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Author Topic: Catching some Z's: The January 16 crosswords  (Read 1481 times)


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Catching some Z's: The January 16 crosswords
« on: January 16, 2016, 03:21:18 PM »
Today's Los Angeles Times crossword by Alan Olschwang had no theme but it included 12 ten-letter words and phrases and only 28 black squares. There were also six Z's, four of which appeared in the first across word, RAZZMATAZZ ("Showy display"). The other words containing a Z were ZAIRE, ZHOU (Mao successor), ZZTOP, RITZES, Cy Young Award-winning pitcher Barry ZITO and last Tudor Monarch ELIZABETHI.

"Much more than dislikes" was ABOMINATES. We often hear the word "abomination" but the verb "abominate" is much less common. Merriam-Webster gives this origin: "Latin abominatus, past participle of abominari, literally, to deprecate as an ill omen, from ab- + omin-, omen."

"Walking on the beach, maybe" was SANDALED. Yes, someone walking on the beach could be wearing sandals but that is an awkward-sounding word to have in a puzzle. "Get cozy at bedtime" was NESTLEDOWN, which is an awkward-sounding phrase to have in a puzzle. "Bout div." was RND, which is an awkward-looking abbreviation to have in a puzzle. I have never seen "round" abbreviated that way. Perhaps the abbreviation exists only in crosswords.

Byron Walden's crossword in today's Daily News had no theme either but it included 12 ten-letter words and phrases and two 11-letter phrases. There was also one Z, with ATOZ crossing MSMAGAZINE.

"Targeting the Fourth Estate" was ANTIPRESS. Yes, it's a real word but not a very common one. It means "Opposed to or acting against the press." "Franklin who sang Piece Of My Heart" was ERMA. Erma Franklin was the older sister of Aretha Franklin. Aretha also had a younger sister named Carolyn. Erma and Carolyn each had two hits on the Billboard r&b chart. (Aretha has had 99.) Carolyn died of cancer in 1988 and Erma died of cancer in 2002. Erma recorded Piece Of My Heart in 1967. A year later, the song became a much bigger hit for Janis Joplin and her band Big Brother & The Holding Company.

"What to eat to lose weight" was LESS. Very clever.....and sensible. In one of Johnny Hart's B.C. comic strips, the character known only as "the fat broad" asked Dr. Peter what she could do to lose weight. Peter told her, "Try the ELF diet." She asked, "ELF?" Peter said, "Yes---Eat Less Food." :)

I have an abbreviation of my own: GMC. No, not General Motors Corporation. It is my wish for the Cruciverb site: Get More Contributors. I shouldn't be the only person commenting on each day's crosswords. Where is everyone?


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