CS untimed (J)/ 3:32 (A)
Brendan Quigley's New York Times crossword
The applet's fubar again tonight.
All righty, Brendan said about this puzzle "the test solvers have told me it's brutally nasty. Near-Saturday-ish level." I don't know what they're talking about. Maybe Will eased up the clues because it fell faster than the usual Thursday NYT does for me.
The theme? Ah, yes. Add an S to the end to completely change a word's meaning. Excellent theme here, with a decent payoff for each answer.
There's no shortage of zippy fill. Top six answers:
But it's not all cake and ice cream. The six least-known names, facts, and words for me:
Updated Thursday morning:
Bob Klahn's CrosSynergy/Washington Post puzzle, "Print Shop"—Janie's review
The Walt Disney version of Snow White introduced the vibrato-rich rendition of "Some Day My Prince Will Come." Inspired by today's puzzle, I keep thinking of the title as "Some Day My Prints Will Come"... They're here, friends—four different kinds of 'em, each appearing as the first word in the four outstanding theme phrases, each able to precede -print or -prints. And they'd be:
As with his choices in music, Bob really does span the pop-culture gamut in the movies and talent he gives us. There's:
The puzzle is bursting with terrific clue/fill combos. If I omit your faves, please feel free to add to the list:
Jack Sargeant's Los Angeles Times crossword
This puzzle adds a twist to the "all the theme entries have the same one-word clue"/"clues and answers are flipflopped" theme by hiding that clue in the bottom half of the grid at 48D. [Ball carrier, and clue for 20-, 40- and 59-Across] is a RUNNER, and a RUNNER can be an ICE SKATE BLADE, a TRACK COMPETITOR, and a LONG, NARROW RUG. The challenge lies in guessing that those things are RUNNERs before getting to 48D, but the puzzle didn't have a huge payoff in that the long theme entries are so flat and un-crosswordy (like clues tend to be).
This is the fourth puzzle this week keyed to the exact same difficulty level—my solving times for the Monday-through-Thursday LATs have been within 16 seconds of each other, with three of 'em within 3 seconds. I miss the graduated difficulty. Is the publisher specs page recently updated? It says daily LAT puzzles should be no harder than a Wednesday NYT, and the Saturday puzzle should land at a Wednesday/Thursday NYT level (and I think the LAT used to hew closer to NYT levels). Kinda feels like we're getting a slew of Tuesday puzzles followed by a Wednesday themeless. Boo!
For another take on this puzzle, read PuzzleGirl's LACC post.
Ben Tausig's Ink Well/Chicago Reader crossword, "Convertibles"
If you thought this theme was tough to figure out, boy, you should've seen it before the circles were in the grid. The "Convertibles" theme entails converting metric units to non-metric units, changing the phrases those letters appear in:
In the fill, we've got the topical YOU LIE (39A: [Claim shouted by Joe Wilson on September 9, 2009]). 4D: ["Dumb" vowel sound] kinda feels like it's seeking a drawn-out "uhhhhh," but it's the SHORT U in the word "dumb."
In the grid 61D: DROZ looks goofy; it's DR. OZ (not an abbreviation for "ounce"), the [Pharmaceutical-rep-in-disguise on Oprah] who now has his own show. You know who's even more of a shill/quack? Dr. Christine Northrup, one of Oprah's regular experts who says that women get thyroid problems "because of an energy blockage in the throat region, the result of a lifetime of ‘swallowing’ words one is aching to say.” !! I am reasonably certain she didn't learn that hooey in med school. Thanks, Ben, for your occasional clues in the pro-science and anti-sexism veins.
24D: PINEAL is the [Gland where Descartes thought the soul was]. If only he were alive today to share such wisdom on Oprah's show.
13D: The answer to [Robbery, casually] is BANDE, or B AND E, or B&E, or breaking and entering. Ah, the stealth three-word entry masquerading as one word.
September 23, 2009