June 28, 2006


Thursday puzzles mean Thursday activities are in the offing—for me and my son, that means going to see the Cubs play the Brewers. Will the Cubs win or lose? This is immaterial. The weather forecast is for a fair amount of sunshine and beautiful temperatures, so it'll be a good ballgame by my count.

The NYT is a fantastic puzzle by Brendan Emmett Quigley. He's cropped out the letter O (CROP CIRCLES) from the theme entries, ending up with a great batch of entries (my favorite: "Smoking or drinking in a small town?" for VILLAGE VICE). Like any BEQ crossword, there are plenty of lively entries, such as HELL-BENT, SHA NA NA, QUILTS, and JULEPS. I don't know that SAID SO equates to "gave one's approval" (defense, anyone?). I wasn't hep to Transcendentalist Bronson ALCOTT, nor to the Italian "to love," AMARE. No shortage of great clues here: "Not really interested in anybody" for ASEXUAL, "Sierra Nevada, e.g." for PALE ALE, "Playboy types, briefly" for EDS (one of the better editor-related clues I've seen). Furthering the overall devious goodness, there are non-S plurals ("Ones most wanted" for A-LIST, "Sprocket parts" for TEETH), an obliquely clued plural ("Mind set?" for IDEAS), and an obliquely clued non-plural ("Letters to a mathematician" for QED).

Karen Tracey's Themeless Thursday in the Sun has just 24 black squares (66 words) in a beautiful, spiraling grid with four minimally connected sections of wide-open space. Tons of interesting 10-letter words and phrases (four sets of triple-stacked 10's crossed by another 10). And good clues. On the off chance you're reading this but haven't done the Sun puzzle yet, hop to it! You won't regret it (unless you're not up for a bit of a challenge).


Cool theme in Randall Hartman's CrosSynergy puzzle, "Backwards Boys."

Is there a name for the type of theme used in Jack McInturff's LA Times puzzle? It's got CALM embedded within each theme entry, spanning two words (e.g., MYTHICAL MONSTER).

NYT 6:07
NYS 6:39
CS 4:13
LAT 4:06