June 04, 2006


All right, people. I honestly don't know what your deal is. I liked Patrick Blindauer's NYT puzzle, "Overcharged," with the added -ION in the theme entries (e.g., RUN OF THE MILL[ION], NOT[ION] FOR PROFIT). Plenty of yummy fill, like ALMOND JOY, MR PEANUT, NO TASTE, GRANDMA, WATERLOO, GOSSIPED, and MINXES. (How is it possible for Oscar DE LA Hoya to be so pretty when he's a boxer?) Good clues, like "Turkey club" for NATO. As it happens, I didn't get OFF TO A GOOD START or finish with this crossword. When I opened the puzzle in the timed applet, it wouldn't let me type in any letters, so I had to click "refresh" and lose 30 seconds in the process. Then at the end, I learned I had a typo, and lost another 30 seconds searching for it (yup, there's no N in CABOOSES). And despite losing that minute, I still ended up with an average (for me) solving time—so on balance, this was a pretty easy puzzle, I thought. But there are other solvers who are usually much closer to my time who are slower than expected today. What gives? What well-laid traps did Patrick set out for you?


Entertaining Washington Post puzzle by David Kahn, with movie title and quotes. • In Henry Hook's LA Weekly puzzle, the theme entries incorporate FOR. Two obscure words in this one: RACON, or RAdar beaCON, and ADDA, the "lizard of crossworddom" (though the word doesn't show up in the Cruciverb database, so it seems to have been expunged from crosswords...until now. Here's a page of lizard-related limericks, one of which is about the adda. • Harvey Estes did this week's themeless CrosSynergy Sunday Challenge. • The LA Times puzzle's got a long quote, and the constructor is Charlie Riley (that's an anagram of Really Richie—is this another of Rich Norris's noms de cruciverbalisme?).

WaPo 9:24
LA Weekly 9:23
NYT 8:57, –:30 for technical woes and (optionally) –:30 searching for a typo
LAT 7:26
CS 4:00