February 10, 2006


David Quarfoot’s Saturday NYT felt like an easy Friday puzzle to me*, but that doesn’t diminish my appreciation for it. Plenty of shiny (possibly) new entries, like SNOOP DOGG (who had the hit “Drop It Like It’s Hot”), AYMARA (“one of Bolivia’s official languages”—and a nice counterpart to LA PAZ), SHOULDNT, ITS A PLANE, ESSAY TEST, and SRI LANKAN. AIR GUITAR and LAZY SUSAN are great, too. My favorite entry, though, is the one that looks for all the world like THEM ASSES. Has anyone got a good clue for that?

*Byron, on the other hand, posted a Tuesday-level time for this Saturday puzzle. Harrumph!


Either Henry Hook's LA Weekly puzzle was harder than usual, or I'm not at my peak as a speed-solver when I'm falling asleep late in the evening. (Or both.) This was the second puzzle this week that clued MOSES along the lines of "He took two tablets"—anyone remember the other one? If not, maybe it's in a book of crosswords.

If the weather's lousy, you don't care about the Olympics, and you have an addictive personality, you'll love the Word Sandwich game. You guess a five-letter word, and the game tells you if the mystery word is before or after it alphabetically. Eventually you may find yourself sandwiched between two words, at a complete loss for a word that comes between them—can you think of a common word between EXERT and EXIST? Alas, I blanked on that one. But I did pretty well a few other times. (A hearty "thank you" to Trip Payne for luring me into spending the entire day playing this game yesterday.)

LAT 5:42
NYT 4:47
CS 3:55
Saturday Stumper 3:53 (on paper)

Hook LAW 10:32
WaPo 7:52