Kudos to Alan Olschwang, maker of the Sun puzzle, "Lost Islands," and Kevan Choset, who constructed the NYT puzzle. I really enjoyed both crosswords, which set themselves apart from the ordinary offerings in different ways. In Olschwang's puzzle, the names of five islands (BALI, LEYTE, CRETE, IONA, and ELBA) are hidden within the theme entries. It's also notable for including the Motorola RAZR phone, the character PACEY from Dawson's Creek, and the disturbing term pro-ANA.
Choset's NYT puzzle also had five theme entries, four people (one of them fictional) with birds for last names tied together by LARRY BIRD. It's also notable for the large number of long entries in the fill (22 fills of 6 to 9 letters), offset (as they kinda have to be if it's not a low-word-count puzzle) by 31 3-letter entries. I'm not generally a fan of having so many short entries, and there's some clunky fill, but I enjoyed the puzzle and liked having so many long entries. (I can't help wondering if I'm the only one whose brain keeps seeing another S in ASCREAM...)
August 22, 2006
Posted by Orange at 9:43 PM