January 27, 2006


Man, last Friday night at this time, I was arriving at my first party at Sundance. Sigh.

I finished Dana Motley's Saturday NYT with a scowl: The crossing of IRNA ("soap opera creator Phillips") and GROSZ (clued as "George ___, German-American artist known for vitriolic caricature" rather than "100th of a zloty") was one of those wild-ass guess squares. This is IRNA's first (and last?) appearance in a Times crossword. I forgave Dana and Will for inflicting this deadly crossing on us after checking out Grosz's demented paintings. The second Google image hit is a painting of a one-third-clad woman and her wee groom, called "Daum Marries Her Pedantic Automaton George in May 1920, John Heartfield is Very Glad of It." (Pedantic Automaton would be a good name for a blog.) Going back to the crossword, the MISS UGANDA website hasn't been updated in a year, but it's certainly fair game for a fresh crossword entry. SWAG is a little bittersweet for me because I left Sundance with zero swag. I liked the groupings like LAMB/OWLET, GAGMAN/SKIT/SATIRES, BALDWINS ("some pianos")/ORGANS (not clued as musical instruments, though), and TARRAGON/RADISH. Tying IRNA for most obscure entry is EDUCTOR, "jet pump for fluid withdrawal"; honorable mention goes to KINESCOPE, "picture tube."


Mark Milhet's LA Times crossword has a few new entries in it. Stan Newman's Saturday Stumper was fairly hard, but not a killer; the NYT was tougher this week. Bob and Sharon Klahn's CrosSynergy puzzle is a dreaded quip puzzle, but it's got some tricky clues and interesting fill to keep you busy.

NYT 8:25
Newsday Saturday Stumper 3:22 for the right half (oops)
CS 5:34
LAT 5:17