Peter Collins’ New York Times crossword
Not in the mood for paragraphs, or even complete sentences. Onward to bulleted lists!
- 1a. [It's part of a club], MAYO. Club sandwich, that is. Good clue.
- 15a. [Fur source], CHINCHILLA. Dreadful clue, grim. Adorable animal.
- 17a. [Repeated cry in a 1973 fight], “DOWN GOES FRAZIER!” Versus Ali, Thrilla in Manila.
- 23a. [Geezers], OLD GOATS. Had OLD GENTS. Thank goodness that was wrong.
- 29a. The Glass Capital of the World], TOLEDO, OHIO. Its OOH crosses 23d: OOH.
- 44a. [They might become bats], ASH TREES. Ash bats possibly threatened by the emerald ash borer.
- 57a. [Heads with hearts], ARTICHOKES. Clue had me mystified, in a good way.
- 4d, 8d. [Like God]: OMNIPRESENT and INFALLIBLE. If only 24d and 38d had this clue too.
- 16d. [Tanker's tankful], CRUDE OIL. Feel like GAS OIL shows up in the puzzle more often than CRUDE OIL. CRUDE is a much better entry.
- 28d. [Liquor store, Down Under], BOTTLE SHOP. Didn’t know it, but it’s gettable. Learned something new.
- 53d. [Europe's Tiger City], OSLO. Seen a lot of OSLO clues in my time but didn’t know this one.
“Meh” moments: ELAM, OAS, A IS, OISE. That’s a short list.
Complaint department: I imagine the constructor and editor have some dictionary source that backs up BIALIES as the plural of bialy, but I checked four dictionaries and came up with no support. You can play it in Scrabble, apparently? When you Google a word and nine of the first 10 search results are definition or word list pages … it’s not a choice word for a crossword puzzle. What’s really bizarre is that you get a lot more Google hits for bialies than for bialys—though the top bialys hits are all good ones (places that make and sell bialys, food articles, nary a junky word list in sight). I will call this nonstandard and move on.
Did not know: 11d. [The "you" in "On the Street Where You Live"], ELIZA. No idea. The title made me think of “People in Your Neighborhood” from Sesame Street, though.
Maryanne Lemot’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Course Requirements” — pannonica’s write-up
With a title like that one might think this has to do with educational institutions and prerequisites. Ah, but this isn’t the Chronicle of Higher Education crossword (on minisabbatical this week, incidentally). This is the bastion of banking, business, and finance, the Wall Street Journal, where who you know always trumps what you know. And such relationships are stereotypically—or perhaps caricaturally—reinforced on the golf course: 8 rebus squares contain a TEE.
- 23a. [Makings of a strong case] CONCRETE EVIDENCE.
24d. [Is crawling] TEEMS.
- 34a. [Napoleon's cousin] CHOCOLATE ECLAIR.
13d. [Features of some combs] FINE TEETH.
- 47a. [Possession whose maintenance is burdensome] WHITE ELEPHANT.
32d. [Colonel Sanders feature] GOATEE.
- 64d. [Make a futile effort] WASTE ENERGY.
58d. [Gateway Arch makeup] STEEL. See also the crossing 72d [Cardinal cap marking] STL.
- 74a. [1981 #1 hit for Hall & Oates] PRIVATE EYES.
67d. [Exorbitant] STEEP.
- 90a. [Some sensei] KARATE EXPERTS.
84d. [Stock units] STEER. See also 125a [Stock identifiers] EAR TAGS.
- 102a. [Bob Woodward, at the Washington Post] ASSOCIATE EDITOR.
103d. [Like Romeo and Juliet] TEENAGE.
- 115a. [Some DVD extras] ALTERNATE ENDINGS.
105d. [Recipient of one-on-one lessons] TUTEE.
Note that all the across theme answers have the TEE spanning across two words (I happen to be picturing the St Louis Gateway Arch) while all the down crossings are single words and the TEE maintains its integrity. Well, all but 13-down, but the TEE is nevertheless undivided. All the better to rest a golf ball upon?
Now if only there had been a ninth themer in the center, then there would have been a total of 18 tees, corresponding to the standard number of holes on a golf course!
Solid ballast fill, with the typical Shenk array of interesting and playful clues. No very long answers but plenty of midlength stacks and, understandably, some lesser fill of the crosswordese, abbrev., and partial variety.
Just a few notes:
- 40d/66a [Washed out] ASHY/PALE.
- Demonyms! 68d [From Innsbruck, say] TYROLEAN. 94a [From Asmara, say] ERITREAN; Towards Asmara, read.
- 41a [DNA components] STRANDS. Nice clue, but 117d [Amino acid carrier] RNA, hmm.
