March 17, 2006


Did you all drink green beer for St. Patrick's Day? No? How about green milk? Green wine? (Red and white are for sissies.)

Patrick Berry's NYT took me longer than most of his themeless puzzles have, but not as long as the one that killed me with the a-less DIERESIS. Regulars at the NYT "Today's Puzzle" forum know Berry's dad Stephen as Papa Bear; it'd be cute if MAMA BEAR's birthday was this week. There were a few relative obscurities in the grid, starting with ARAMEAN ("Mesopotamia dweller") and continuing over to ELI, the "1951 play by Literature Nobelist Nelly Sachs," and MIRA, "variable star in Cetus." Who knew TRIG was British slang for "smart-looking"? And LAY SISTERS, "manual laborers in a convent"? Guess I'm not up on the convent business. Did you notice that gristly glob of consonants in the NE corner of the puzzle? The STL of RUSTLERS and STST of REST STOP cross the TTSB of PITTSBURGH and LLST of ALLSTAR. Anyway, good puzzle, and there's more Berry to come with this weekend's Starbucks contest puzzle. (Those of you who have had trouble getting the puzzles at your local Starbucks stores should consider going in on Saturday and asking for the puzzle insert early. Maybe they'll hand it over—my local store seems to think the insert belongs in the Saturday paper, even on Sunday.)

NYT 7:47
Newsday Saturday Stumper 6:07—a good one this week, from Doug Peterson
LAT 5:50—another fun outing from Karen Tracey
CS 3:10