Paula Gamache's New York Times crossword
Would you look at that? I learned something from a Tuesday crossword's theme. All five starred theme entries are phrases that have traveled far beyond their nautical roots.
The British site Phrase Finder lists other nautical phrases. Among the most charming or useful: batten down the hatches, broad in the beam, give a wide berth, high and dry, know the ropes, shake a leg, three sheets to the wind, and the cut of your jib. Now, that's the sort of nautical language I like to see in a crossword. The nouns for random sailing gear? Not so much.
10D: "NO, NO, NO" is a rather goofy answer, but I kinda like it. Its clue is ["That is completely the wrong way!"].
Also good: 4D: AD-SPEAK, or [Marketers' "language"]. Ooh! Don't miss the documentary, Consuming Kids, about the insidious ways marketers have targeted children since the 1980s. You can watch it here, in a series of YouTube segments; it's about an hour long.
Most-likely-to-be-Googled clue: 8D: [War aid program passed by Congress in 1941] for LEND-LEASE. Under the program, the U.S. gave war material to its allies, who repaid the U.S. in various ways. The U.K. made its last installment payment in 2006.
Dan Naddor's Los Angeles Times crossword
Dan Naddor brings the food for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a night at the game in four 15-letter "___ and ___" phrases:
Lots of people in the puzzle today. NEIL Armstrong and ALAN Greenspan, RAUL Julia and Dan MARINO, Ho Chi MINH and Wernher von BRAUN, two IANS and that horrible Bob SAGET, CYD Charisse and DEION Sanders, and the fictional Mr. MOTO and ETHAN Frome. Lucky for me, names in a crossword don't make me SKITTISH ([Apt to shy, as a horse]).
Matt Jones's Jonesin' crossword, "Chance Collisions" (themeless)
A few times a year, Matt's Jonesin' puzzle is themeless, but the difficulty level is usually not far off from what it is for his themed puzzles. Coolest answers:
Less familiar terms: TAIL SKIDS are [Supports at the end of planes]. [Like a lot of European cathedral architecture in the 16th century] clues LATE GOTHIC. PETTICOATED is indeed an adjective (who knew?) meaning [Wearing an underskirt]. CLINOMETER is a [Tool in forestry to measure slope, vertical angles and tree heights]; it's not related to words like incline and recline, which have Latin roots as opposed to CLINOMETER's Greek root.
Updated Tuesday morning:
Sarah Keller's CrosSynergy/Washington Post puzzle, "Odd Fellows"—Janie's review
No, not the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the fraternal organization that's been around since the 18th century in the U.S. (and the 17th in England), but four well-known phrases ending in a word that can also be a man's name. With the first word now describing a person rather than a thing, Sarah introduces us to another side of a wide variety of celebrity-types, namely:
Other fill (and clues) that caught my fancy today includes:
September 28, 2009