July 06, 2006


I'm wondering if this is a debut for the NYT's Friday constructor, Joe Krozel. It's got the look of a themeless puzzle, but those five 15-letter entries are, impressively enough, all movie titles. (Anyone know of previous puzzles along these lines?) Sure, there's plenty of shorter fill that won't wow anyone, but holy cow! There are 75 letters' worth of movie titles (83, if you include GODSPELL). Good cluing overall, too.

I had to laugh when I was doing Ed Early's Weekend Warrior, with three sets of triple-stacked 15's. Byron Walden once mentioned that an unusually high percentage of triple-stacks include the entry A TEENAGER IN LOVE, and here it is again! "Why must I be a teenager in love, in a crossword once again?" (Is there any other 15-letter entry that's been used more than this one?) JENNIFER ANISTON was a gimme up at 1-Across (she's also been in a themeless puzzle before, Byron's March 25 NYT), and another actress, ELIZABETH HURLEY, was moderately gimme-ish; the two of them led me through the grid without much struggle. (And look what I found when I Googled "jennifer aniston" and "crossword.")

Ben Tausig's weekly Chicago Reader puzzle, "A Substitution," has a trumped-up theme, but what pun theme isn't inherently trumped up? Best Roman numeral clue in ages: "Roman 2x4?" for VIII.

I'll be out of town this weekend, and will be waiting for the newspaper to land on the porch to do the Saturday and Sunday NYT puzzles. Blogging may take place, but then again, it may not...we'll see. I may hold off on the other weekend puzzles for a ginormous crossword binge upon my return on Monday night.

Oh—those of you who have grown frustrated with the technical malfeasances of the NYT forum, try going to this NYT page to submit a complaint via the e-mail form. I tried to complain earlier today, but gave up when I couldn't get my message to go through despite trying three times. Ain't that rich?


Today's CrosSynergy, "Surely You Just," is an easy one from Harvey...Ustes.

Tough Wall Street Journal puzzle by "Judith Seretto" (a.k.a. editor Mike Shenk. "Exchange Seats" has one of those themes in which the answers end up packed with things that aren't real words.

Merl Reagle's Philadelphia Inquirer puzzle includes one of my favorite medical terms, BORBORYGMUS. It's not generally thought of as a "stomach-rumbling sound," at least not the way your stomach growls when you're hungry. It's more the gaseous burblings down in the intestines. If you never knew there was a word for that mundane phenomenon, remember borborygmus! Live it, learn it, love it. Also, if you couldn't view the full clue at 17-Across, the parenthetical explanation said, "This is the first 'three-peater' in this puzzle. There are 14 more—plus one 'bonus-peater' near the end." The three-peaters are words/phrases in which the first three letters are repeated as the second three letters. The bonus-peater must be ALFALFA, which both starts and ends with repeated trigrams.

Tausig 5:10
LAT 4:13
NYS 4:10
NYT 4:04
CS 3:16

WSJ 10:54
Reagle 8:42