December 01, 2005

Will Johnston (over on the NYT forum) was right: Pat Merrell's Friday NYT grid is indeed a funky one, with four pairs of adjoining 15s meeting near the corners, and each pair joined by a 7-letter entry. Not only is it impressive that each corner contains the intersection of two pairs of 15s, but it appears that every single entry crosses either a pair of 15s or those four 7s (well, unless it is one of the 15s or 7s). Do you think you could pull off that trick? Yowza! The fill is remarkably solid, too—the worst we see are SSSS and REAIM, which arguably are better than yesterday's TOL, anyway.

My ahistorical knowledge of baseball slowed me down on Charles Gersch's Sun puzzle, "Urban Legends." I had BI*DGREEN and spent too much time wondering what the heck that could be; I also drew a blank with the crossing clue about the Tower of Hanoi game. BIG D for DALLAS! And PEGS! Fine. Anyway—when life gives you LEMONS, make LIMEADE? My favorite clue was "Watch flashers?" for COLONS; however, I think it's time for the crossword world to quit being embarrassed about their viscera and admit that they have abdominal organs. I also enjoyed "More like a young man?" for ANGRIER.

NYS 5:49
CHE 4:19 (more Ben Tausig!)
LAT 4:14
NYT 4:12
CS 3:27

WSJ 8:49
Reagle 8:55