Whew! Long day. Loud day. We took the kid to see the new Harry Potter exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry this afternoon. (Who knew museums could be so noisy?) And then this evening we had Ben's birthday at Pump It Up—16 kids bouncing around, clambering a rock-climbing wall, and getting jacked up on sugar. (Also noisy.) At last, quiet time and crosswords.
Joe Krozel's New York Times crossword
Now, Barry Silk was just remarking the other day that he'd asked Will Shortz about running a crossword tribute to the World Series champion Phillies, but Will "said that puzzles must have a 'shelf life' of at least 5 years." I don't know that JOE THE PLUMBER, a [2008 campaign personality], fills that bill. Frankly, that feels like a dated reference already—I would have liked that theme answer better last December.
The other theme entries—name + occupation—are DORA THE EXPLORER, the [Animated TV character whose best friend is Boots], and ROSIE THE RIVETER, [Norman Rockwell painting subject of W.W. II]. These two are rock-solid, more enduring than Joe the Plumber/Journalist's moment in the sun. Answers I liked:
Pancho Harrison's L.A. Times crossword
Pancho's theme is phrases that sound like they're violent but aren't—except for that one that still is:
If things don't turn out well for that BUSHWHACKER, he might end up in BOOT HILL, the [Gunfighters' graveyard]. The crossword answer ON RYE shows up not infrequently; this time we get RYE BREAD, clued with [Corned beef is usually ordered on it]. [Andre the Giant, e.g.] was an actor in The Princess Bride after being a professional WRESTLER. [Fozzie Bear, e.g.] is a MUPPET from The Muppet Show.
Updated on a busy Monday morning:
Depending on when Brendan Quigley's blog crossword is posted, I may or may not have time to review it today. But don't let that stop you from talking about it in the comments.
Lynn Lempel's CrosSynergy puzzle, "Blockheads"
This is one of those Monday puzzles that one might plow through without needing to understand the theme—and in fact, I finished it before beginning to ponder how "Blockheads" related to the theme answers. The first word in each of five theme entries can precede the word block:
The two 10-letter Down answers are unrelated to the theme. A RAT-CATCHER is a [Certain pest control worker], but "rat block" isn't a thing. Neither is "near block," so NEAR AT HAND, or [Close by], is also not a theme answer.
April 26, 2009