Elizabeth A. Long’s New York Times crossword puzzle — pannonica’s review
- 17a. [Wright flight site] KITTY HAWK. Rhyme time!
- 40a. [Hospital diagnostic] CAT SCAN. Computed axial tomography.
- 64a. [James Bond film involving a Fabergé egg] OCTOPUSSY.
- 11d. [Perennial whose flowers are typically orange with black dots] TIGER LILY.
- 35d. [Source of some fluff] DANDELION. With the DAND– in place (and before the theme had revealed itself), I was wondering how a variant of DANDER/DANDRUFF could fit.
Bit of a strange, dichotomous theme. Two of the five are species of big cat, and the other three are more generic: CAT (which is probably intended to be synonymous with house cat) and nicknames thereof. What I suppose saves the theme—by emphasizing the disparate nature of the answers—is that the two groups are apportioned to the acrosses and downs.
- 22d [Green gems] EMERALDS, 33a [Green gem] JADE.
- 4d, 46d: EXTRUDE | TEXTURE. Not to be confused with the George Harrison album.
- 52d [Feed the same line] RECUE. Bleah. REDO (32d) and RELIVE (38a) are fine, but rescue me from RECUE.
- Fun fill: MUKLUK, GRISTLE, TAGALONG, SIXTHS.
Decent, gentle Monday offering.
C.C. Burnikel’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s review
44-across, located under the left-leaning Utah, demonstrates the puzzle’s theme: [Law school grads, briefly, and an apt title for this puzzle] JDS. “JD” indicates someone who holds the title Doctor of Jurisprudence. The cue for the revealer has a strong dupe for 49d [Not suited] INAPT.
The theme answers are simply celebrities with the initials JD.
- 16a. ["Shakespeare in Love" Oscar winner] JUDI DENCH.
- 24a. ["Pirates of the Caribbean" series star] JOHNNY DEPP.
- 34a. [The Yankee Clipper] JOE DIMAGGIO. If you count that nickname as a “title,” then all the clues have titles in them.
- 47a. ["Slouching Toward Bethlehem" author] JOAN DIDION.
- 56a. ["East of Eden" co-star] JAMES DEAN.
The corners are all strong, robust. Interesting six-stacks in the northwest and southeast, very juicy stuff in the opposite pair. I especially liked the symmetrically balanced TIJUANA and SERAPES. PROSPER, at 11-down, eluded me for some time because I was consistently interpreting [Flourish] as a noun.
- Strong fill overall, relatively low CAP Quotient™ (but it could have been lower). The least favorite entries, to my mind, were the crossing partial A DIET and the [Stamp suffix] -EDE at 14a and 5d. [Hersey's bell town] ADANO is powerful crosswordese mojo, takes third place.
- 53a ["It's Not About the Bike" author Armstrong] LANCE. Wink, wink.
- 6d [Wine, on le menu] VIN. Don’t care for those cognate duplications that are so close.
- 15d [Japanese electronics giant] SANYO. Had to check that it was still a giant. Even though it was bought not long ago by gianter giant Panasonic, it’s still a major electronics company and member of the Fortune 500.
- 29a TO A TEE, 37a T-TOP. Variety in spelling, and besides, “TOAT” makes me want to exclaim, “YECCH!” (7d)
Patrick Jordan’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Metropolis Media Members”- Sam Donaldson’s review
Quick: name a media outlet in the fictional Metropolis.
You probably said The Daily Planet.
Now name the only four workers there you know.
That’s easy too: Clark Kent (the one with the costume fetish), Lois Lane (the one who loves the one with the costume fetish but not when he’s just Clark), Jimmy Olsen (the photographer), and Perry White (the paper’s editor).
Now find four other famous people with those same first names, et voila–you have yourself a crossword theme. Here are the “new and improved” Clark, Lois, Jimmy, and Perry:
- 17-Across: I’ll tell you one thing about CLARK GABLE: [His final movie was 1961's "The Misfits"]. I just learned that little factoid very recently.
- 25-Down: LOIS MAXWELL is the [Portrayer of Miss Moneypenny in 14 Bond films]. Somehow I knew the LOIS but needed three crossings before I could remember MAXWELL (luckily, the X was the third crossing to appear). Oh, and if you haven’t seen Skyfall yet, make sure you do. For my money, it rivals Goldfinger as the best Bond movie ever.
- 10-Down: JIMMY FALLON is the [Late-night host who does a "Thank You Notes" bit]. I can’t stand comics who resort to the same formula over and over. On an unrelated note, can you guess my favorite entry and favorite clue in this puzzle?
- 57-Across: PERRY ELLIS is a [Famed sportswear designer]. And that’s all I have to say about that.
As themes go, I have a hard time calling this one “super.” The fill is much more interesting, perhaps in part to its incorporation of every letter in the alphabet. Some of the highlights included PULPY, THEORIZE, PAIN-FREE, WIGWAM, INKPADS and SNEAKILY.
I didn’t know OSMOSE was a word. Did anyone else have OSMO- in the grid and instantly think the answer had to be OSMOND? Not a very good answer to [Flow through a membrane].
Favorite entry = TRIUMPHS, or [Comes out on top]. Favorite clue = [Actress Kemper of "The Office"] for ELLIE. She’s just adorable.
Brendan Quigley’s blog crossword, “Themeless Monday”
Whoops, it’s after 5 pm already. Quickly:
Brendan wanted to make a themeless tougher than recent ones and yeah, I think it did take me longer than usual. I had to back into the upper left corner by getting everything else first.
Favorite bits & pieces:
- 1a. LET’S JUST SAY…
- 23a. ZACHARY Quinto. I liked him on Heroes, I liked him in the Star Trek remake, and I like that he’s out. He’s one of those actors who draws the eye. Haven’t been watching American Horror Story, though.
- 33a. [Revolutionary figure?], the iconic FIST.
- 14d. ROWDY YATES. I had RUSTY YATES at first, but Story OF U was patently incorrect. (That would be an epistolary-via-text-messages erotic novel.)
- 24d. [Perennial with a large mouth], SNAPDRAGON. Flower blossom looks like it has a mouth, but you put “large mouth” in a clue and I think bass. My dad was a smallmouth catch-and-release fan.
- 26d. EMMA WATSON, full name, real person.
- 32d. [Luxury for single parents], FREE TIME. Also a luxury for stay-at-home parents of kids under 5.
- 33d. [Losing trends?], FAD DIETS.
FPC, [Onetime gas and elec. regulator]?? No idea what that is. It’s in my non-favorites category, together with ULTIMA, ENISLED, and FORCER.
3.4 stars. Short on the usual BEQ “oh, no, he di’n't” zing.