Monday, 4/16/12

NYT 3:18 (pannonica) 
LAT 2:57 (Jeffrey -paper) 
CS 7:50 (Sam) 
BEQ untimed 
Celebrity untimed 


Lynn Lempel’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

NYT • 4/16/12 • Mon • Lempel • solution • 0416

Five descriptors of people—each clued as [adjective sort]—resulting in a two-word phrase ending in a foodstuff.

  • 17a, [Sexy sort] STUD MUFFIN.
  • 23a. [Influential sort] BIG ENCHILADA.
  • 39a. [Amiable sort] GOOD EGG.
  • 50a. [Supple sort] HUMAN PRETZEL.
  • 59a. [Precious sort] SWEETIE PIE.

Solid enough theme. Was trying for a tighter connection as I was solving (MUFFIN and EGG = breakfast, “if there’s a breakfast burrito, why not a breakfast ENCHILADA?” and “some frittatas are PIE-like,” but I just couldn’t stretch the PRETZEL into it) and couldn’t manage it, but as I said, robust enough.

What’s better is that the ballast fill in no way suffered, and in fact shines quite a lot. Just look at those parallel vertical tens in the northwest and southeast! MARGINALIA | ENGAGEMENT, Z AS IN ZEBRA | ORANGE RIND. Loved seeing MARGINALIA, and the Zs alongside the other made me think of zest. Playful clue for the Z thing, by the way [Spelling clarification that Aziz might use twice].

Low CAP Quotient™ (crosswordese, abbrevs., partials), as befits a Monday. Least favorite fill: TESTEES. Most unexpected fill: HELOT [Serf].

Not much else to say, just a smooth solve and a satisfying early week offering. Oh, I guess I wanted to make a connection among ASPS and CLEO and OBIE, but that way (a tinge of) madness lies.

Updated Monday morning:

Gail Grabowski’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Unattached Males” – Sam Donaldson’s review

Solution to CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, April 16

64-Down says that MEN [are found in this puzzle's three longest answers]. They’re hardly “unattached,” though, as the M-E-N letter sequences serve as bridges between two words in each entry:

  • 20-Across: To [Take zip for granted] is to ASSUME NOTHING.
  • 39-Across: The [Slogan in cell phone advertising] is CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? I like the freshness of this entry, even though the ad campaign drives me nuts.
  • 55-Across: ["Howdy, stranger!"] is another way of saying LONG TIME NO SEE.

A few more males found their way into this grid, like TOM CAT, Lance ITO, Roger MARIS and the Man of Steel (through the terrific clue [Faulty assertion about Superman] for IT’S A PLANE). Too bad FATS and TIGER weren’t clued as men, too.

I liked the theme entries. Normally I prefer hidden word themes to have fewer extraneous words. Three of the five words in CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW have nothing to do with hiding MEN, and the same is true for half the words in LONG TIME NO SEE. But the liveliness of those entries compensates for the lack of tightness.

Other highlights include BAD-MOUTHS, IN GENERAL, and GAS RANGES. I had SLACK instead of SPACE as the answer to [Leeway] and A.M.A. as the answer to [Org. with members who perform cosmetic procedures] instead of A.D.A. Those mistakes slowed me down a bit but otherwise it was a smooth solve.

Jennifer Nutt’s Los Angeles Times crossword – Jeffrey’s review

Los Angeles Times crossword solution, 4 16 12

Theme answers:

  • 17A. [Dish that's thrown together?] – {Storm}TOSSED SALAD
  • 30A. [Where 6-Across [DIVAS] often are when performing] – {Storm} CENTER STAGE
  • 39A. [Protective feature of most power strips] -{Storm} SURGE SUPPRESSOR
  • 46A. [Wall protector near a room entrance] – {Storm}DOOR STOPPER
  • 62A. [One who follows tornadoes ... or an apt description of the starts of 17-, 30-, 39- and 46-Across] – STORM CHASER

Words that follow STORM. Yes, they are. Thin theme, and TOSSED seems out of place (not a noun).

