October 07, 2006

Sunday, 10/8

NYT 9:18
Boston Globe 8:44
WaPo 8:04
second Sunday 7:54
CS 3:47

Those of you in New York may doubt the veracity of what I am about to say, but it is possible to get good NYC-caliber bagels in the Chicago area. There's a joint with a few locations just north of the city called (naturally) New York Bagel and Bialy. I've bought their bagels from neighborhood places in the city, but Chicago-area folks should make the drive to Skokie, Niles, or Lincolnwood to get 'em where they're made. We bought a half dozen this evening, steaming hot—so fresh, they were still warm an hour later when we returned home from dinner at Ethiopian restaurant. What goes better with crosswords from New York than New York–style bagels?

Don't miss the second Sunday NYT puzzle this weekend, another of Eric Berlin's "Going Too Far" variety crosswords. In a "Going Too Far" puzzle, the black squares are gray and need to be filled in—some of the entries are too long for their allotted spaces and spill over into the gray square before or after an entry.

Fred Piscop's NYT puzzle for Sunday is called "Turnabout is Fair Play"; the theme flips the first and last words of assorted phrases. My favorite part of this puzzle was 48-Down, which doesn't appear too often in crosswords: the SOMA cube, [Popular block puzzle first put out in 1969]. When I was a kid, we had the blue plastic version; a wooden one with magnets is available at Amazon. Oh, how I loved to while away the time with that thing... There were also a couple medical words, one of which, EVULSE (clued as [Yank out]), shares five letters with the much more common avulse. Evulsion, my Stedman's Medical Dictionary tells me, is "a forcible pulling out or extraction," as of a tooth, whereas avulsion is "a tearing away or forcible separation." And then there's [Burst open] cluing DEHISCE; dehiscence is "a bursting open, splitting, or gaping along natural or sutured lines." Gruesome puzzle today!


Patrick Jordan's themeless CrosSynergy puzzle was easy as themelesses go. One entry contains the letter pair ZJ; I wonder if there are any other legitimate crossword entries featuring those letters together in that order.

Henry Hook's Boston Globe puzzle, "Changing Sides," has something that was missing from the print version, apparently—clues for the last three Down entries. So if you're a Bostonian and you were vexed by missing clues a few weeks ago, they're included now. I learned a new word in this puzzle; the answer to [Corniche] is ROAD, as in a road that winds along the side of a cliff. I suppose the Pacific coastal highway in California qualifies as a corniche?

The Washington Post puzzle by Jim Hyres uses an X in every theme entry, nicely upping the Scrabbleosity of the crossword.