May 09, 2006

Woden's day

Gary Steinmehl's "Yellables" puzzle in the Sun predisposes one to shouting, as the theme entries begin with words like FIRE! and STOP! I like clues that ask the solver to look beyond the meaning of the words, at the letters themselves (I group these generically in the "SILENT T" or "LONG I" class); this puzzle has ENS clued as "Nonwinning half?" I wasn't familiar with the word TEETOTUM; you might find this write-up from World Wide Words interesting. Teetotums are dreidel-like spinning tops with labeled sides. If you ever wondered how a collector might classify tops (and I'll bet you didn't), then holy crap! you should take a look at this guy's classification scheme. This topic reminds me of a great clue I just saw today in the NYT X-Treme X-Words book—in the November 30, 2002, puzzle by Jim Page, DREIDEL was clued as "place to see a nun"...

Kevan Choset's NYT TRIPLE CROWN puzzle includes the names of five horses that won the Triple Crown. I knew I'd seen at least one similar puzzle in the past—the Cruciverb database led me to Nancy Salomon's May 5, 2004, puzzle, which featured seven Triple Crown winners. The common entries were AFFIRMED, CITATION, and OMAHA; the new puzzle adds SECRETARIAT and ASSAULT, while the prior one included WAR ADMIRAL, WHIRLAWAY, SIR BARTON, and COUNT FLEET. Still waiting for his turn in the cruciverbal spotlight is Seattle Slew; Gallant Fox has appeared twice in CrosSynergy puzzles.


Those last two horses joined the other seven Triple Crown winners in Peter Gordon's 17x17 NYT diagramless puzzle on January 7, 2001 (included in Peter's latest book). Between that puzzle and the two subsequent daily puzzles, I call for a moratorium on further horse puzzles.

Paula Gamache's CrosSynergy puzzle, "Way to Fly," was easy but fun. • Gene Newman's LA Times puzzle celebrates FRED ASTAIRE's 107th birthday.

NYS 4:27
NYT 3:53
LAT 3:32
CS 2:42