NYT 4:22 (on paper)
Steve Dobis's New York Times crossword
You know what's insane? In order to get an image of a solution grid for this puzzle (which I solved on paper last week because it was the finals puzzle for the Marbles Amateur Crossword Tournament), I used the "check my solution" option in the NYT applet and just copied my answers over from the hard copy. Typing in 15 lines of answers took me 1:22...and the speediest Monday applet times for the likes of Tyler Hinman and Dan Feyer are around 1:30 but they're reading the clues. Ladies and gentlemen, they are fast. If you're looking to hire a speedy and accurate typist, you've found your man.
The theme answers are four 15-letter entries all clued [See 71-Across]. The 71A clue is [Shade that defines 17-, 27-, 49- and 65-Across], and that hue is BROWN. What's BROWN? There's James BROWN, known as the GODFATHER OF SOUL. There's the nickname for UPS, a FEDEX COMPETITOR. In the NFL, a CLEVELAND PLAYER is a member of the Cleveland Browns. And it's also an IVY LEAGUE SCHOOL. Often when the theme is embodied in a common clue, the answers are phrases that wouldn't usually pass muster as crossword fill—so it's a plus that GODFATHER OF SOUL and IVY LEAGUE SCHOOL are solid and lively 15's.
And now, an olio of non-theme clues:
Updated Thursday morning:
Dan Naddor's L.A. Times crossword
Dan Naddor riffs on 33D: BEAN SALAD, a [Picnic veggie dish, and a hint to words hidden in the answers to starred clues]. I had seen the COCOA in 3D: ROCOCO ART, an [18th century French painting style], but thought of hot chocolate rather than cocoa beans so it still took me a while to contemplate hidden beans. The other three are:
Good things come in pairs here. I like the double-GH crossing of GHANA, a [Togo neighbor], and GHIA, [Karmann ___: sports car]. And also the rhyming pair GOTCHA, or [Prankster's cry], and DACHA, or [Russian villa]. Not to mention the two uses of the definite article in THE U.S., [NATO founding member], and THE BENDS, a [Diver's sickness]. And two 7-letter college towns, OBERLIN, home of the [Ohio conservatory] with the same name, and LARAMIE, a [University of Wyoming site].
Did you notice that this crossword was plus-size? Yep: 16 squares wide instead of 15. And at no extra charge!
More at L.A. Crossword Confidential, from PuzzleGirl today.
Patrick Blindauer's CrosSynergy puzzle, "Sh!"
Patrick's theme takes a rude turn, shushing you even though you're just sitting there quietly working a crossword. The theme entries all share the ["Sh!"] clue, and the answers are NOT ANOTHER WORD, SHUT YOUR TRAP, PUT A SOCK IN IT, and I'VE HEARD ENOUGH. I must say, I'm disappointed that Patrick didn't find a way to use the 15-letter SHUT YOUR PIE-HOLE, with its British-inflected aggressive dismissal.
The highlight of this puzzle is the 14 answers that are 6 to 8 letters long and thus less often seen in crosswords. Did you know STAR WARS was a [1977 Best Picture nominee]? The CUE CARD was a [Precursor to the teleprompter]. HEINOUS means [Abominable]. A [Quatrain or sestet] is a STANZA. [One, two, or three] is a CARDINAL number.
Note to the CrosSynergy team: The euro symbol in the 60D clue didn't display in Across Lite (v2.0 for Mac OS X). Did it work in Windows?
Ben Tausig's Ink Well/Chicago Reader crossword, "Together at Last"
Ben pays subtle tribute to SAME-SEX MARRIAGE, the [Contract now recognized by the four states whose initials "unite" the words in 18-, 26-, 46-, and 63-Across]. Those states' postal abbreviations form the end of the first and beginning of the second word in these phrases:
For a good take on Miss California's comments on same-sex marriage during the Miss USA pageant, we turn to Jay Smooth of hip-hip video blog Ill Doctrine:
And now, back to our puzzle. What else is in here? This:
[People who may help you get rid of your possessions?] are EXORCISTS.
NSA isn't just the National Security Agency. It also means "no strings attached" as [Initials in casual hookup ads].
[It may be mopped or arched] refers to a BROW.
[Wonder who's in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame] is STEVIE Wonder. I like the "Is wonder a verb?" momentary confusion.
NIKE is a [Company with a notoriously checkered labor record]. Is it just my impression, or is Ben's Ink Well the crossword with the most obvious moral compass?
[Year in Pope Boniface IV's papacy] is DCIX, or 609. Nobody outside the Vatican enjoys a YOTP ("year of the pope") clue, do they? That "YOTP" abbreviation comes from the REX Parker blog, and REX is clued as [Crossword blogger Parker or film critic Reed]. And speaking of crossword bloggers who aren't me, AMAH is clued as a [Word meaning "Indian nurse" that Jim Horne of the New York Times crossword blog says "you just have to learn"].
RENO, NV is the [Atlantis Casino locale, on an envelope].
OSMIC means [Related to element #76]. I'm guessing that's osmium, and no, I don't know what it's used for.
ESE is clued as [Caló homeboy]. I learned this word from TV cop dramas, and the clue's a nice change-up from east-southeast or a language suffix.
[Maker of inedible chips] is INTEL. I kinda wanted PRINGLES here.
EMES doesn't appear in puzzles too often. The clue is [Kosher products company that falsely advertised vegetarian gelatin]. Never heard of it, but it's good to be on the lookout for false vegetarian claims. (Remember when McDonalds finally revealed, years late, that its no-longer-fried-in-beef-tallow french fries still had real beef flavor and thus were not vegetarian after all?)
April 22, 2009
NYT 4:22 (on paper)