May 24, 2006


Hey, everyone knows that the Wordplay website is up now, right? If you didn't, swing by and check it out.

The Sun puzzle, "The Gravity of the Situation," is a quip puzzle from Patrick Jordan. Best clue: "Bad way to go?" for POSTAL (for the record, my mail carrier is sweet and dependable). Good fill: PONIED UP, AFFRAY (plus MELEE), STEPFATHER, LEBANON. Then there's the pairing of "a caddie might hold it" = TEE and "a caddy might hold it" = TEA.

Okay, I'm not excited about Gilbert Ludwig's theme in the NYT. I liked the puzzle, the clues were appropriately Thursdayish, there's some good fill (DEEPFRY, PARADOX, RUBIK rather than Ernö, NO MESS, THE RULES). But the theme—near as I can figure, it's synonyms for wee rivers included in longer phrases. I just looked up RUN (from RUN OF THE MILL); noun definition #17 is "Eastern Lower Northern U.S. See creek (sense 1)." Which states make up the Eastern Lower North? Then there's BATTLE CREEK and STREAM LINER, fair enough. Then there's FRANCIS CRICK, crick being and "Upper Northern & Western U.S." variant on "creek." Two regional terms? Hmph. I've got half a mind to throw GYM SHOES, TENNIS SHOES, SNEAKERS, and TRAINERS into a puzzle.


Patrick Blindauer's LA Times puzzle includes a "1 Diagonal" clue in the notepad in addition to 1 Across and 1 Down. That 15-letter diagonal theme entry crosses three other theme entries, and there are two more theme entries in the grid. Finely wrought, Patrick.

NYS 4:28
NYT 4:17
LAT 3:37
CS 3:00