Dan Schoenholz’s New York Times crossword – Jeffrey’s review
The(me) – It’s All About ME
- 1A. [Some cartoons] – ANI(ME)
- 18A. [Best Director of 1997] – JA(ME)S CA(ME)RON
- 31A. [Ecological communities] – BIO(ME)S
- 35A. [Egocentric person's mantra] – (ME)(ME)(ME)(ME)(ME)
- 47A. [Round-tripper] – HO(ME)RUN
- 56A. [Statistic from the Bureau of Labor Statistics] – (ME)DIAN INCO(ME). MEaningless from a tax standpoint.
- 65A. [Choosing-up-sides word] – (ME)ENY
- 4D. [Chile relleno, e.g.] – (ME)XICAN (ME)AL. Not an expression I would use.
- 7D. [Actress Anouk] – AI(ME)E
- 10D. [Caravan transport] – CA(ME)L
- 24D. [Bizet opera] – CAR(ME)N
- 25D. [7 or 11, e.g.] – PRI(ME). 7/11 just about the only place open here on Christmas.
- 29D. [Predecessors of photocopies] – MI(ME)OS
- 32D. [Changes constitutionally] – A(ME)NDS
- 33D. [ABAB, for one] – RHY(ME) SCHE(ME)
- 35D. [Fort ___, Md.] – (ME)ADE
- 43D. [Flu, e.g.] – AIL(ME)NT
- 47D. [Batters' toppers] – HEL(ME)TS
Neville Fogarty’s Los Angeles Times crossword – Gareth’s review
Creative, slightly offbeat theme… In the nursery rhyme BINGO (found at 71a), the name is spelled out. If you didn’t have a childhood, here is I presume a reasonable link. Youtube and my internet are not good friends. Mimicking the spelled-out lyric, each of the five long across answers begins with a word sounding like one of the five letters; I’ve always pronounced BEAARTHUR‘s first name as two syllables, I assume incorrectly… Anyway, here’s a list of the theme answers, I thought the last two were particular evocative, and as a whole they make for a well above average set:
- 18a, [*"The Golden Girls" actress], BEA ARTHUR
- 23a, [*Interior designer's forte], EYE FOR DETAIL
- 39a, [*Traveling], EN ROUTE
- 52a, [*"My goodness!"], GEE WILLIKERS
- 62a, [*Head-slapper's cry], OH BROTHER
It’s a polished grid too. Lots of longer downs of which DEFLEPPARD, INBADFORM, and BEGORRA are particularly good… Other splashes of colour include the two zeds, which allow TOPAZ and CHEZ. The clue of the former refers to a “Hitchcock film” I haven’t seen though I assume it’s based on the Uris novel (I’ve actually read that!) – yes. Mr. Fogarty also casually drops a couple of autobiographical nods in 27a, [Advanced math assignment], PROOF and 2d, [Matrix, e.g.], ARRAY.
I’d call that a pretty fun-packed 3 and a half minutes, how about you?
Lynn Lempel’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Christmas Clutter”- Sam Donaldson’s review
After everyone’s done unwrapping gifts, look at what’s strewn all about–it’s the five things that appear at the ends of the today’s theme entries:
- 17-Across: The [Major school assignment] is a TERM PAPER. The only thing worse than writing a term paper is grading one.
- 21-Across: The [Organ involved in sound production] is the VOICE BOX. (Because, you know, you don’t see larynges strewn about after the unwrapping’s done. If you do, your holiday celebration is just plain weird.)
- 37-Across: To be [Like regular team players] is to be FIRST-STRING. But if you played the instruments I did in music class, you preferred to be first-woodwind.
- 55-Across: An [Ongoing inability to connect, in a way] refers to PHONE TAG. With texting so prevalent nowadays, it gets harder and harder to ignore some telecommunications, doesn’t it?
- 61-Across: CUPID’S BOW is the [Weapon often seen on Valentine's Day].
I liked the parallel clues for BATMAN and Clark KENT. The clue for the former was [Comics crime-fighter in his action mode], and the clue for the latter was [Comics crime fighter in his disguised mode]. It’s too much to ask, I suppose, that the crime-fighter and the alias match perfectly.
Look at the open corners with the stacked 6s and 7s! They offer treats like ASEXUAL, WAR HERO, SNAPS AT, SKEWED, AIR BAG and RICOTTA. That war hero needs some help! What did the ricotta do to him or her?
Favorite entry = FORK OVER, a term meaning [Pay]. Favorite clue = [Place to have a cow] for DAIRY.