Dan Schoenholz’s New York Times crossword
Neat theme: A LANGUAGE BARRIER is 64a. [Foreigner's obstacle ... or a hint to hidden words in 17-, 29-, 37- and 49-Across], and there are language names hidden in the other theme answers.
- 17a. Class for the hotheaded], ANGER MANAGEMENT.
- 29a. Covered with goose bumps], ALL ATINGLE.
- 37a. Result of a buzz cut], SHORT HAIR.
- 49a. Miller Park crew], THE BREWERS.
Modern European language, ancient European language, Asian language, Middle Eastern language—nice assortment.
Highlights in the fill include slangy BUG JUICE, WEIRDO, BEYONCÉ, BANG-UP, CLUTTER, and SCRAWL.
Trickiest clue: 54a. [They know beans] for GOYA. Goya is a brand of prepared Mexican foods, including canned beans.
Most arbitrary phrase: 47d. ["You take credit cards?" response], “YES, WE DO.”
Entries I didn’t love: CART IN, BRIC, partials AND I and ONCE A, ANAT, SMA, LOD, TEN-CENT as an adjective, ANIL, UNAS, ROBB, CEN, EPT, SLO, and ROS.
3.33 stars from me.
Doug Peterson’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, “High to Low”—Ade’s write-up
Welcome to Hump Day, everybody!
Today’s puzzle, brought to us by Mr. Doug Peterson, takes us from the mountain top to the depths of the earth. Though there are only peaks (and no valleys) to the experience of solving this topographic puzzle, each of the theme answers start with words that are types of land areas, and arranged in descending order in terms of elevation.
- MOUNTAIN DEW: (17A: [Drink with Code Red and Baja Blast varieties]) – I haven’t had a Mountain Dew since elementary school. Now thinking about it, that’s actually weird, since I used to drink “The Dew” a lot in elementary school.
- HILL STREET BLUES: (26A: [Influential '80s cop show]) – I always remember the piano in the (amazing) theme song to Hill Street Blues. Probably one of the more underrated shows, and theme songs. More information on this show on the “sports…smarter” moment.
- PRAIRIE SCHOONER: (43A: [Vehicle that traveled the Oregon Trail])
- VALLEY FORGE: (58A: [Continental Army encampment near Philadelphia])
Weird image of the day? Imagining an animated stick figure with a firearm during a robbery while answereing the clue to STICK-UP MAN (11D: [Getaway driver's partner, perhaps]). Another pretty good bit of fill also included MAIL CALL (38D: [Welcome announcement for homesick soldiers]). Have been eating a lot of burgers around NYC lately, and it seems as if I can only eat burgers from eateries if they are able to SAUTÉ the onions (15A: [Fry lightly]). I actually just went to a place that didn’t do sautéed onions, and then ordered a completely different meal because of it. Yes, it’s that seriously lately with my burgers!
“Sports will make you smarter” moment of the day: HILL STREET BLUES (26A: [Influential '80s cop show]) – Here’s the first time I will incorporate a theme answer for the “sports…smarter” moment of the day. Michael Warren, who played Officer Bobby Hill on the NBC hit, was an All-America college basketball player at UCLA and was a starting guard on two national championship teams under legendary head coach John Wooden (1967, 1968). One of Warren’s teammates on those teams was Lew Alcindor, who later became known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Also, Ed Marinaro, who played Officer Joe Coffey, was an All-America running back at Cornell University and actually finished second in the 1971 Heisman Trophy voting to Auburn’s Pat Sullivan. Along with finishing as the Heisman runner-up that year, Marinaro won the Maxwell Award and the UPI College Football Player of the Year in 1971.
Who knew a couple of the memorable actors on a show you watched way back when were big-time athletes in their athletic heyday?!? Thanks for the time, and will see you on Thursday!
Tyler Hinman’s American Values Club crossword, “Flying South”
When geese fly south, they travel in skeins, or V-shaped formations. Here, the letter V has flown south four times, leaving a familiar phrase in the top of the grid and landing inside a familiar phrase in the bottom of the grid. All eight phrases become something entirely different with the relocation of the V’s:
- 3d. ["I am so totally over men, Shakespeare!"?], “FIE, GUYS!” Five Guys Burgers and Fries.
- 40d. [Teetotaling hipster magazine?], DRY VICE. Dry ice meets Vice.
- 5d. [Gala to raise money for the reissue of "Boys Don't Cry"?], CURE BALL. That’s an album from The Cure, and curveball loses a V here.
- 46d. [Amazed reaction to Saint Laurent's new fashion line?], “OH, YVES!” “Oh, yes” plus V.
- 8d. [Stick used in tabletop gaming?], DIE BAR. Seedy dive bar.
- 37d. [Violent action in PE class?], GYM SHOVE. In Chicago, we always used “gym shoes” where others say “sneakers” or “tennis shoes,” though my son tells me nobody says “gym shoes” anymore (he goes more specific with skate shoes and high-tops).
- 10d. [Drinking vessel on top of a podium?], DAIS CUP. The Davis Cup in tennis.
- 42d. [Wipe out a debt to a Monkee?], PAY DAVY.
Tyler being Tyler, the puzzle with four columns of theme answers also has a ton of 7- and 8-letter entries in the non-theme fill. Love BIRYANI, DELUISE, ASSHOLES (crossing COLONS!), FLYPAPER, COMRADE, TV MOVIE, STELLAS (my beers of choice), and EXPEDIA. NO MONEY feels a little off, and RED DEER, UNITIVE, and TEENERS (who calls teens “teeners”?) were joyless.
Did not know: 4a. [Elbow joint part: Abbr.], UCL. The knee has an ACL and MCL, so the CL portion was inferrable enough.
Four stars from me.
Kurt Krauss’ Los Angeles Times crossword – Gareth’s review
Today’s puzzle has theme answers that end in synonyms for “failure”: FLOP, DOG, BUST, BOMB and TURKEY. I’ve never heard of DOG being used in that sense. To the dictionary! I think it must be referring to sense 8? The selection of answers themselves was nice, with plenty of colour included. HYDROGENBOMB is a bit of a downer, but apart from that…
- [High-jump style named for 1968 Olympic gold medalist Dick], FOSBURYFLOP. One of the funnest names in sport!
- [Morning-after shot], HAIROFTHEDOG. Now you’re messing with…
- [Last Martin/Lewis film], HOLLYWOODORBUST
- [Subject of 1950s testing], HYDROGENBOMB
- [Lays it on the line], TALKSTURKEY
- [Need to retake in summer school, say], FAIL. I don’t think this is thematic, but it’s close enough to be confusing.
- [Mom or dad, e.g.], PALINDROME. Great clue!
- Seafood clue mini-theme: [Lobster part], CLAW and [Swordfish servings], STEAKS
- [Former VOA overseer], USIA. All crossers! United States Information Agency apparently.