Zhouqin Burnikel’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
59-across gives up the game here, [Casino cry … or a hint for 16-, 23-, 37- and 45-Across] COME TO PAPA, the PAPA being the pivotal part. Those other entries are two-word names and phrases, each component beginning with the letters PA-.
- 16a. [Comedian with a mock 1968 presidential campaign] PAT PAULSEN. Not only 1968, but also 1972, 1980, 1988, 1992, and 1996. He died in ’97.
- 23a. [Money that doesn't completely satisfy a debt] PART PAYMENT. Sometimes called “partial payment”?
- 37a. [Tricky task in a driver's test] PARALLEL PARKING. You know, I’ve never understood the difficulty some people have with this (seemingly) simple task. My spatial skills are better than average, I am forced to conclude. And I don’t feel I’m boasting here.
- 45a. [Event that might have a pillow fight] PAJAMA PARTY.
The longdowns are a pair of phrases: CUTS SHORT [Truncates] and LIKE I CARE, the emphatic ["Whatever!"]. Both good.
Surprising cluing for a Monday: 56a [Psychologist Alfred] ADLER, not the Holmesian Irene? 48d [Renaissance painter Veronese] PAOLO, not Brazil’s SÃO? (edit: that’s São Paulo, as per Hiram’s comment, below.)
As for the rest of the fill, it isn’t particularly remarkable, just medium-quality mid-length Monday fare. I swear, there really isn’t much more to say about this puzzle. It’s a moderate Monday, but I won’t go so far as to call it milquetoast. Good puzzle.
C.C. Burnikel’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
Well, this is kind of awkward. Very similar themes by the same constructor appearing in the two ostensible premier crossword outlets on the same day. Ms Burnikel’s NYT puzzle featured names/phrases beginning with a particular bigram.
The paired entries across the eighth row comprise the revealer to the theme. 34a [With 36-Across, agenda that consists of 17-, 24-, 51- and 59-Across] TO-DO LIST. Appropriately, those named entries consist of names and phrases whose two parts begin with TO- and DO-.
- 17a. ['70s–'80s Dallas Cowboys running back] TONY DORSETT.
- 24a. [The highest price] TOP DOLLAR.
- 51a. ["Hang down your head" guy in a Kingston Trio #1 hit] TOM DOOLEY. Kingston Trio? Here’s the Smothers Brothers.
- 59a. [Comes in for a landing] TOUCHES DOWN.
No stellar non-theme entries, in terms of length. We see the middling GAS HOGS, SKETCHY, VANILLA, HAN SOLO, with nondescript clues. The northeast and southwest corners feature triple-seven stacks, with the rather flaccid BRAILLE, OOH-LA-LA, ADHERED, and CD TOWER, EROTICA, DOMINO’S. As some wag (and numerous others) quipped, “it is what it is.”
Oh, I’m going to spotlight this one: 21a [Shade of color] HUE. A close second to 33a [Sandwich loaf] BREAD. Gasp! Really?
It’s a Monday, what’re you going to do?
Patrick Jordan’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Home Tweet Home” – Dave Sullivan’s review
After reading the title of today’s CrosSynergy/WaPo puzzle, I wondered what theme idea could be expressed in 140 characters or less? But, once I saw the clue for 53-Across, [1996 Robin Williams film, and a hint to this puzzle's theme], which was THE BIRD CAGE, I knew it was the more traditional meaning of the word “tweet”:
- [Operating at peak capacity] is IN FULL SWING
- [Seafood selection from the North Atlantic] is OCEAN PERCH – I know I’ve had this before, but not often enough to distinguish it from other types of fish. I want to say the flesh is orange-tinged, not so much like salmon, but not white either.
- [Deteriorated] is GONE TO SEED
Since the revealer doesn’t mention the clue numbers for the other theme entries, I made sure the middle entry didn’t have anything to do with the others, as I missed the “van” of VAN GOGH last week. It’s just the unassuming [Conquered insomnia] or SLEPT, which seems innocuous enough. Looking at the other three theme entries, I first thought we were supposed to use the WING part of IN FULL SWING, since that was part of a bird. But, looking at SEED and PERCH, I began to see these are things found in a bird cage, and a SWING certainly is one of those things. The only other possible theme entry I could imagine would be SAME OLD SH-T, but we run a family-friendly blog here, so let’s move along.
With regard to the rest of the puzzle, I felt it was very clean and had lots of fun entries. Hard to pick a FAVE among them, but I’ll go with MOLLIFY for [Appease] as I think that’s just an interesting word and certainly one used in everyday conversation. LEG PULL for [Humorous hoax] is my UNFAVE as I’m not sure that’s a thing in itself–”you’re pulling my leg” is certainly idiomatic, but can that person be said to be doing a “leg pull”?
Brendan Quigley’s blog crossword, “Themeless Monday”
Short on time today—
JACKIE MASON is clued as ["Eighty percent of married men cheat in America. The rest cheat in Europe" comic]. I think of him as the “I’m just looking for a good item” guy, ever since he wandered around California Pizza Kitchen looking at people’s food to find something he’d like. Never seen anyone do that before or since.
- 24d. [Brave turns?], AT-BATS. Atlanta Braves.
- ALOO GHOBI (we would also accept ALOO GOBI and, of course, CHANNA MASALA), FALSE ALARMS, SKANK, BEATBOX, PUTSCH, MR PIBB (isn’t it just called Pibb now?), and X AMOUNT.
- 26d. It might be tossed out while picking up a blonde], DART. A blonde ale at a pub with a dartboard, that is.