CS 5:50 (J—paper)
TV alert! The Dinner Impossible show filmed at the ACPT is reairing on the Food Network tonight. If you missed it this spring, tune in to see Andrea Carla Michaels steal the show. (Thanks to Eric Maddy for the heads-up.)
Patrick Blindauer's New York Times crossword
Patrick's puzzle riffs on SLOPPY JOES (64A: [School cafeteria fare...and a hint to this puzzle's theme]) by taking the other five permutations of the letters JOE and plunking them down as the first names of five famous guys named JOE:
We have so many notable Joe achievements! Won a gold medal, won the Super Bowl, won the second highest office in the land, won an Oscar...and won the right to be mocked. This is not the usual sort of theme, so good job coming up with a variant of the anagram theme that's rich in Scrabbly goodness.
Without further ado, today's clue roundup:
Updated Wednesday morning:
Martin Ashwood-Smith's CrosSynergy/Washington Post puzzle, "Field Trip"―Janie's review
Sometimes art does seem to imitate life. I'm taking a vacation day today because, thanks to puzzle pal Sara, I'll be at Yankee Stadium this afternoon for the Yankee/Orioles game. So how fitting it is that the "field trip" in the title refers to the national pastime that I'll be enjoying this very day. (And how fitting it is that the constructor's pre-hyphenate last name describes the material of so many of the best baseball bats!) Looking at the "field trip" that's been plotted around that central BASES [Diamond quartet (and this puzzle's theme)] at 37A, we have:
Balancing the sports theme is a strong musical sub-theme:
And how large is that [Large African expanse] known as the SAHARA? Pret' darn large―some 3.5 million square miles, which is almost the size of the U.S. or Europe. SAY WHAT? ["Huh?"] Yep―that's seriously large. One can only hope for many OASES [Desert havens] midst all that sand!
Timothy Meaker's Los Angeles Times crossword
I wrote this puppy up last night at L.A. Crossword Confidential. It was one of the weirdest theme encounters I've had in some time, as two thirds of the phrases that begin with a kind of SANDWICH were not kinds of sandwiches in my vocabulary. Further unsettling me, the two 8-letter theme answers were in tasty triple-stacks of 8-letter answers, which meant my eyeballs looked at the other four 8s a little harder to see if they were thematic. "Lemon sandwich? Well, that sounds as plausible as a Western sandwich."
Allow me to plagiarize myself and borrow my theme writeup from LACC: The SANDWICH clue, 70A: [Lunch order that can follow the starts of 1-, 35- and 43-Across], was crystal clear. But the sandwiches! They hit my sweet spot a mere one third of the time.
More on the fill and whatnot over at the other blog.
Brendan Quigley's blog crossword, "Three MCs and One DJ"
Paying respect to the Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch, who's just been diagnosed with salivary gland cancer, Brendan works in three MC insertions and one DJ insertion. Do the Beastie Boys have three MCs and one DJ? (Brendan's post includes a video of a song with the same title as the puzzle.) How much crossover is there between an MC and a DJ? These things are beyond my ken. The theme entries insert MC inside "recovery room" (RECOVERY ROM-COM, or romantic comedy), "see ya later" (SEE YMCA LATER—good surprise twist taking "ya" to YMCA), and "suited to a T" (SUITED TO A TOMCAT). The DJ makes Austin Powers into the phrase ADJUSTIN' POWERS, or [Fine-tunin' supernations?], which hurts a bit. How might one adjust a nation, exactly?
I know there are genuine MATH WHIZzes who read this blog. Is [Expert in KenKen, say] a good clue for your kind?
Nuttiest-looking answer: K.C. ROYALS all mashed up in the grid as KCROYALS. They're the [Kauffman Stadium team, for short], and I can't say I've ever heard of that stadium. K.C. keeps it on the D.L.
Not the Quigleyest fill ever—ITERS, HOER, ARETE, GENU, YAP AT? Those make the EELER seem smooth by comparison. But I'll cut Brendan some slack because he loves the Beastie Boys and he clearly just started cooking up this puzzle after hearing Yauch's news on Monday.
Ben Tausig's Onion A.V. Club crossword
This week's Onion theme involves changing -ALE to -AIL in familiar phrases:
Updated Wednesday afternoon:
Janie here. The O's lost 6-4, but their two home runs at the top of the 9th and the great company more than compensated. A good time was had by all!!
July 21, 2009