October 18, 2006

Thursday, 10/19

NYT 4:47
LAT 4:47
NYS 4:43
CS 3:10

Two fine Thursday offerings from the Times and the Sun. The NYT's printed version has a format twist that's not accommodated as elegantly by the applet or Across Lite, so if you're an NYT online puzzle subscriber, consider downloading it in .pdf form to get the full effect.

In Raymond Young's NYT, every down/across pair of entries that share a number (i.e., the NW corner of any section that has such a corner) shares a single clue, so that [Singer Jackson] is both JANET and JOE, and for [Sprite flavor], "lymon" has been torn asunder into its LEMON and LIME components; there are four other such pairs. This crossword seems to be challenging applet solvers—perhaps it's because of things like LAKE BASS, Hazel's MR B, the we-should-totally-use-this-phrase JEU D'ESPRIT, the technical OLEATES, and the "Who?" guys, ERROL Le Cain and Ken ERNST. My favorite clue was [Part of a Southern network]; GOOD OL' BOY eluded me until I had plenty of crossings.

Jeffrey (“Jangler”) Harris crafted the Sun Themeless Thursday puzzle. Cute mini-theme, with GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS and THREE TIMES A LADY (the latter always reminds me, of course, of "Fee Tines a Mady."). My favorite bits of fill were J'ACCUSE (which is a catchphrase of sorts in my household, always with accompanying gestures) and PROLIX (we need more words ending with X). The website for ELLESSE Italia has a short movie spotlighting the tennis attire they sell, but who wears high heels with tennis garb? And that's an awful deep kiss for people dressed for tennis. They might transmit disease that way—much like the tsetse fly. (Segue!) The clue for TSETSES is [Nagana carriers]; the Wikipedia article on nagana, or animal African trypanosomiasis, suggests that the disease kept horses and the soldiers they carried out of much of the continent.


Alan Olschwang's LA Times puzzle includes a defining entry split in two, with the second part up top and the first part at the bottom—WOOD/WORK, cuing you to find TREE, BRANCH, TWIG, and STICK embedded within the theme entries. Who knew there was such a thing as MULTI-BRAN CHEX cereal? Plenty of fiber, but the second ingredient is sugar! Oh, and here's what an INRO is.