April 16, 2006

Scumbag Monday!

The comments lounge has been so quiet the last couple days, it's forcing me to talk dirty to older men. ("Scumbag," of course, is a dirty word only to older men. For the rest of us, it's just a word.)

This appears to be Larry Paul's NYT crossword debut (congrats!), though he's had at least one puzzle in the New York Sun. He perked up the ICE/STEAM/WATER theme with a number of 8-letter entries, including CHARISMA and APERITIF, and some corner bricks of 6-letter words—nice to see more challenging constructions on a Monday. I'm not a fan of apéritifs, so I never got around to looking up the word's derivation before now; it comes from the Latin aperire, to open, as it opens the meal. Fortified wines such as sherry and vermouth, anise-based liqueurs, bitter drinks like Campari, and sparkling wines (which invariably inflict me with mal à la tête)? Terrible idea for a pre-dinner drink, if you ask me, but quite nice in a crossword.


Cute CrosSynergy puzzle from Randall Hartman.

Damn you, Dave Mackey! You touted your 1:56 on the Newsday puzzle and forced me to take a stab at it. Harrumph!

Given the title of Gary Steinmehl's Sun puzzle—"Strike Zone"—and Peter Gordon's proclivity for baseball themes, I kept trying to figure out what the longer entries had to do with baseball. Which is...exactly nothing. Smiting, yes; America's pastime, no.

NYS 4:15
NYT 3:05
CS 2:48
Newsday 2:22
LAT—still AWOL?