NYT 5:30 (joon—paper)/4:53 (A—applet)
CS untimed (J)
Go ahead and discuss amongst yourselves. I'm heading to bed super-early to catch up on sleep. Maaaaybe I'll pop back before morning, and maaaaybe another member of the Crossword Fiend blogging team will ride to the rescue, and maybe you'll just all talk behind my back whilst I snooze. G'night!
today's notepad tells us:
Arthur Schulman, a retired psychology professor at the University of Virginia, had his Sunday Times debut on September 14, 1954. The puzzle below should be easy for solvers who remember their old-fashioned crossword vocabulary.
could it really be a puzzle whose theme is ... crosswordese? yes, yes it could. and not just any crosswordese, but we're kickin' it old-school! (by the way, in case it isn't blindingly obvious yet, you've got joon here filling in for sleepy amy.) the theme answers:
okay, i think those are all the theme answers. the fill has its share of crosswordese, too, of course, but at for those, the crosswordese word is the answer and not the clue: ATTAR, APO, -ULE, O-LAN, I-BAR, OLEG, OSSA, TAU, MEA, HOD. there are a pair of beautiful long acrosses, PROSCENIA and PRISMATIC, that aren't related to the theme at all.
one answer was totally unfamiliar to me: [Massenet opera based on a Daudet novel] is SAPHO. i know a couple of massenet operas, but not that one. and i've never heard of daudet. i was expecting it to be MANON, one of massenet's most famous works, but that's based on a novel by a different french dude, the abbé prévost. (and yes, i remember having to read it for AP french lit.) the crossing of SAPHO with ORSINI, the [Noble family name in medieval Italy shared by two popes], could be a tough one for lots of people. i think O looks like the best guess, but A and maybe I are also somewhat plausible. i know i've seen ORSINI somewhere in the past couple of weeks, but i can't remember which puzzle it was in.
anybody care to guess why most of the theme answers read down rather than across? that goes against the usual stylistic norms, but my wild-ass guess is that it's because 1d, SAPHO, is so out there that will didn't want to put it at 1a.
Updated Thursday morning:
Patrick Blindauer's CrosSynergy/Washington Post puzzle, "And/Or"—Janie's review
The clever title tells the tale (yet again): familiar phrase and (+) or (at the end) = fresh and amusing theme fill. The formula may be "standard"—the results? Anything but. Ditto the dee-lightful clues. Behold:
Mine will come as a surprise to me.There are several other clue/fill tie-ins and/or combos that keep this puzzle far AWAY from EDSEL TERR. To wit:
Mine I leave to chance and chemistry.
"Chemistry?" saith Sarah. "Chemistry," saith Sky.
And just because it's such a good tune, here's a link to ["Is You Is or Is You] AIN'T [My Baby?" (Louis Jordan song)].
Thanks to Joon for filling in last night on the crosswordese nostalgia NYT puzzle. Would you believe I was sound asleep before the crossword came out?
And thanks, as always, to Janie for blogging the CrosSynergy puzzles.
Dan Naddor's Los Angeles Times crossword
This seven-part theme is tied together by 61A: TABLE, or [Postpone, as a motion (and word that can follow the last word of answers to starred clues)]:
There are plenty of 7-letter answers in the grid's corners. Two animal terms: TOMCATS ([Alley prowlers]) and an OLD GOAT ([Nasty geezer]). Two cleaning terms: SPIN-DRY ([Washer setting]) and DAMP MOP ([Janitor's tool]). Two "___ of" phrases: THINK OF ([Envision]) beside TIRED OF ([Fed up with]). It is no mean feat to build a crossword with all those stacked 7s crossing two theme entries apiece, and with that 9-letter SOLITAIRE sandwiched between two theme answers. Plus the unifying TABLE appears below two longer theme entries, with solid crossings (ARTE, RCAS, GABS, EARLE, and WIDEN all appear in plenty of other puzzles without binding together three theme answers).
Ben Tausig's Ink Well/Chicago Reader crossword, "All New"
The theme takes phrases with words beginning with an N sound and a short O sound and changes the sound to that of "new" (with the nū pronunciation I use, not the nyū pronunciation):
September 16, 2009
NYT 5:30 (joon—paper)/4:53 (A—applet)