April 17, 2006


A fancy little gimmick in the Tuesday NYT by Pete Muller—the answers and the clues do not contain the letter S, but every other letter of the alphabet does make an appearance in the grid. I wonder if the dead-tree version will say the puzzle was "Edited by Will Hortz." And I wonder if the clues originally contained esses when the puzzle was first submitted. I'm sure there are some people who don't appreciate puzzles that are made with only certain letters—like the CHRISTMAS CAROL puzzle by David Kahn, or those that contain only a single vowel, or that exclude a common letter like E—but I like 'em. (And yes, as hinted at in a comment on the last post, this puzzle contains the word BONER, clued as "boo-boo." Is that what the kids are calling it these days?)

Lyell Rodieck presents POULTRY IN MOTION in the Sun, with a tight theme of CHICKEN RUN, DUCK WALKS, TURKEY TROT, and GOOSESTEPS. Favorite clue: "Piccolo player of note" for CAAN. New Fiend rule: Early-week puzzles by women whose first names start with LY are always a good bet.

Hey, did you ever see Mercury Rising, the Bruce Willis movie? It's on some movie channel at the moment, and Games World of Puzzles plays a key role, as reviewed here. They keep the constructor's bylines fuzzy (drat!), and the puzzle that figures into the plot (it has to do with some top-secret government cryptography) is, well, pfft. Fake. Looked like a big word search grid with Greek letters and math symbols strewn about.


As has been mentioned at the NYT forum, if you're a fan of the New York Sun puzzles, consider using the PayPal link here to send some monetary love to Peter Gordon. Many of us find the NYT's Premium Crosswords service to be worth every penny, and the Sun puzzles are every bit as good (some say better). If Peter charged a fee like the NYT does, I'd pay it without hesitation. So don't be a freeloader just because you can...

NYS 3:26
NYT 3:13
Tues LAT 2:54
CS 2:37
Mon LAT 2:34