- Favorite clues: 62a [Litter setting, literally or figuratively] STY, 22a [Answer from someone who doesn't call] I RAISE.
- 16d ["Bacchus and Ariadne" painter] TITIAN. 122a [Field worker] GLEANER.
Even though it’s golf themed, I daren’t call this one subpar. Average to above-average puzzle.
Jacob McDermott’s Los Angeles Times crossword – Gareth’s review
Surprising choice by Rich Norris for a Friday puzzle. There’s little in the way of Friday trickery or other wordplay in today’s theme. Rather we have a solid early-week theme that, with circles allowed one to quickly grok what was going on. The circled answers surround the theme entries and form car marques – two European (my own Fiat gets included!) and two American; Asian carmakers get the cold shoulder! The surrounding aspect of the theme doesn’t seem adequately conveyed by the RENTACAR revealer. The other issue I have is that the theme didn’t predispose (it seems) to interesting theme answer. What we get are:
- [*Beach scuttler], SANDCRAB. It doesn’t seem to have a fixed taxonomic meaning…
- [*Platform used when mooring ships], DOCKINGBRIDGE. Dry, technical term.
- [*Headwear for a hose user], FIREHAT
- [*Lego unit], BUILDINGBLOCK
On the other hand, the non-theme fill is carefully crafted with most sections containing snazzy answers: KARATE/APACHE/RATLINE in the top-right, DONTDELAY/ROCOCO in the top-left, ATLARGE/KINGME in the bottom-left and SIDEKICKS in the bottom-right.
There is also very little junk. The odd bit of crossword-ese, which is what we get here, hasn’t ever bothered me we don’t see RYA much anymore as it went out of fashion in the 60′s; STAD is a common town suffix in South Africa, but probably less familiar to Americans. The two I’d class as proper constructor’s crutches are KABOBS , not the spelling I see in real life, which is KEBABS; there do seem to be a lot of var. options out there! BRRR has two R’s, 3 is a crutch.
- [Fred : William :: Ricky : __], DESI. I got from RICKY to DESI easily enough. Apparently Fred is a supporting character played by William on I Love Lucy.
- [Bingham of "Baywatch"], TRACI. One of two famous TRACIs…
- [Metal giant], ALCOA. I tried ARMCO first, alas.
PS: Oh, the cars are RENT as in torn!
Sarah Keller’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “Any Way You Slice It”—Ade’s write-up
Happy Friday, everybody!
There’s a good chance that most of you are already out on the town or, in some way, away from your computer right now. And hopefully, if you’re out, you’re with a special someone who told you IT’S A DATE (11D: ["Good, we're set"]) as he/she/they accepted your invitation to head out. But I hope that before you went out, you enjoyed today’s grid from Ms. Sarah Keller. Definitely an enjoyable puzzle, even if you need a Band-Aid for this one. In it, five theme answers start with words that are synonyms to the word “slice.” Seeing “slice” actually makes me think of the orange soda of the same name. Is that still in production??
- SEVER TIES TO: (18A: [End a relationship with]) – Aww, how sad!
- CUT THE MUSTARD: (24A: [Come up to snuff])
- CARVE OUT A CAREER: (38A: [Create future professional endeavors]) – Doing that as we speak…I think?!?!
- CLIP ONE’S WINGS: (52A: [End a person's privileges]) – Ouch!
- SLASH PRICES: (60A: [Prepare for a sale])
No joke, I had a conversation last night with a friend about both Green Acres and The Beverly Hilbillies, and I looked up the casts (and theme songs) to both. With that, EBSEN was unbelievably fresh in my mind (69A: ["The Beverly Hilbillies" star Buddy]). Both GLOB (57D: [Whip cream serving, perhaps]) and GOOP (13D: [Sticky stuff]) make this puzzle a little gooey. Loved seeing RED COATS, although I probably wouldn’t have been saying that if I was alive in the early 1700s (40D: [British soldiers during the American Revolution]). Crosswordese included SDS (64D: [1960s radical grp.]), AAS (4D: [Remote batteries, perhaps]), and a new one for me, A LOW (42D: [Have _____ tolerance for]).
“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: PERDUE (2D: [Chicken maven Frank])- This “sports…smarter” moment is actually about…myself. (Sorry for the possible self-aggrandizing.) In 2007, I worked as the radio play-by-play voice of the Delmarva Shorebirds in Salisbury, MD on WTGM Radio. The Shorebirds are the Class-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, and they play their home games at Arthur W. PERDUE Stadium, named after the founder of Perdue Farms. I got to know some of the Perdue the family very well while down in Salisbury, where the Perdue chicken empire started. Working in Minor League Baseball and being the voice of a sports team was one of the best experiences of my life, and I have, in part, the PERDUE family to thank for that.
See you all on Saturday!