July 08, 2006


Wow, look at all the Scrabbly goodness in Barry Silk's NYT crossword! After uncovering the first few instances of Q, Z, and X, I figured there could be more—and indeed there were. That heightened suspicion made it a little easier to fill in the later sections of the puzzle. I didn't time myself while doing the puzzle in the paper, but the upper left corner filled in nicely; I think the other quadrants and especially the middle were tougher than that first corner. Several great clues to single out: "Ball girl" for BELLE, "They might scrape bows" for BERGS, and "Debriefed group?" for NUDISTS.

Great entries, and oh so Scrabbly: T SQUARE, QUICKIES ("afternooners" being, I presume, midday romps in the sack), Z AXIS, WONT DO, and numerous other Z, J, X, and Q words. The less-than-demure QUICKIES is partnered with HEROIN, summoning up the tableau of junkies in a cheap motel (but I doubt they're NUDISTS). Oh, Gray Lady, when did you get hooked on the smack?

New factoids I learned: Outside the U.S., Motown carries the TAMLA name. Crocodile Dundee's given name is Mick (I've never seen the movies, so I had no idea). Bulwer-Lytton wrote a romance about George ARAM. (What? Another Aram besides Mr. Khachaturian?). The gastropod is this here mollusk, the MUREX. There's a giant ASTEROID named ICARUS that swings past earth every 19 years, apparently. LIS pendens is a pending lawsuit.

I haven't done the other daily puzzles today—probably won't get to them for a couple days. But the weather forecast here in the Twin Cities is for mid-80s and not muggy, so it's a perfect day to eschew crosswords.