July 02, 2006


Take a word from Randall Hartman's NYT puzzle, change one letter to a G, and anagram it (leaving four letters in the same spots), and what do you get? You get a word that ties in tangentially with the hidden COLON/ASS mini-theme. Putting such malarkey aside, I liked the pun theme. Crossing one of the theme entries is DEKE ("Hockey player's deceptive move")—a word that this hockey nonenthusiast learned only last year, when it popped up in Byron Walden's ACPT finals puzzle. I tend to appreciate the scarring experience of puzzling out a mystery word via crossings or a wild guess, and looking it up or asking someone about it later—given that my overarching goal is to someday win the tournament, I'd rather uncover new-to-me words throughout the year so there are fewer words left to vex me at Stamford. I'm just arrogant enough to not worry that sharing what I've learned about somewhat obscure words will boost somebody else's tournament performance to my detriment.

So, who's your favorite Monday- to Tuesday-level constructor? I don't expect a ton of answers given that it's a holiday weekend, but I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.


Perhaps July 3's also a New York Sun holiday. And perhaps the LA Times staffer in charge of uploading the puzzles is off for the day.

Don't forget to watch or record "Charlie Rose" tonight, featuring Will Shortz and director Sydney Pollack.

I'll be celebrating Independence Day by going downtown for the annual July 3rd fireworks in Chicago's Grant Park, and staying in a hotel nearby. After hotel checkout on the 4th, assorted family events will keep me from the internet until Tuesday evening—so look for my Tuesday post around the time I ordinarily put up a Wednesday post.

In the meantime, if you're not racing about hither and yon with holiday festivities and you're bored silly, check out this list of autoantonyms at fun-with-words.com. The page includes links for other goodies like spoonerisms, palindromes, heteronyms, malapropisms, mnemonics...need I go on? I haven't had time to explore the site, but it looks diverting.

CS 3:17
NYT 2:50
NYS tba (?)
LAT tba