July 12, 2006


I don't remember the last time I saw a themed NYT puzzle by Manny Nosowsky (that doesn't necessarily mean it was a long time ago). Theme, shmeme—it's all those 7-letter entries I appreciate. FRAID SO, WHATNOT, GO TO POT, IN OR OUT, ZIP CODE (clued "12345, e.g.")? Good stuff. And good clues—such as "Grand finale?" for OLE OPRY, "happy guy in a musical" for FELLA, etc. And all this themeless-type quality constrained by the placement of the theme entries, including the diagonal SLANT? A delight to solve.

Will Nediger (Will, are you still 16?) constructed this week's Themeless Thursday in the Sun, and the puzzle is just jumping with J's and K's (plus a couple Z's). The grid is anchored by the companion entries, JABBERWOCKY and CRACKERJACK, and seasoned liberally with multi-word phrases. I learned that Patrice MACMAHON served as the first president of France's Third Republic, from 1875 to 1879. (His Irish ancestors had been in France for over a century.) The island of Bawean is in the JAVA SEA, and I encourage you to read the interesting (if brief) Wikipedia entry about Bawean. A "karateka's workplace" is DOJO, because a karateka is a practitioner of karate. Will and Peter, thanks for this slice of edutainment.

NYS 5:19
NYT 3:56
LAT 3:56
CS 2:51