Thursday, June 11, 2020

Thursday, June 11, 2020, Peter A. Collins


Solving on the NYT Crossword app on my iPad, I saw the blinking I in the upper right corner, and clicking on it revealed that 20- and 22-Across should have slashes in each square. Once I saw that, I didn't have too much trouble in getting the FRANK / SINATRA - ELVIS / PRESLEY combination.

It's a nice find that the two have the same number of letters in each of their two names, and since Presley covered MYWAY, that connects the two even further. Apparently his version actually reached a higher place on the Billboard Hot 100 chart than Sinatra's.

Funnily enough, it was written by Paul Anka, a common crossword puzzle filler.

I don't love the POPULAR / MUSIC symmetric filler in the southern part of the puzzle. It's not particularly specific to the performers in question, and so just felt like something had to be there to make the puzzle more thematic.

All of that aside, I enjoyed the crosses in the top half, and how they work with the two names. The app very kindly separated the two names above one another (I had to enter them as rebuses) so that the down answers look normal. I love SAT[AY]SAUCE, both in the puzzle and at my table. 4D: Moon or Mercury (ROC[KS]TAR) is a fine clue. Didn't we have something like that in a puzzle a month or two ago?

Elsewhere, I turn my nose up at REAIMS, even though all of those vowels in a row is fun to look at. Other not so good stuff include 49D: Alphabet trio (STU) and 28D: Bone cavities (ANTRA). Wow. I never heard of that term, and I'm a physician.

73A: Soft component of fleece? (CEE) never even had a chance to trip me up because I got all three down crosses without seeing that clue.

- Colum


  1. 18:34
    Online, there is a note above the puzzle, and when I saw it, and saw that it started with "In the print version..." I quickly scrolled down so I didn't see the rest. I really wish they would make such notes optional online. I mean, you don't have to click on the little flashing "i," but it's hard not to read text when it's right there in front of you.

    So anyway, the rebus was not spoiled for me. I think I had an inkling with "Duncan ____" and the aforementioned and delicious SAT[AY]SAUCE.

    I totally agree about POPULAR MUSIC, too.

    But overall, I liked this one. I'm amused that you didn't know ANTRA, because I thought of you when I saw that. Did you, like me, drop GOMERPYLE in off the clue? It must have already been in reruns when I was a kid, but I still watched a lot of it.

  2. 34:30 (FWOE, maybe)
    I didn't get the rebus aspect of the puzzle. My error was that I entered SEEMsO instead of SEEMTO at 24A, rationalizing that even though all of the other potential rebus squares were in the row above, it seemed that the missing "t" was reasonable there instead of the rebus S in the row above. I knew there were problems, but I got the congratulatory pencil after correcting the above-mentioned error, and I'd only entered FRANK/SINATRA, off of the MYWAY reference, not even thinking of Presley. So maybe this is a DNF. Judges?

  3. And by the way, with Across Lite, there are no hints, so I don't have that advantage.