August 25, 2005

Funky grid for Joe DiPietro's Friday NYT puzzle! How many of you knew the water chestnut was a TUBER? (Not I.) It looks like Joe planned this puzzle to be a challenge: STYMIED? STUCK ON some tough clues? Feeling CHOKED UP? YER OUT! I'M SORRY. (PINHEAD.) The response? HISSES.

I took a couple detours along the way, entering ROSTRUM for SOAPBOX and crossword standby URI for UNH. A good challenge for a Friday.

I did Patrick Berry's Friday NYS at the beginning of the week, and found that it took me less time than the Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday puzzles. Beautiful puzzle, a fearsome grid, standard tricky Berry/Gordon clues. Glancing at the finished grid, loaded with so many seldom-seen entries, I can't say why it went so fast. I must have been channeling the right brain waves at the time.


My favorite type of Merl Reagle puzzle is one with a built-in word game, as in this weekend's PI puzzle. MARIAH CAREY OAKIE was an excellent way to make use of crossword stalwart Jack Oakie, wasn't it?

Today's WSJ by Myles Callum had—hooray!—a non-business theme. My favorite clue, 43A: "One may be made by a hooker" = RUG. (Those cheesy rug-hooking kits were all the rage during the macrame era. Ah, nostalgia...) One of the theme entries, LIQUID DIET, also made an appearance in the DiPietro NYT.

PI 8:16
WSJ 8:01
NYT 5:53
LAT 5:34
NYS 3:58
CS 3:38