January 08, 2006


Great TV SHOWS theme in Allan Parrish's Monday NYT, featuring phrases ending in words that were long-running TV series with one-word titles. The extra oomph comes from the titles and entries using different meanings of the same words: "Wings" of an airplane vs. waiting IN THE WINGS, a football "Coach" vs. STAGECOACH, the California Highway Patrol of "CHiPs" vs. POTATO CHIPS, and the "M*A*S*H" mobile army surgical hospital vs. MONSTER MASH. I can only think of a few other TV series that could fit this theme: LIQUID SOAP, HAPPY MEDIUM, and ANIMAL CRACKER—though "Medium" is a new show and "Cracker" didn't last long. A show like "Friends" would work only with something like SOCIETY OF FRIENDS, which is too long...


Curtis Yee's got two puzzles out today. I liked the gimmick in his LA Times puzzle—"half-priced" book titles. (Know what? It's easier to do the math in your head when you're working with one- and two-digit numbers than with a four-digit number.) In Curtis's Sun puzzle, "Obvious Choices," he's peppered the grid with X's and Z's, and this appears to be JAY-Z's debut as a crossword entry. (Hey, the last time I saw LL COOL J in a grid, I had *LCO*** and started putting in ALCOHOL before I read the clue. Um, yeah...you do have to read the clues.)

CS 3:42
LAT 3:40
NYS 3:34
NYT 3:15