CS 6:31 (J -- paper)
Happy 18th anniversary to my husband, who is remarkably tolerant of my crossword avocation. Thanks, hon!
Mark Milhet's New York Times crossword
Today's theme is hesitant trepidation: All three theme entries are clued with [Succumbing to second thoughts]. The answers are GETTING COLD FEET, CHICKENING OUT, and LOSING ONE'S NERVE. Some of the fill in this puppy might give a crossword newbie second thoughts, although the puzzle's an easy one for the seasoned solver. Here are some words that flirt with the "crosswordese" category:
There are three Bible answers today, but luckily they're not the more arcane ones like SELAH or NEH. or TAMAR. EDEN is the [Genesis garden]. SINAI is the [Mount ___, where the Commandments were given to Moses]. And NOAH was a [Biblical captain for 40 days and 40 nights].
Milhet's three-part theme leaves plenty of room for more interesting fill in the corners. There's ["Gesundheit!"], or "BLESS YOU"; CORNPONE, or [Dixie bread]; MARVEL [___ Comics, home of Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four]; plus ICE SHEET, HARASSED, and TOTTERS.
Updated Monday morning:
Will Johnston's CrosSynergy puzzle, "Measuring Up" -- Janie's review
Nice to start the week with this puzzle by esteemed moderator of the erstwhile New York Times Puzzle Forum -- and creator of the invaluable page of Puzzle Pointers. (There's also a link in Orange's column of "Crossword Links" at right.)
And it's also nice to see the ways this puzzle lives up to its title. Will gives us three grid-spanning phrases, each of which starts with a type of "measure":
SPEED and NANO also come from the "measure" vocabulary pool -- so Will gives us a double bonus.
Three favorite clues: [High wind?] for FIFE, [Pen name] for CROSS and [Worldly wisdom? (abbr.)] for GEOG.
And speaking of GEOG, between the fill and the clues, we get a bit of a world tour here with: SARI [Delhi wrap], NILE [Luxor's river], IRAQI [Baghdad native], USSR [Cold War inits], AMIN [Former Ugandan tyrant]; and foreign phrases [Cul-de] SAC and [Pâté de] FOIE [gras].
It's probably serendipity, but where the demise of Cleopatra is concerned, invert the clue numbers and notice that 36A [Venomous viper] ASP has a complement in 63A's [Luxor's river] NILE.
Never heard of GINO Vanelli, but the crosses allowed me to find the correct fill. Will's a Boston guy -- and it seems there's a special Celts-Gino connection! Also tripped myself up some, trying to make MINI work for NANO; then NEWBIE for NOVICE.
Has anyone ever seen TRON? Ah, well -- perhaps it'll show up on AMC. ;-)
Los Angeles Times crossword by Rich Norris's alter ego, Gia Christian
I can't help thinking of the power ballad "Sister Christian" when I see this one of Rich's pen names. (Skip to about 4:05 in the video to see how dramatically the vocalist belts out "You're motorin'.")
Let's call this theme KABOB (41A: [Skewered meal])—each theme entry is a B-to-B kabob:
Smooth fill, as we expect from Rich, with 14 6- to 8- letter non-theme answers classing up the joint. And six theme entries! Favorite answer: KIBITZ, or [Be a nuisance at the card game], connecting two theme entries. Favorite clue: [Host who expects you to question his answer?] is Alex TREBEK. Just a few more weeks 'til my Jeopardy! audition in Chicago...
Brendan Quigley's blog crossword, "Inside Jobs"
The theme is "Inside Jobs" and one job is hidden inside each theme vertical entry in this 15x16 grid:
Those 11-letter answers at 17A and 62A? Not part of the theme. They're just there to interlock nicely with three theme entries apiece. Favorite fill: Where ASHKENAZ, or [Group of European Jews], meets MATZOH, or [Seder staple]. I bought that record my senior year of high school—the [1983 Huey Lewis and the News album]—and yet I blanked on the title. SPORTS!
Matt Jones's Jonesin' crossword, "Pardon My French"
Matt's theme this week is couleurs—color phrases with the colors translated into French. Like so:
Notable stuff in the fill: A marijuana [Joint] is a DOOBIE, but one [In need of joint relief] is ARTHRITIC. Trade names abound—we see CESSNA jets, GUMMI Worms, Mr. PIBB, KOOL-AID (a [Drink that's stirred, but not shaken]), BUGATTI (the [Sports car manufacturer now owned by Volkswagen], maker of the super-fast Bugatti Veyron), and TOFUTTI. Plus the SEATTLE P.I., or Post-Intelligencer, the [Washington newspaper that ended its printed version in March 2009, for short]. For a foreign vibe, we get FUGUS, the Japanese [Poisonous blowfishes], and PRAHA, [Czech Republic capital, to locals]—one of my dearest friends lived in Prague for a decade, so that was a gimme for me.
May 03, 2009