Do you wish the New York magazine crossword by Cathy Allis were available in PDF via an online puzzle subscription? Jeff Lynch does, and if you agree with him, go click the “1+” on Jeff’s post at community.nymag.com.
John Guzzetta’s New York Times crossword
Am I the only one who’s never heard of 51a: DOUBLE SAWBUCK as slang for a $20 bill? In my book, a ten is a sawbuck and a twenty is a twenty. The DOUBLE SAWBUCK’s affiliated answers are ANDREW JACKSON on the front of the bill, THE WHITE HOUSE on the back, and the words TWENTY DOLLARS on both sides. Interestingly, the reason that Jackson appears on the $20 note is that he was known for saying “Twenty dolla make me holla.”
9-Down made me crave one of those SHAKES. Chocolate, please.
My guess for what’s the least common word in this puzzle: 5d: CADENT, or [Rhythmic]. Most old-school crosswordese: 4d: TARN, [Alpine lake]. Favorite answer: 38d: SNACK BAR. (44d: WOBBLY is also fun.) Most vulnerable to juvenile vulgarity: 3d: [People in 1-Acrosses, e.g.], 1a being a RAFT, FLOATERS. I hear FLOATERS more often used to refer to certain toilet bowl denizens rather than people. And now 42a: [Common blockage locale] is demanding to have an answer other than SINUS.
Did not know [Naughty Goose and Moose Drool] were ALES. These aren’t beers I know.
Neville Fogarty’s Los Angeles Times crossword — Jeffrey’s review
Hi everyone. It’s Jeffrey, briefly out of retirement to prevent a Neville self-bloggification.
- 18A. [*Ginger ale brand] – CANADA DRY. Air Canada is the best North American airline I have been on.
- 20A. [*It gets you a ticket to ride] – BUS FARE. Air Canada has many AirBus planes in their fleet. Too bad that they have high air fare.
- 34A. [*Hold that might precede a noogie] – HEAD LOCK
- 41A. [*Umpire's call] – PLAY BALL
- 55A. [*Sack with letters] – MAIL BAG
- 60A. [*Neck-and-neck election campaign] – TIGHT RACE
- 61D. [Word that can precede either part of each starred clue's answer] – AIR
- 64A. [Broadway auntie] – MAME. A musical.
- 2D. [1966 N.L. batting champ Matty] – ALOU. All ALOU’s should have an Expo reference.
- 30D. [Lascivious cloven-hoofed creature] – SATYR. SATYR’s are my favorite of all the lascivious cloven-hoofed creatures.
- 45D. [Broadway fare] – MUSICAL. Like Mame.
And then there’s:
- 68A. [Air France hub] – ORLY. Hello, Editor? If the theme is AIR, and the key reveal is AIR, I suggest checking that Air isn’t in a random clue. Okay?
A pleasant Tuesday. A breath of fresh air.
Doug Peterson’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Gotcha!” – Sam Donaldson’s review
It took fellow Fiend correspondent Doug Peterson to break me of my solving slump, and I’m most grateful. For a while there, I couldn’t break the six-minute mark, but fortunately Doug’s puzzle today felt nice and comfortable for me.
Each of the theme entries has “Got CHA,” so to speak. That’s because all four of them have CHA- inserted at the front of a common terms to make new, whimsical terms:
- 17-Across: “Plain clothes” become CHAPLAIN CLOTHES, a [Padre's outfit]. Knowing Doug’s affection for baseball, my first thought was that this had something to do with a San Diego Padre.
- 27-Across: The “riot police” become CHARIOT POLICE, the [Circus Maximus security force?]. Awesome clue.
- 47-Across: “In additon” changes to CHAIN ADDITION, the [Burger King wing?]. CHAIN ADDITION by itself looks kinda hokey, but the clue here really makes it shine.
- 62-Across: Perhaps it’s better to “sing the blues” than to be CHASING THE BLUES (i.e., to be [Behind St. Louis in the hockey standings?]).
This is the kind of theme that facilitates a quicker solve. Once you grasp the theme, you can fill in some squares automatically. By the time I got to the southern hemisphere, I knew the long entries started with CHA, so I just plunked those letters down right away. And according to Donaldson’s Law of Crossword Momentum, “more crossings yields faster solves.”
The northwest corner had me thinking for a while that I was in for another slog. I know my Greek letters, but I never learned the order of the Greek alphabet, so [Letter before kappa] needed some crossings before IOTA gave way. And since I don’t know a vicuna, [Vicuna's cousin] was little help in getting ALPACA. [Genteel gatherings] could have been most anything in my mind, so I needed help for TEAS. So that was a rough start. I should have figured out ["Rock of Ages" actress Julianne] HOUGH long before I did, especially since I liked her so much in the Footloose remake.
The only trap I sprung had me filling in OAT for the [Mare's mouthful] instead of HAY. Now that I think about it, though, that was a self-created trap. How is one oat a mouthful?
I already noted that Doug likes baseball, but if you solved this puzzle that comes as no surprise. There’s [Ex-Expo Rusty] STAUB there, plus a great clue for CALL, ["Safe!" or "Out!"]. He could have hit for the triple crown if ADAM had been clued as [Slugger Dunn] instead of [Cain's father].
Favorite entry = SMIDGENS, long-form for [Dabs]. Favorite clue = [Operatic Ethiopian] for AIDA. I think that’s the kind of clue most enjoyed by regular solvers.
Matt Jones’s Jonesin’ crossword, “Fore and Aff”
This theme has nothing to do with the musical score abbreviation FFF (short for the Italian for “loud, loud, loud,” basically), but each theme answer does start with one F and end with two more. A whole lotta F-words here:
- 17a. [Fancy sleeve adornment], FRENCH CUFF.
- 30a. [Financial coinage in 2012 headlines], FISCAL CLIFF. I learned this term not from the news media but from a Brendan Emmett Quigley crossword.
- 39a. [Ate the rest of], FINISHED OFF.
- 55a. ["And don't try any ___!"], FUNNY STUFF.
Ten other notes:
- 6a. ["Hair" co-author James], RADO. Also a luxury watch brand. Neither RADO is a household name.
- 43a. [What some rings read], MOOD. In the category of silly “science” without a shred of scientific validity, the mood ring is right up there with astrology. One of my favorite relics of the 1970s.
- 6d. [Device used in speed tests], ROCKET SLED. I have no idea what that is.
- 9d. [Annual Ashland event, for short], OSF. I surmised that this was Ashland, Ohio, and the Ohio State Fair. Now that I’ve Googled, I see that it’s Ashland, Oregon, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Matt’s from Oregon so I should’ve thought Oregon before Ohio. Both Ashlands have about 20,000 inhabitants. Meh.
- 28d. [Minnesota medical group], MAYO CLINIC. Yep. Lots of white condiments in the hospital cafeteria.
- 32d. [All dressed up, perhaps], IN COSTUME. Today, I learned of the existence of a “sexy corn” Halloween costume.
- 36d. [Fearful], TIMOROUS. I love this word.
- 41d. [How marathon runners walk around], FITLY. But right after the marathon? Not so much. I missed a train on Sunday because of the marathoners walking gingerly and slowly down the stairs to the subway.
- 52d. [Monocular character on "Yo Gabba Gabba!"], MUNO. Yow. If you do not have a child under the age of five, you are excused from knowing this.
- 57d. [Sprint calling card from the 1980s], FON. I hope people pronounced this “fahn card.”