September 13, 2005

Ben Tausig's "Hidden Weakness" puzzle from the Village Voice and other weeklies has a hall-of-fame clue in "Doll with a gun" for GI JOE. Other clues I especially liked were "Bird that gets you down" for EIDER and "Change furniture?" for SOFA. The theme was fairly ordinary, but the puzzle was spiffed up by the ROTI/GHEE combo and the CAESAR/TSAR pairing.

Anthony Salvia's Español puzzle in the NYS (edited by Pedro Gordon!) has N's with tildes required for both the across and down answers in four crossing pairs, answering the frequent carping at puzzles that ignore foreign diacriticals for the crossing. Of course, I have no idea how to enter a tilde in Across Lite, so Mr. Happy Pencil (which always sounds salacious) never showed up.

David Elfman's NYT theme dawned on me slowly, what with the first one starting with NOUN and leading me to think he was coining the word "nounify." Once the rest of the anti-theme filled itself in, though, it proved to be a good theme. JUST RANDOM WORDS? Hey, I love themeless puzzles!


In her CrosSynergy puzzle, "Kate's Confused," Paula Gamache extracts six anagrams of KATES. There's a lot of nice fill and combos, such as NO NUKES, TO DIE FOR, WALMART and SAKS, AGITA and AGONY, and "child's plea" CAN I aptly crossing PARENT.

Tausig 4:01
NYS 3:58
NYT 3:41
LAT 3:08
CS 2:57