May 19, 2006

An axolotl for Saturday

It appears that Bob Klahn hasn't published a Saturday NYT for three years. A Sunday puzzle last month, and plenty of CrosSynergy Sunday Challenges, but no chewy Saturdays for years? That must be remedied by more Saturday Klahns, that's all there is to it. VA VA VOOM! This puzzle's SOCKO! It taught me about ALAN LOMAX, the "folk music scholar who helped popularize Woody Guthrie and Muddy Waters." I hadn't known the peridot was a form of OLIVINE. And I don't think I knew that ODE TO JOY was the official anthem of the European Union. The ISBN number given as an example in the clue belongs to the OED. No wonder the creator of Popeye, E.C. SEGAR, uses his initials; E.C. stands for Elzie Crisler. The clues were were good and tricky, which I applaud. And Klahn worked in some great entries, such as EITHER OR, JACKKNIFE, JOCOSE, JAVA MAN, the crazy-looking AXOLOTL (the salamander itself looks far weirder than its name), and MARE'S NEST.


You know, AXOLOTL gets zero hits in the Cruciverb database, but I could've sworn the word's appeared in the NYT or Sun crossword. Cruciverb shows one hit for AXOLOTLS, in a Stan Newman Newsday puzzle from 2000, but I'm pretty sure I haven't done any Newsday puzzles from back then. Does anyone else remember seeing the word (or using it in one of your puzzles)?

Doug Peterson's Newsday Saturday Stumper and Lynn Lempel's LA Times themeless are twins—both contain PSST, CROC, and a clue or entry pertaining to blogging.

NYT 7:42
LAT 5:17
Newsday 5:12
CS 3:30