Friday, July 5, 2024 | (2024)

LATuntimed (pannonica)


NYT4:26 (Amy)


Universal5:16 (Jim)


USA Todaytk (Darby)

Erik Agard’s Los Angeles Times crossword — pannonica’s write-up

Friday, July 5, 2024 | (1)

LAT • 7/5/24 • Fri • Agard • solution • 20240705

A 16×15 grid today.

  • 59aR [Basic structure, or what a 19-, 24-, 40- and 52-Across do?] FRAMEWORK, parsed as frame-work. The theme answers are professions involving various senses of the word frame.
  • 19a. [Athlete making a living in alleys] PRO BOWLER. Division of a match.
  • 24a. [Professional who calls the shots] MOVIE DIRECTOR. A still image from a film.
  • 40a. [Professional whose website might have a contact page?] OPTICIAN. Eyeglasses.
  • 52a. [Met someone?] MUSEUM CURATOR. Picture enclosure. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  • 3d [Largest U.S. union] NEA. Y’know, teachers.
  • 4d [Poet Mahmoud who wrote the Palestinian Declaration of Independence] DARWISH. Fortunately I remembered this from another recent crossword; perhaps it was also by Agard?
  • 5d [Hot shots?] ESPRESSOS. That works.
  • 7d [Post production] PAPER. Newspaper, as in, for instance, the Washington Post.
  • 10d [Letters before Q?] TAB. Just to the left on a QWERTY keyboard.
  • 13d [“I May Destroy You” star Michaela] COEL. New to me.
  • 24d [Half a “Lion King” phrase] MATATA. “Hakuna Matata” has filtered down even to me, so I knew this and provisionally filled in the first and final As.
  • 34d [Common allergen] DANDER, not POLLEN.
  • 42d [Use a fork, say] TUNE. Sneaky.
  • 55d [Prefix with pessimist or Panamanian] AFRO-. I’d not heard of AFRO-pessimism.
  • 60d [“Impressive!”] WOW.
  • 66d [One who might have a ram beau] EWE.>groan<
  • 15a [Disquietude] UNEASE. Had UNREST for a hot moment, but it didn’t sit well with me.
  • 17a [Stench] ODOR. You know this is one of my pet peeves, and it was just brought up again recently in the comments.
  • 21a [Do some character-building?] WRITE. The double-entendre must be intentional.
  • 23a [Is stunned] REELS, just before 24a MOVIE DIRECTOR.
  • 36a [Coffee Meets Bagel alternative] HINGE. I … don’t know what any of this means, although I can see that CMB is the title of something. Going to guess, dating apps.
  • 49a [Tabletop game with campaigns, for short] DND. I’ve principally seen it as D&D, but there’s plenty of support for the version here. Odd that it doesn’t appear in crosswords more often!

A decent workout and a tight theme.

Brian Callahan and Geoffrey Schorkopf’s Universal crossword, “Hidden Talent”—Jim’s review

Theme answers are familiar phrases that hide the names of iconic athletes. The revealer is HAS A GO AT (41d, [Attempts … or, when read differently, contains a sports legend?]). The re-parsing is HAS A G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time).

Universal crossword solution · “Hidden Talent” · Brian Callahan and Geoffrey Schorkopf · Fri., 7.5.24

  • 23a. [*Reject someone on a dating app (In this answer, note letters 4-7)] SWIPE LEFT.
  • 28d. [*Something viewed in a smartphone’s web browser (… letters 3-7)] MOBILE SITE.
  • 31d. [*Mexican professional wrestling (… letters 5-7)] LUCHA LIBRE.

Good title, strong theme set, and a solid hidden-name theme. But for me, there was just too much awkwardness, starting with the revealer. HAS A GO AT is just an awkward phrase, let alone to have as the basis for your theme. The re-parsed phrase (HAS A GOAT) isn’t much better, and the same goes for “contains a sports legend.” I know it’s meant to be literal, but I can’t help but think these athletes are legends because they weren’t contained (metaphorically). Lastly, though not a fault of the puzzle but the venue, we have the return of the awkward parenthetical letter counting. Thankfully, we could ignore this last issue if we have circles in our grid.

Aside from my nits, it’s a good grid with highlights DRUM SET, UP VOTES, SHANG CHI, and “ANSWER ME!” I’ve never heard “NO SHADE” [“I don’t mean to offend you …”], but then I’m old, and it was inferable anyway.

Clues of note:

  • 22a. [Number of spaces on a Monopoly board]. FORTY. Is this a widely-known bit of trivia? I could only guess.
  • 9d. [US Open champ Coco]. GAUFF. This morning at Wimbledon, she’ll be facing Brit Sonay Kartal who will no doubt be a favorite of the locals (though GAUFF is heavily-favored to win).

Nice grid and a good theme, though I had issues with the revealer. 3.25 stars.

Trent Evans’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s recap

NY Times crossword solution, 7/5/24 – no. 0705

Whoops, last night it really felt like a Saturday or Sunday, so I entirely spaced on blogging. Thanks to pannonica for getting the main post up this morning, late but not as late as if it had been left entirely to me.

Fairly breezy Friday puzzle this week. Lots to like in the grid: TRUST FALL, SOCIAL CUE, SMASH HIT, “A LITTLE HELP HERE?”, REN FAIRE, HAILSTORM (we’ve had a few in the Chicago area of late but they haven’t pelted my car), “SRSLY,” SOLAR POWER, PRIDE FLAGS (I’m lucky to live in an area where these don’t all vanish after the month of June), TABBY CAT (I’d like to see a tabby dog, please), PSYCHS UP, “HEH HEH” (nb: not “he he”), NO-BRAINERS. I’m unsure if I like “I NEED TO RUN.”

Three clues:

  • 44a. [Burn letters?], SPF. I’m not very familiar with the term burn letter, and I’m not wild about tying SPF to sunburns. I’d fry with an SPF of 8, but there’s nothing in the clue pointing at low SPFs increasing risk of sunburn. SPF 50 and burn? Those don’t go together.
  • 20a. [Historical region of France that lent its name to a food], BRIE. Never gave the slightest thought to where the cheese got its name, but I suppose many cheeses are named for their places of origin. (Apparently mozzarella and feta have etymologies involving cutting, though.)
  • 29d. [Bill with the 2024 book “What This Comedian Said Will Shock You], MAHER. I’m not a fan of Maher, but Martin Short has revived his Jiminy Glick celebrity interviewer character, and he “interviewed” Maher a couple weeks back. That was funny, but even more hilarious was Jiminy interviewing Bill Hader (below). I do not know if he’s done other BILL *A*ER comedians, though.

Four stars from me.

Friday, July 5, 2024 | (2024)
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