Saturday, June 8, 2024 | (2024)

LAT2:22 (Stella)

Newsday23:28 (pannonica)

NYT6:58 (Amy)

Universaltk (Matthew)

USA Todaytk (Matthew)

WSJuntimed (pannonica)

Daniel Sheremeta’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s recap

NY Times crossword solution, 6/8/24 – no. 0608

Ahh, BROWNIE BATTER. I can taste it, and I can smell it. Brownies baking in the oven, even better.

Interesting fill: The AGE OF MAMMALS, which I don’t think was called anything in the science textbooks of my childhood. CEASE AND DESIST. “TRUE DAT” (aka “that’s true”), ELECTRA COMPLEX. The NY/NJ PORT AUTHORITY (zero idea if other places with ports have an entity called the port authority). BEAR TRAPS with a nonviolent clue (13d. [Misleading market downturns, in financial lingo]) but holy cats, that dupe with TRAP DOOR should not be allowed! MAEVE with the clue [Irish girl’s name that’s one letter off from a shade of purple]; did you ponder anything like EILAC here?

I haven’t seen the term X-RAY LAB for the place you get an X-ray. Imaging center, maybe? PUT ON THE RITZ feels weird with the first word not being PUTTING.

Fave clue: 30a. [What creates a line for the shower?], METEOR.

3.5 stars from me.

Emily Biegas & Sala Wanetick’s Los Angeles Times crossword — Stella’s write-up

Saturday, June 8, 2024 | (2)

Los Angeles Times 6/8/24 by Emily Biegas & Sala Wanetick

Okay, what is happening? 2:50 on the Monday puzzle and 2:22 on Saturday? That is cuckoo bananas. I do think that the grid design of today’s puzzle, which looks like it could be used for a themed puzzle (two 13s and a 15, and lots of 3- to 5-letter fill entries), contributed to how easy it is. Very straightforward cluing, too — as an example, I think UNORIGINAL could have gotten a much more playful and deceptive clue than [Prosaic].

Also didn’t love that there were quite a few crossword chestnuts in here (as I suppose there must be in a puzzle with this many 3s, 4s, and 5s): IRE and IRK in the same puzzle; A-OK; APED; ESAI; EROS; LET ‘EM; SSW; EDEMA.

I did like[Part of LGBTQIA+ or 10-J-Q-K-A] for ACE; very clever! And [Joins the team?] for YOKES, and [Tucson or Santa Fe] for SUV.

Rich Proulx’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Double Play” — pannonica’s write-up

Saturday, June 8, 2024 | (3)

WSJ • 6/8/24 • Sat • “Double Play” • Proulx • solution • 20240608

For each theme answer, the names of two pastimes/games have been paired to construct a phrase or concept.

  • 22a. [Losing a tail, say?] MOUSETRAP RISK.
  • 30a. [Successful break-in of an impregnable vault, say?] MASTERMIND OPERATION.
  • 44a. [Headhunter’s exclusive territory?] CRANIUM MONOPOLY. Looks like that isn’t a metaphorical headhunter in the Wall Street Journal.
  • 64a. [Why you might skip to another entry in this puzzle?] CLUE TROUBLE.
  • 78a. [Responsibility of Uhura, Chekov and Sulu?] BRIDGE OPERATION. From the originalStar Trek.
  • 94a. [Monitors in an anger management clinic] OUTBURST CHECKERS.
  • 106a. [“1234,” e.g.?] SORRY PASSWORD. Indeed.

These were kinda fun. The grid had a few mildly tough entries, but there were always easy answers nearby to help the solver apace.

