December 17, 2005


Of the three Sunday puzzles I've done this evening (NYT, LA Weekly, Washington Post), my favorite is Henry Hook's LA Weekly puzzle, "Flipped Fives." You know what? Just in case you've been busy with holiday shopping or something, I won't spoil it by discussing the theme. Just do it, will you?

Ethan Cooper and Michael Shteyman's NYT, "What the Professor Meant To Say," had plenty of good fill (JONESES, SAY WHEN, TRASH TV, THE REDS) and clues ("Caesarean delivery?" for ET TU, "Apples can be compared to them" for IBMS, "Heads of états" for TETES, "Best replacement" for STARR, "Some have black eyes" for PEAS). It was harder than the average Sunday NYT, too—thanks to Ethan, Michael, and Will for a good challenge.


Is it just me, or is anyone else a little troubled by the flipflopping of theme entries and clues in the NYT puzzle? The professor's unspoken subtext seems to be presented in the clues for 27A, 65A, and 94A, but in the entry for 115A; for 44A, 79A, and 29D, it's not clear to me whether it's the clue or entry that's "what the professor meant to say." I'm still a fan of the non-theme portion of this puzzle, but the theme confuses me a bit.

I liked the theme execution in Robert H. Wolfe's Sunday LA Times puzzle, "Gee, That's Better." There's also a hall-of-fame clue: "Moses' title?" I had *****MA and considered MAHATMA before figuring out it was GRANDMA. Did you know GRANDMA only shows up twice in the Cruciverb database?

NYT 10:45 (–20 seconds for technical difficulties)
WaPo 10:18
LAT 9:20
Hook 9:17
CS 3:49