Other stuff:

  • 38A. [Visiting Hollywood, say] – IN LA. If you are IN LA on May 12, come to Crosswords LA. I will be there.
  • 54D. [Folk singer Suzanne] – VEGA
  • 56D. ["The Marriage of Figaro" highlight] – ARIA

**½ stars.

Mike Nothnagel’s Celebrity crossword, “Movie Monday”

Celebrity crossword solution, 4 16 12 "Movie Monday" Nothnagel

Handsome actor Ryan Reynolds is the star of today’s puzzle. Do you think telemarketers ever call him “Mr. Reynaldo” on the phone? Because I get the “Ms. Reynolds” bit all the time.

My husband and watched Ryan Reynolds as a young Canadian teen actor on the teen soap opera Fifteen back in the early ’90s. He was lead girl Ashley’s annoying kid brother, Billy. He also starred in a Canadian movie about an orphan who embraced the concept of satyagraha by refusing to leave his house when a developer’s bulldozer came to tear it down. So when Reynolds grew up and got a sitcom (Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place), we were all “Billy! Satyagraha!”—and we continue to shout these things when he’s in a blockbuster movie.

Anyway. The theme:

  • 18a. GREEN LANTERN, [2011 superhero movie starring 41-Across: 2 wds.]
  • 30a. ADVENTURELAND, [2009 movie set at an amusement park, starring 41-Across]
  • 41a. RYAN REYNOLDS, [Jason Bateman's co-star in the 2011 movie "The Change-Up": 2 wds.]
  • Plus 1a. HAL, [___ Jordan (41-Across' secret identity in 18-Across)
  • And 23a. LIEV, [Actor Schreiber who co-starred with 41-Across in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"]

Anyone see that movie in which Reynolds is buried alive and pretty much the whole two hours is his claustrophobia-inducing struggle to survive and escape? I hear he was really good in it (the movie, not the coffin).

Brendan Quigley’s blog crossword, “Themeless Monday”

BEQ 428 solution

When I test-solved this puzzle, oof! It killed me. Over 9 minutes. So if it was merely as tough as a weekend NYT themeless, you’re welcome. You got the eased-up clues for 1- and 2-Down. I forget what else may have been eased up, but trust me, the puzzle was a killer.

LIONEL MESSI looks like a partial Standard Outhouse Entry, except he’s got two I’s and and O, which are less outhouse-friendly. Nice corner stacks overall.

Five random comments:

  • 15a. HORSE COLLAR is an [Illegal football tackle]? Never heard of it.
  • 1a. I hope [AAA support?] made some solvers think, “Huh, question mark means it’s not about the motor club’s tow trucks. I know! It’s minor league baseball!” Because baseball is, well, boring, and TRAINING BRA is more fun than baseball in a crossword.
  • 13d. [Bandcamp acquisitions] are AUDIO FILES. Bandcamp.com is a site I only heard of for the first time last week, and I think recording artists can sell their wares online and skirt the labels and iTunes altogether. (I may have that wrongish.)
  • 35a. NO COVER charge is an [Enticement that may involve a drink minimum]. Fresh entry, like “THIS MINUTE!,” AVERAGED OUT, and others.
  • 52d. [Mustard, and others: Abbr.] are COLS., as in Colonel Mustard in the game of clue. My first thoughts were of mustard gas, mustard seed, and the yellow goop.

Four stars.

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3 Responses to Monday, 4/16/12

  1. Jared says:

    A bit bored there, Amy?

  2. Daniel Myers says:

    In my recently acquired speciality of commenting on all “serf” clues and answers, HELOT was indeed unexpected by me as well. One could argue that there exists an historical discrepancy in the origins of the two words, but the discrepancy is refreshing rather than tending to conflate two coeval but distinct words, IMH?O.

  3. ArtLvr says:

    Favorite clue today — BEQ’s 1A. And I’m always pleased when I get one of his completed which he’s labeled “hard”…

Comments are closed.