July 17, 2006


NYS 4:48
NYT 3:57
LAT 3:21
CS 2:54

Competitive zeal interfered with my appreciation of Kevan Choset's NYT. The plus side of finding my way to the timed applet later on is that I see a specific speed to shoot for; however, when the seconds tick on beyond the target time, mild disgruntlement ensues. But the puzzle has much to commend it, as does David Levinson Wilk's Sun crossword.

So, where did I get bogged down in the NYT crossword? Right in the first corner, trying to cross ACID and AWES instead of (the much better) WHIM and WOWS, and trying to wedge ROAR in instead of HOHO. And then I blanked on "Star Trek" actor Walter KOENIG. Commendable aspects: a 67-square NUMBERS theme (WHOLE, RATIONAL, REAL, and IMAGINARY), ASWOON and ENAMOR, and the aforementioned upper left corner. (There's another member of the "Hardly Anybody Who Doesn't Do Crosswords Has Ever Heard of Them" club here: NITA Naldi.)

Having no idea how long the Sun puzzle took anyone else, I was free to enjoy it unsullied by issues of competition. "How's That Again?" has one of those extended 15x16 grids, accommodating pairs of 16- and 12-letter theme entries. The term ZITCOM is perfect, and I'm glad to add it to my vocabulary. The always entertaining MTV show PUNK'D was a welcome inclusion in the crossword. Loved the clues for PRE-K ("First class, for short") and LOANS ("Poor students sometimes get them").


Donald Blocher's LA Times puzzle is good for all but the lactose-intolerant. • Helped along by SQUEEZE PLAY, Patrick Jordan's "Fill-osophy" for CrosSynergy is a pangram, as is Patrick's wont.