May 02, 2006


You know, I'd probably be content with my solving time on Lisa Wiseman's NYT if not for the number of people faster than me on the applet. (Is this the third constructor debut in the last few days? If so, congrats to another newcomer!) Under 4 minutes for a Wednesday puzzle certainly seems respectable...unless you know for a fact that less than 3 minutes was doable. It's certainly a bright and shiny puzzle, with STROBE, GLOSSIER, SHEENS, and BRASSY. GABFEST and nutty John STOSSEL (did anyone see that "20/20" show where he reported on the availability of weight training in prisons, producing convicts who are "bigger...and scarier" than before? A pinnacle of cheesy TV journalism!) are good entries, as are the long RESURRECTS and INDENTURES. In the golf club/actor theme, though, I'm a smidgen put off by Jeremy Irons having the S already, but Elijah Wood and Minnie Driver needing to have an S tacked on to yield plural golf clubs—but while there are folks named Woods, I certainly don't know of any famous people named Drivers or Iron who could fill in here.

The theme in Patrick Blindauer's Sun puzzle ("Gee Whiz!") dawned on me rather slowly, but it's an elegant one—"X in Y" turning into "Xing Y," with totally different meanings for the phrases with and without the G. Did everyone else find this one to be a little tough, or am I just slacking off? Hey, with that many months before the next crossword tournament, I can afford to slack off plenty right now.


Another fine Ink Well puzzle from Ben Tausig, this one called "Pitching Artists." DR DREIDEL "Hanukkah toy endorsed by a hip-hop producer?") is perfect. "Swiss and Dijon locale" is DELI, of course, "Mach 4 target" is BEARD, "Source of rocks?" is ICEMAKER, and "palindromic speed demon" is RACECAR. Clever, no?

Good LA Times puzzle from Tibor Derencsenyi today—coincidentally, it contains GABFESTS (see above).

Easy theme in Thomas Schier's CrosSynergy puzzle, "Set Sale."

NYS 5:51
Tausig 4:55
NYT 3:59
LAT 3:37
CS 3:18