February 08, 2006


Ethan Cooper (whose last NYT puzzle was a Sunday collaboration with Michael Shteyman, "What the Professor Meant to Say," in December) managed to fill his Thursday NYT with plenty of fresh fill to top off his SOUR GRAPES theme. This puzzle was a good bit harder than last Thursday's—and how often does a constructor following Byron Walden by a week lay claim to having the tougher puzzle?

The highlight of Karen Tracey's Themeless Thursday Sun puzzle is the central vertical entry, VERNAL EQUINOX, anchoring the rest of the grid. There's a two-way tie for most obscure entry—kid lit's ARTIE the Airplane and Canadian comic actor NED SPARKS (who was so dour, he took out a Lloyds of London insurance policy to cover him if anyone ever photographed him smiling). According to Wikipedia, SpongeBob's neighbor Squidward bears a striking resemblance to Sparks. Karen also has the word FALLOW in this puzzle, and for whatever reason, I'm fond of that word. Maybe it's the Old English vibe it gives off, with its root being fealh.

If you haven't done Henry Hook's ingenious Friday Sun puzzle, get cracking. It slaughtered me.

NYS 6:00
NYT 5:30
LAT 3:38
CS 3:12