Saturday, May 14, 2022, Beth Rubin
Saturday Themeless by Beth Rubin
Of course I remember you! So glad to hear that you liked the puzzle. I rewrote/updated what I had written last time with additional comments about the puzzle. See below:
Thanks for inviting me back to the L.A. Times Crossword Corner! Originally from New York, I am a librarian, crossword constructor, writer, and artist living in Los Angeles. My puzzles have been published by the New York Times, L.A. Times, Universal, Crosswords Club, Spyscape, and Daily POP Crosswords.
I was fortunate to connect to Erik Agard and the Crossword Puzzle Collaboration Directory just a few weeks into learning how to construct a puzzle. The guidance and mentorship have been stellar. The crossword community’s generosity, humor, and creativity continue to inspire me.
I’m a big fan of V Spehar’s TikTok UNDER THE DESK NEWS segment and built a 16x15 themeless puzzle around this seed entry. During their Thursday Night Good News Only Update, V wears a banana-printed shirt. I was happy to include the entry BANANA SEAT as a nod to good news. This puzzle also has a nod to my dad, who taught me my first CHESS OPENING moves, and my wife, who thank goodness, did not find me UNDATEABLE!
Hope that you enjoy the puzzle!
1. Improve one's class?: SKIP A GRADE - Funny start!
11. Quick: RAPID.
16. Alcopop kin: WINE COOLER.
17. Bring out: EDUCE - The clue did bring out EVOKE first
18. Single, but way too flawed: UNDATEABLE - Also a TV series it seems
19. Giant: TITAN.
20. Polish site: NAIL - PAW lish not POH lish
21. "Git!": SCAT.
22. Nucleotide triplet: CODON - All you'd like to know
23. Test for some srs.: GRE 56. "Can I have a bit more time?": TEN MINUTES? - I doubt the proctor would allow it.
25. Mariah Carey holiday hit: OH SANTA - Listen if you like
27. Resort town named for a native tree: ASPEN.
29. Mixed __: BLESSING - Living to a ripe old age can be a mixed BLESSING
30. Full of nervous energy: RESTLESS.
33. "The Rotters' Club" novelist Jonathan: COE - "Three teenage friends grow up in 1970s Britain watching their lives change as their world gets involved with IRA bombs, progressive and punk rock, girls and political strikes."
39. Milne hopper: ROO - A cwd visitor from the 100-Acre-Wood
40. Famished: RAVENOUS - Check out 44 Across below!
41. Holiness: SANCTITY.
44. Étouffée option: PRAWN.
50. Umbrella spoke: RIB.
52. Word in British placenames: SHIRE - Yes, John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins created what became known as WorcesterSHIRE (WUUS-tər-shər) sauce in WorcesteSHIRE, England in the early 18th century. It's said to be a good example of umami flavor.
54. "Have it your way": FINE.
61. Challenges for a translator, perhaps: SLANG TERMS - 24 more
1. Chased a pitch: SWUNG - Baseball people know why hie did this
4. Toll: PEAL - After his historic ride, Paul Revere made many bells that tolled/PEALED throughout New England
7. Laurel and Hardy producer: ROACH - Hal made big money on this fabulous team but paid them very little
8. First British martyr: ALBAN - When Rome ruled Britain
9. Scapula neighbor, for short: DELT - Ella Dershowitz had DELTS and 22. Queen's gambit, for one: CHESS OPENING in last Saturday's puzzle
10. Long start, once: ERE - A famous George M. Cohan lyric, "Give my regards to Old Broadway
And say that I'll be there, 'ERE long!" and 28. Tense beginning?: PRE - PRETENSE
11. Throw again: RETOSS - There should have been one here
14. "Maybe later": I CAN'T NOW.
15. Cozy spot: DEN.
24. Raspberry: JEER.
25. Elizabeth who plays Scarlet Witch in the MCU: OLSEN - No chance for me to get this Marvel Comic Universe character
26. Improves, maybe: AGES - I seem to be doing a lot more AGING than improving
29. Eliot title hero: BEDE - The four English teachers I asked about this clue in lunch gave me a collective shrug about this Mary Ann Evans novel written under her pseudonym.
32. Tax: LEVY.
34. Bear up?: URSA.
35. "It went straight to voice mail": NO ANSWER.
36. 2014 memoir subtitled "Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery": DO NO HARM - Another interesting book our librarian/constructor has for us today
38. Govt. cybersecurity monitor: NSA.
42. [I'm so uncomfortable right now]: CRINGE.
43. Retailer with a RedCard credit card: TARGET - Headquartered in C.C.'s Minneapolis
45. Bell hooks, for one: WRITER - Why Gloria Jean Watkins changed her name to uncapitalized bell hooks
46. Time slot with talk shows: NINE A.M.
48. Part of DKNY: DONNA - DONNA Karan of New York
49. "Succession" sibling: ROMAN - A character in this series
51. Tops: BESTS - These two girls from the small school where I sub hope to TOP/BEST much bigger schools to win a state track championship next week.
53. Happy __: MEAL.
54. Make one: FUSE - This shows glass FUSE art before and after being put in a kiln
55. "Let me think ... ": HMM.
56. "Full Frontal" network: TBS - Political satire.
57. D.C. player: NAT - The Washington NATionalS were 2019 World Series Championships