April 24, 2006

Frankly, my dear, I could care less

Great theme in Kevan Choset's NYT! There are three famous quotes from books, TV, and movies that were never actually uttered, as explained by two more entries, NONE OF THEM IS/A REAL QUOTE. With 72 theme squares in a 15x15 puzzle, you're liable to end up with some compromises on the fill. But in this case, the obscurities (to me) were educational—ODESA appears to be a transliteration of the Ukrainian spelling, vs. Odessa deriving from Russian (is that correct?), and Art Deco architect William Van ALEN designed the Chrysler building. Also, some of the 3-letter entries had clever clues—"Jordan was once part of it: Abbr." yields NBA (not something like UAR), and INE is clued "Hero's end?"

In the Sun, Gary Steinmehl's "Hesitant Conclusions" taught me that the LILAC (which is getting ready to bloom 'round these parts) is a "flower in the olive family," that GUAM's capital city has two diacritical marks (Hagåtña), and (in yet another new OBOE clue for the Sun) that the OBOE da caccia is a forerunner of the cor anglais. And then there's the eyebrow-raising but utterly innocuous "Dick-Dyke go-between" (VAN)...


Randall Hartman goes geographic in his CrosSynergy puzzle, "Capital Fellows," and Joy Frank greets us with the LA Times puzzle. Check 'em out...

Ben Tausig's Chicago Reader puzzle expands things in the theme entries, yielding QUEUE TIPS, for example. Minor quibble with TEA MOBILE, though—a crib mobile's not pronounced the same as in T-Mobile, is it? This puzzle seems to be the first (and perhaps last) Cruciverb-eligible use of TAMPAX in a crossword. It also seems to be the first instance of LGBT, but I bet we'll see GLBT or LGBT in plenty of crosswords in the years ahead (even with that inconvenient lack of vowels).

Tausig 4:35
NYT 4:02
NYS 3:55
LAT 3:24
CS 2:54