CS 6:69 (J—paper)
Randy Sowell's New York Times crossword
Boy, how dim do you have to be to miss the theme in this one? I finished Randy Sowell's puzzle and then it took me a minute to see what unified the theme entries:
Each term begins with a synonym for "stupid." A DENSE FOREST is more of an adjective+noun phrase than a stand-alone phrase or concept, while each of the other three theme entries does feel like "a thing" unto itself. It's still an easy puzzle perfectly calibrated to a Monday, though.
There are some crosswordese people on the rampage here. BARA is clued as [Theda of early films], and SILENT is cross-referenced to her via the clue [Like 33-Down's films]. [Writer ___ Stanley Gardner]'s first name is ERLE. He wrote the Perry Mason stories, and [Perry Mason's secretary ___ Street] is named DELLA. Other habitués of the grid include [Despot Idi] AMIN; [Designer Cassini], or OLEG; [Author Ayn], or RAND; OPIE, ["The Andy Griffith Show" boy] played by Ron Howard; and [1997 Indy 500 winner ___ Luyendyk], or ARIE.
Updated Monday morning:
Bruce Venzke & Stella Daily's CrosSynergy puzzle, "Political Flip-Flop"—Janie's review
This puzzle did lots to ENDEAR itself to me. For starters, there's a pithy, 4-part quip, each in a 14-letter SEG(ment) [Part of a line (abbr.)] that is "political" in nature and which does a neat "flip-flop."
I don't know who said it first, but a little Googling shows that there's a guy out there who uses this quip as part of his posting signature...
There's also a lot of solid fill and cluing in here to keep things lively:
While I didn't have tremendous difficulty solving this one, neither was it a SNAP. Here's what held me up:
I'll put in a plug for "GRAN Torino," the [2008 Clint Eastwood film] which was just released on DVD. It says lots about culture clash in contemporary America and has more to recommend it than not. Imoo.
And though it appears often enough in puzzles, the sight in the grid of UCLAN [Certain West Coast scholar (abbr.)] still makes me think of these guys...
Finally, enjoyed LORD [Manor's ruler] as bonus fill, tying in nicely as it does to the "feudal" component of the quip.
David Poole's Los Angeles Times crossword
"Lock, stock, and barrel" means everything, the WHOLE ENCHILADA, and the three preceding theme entries end with those words:
This puzzle's a good Monday introduction to crosswords for newer solvers, as it includes a number of words that they'll see over and over in other crosswords but not so often in daily life. FETES are [Big parties] (the crossword is also fond of GALAS). [Bird on some Australian coins] is the large EMU. TSETSES are the [Scary African flies] that transmit sleeping sickness. ARIE is three-quarters vowels, so it's handy in a crossword—here it's [R&B singer India.___] ARIE, but it was a race car driver in the NYT crossword. ATRAS are [Gillette Trac II successors]—if the clue is about brand-name razors, the answer will surely involve ATRA or TRAC. To ABET is to [Help with a heist]. ASTIR, or [Up and about], is one of many A-words (AFOOT, APACE, ABED) you'll see in crosswords. [Pigpens] are STIES; STIES and STY are regular visitors to the crossword. OPELS are [Autobahn autos]; until very recently, General Motors owned OPEL. To AVER is to [Affirm confidently]; to assert openly is to AVOW, and I still usually don't know which of those answers a clue is asking for.
Brendan Quigley's blog crossword, "Themeless Monday"
I like this "Themeless Monday" kick Brendan's been on—it breaks up the easy-puzzle monotony that normally blankets Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Which is not to say that every easy themed puzzle is dull, but they are easy.
Favorite fill and things that made me grumble:
June 07, 2009