July 01, 2006


Just a few short days after one of Elizabeth Gorski's ardent fans left a comment at this blog raving about her talents, she pops up with a Fourth of July–themed NYT. I got off to a good start by eyeballing the mostly empty grid when I read the clue for 20-Across, "Historic symbol whose shape can be found hidden in this completed puzzle." The sideways T-shaped blocks next to 42-Across, the left-right symmetry, and the overall look of the grid shouted LIBERTY BELL to me, though I think the solver was supposed to connect the dots made by the [RING] rebus squares to see the bell. (And sure, the thingamabob from which the bell is suspended is more L-shaped than T-shaped, but whatever.) The rebus entries were mostly short ones, which made it a little tougher to spot the right places for them. Plenty of good, longish non-theme entries, including the 9-letter words (PHONE TREE is great) in the top corners that run alongside the 16-letter theme entries, and the triple-stacked 10's (including ROSE GARDEN and I CAN RELATE) in the bottom corners. Interestingly, the words in the bottom row could have been split into two entries each, since the 101-Down and 103-Down rebus entries could have been made singular.


In Henry Hook's LA Weekly puzzle, "Movie Series," there was just one movie title I wasn't familiar with: The Blue MAX. Alas, that M crossed SHEMA, a Jewish prayer I hadn't heard of. (Grr.)

NYT 10:25
LA Weekly 10:10
WaPo 8:28
LAT 7:56
CS 4:17