November 13, 2006

Tuesday, 11/14

Onion 4:31
NYS 4:24
Tausig 4:13
CS 3:29
NYT 3:09
LAT 3:07

(post updated at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday)

I'm almost done with David Levinson Wilk's first book, Really Clever Crosswords. One of the puzzles I did today wowed me. The theme clues were as follows:

[Proverb lover's translation of "quando"?] (10)
[Book lover's translation of "morte"?] (13)
[Movie lover's translation of "Da time when da leaves toin"?] (15)
[BMW lover's translation of "hergestellt"?] (13)
[Within a larger phrase, a rebuke lover's translation of "cha"?] (10)

The sequel is due out next June—I may need to add that to my Amazon cart. (He's also got a Sip & Solve book, but I can't see doing easyish small puzzles when the hard small puzzles take so little time as it is.)

Bonus puzzle! Go to the Scientific American website to download Patrick Merrell's topsy-turvy crossword, "Set Theory." Half the grid and clues are upside down, and wait 'til you see what happens where the two sets of answers intersect!

I can scarcely believe I made it through Sarah Keller's NYT crossword unscathed. My keyboard has entered some sort of a warp state in which I have difficulty typing things correctly. (What? It's gotta be the keyboard. Can't be me.) She's got a theme with four things that share this trait: THEY CAN BE SPIKED. I like those meaty-looking 5x5 corner sections.

Tony Orbach's Sun puzzle, "Funny Paper Names," gathers the newspaper names we wish existed: LITTLE ROCK STAR, BELFAST TIMES (at Ridgemont High)—wait, that one actually exists—CARLSBAD NEWS, and MOUNT SNOW GLOBE. Bonus points to the constructor for MOXIE, which I wish people said I had a lot of. And who doesn't love to be reminded of William WEGMAN and his Weimaraners?


Matt Gaffney's first Onion/A.V. Club puzzle was sent out from Google Groups today. The theme's got five anagrams of two Sacha Baron Cohen characters (BORAT/ALI G). The fill entertained and surprised me—everything from UMBRO brand soccer gear and the slangy THANG, "My name is INIGO Montoya" from The Princess Bride, DITTOS (How old does one have to be to have hands-on experience with pre-photocopy dittos? I even generated a questionnaire for a high-school project and used the ditto machine myself. Does this mean I'm old?), TAMPONS—cleverly clued as [Period pieces?]!—and LIKE ASS (see this reference and scroll down to ass for usage examples).

Ben Tausig's Ink Well puzzle may well represent the first time I've seen ZOMBIFY in a crossword. (It's also got BIMBO and GEORGE W.) The "Dually Noted" theme takes the letters that symbolize musical notes and displays them in seven pairs in which the first one ends the first word and the second starts the second word (as in GIF FILE).