a [Prominent and experienced government official].
  • 25-Across: [Fergie, for one] is a BLACK-EYED PEA (“blackberry”). I got a feeling there’s a good joke here and I’mma be embarrassed that I can’t find it.
  • 38-Across: RED TAPE (“red berry”) refers to [Piles of paperwork, perhaps]. Do yourself a favor and stay away from the red berries.
  • 45-Across: The [Beantown hub] is the LOGAN AIRPORT (“loganberry”)
  • 52-Across: A STRAW IN THE WIND, while new to me, is apparently a [Slight hint of something to come]. Never heard of it, but I sure know my way around a “strawberry,” having consumed many of those beauties over the years.

Five berries is a lot, but it’s interesting that the most famous Berry of crosswords, Patrick, is nowhere to be found here. And where’s the raspberry? What, RASP LIKE DARTH VADER wouldn’t work? Sheesh.

The fill was a mixed bag. I really liked LITE FM, PADMA Lakshmi (hubba hubba!), MEET UP, ON DECK and even ROOF WORK, but UCLANS? Seriously? Someone who went to UCLA is a UCLA-n? Does that make me an Oregon Statesman? Other ugly bits were the suffix -IVE, ONE MO, and SAAR.In the end, the puzzle was very like a berry–some sweetness, some tartness, and the occasional annoying seed that sticks in our teeth.

Updated Wednesday night:

Matt Jones’s Onion A.V. CLub crossword

Onion AV Club crossword solution, Jones 4 11 12

Encyclopedia BRITANNICA is getting out of the business of printing actual multi-volume encyclopedia books. (“Really?” you are asking. “They hadn’t stopped that years ago?” I know.) So Matt takes a nostalgic look back at the things a kid could only use the print edition for, not the online version. EXTRA STEPS / FOR A SLINKY, STABILIZING / WOBBLY TABLE LEGS, and REACHING FOR / A COOKIE JAR.

My favorite things in this puzzle are WOBBLY TABLE LEGS, EMILE ZOLA, TILDA Swinton, and Ken JEONG. I want to love PBJ CRUSTS, but it feels somewhat stilted to me.

3.5 stars.

Adam Cohen’s Celebrity crossword, “Wayback Wednesday”

Celebrity crossword answers, 4 11 12 "Wayback Wednesday" Cohen

MIKE WALLACE, the longtime 60 Minutes reporter, died at the ripe old age of 93 this past weekend. In his honor, here’s a crossword looking at the early years of his career:

  • 13a. MIKE WALLACE, [1960s-2000s "60 Minutes" reporter who left us last Saturday: 2 wds.]
  • 25a. BIOGRAPHY, [Celebrity profile series hosted by 13-Across from 1961 to 1964]
  • 35a. NIGHT BEAT, [1950s interview program hosted by 13-Across: 2 wds.]
  • 49a. WHO’S THE BOSS, [1950s game show hosted by 13-Across that shares its name with a Tony Danza sitcom that began in 1984: 3 wds.]

Plus two of his colleagues:

  • 6a. SAFER, [Morley who was a longtime "60 Minutes" colleague of 13-Across]
  • 55a. STAHL, [Lesley who was a longtime "60 Minutes" colleague of 13-Across]

I’d never heard of any of those early Wallace shows. In my defense, I had not been born yet and never watched TV at that time.

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13 Responses to Wednesday, 4/11/12

  1. Gareth says:

    NYT: Started this puzzle going “Really? definitions of strike, is that all this theme is?” but the final fifteen was a perfect an unexpected punchline!

    LAT: I’m not sure I agree with the all-legitimate answers, Jeffrey; for me it’s only TBONESTEAKS, but OK… My “refused to believe it was actually the answer” moment was GANGSTA. Mr. McInturff is an octogenarian, you just don’t expect answers like that!

  2. Daniel Myers says:

    That’s twice in as many times that the NYT has nicely clued SERF – 65A – (i.e., not as the “v” word). Thus, I doff my figurative baseball cap to David Kwong and/or Will Shortz HERETO.

  3. ArtLvr says:

    Bah! The LAT got me at 1A, since I thought the slang required was RAD, and I couldn’t field the start of the long-grained rice, BASMATI. I hope it appears again soon, to jog my gray cells.

  4. cyberdiva says:

    Sam, I had the same question about what Fergie had to do with BLACKEYEDPEA. Well, it turns out there’s a musical group called BlackEyed Peas, one of whose members seems to be named Fergie. See http://www.blackeyedpeas.com/ .

  5. delajeff says:

    There’s a hidden bonus in the NYT – 23 across and 25 across together read Seek out attention. Not sure that was intentional, but I like it.

  6. Golfballmanc says:

    Kps? On kp,does kp, was assigned kp, had kp. No plural I can think of.
    Minor nit, otherwise a fun puzzle what with the 5 letter starting answers.

  7. Victor Barocas says:

    The LAT was okay, but the last theme entry really annoyed me because no one I know would ever talk about an S-SHAPED HOOK. It’s an S-HOOK, just like a u-bolt, a t-square, or an i-beam. Granted, I don’t have a much better idea for something that starts with S, but fixing the thing is not my job. It was probably aggravated by the fact that TCELL at 65-A seemed like something that should not have been there given the theme. Again, I have no suggestion for improvement. Otherwise, it was a fine puzzle, but those points knocked it down from the good to the so-so category for me. Anyone else care?

  8. Martin says:

    FYI: Alonzo’s post is spam linking porn.

    • Amy Reynaldo says:

      Gone now! And it wasn’t even me who deleted it. Thank you, helpful Team Fiend member!

  9. Gareth says:

    I zapped it…

  10. ArtLvr says:

    Since nobody has blogged the Onion yet, let me just note that I started out a mite irked at all the jumping around to find linked clues — but ended up admiring this cute salute to the late lamented subject of the puzzle! Also, 42A was new to me but I guessed right on the 37D cross.

  11. Josh Bischof says:

    Good porn?

  12. jefe says:

    NYT is pangrammatic – what % of NYTs are?

Comments are closed.