  • 9d [Basketry twigs] OSIERS. Old-time crosswordese.
  • 15d [Retort to a naysayer] I CAN DREAM, CAN’T I? Have a slice of good Eighties cheese:
  • 19d [Starry overlooks?] OSCAR SNUBS. Nice.
  • 31d [Plant with arrow-shaped leaves] ARUM.
  • 40d [Item for people who don’t like to sit still] ROCKER, because FIDGET SPINNER just wouldn’t fit.
  • 45d [Like some hills and blackouts] ROLLING. I like the pairing. Also, I reflexively thought of the Black Hills.
  • 46d [Not once] A NUMBER OF TIMES. Milquetoast.
  • 47d [Favored competitor] OVERDOG. Misunderstood the clue so had trouble seeing the answer.
  • 66d [Pulled out all the stops] WENT TO TOWN.
  • 73d [Place to raise weighty matters?] GYM. Maybe trying too hard? Don’t know.
  • 86d [Laughed one’s head off] ROARED alongside 87d [Goddess of the dawn] AURORA.
  • 109d [Catan board border] SEA. Unrelated to theme.
  • 8a [“Christina’s World” setting, familiarly] MOMA. I never read the book or {did they make film out of it?} but I recall it has something to do with a girl learning about philosophy?
  • 24a [Light fighters] BANTAMS. I was fooled into thinkinglight was a noun here.
  • 29a [Pet in the Darling household] NANA, symmetrically paired to 98a [Pet in the Gale household] TOTO.
  • 55a [Bag contents when making rounds?] CLUBS. Golf. Bit convoluted as a clue, and I don’t feel the payoff merits.
  • 74a [What you saw while asleep?] LOGS. Liked this one!
  • 88a [Pull off] DETACH, 91a [Class divisions] LESSONS. Both low-key spiffy clues.
  • 103a [Victim of bleaching] CORAL. Victim of climate change/warming seas—bleaching is the response.

???’s Matthew Sewell’s Newsday crossword, Saturday Stumper — pannonica’s write-up

Saturday, June 8, 2024 | (4)

Newsday • 6/8/24 • Saturday Stumper • solution • 20240608

My version of the puzzle says ‘Authorname’ as a field placeholder, so it’s a mystery who constructed it. Thanks to a little hunting by Ben Z, I can report that the constructor is Matthew Sewell.

It was a rather tough outing, with the middle and upper right sections being by far the most difficult.

  • 1a [Unusually large] MEGA, 1d [As large as possible] MAXI.
  • 9a [Medal of Freedom athlete (1993) ASHE. Taking an educated guess on this one helped crack this final area for me. So, not entirely like 15a [Show confidence in] BET ON.
  • 14a [Caught in the air?] ORAL. The crossing of this and 6d [Courses on television] ARCS was one of my last squares filled.
  • 19a [Attraction at Indonesia’s Trans Snow World] INDOOR SKI SLOPE. Had INDOOR SKI relatively early but had trouble coming up with the retrospectively obvious word.
  • 32a [What many elephants are] ASIAN. 46d [West 32-Across most populous city] TEHRAN. Two weirdly phrased clues.
  • 34a [Ellie’s relative] NORAH. Both fromEleanor, it would seem. Stumpers have a seemingly endless supply of such entries.
  • 41a [Put on the line, perhaps] DRIED. Nothing to do with betting, as in the aforementioned 15-across.
  • 43a [Flame attractee] WOOER. 38a [Request for speculation] IMAGINE. The stumperized obfuscation makes these stilted and weird. Here’s another: 66a [Pressed from striding] TROD.
  • 45a [Word from Italian for “little tune”] SONNET. I went directly toSONATA.
  • 47a [Balance checkers] ENTS, because these doctors deal with the inner ear, where the eustachian tubes are located. I very much expected the answer to be either CPAS or ATMS.
  • 51a [49 follower] ERS. >groan<
  • 53a [Don’t be devious] STICK TO THE PLAN. Again, I had a little trouble finding the final word.
  • 62a [Coin with a star and crescent] RIAL? LIRA. (There’s also LIAR at 56-down, but no sign of ARIL in the grid.)
  • 63a [“When __ summons, monarchs must obey”: Dryden] FATE, but I first tried LOVE because I’d entered DIVA for 57d [Rihanna or Mariah Carey] ALTO.
  • 2d [Postgame shower] ESPN. Readily guessed at the deceptive hom*onym, but don’t buy the answer.
  • 5d [Whom Christie called “a little creep”] POIROT. Sounds more like Chris than Agatha, right?
  • 9d [Sequoia claim to fame] AEIOU. Yes, it’s a supervocalic word, but is that a ‘claim to fame’? I was hedging on GIRTH for quite some time.
  • 12d [Needle point] ENE, not EYE. 48a [Vue depuis la Tour Eiffel] PONT.
  • 20d [Madness metaphor] STEAM. Anger, not insanity.
  • 30d [His last play (1949) had marionettes] SHAW. Shakes vs Shav was his last *completed* play, and only about 10 minutes long.
  • 39d [Flops] GOES PFFT. I can see how the consonant sequence may have thrown off some solvers, but somehow I didn’t balk at the FFT that had arisen via crossings.
  • 55d [PR, e.g.] TERR. Puerto Rico. 25d [PR challenge] BAD REP.
  • 59d [What Lionel first meant] CUB. Interesting to learn.

Pretty tough workout.

Saturday, June 8, 2024 | (2024)


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