MaryEllen Uthlaut’s New York Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
Until actually reading the revealer, I was confused and trying to make more of the theme than it is.
- 23a. [Annoyed “Hel-LO!”] YOU FORGOT ME.
- 31a. [Japanese compact S.U.V.] SUBARU FORESTER.
- 39a. [Sandwich cookie with abundant filling] DOUBLE STUF OREO.
- 47a. [Eerie encounter … or a hint to 23-, 31- and 39-Across] UFO ENCOUNTER.
Ah, but I was provisionally hornswoggled into thinking that the lengthy 18a and 56a were also theme entries. Saw the YOU in PAGE LAYOUT, repeated in YOU FORGOT ME, then that answer’s UFO repeated in the next, ORE in FORESTER reappearing in OREO … and it was confusing. A TEASE (20a).
Appreciated the slightly elevated erudition in the fill for a Monday puzzle. The Treaty of GHENT, a SCALENE triangle, Sir GEORG Solti. OCULI as [Round windows] might be pushing it, though.
Subtlety in 25d [Anglican bishop’s hat] MITRE. British spelling alert in the clue.
Was gastronomically perturbed by the one-two of 9a [Beer mug] STEIN in association with the underlying 16a [Drink often served with marshmallows] COCOA: beer and marshmallows, >shudder<.
Good but admittedly bewildering crossword.
Jeff Stillman’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up
More than a mere counting theme — a counting theme with an isolated letter following the cardinal number.
- 18a. [Fun runs, often] ONE-K RACES (kilometer). Are such short events common?
- 26a. [Mobile phone system that introduced SMS texting] TWO G NETWORK (generation). Bit randomly retrogressive, this entry. SMS is short for “short message service.”
- 41d. [Film that requires special eyewear] THREE-D MOVIE (dimension(al)). But since all moving pictures include the element of time, shouldn’t ones such as these be termed four-dimensional? Perhaps this isn’t the time or the place for such a query.
- 54a. [Youth organization with a clover emblem] FOUR-H CLUB. In this case the letter stands not for a single word but the four suggested by the outfit’s name: head, heart, hands, and health.
The added letter aspect helps; without it this puzzle’s theme might have been too flimsy even for a Monday. With it, it may be slightly more interesting than the typical first-of-the-weeker.
Biggest gripe: an extrathemicular single letter at 22-across, K-MART. That it duplicates one of those pivotal letters from a theme answer is doubly unfortunate. That it appears right alongside that particular theme answer is triply unhappy. That I can’t add just one more critical slight about its presence to parallel the extant theme is quadruply woefulescent. There’s also 6a SIDE B, but that’s a lesser infraction.
Most enjoyable surprise: the long vertical stacked 8/9 pairs in the northwest and the southeast. PLETHORA / MAGIC WAND and CAVALIER / SIMILARLY. Scrumptious.
Some clunkiness with OGEE, ESE, OOP, IT’D, and the like, but nothing truly horrific.
All told, Monday-par. Not a (17a) BOGEY.
Doug Peterson’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Window Dressing”—Ade’s write-up
Cue Aerosmith – I’m back in the saddle again!!
Hello there, everyone! Here’s hoping your week last week went well. Again, my sincerest apologies for my absence for almost the entirety of last week. As Amy told you, I was performing my duties as associate camp director/SAT Verbal instructor/6 AM wake-up door banger/10 PM bed-ckecker at the 4th and 1 Football Camp. But don’t be fooled by “football” in the title, as two-thirds of the camp deals with SAT/ACT classes and life skills courses, and most of the student-athletes come from underrepresented neighborhoods and/or from low-income families. It’s definitely a cause that’s near and dear to my heart, and we’re always looking for donations, as we’re a non-profit organization. Take a look at their web site for more info, and if you want to listen to a podcast which encapsulates the spirit of the camp, take a listen here. It’s an hour worth your time, trust me, even if you’re not a sports fan – but are a fan of empowerment through education for America’s youth and closing the gap in access of quality education amongst lower-income families. (By the way, the students took a practice SAT on the first day of camp (Sunday) then took a second SAT on the last day of camp (Friday), and I’m glad to report that 60% of the students rose their overall SAT scores on the second test by at least 100 points- including one that rose his score by 390 points.)
