September 17, 2006

Monday the 18th

NYS 3:42
LAT 2:53
CS 2:44
NYT 2:26

Whoo-hoo! I don't know for sure, but I think this could be the fastest I've ever finished an NYT crossword. Dave Tuller did a great job constructing it—four theme entries at a Monday level, 8- and 9-letter fill entries, and a smattering of...words with Scrabbly letters (e.g., JOGS, KIOSK, WIZARD). The theme's sweet, with GENTLE BEN (which I last saw dubbed in German on an Austrian TV channel in the '90s), WARM WELCOME, TENDER MERCY, and KIND WORDS. Those long fill phrases are top-notch, too—LOCH NESS and AS I RECALL, WIND CHIME and RED CROSS. The word FETID, by the way, is etymologically unrelated to fetus or feta cheese.

Bonnie Gentry and Vic Fleming constructed the Sun puzzle, "Lullaby of Broadway," which is heavy on the high-Scrabble-count letters (a whopping total of 13 Z's, X's, K's, or J's)—Peter Gordon seems to welcome such puzzles, and so do I. I hadn't even heard of the middle theme entry, The DROWSY CHAPERONE—apparently I'm behind the curve when it comes to Broadway musicals. So what else is new?


In his CrosSynergy puzzle, Harvey Estes works in five theme entries plus a dozen 7-, 8-, and 9-letter fill entries.