April 27, 2006


Well, less than two days ago, I made sure you knew that Boots was DORA THE EXPLORER's monkey sidekick. (She also does her adventuring with Backpack, who is...a backpack. And there's a fox named Swiper who's always...swiping things.) If any of you regulars hesitated in the slightest in filling in that first 15 near the top of Eric Berlin's Friday NYT, you might want to check with a doctor about those memory problems. I liked TOURIST INFO connecting the two 15s, SPITFIRE, CUSTOMER SERVICE, Aunt JEMIMA, BOXCAR, IMHOTEP, and I DONT KNOW.

Karen Tracey returns to her rightful place as a preferred provider (she's in the crossword PPO directory, of course) of themeless puzzles, with a juicy Sun Weekend Warrior. YELLOWJACKETS and REYKJAVIK in the middle, the JOB JAR and SKYNYRD, ARRIVEDERCI and ANYONE ELSE, WINESAPS and TEAL BLUE. Karen, that looks like a trademark Peter Gordon clue for TEAL BLUE ("color similar to drake")—was it his, or did you just unearth a Gordonesque clue? In case you were wondering what the Opel ASTRA looks like, here's the Opel site; they also sell the Signum, Zafira, and a sexy little roadster called the GT—but not in the U.S. I'd never heard of swimmer DONNA DE VARONA; seems she competed at the 1960 and 1964 Olympics and then became the first female sportscaster, and her sister is Joanna Kerns, the actress who played the mom on Growing Pains.


Merl Reagle's puzzle for this weekend is called "Baseball Trades." It's clever. You'll like it!

Manny Nosowsky dishes out groaner after groaner in his Wall Street Journal puzzle, "Oh Pun for Business." If puns are your weakness, you might also enjoy Timothy Powell's LA Times puzzle. And if puns leave you in need of a stiff drink, try Raymond Hamel's CrosSynergy puzzle.

NYS 6:09
LAT 4:35
NYT 4:11
CS 3:40

WSJ 9:48
Reagle [Whoops, didn't start the timer]