Another thing that I hold near and dear to my heart is crosswords, and that’s what I’m here for! This puzzle, by the always entertaining Mr. Doug Peterson, is a very smooth way to start the week, as the first word in each of the four theme answers are words that also pertain to types of screens for a window.
- CURTAIN CALL: (17A: [Post-performance acknowledgement])
- BLIND AUDITION: (28A: [Type of tryout seen on “The Voice”]) – Has anyone from “The Voice” broken out and became a big singing star à la American Idol winners? I honestly have no idea.
- SHUTTER ISLAND: (48A: [2010 Leonardo DiCaprio thriller set in a creepy hospital]) – Is it bad that I’ve watched only three movies of Leo’s from beginning to end, and I remember him most for his part in Titanic and for his stint as Luke on Growing Pains?
- SHADE GARDEN: (62A: [Plot that receives little direct sunlight])
In yesterday’s Sunday Challenge, I mentioned that the entry “DEAR SIR” gave the grid a little bit more regality, and this is the case in this grid, with RED WINE (39A: [Merlot, e.g.]). I will admit that when I was watching Argentina play yesterday in the World Cup final, I thought for a brief second of having Argentina’s fine red wine, Malbec. That’s my red wine of choice. What’s yours? (If you drink red wine, of course.) .
Although I’m an East Coaster through and through, I have to say that I loved my time in ALBERTA when I went to Calgary in 2009 (47D: [One of the Prairie Provinces]). Might make it back there again, and I do want to see what the Calgary Stampede is all about, even though I would not be described as a cowboy under any stretch of the imagination. If I’m correct, this year’s Stampede ended yesterday. So I hear Weekend UPDATE isn’t the same without Seth Meyers since he bolted for late-night television hosting duties (31D: [“Weekend ______” (regular “Saturday Night Live” sketch)]). Picking a favorite Weekend Update anchor over the years is almost like picking which kiss from your wife/husband/partner was the best: there’s a lot to choose from. I guess Dennis Miller is the gold standard, and I liked him a lot on there, but I’m partial to Norm MacDonald and the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler co-anchor skits..
“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: IN DISGUISE (30A: [Wearing a false mustache, say])– Surprisingly enough, it is not JOE MONTANA, though I can write a whole review on this entry alone (11D: [Quarterback who won four Super Bowl with the 49ers]). I chose IN DISGUISE for one of the more hilarious moments in baseball managerial history. On June 9, 1999, New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine, after being ejected from the game for arguing a catcher’s interference call, reappeared in the dugout, donning glasses and a fake mustache! I could go further in explaining this, but let this video do all the talking! (Bob Costas does the actual talking, along with the pictures.) It’s hilarious!
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so very much for your patience once again as I was away. I’ll be with you all tomorrow, and can’t wait to build back the relationships that I’ve started to build on here through crosswords. It’s an honor and a privilege that I do not take lightly! Thank you once again!
Brendan Quigley’s blog crossword, “Themeless Monday”
Heading out to lunch in a bit so let me be brief here:
- 1a. [Meals on wheels provider?], FOOD TRUCK. The movie Chef has a food truck plot line and it’s pretty good.
- 29a. [Brewer’s showcase], MLB GAME. Was only thinking of beer and not the Milwaukee Brewers. Have you seen the sausage races?
- 31a. [McCain rival], ORE-IDA. McCain is found in the frozen potatoes section of the supermarket.
- 45a. [Wash day annoyance], ONE SOCK. Oddball phrase for a crossword—and yes, I have a basket in which a number of socks have an unending stag party. At what point do you give up and throw the lone sock out?
- 59a. [Osmics studies], ODORS. Osmics! I’ve never seen the noun before but it was inferrable from knowing words like anosmia (inability to smell).
- 9d. [Soccer coach who said “I do swear a lot, but the advantage is that having played abroad, I can choose a different language from the referee’s.”], KLINSMANN. German coach of the USMNT.
- 53d. [Cutting comment?], SCENE. As in a director saying, “… And … scene!”
Did not know: 52a. [Longtime Ohio State football coach Jim], TRESSEL, or 13d. [“Tobacco Road” girl], ELLIE MAY.
Overall assessment of puzzle: 32d: I LIKE THAT. 3.8 stars.