CS 8:22 (J—paper)
BEQ 10:something the first time around, under 5:00 the second time
Anthony Salvia's New York Times crossword
What does "DQ" mean to you? Sports fans think of "disqualified," I think, but those letters put me in mind of DAIRY QUEEN. This puzzle adds three other DQs to that in a rather Scrabbly theme:
The theme's four Q's and an X are joined by another X and a Z in the fill. With 16 non-theme answers that are 6 to 8 letters long, there's a fresh feeling throughout.
Basic crosswordese for Monday solvers to remember, a.k.a. Five Words Starting With E:
Updated Monday morning:
Doug Peterson's CrosSynergy/Washington Post puzzle, "UN Intervention"—Janie's review
No, this is not a puzzle about international relations or the deployment of U.N. peace-keeping troops into some war-torn country. Instead—and to great effect—DOUG (Peterson this time and not [Quarterback Flutie]) has added the letters "UN" to four well-known phrases, yielding two 15s and two 12s. That's how:
But the make-up of the puzzle-as-a-whole has a fresh, lively feel to it (yes—this is what we BEG FOR) and much in it AMUSES—like the tie-in that can be made between LEER [Wolfish look] and LEWD [Obscene]. Ya don't suppose that's because the puzzle more than ALLUDES TO [Hints at] the NUDITY [Bare existence?] that's on display, do ya? We've also got two degrees of being peeved: something may IRK you [Rub the wrong way] or, more aggressively, EAT AT you [Really annoy]; and two side-by-side sorta "sound-alikes" in ICEE [Frozen drink brand] and ASEA [On the briny]. Btw, those [Easter purchases], EGGS, are likely to be [Given a new hue] DYED. But once you've done that, please don't [Bleach] WHITEN 'em!
Completely new to me was ["Romeo Must Die" star] JET LI—and does that name ever look good in the grid. So (for the reminder of cooler weather it evokes) does the word SNOWY on a hot and humid "dog day." [Beverage cart locale] clues AISLE and on that cart you may find your favorite SODA [Soft drink]—in a CAN perhaps (though not in a [Paint container] I should hope...).
Have a preference for [Genteel lunch spots]? Lovely. You may want to investigate intimate TEA HOUSES (or tea rooms) in your city. For less refined needs, there's nothing like a gooey serving of NACHOS, clued punnily as [Cheesy ballpark snack]. And, d'oh, I'm a little slow on the uptake sometimes but I just caught the Eastern connection in this puzzle with DOJO [Judo studio], tea houses, Jet Li, and ANG ["Brokeback Mountain" director Lee]...
Norfleet Pruden's Los Angeles Times crossword
The theme here is four "blank and blank" phrases that are the [Scope of a thorough search]: HIGH AND LOW, INSIDE AND OUT, HITHER AND YON, and FAR AND WIDE. The fill is suitable for a Monday puzzle, but somehow it felt like a Wednesday puzzle to me. Maybe I'm not quite awake yet, because other people are on the board with easy-Monday solving times. Congrats to the constructor on his debut!
I like the way the [Mythical city of gold], EL DORADO], balances FEMINIST ([Gloria Steinem, notably]). Remember how the Equal Rights Amendment just couldn't gain traction in the United States because equal rights for women are just so radical? If you want to be both encouraged and depressed about the state of womankind worldwide, don't miss the Hillary Clinton interview in the New York Times.
I just learned from Bob Klahn interview that Bob is Rich Norris's clue checker for the L.A. Times crosswords. (Hey! That's the sort of freelance gig I should have.) So now I wonder if Bob caught the dig/DUG duplication and Rich didn't mind it, or if neither of them noticed it. 7D: [Digger's creation] is a HOLE, and straight below that answer is 28D: DUG IN, or [Made trenches].
Updated Monday afternoon
Brendan Quigley's blog/Lollapuzzoola crossword, "Stranded"
Dang, where did the day go? Short-form blogging: Theme is TRANSFER RNA, with RNA being transferred out of two theme entries (tornado cellars became TO-DO: CELLARS and internal combustion became INTEL COMBUSTION) and into two others (the unusual "squirrel cage" became SQUIRREL CARNAGE and baby doll turned into the hilarious BARNABY DOLL, a doll of Buddy Ebsen's '70s detective Barnaby Jones). I test-solved this puppy in advance of the tournament and it was a killer. I haven't compared the clues to see what changes might've been made from the first version to the final one—but for the sake of all the tournament attendees, I hope there were plenty of changes! It was a killer, like I said.
Over and out.
August 23, 2009