October 20, 2006

Saturday, 10/21

NYT 5:31
LAT 5:07
Newsday 3:59
CS 3:43

Good to see that David Quarfoot either is constructing puzzles more prolifically, or has more of his accepted puzzles floating to the top of Will's stack. His themeless creations never fail to please me (except that one time when I found his work uncommonly challenging, but other people—harrumph!—did not). I'm pleased not to have nodded off mid-solve, because I ordered out for Thai tonight and accompanied my dinner with an absolutely adorable juice box of wine, and I'd been thinking it was a single serving, but really, 250 mL is closer to two servings. If you've never sipped wine directly from a wee box, you've got to try it. No stemware to wash! Anyway...the NYT crossword. One clue/answer combo made me laugh out loud—that'd be [___ hoppen?!] I saw A Mighty Wind just a few weeks ago, so Fred Willard's catchphrase, "WHA' hoppen?!" was fresh in my mind. That colloquialism is joined here by I'M ON IT (the line to the boss), LET 'ER RIP (the line of encouragement), LIAR, LIAR (...pants on fire), and GO POSTAL. [It may be found in an elevator] turns out not to be love but rather, WHEAT. Equally noncolloquial is the answer to [Vaporize]: AERIFY (which can also mean "aerate"). SCOP is a great word for [Old English poet], isn't it? And [Peel provider], 6 letters ending in A, I had pegged as BANANA but it turned out to be DAY SPA. The use of the verb form PISHED (as opposed to the interjection pish) seems to be a thing of the past. The last one I'll mention is another favorite here: [Matching pair, informally] is HIS 'N' HERS. In sum, wha' hoppen?! David Quarfoot turned out yet another entertaining themeless crossword, that's what.


Daniel Stark's Newsday Saturday Stumper was smooth, but not particularly likely to stump solvers—the easiest Stumper in many a week.