December 18, 2006

Tuesday, 12/19

Tausig 5:00
NYS 4:21
LAT 3:46
Onion 3:37
CS 3:29
NYT 3:01

(post updated at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday)

I'm too tired to concoct a fascinating but spoiler-free introductory paragraph to lure in the reader. (You may ask, "And how does this differ from any other day?") So, on with the specifics:

I enjoyed Sarah Keller's NYT crossword, which toys with silent K by adding it to the front of four phrases that start with N (one of those N's is shared by a silent-G word, GNAW). [Feudal tribunal?], for example, is KNIGHT COURT. If you liked '60s and '70s TV and Mr. Magoo, check out Jim BACKUS's IMDb page. I read up a little on Lucretia Mott when she showed up in a couple crosswords recently, and now it's Carrie Chapman CATT's turn—she worked on women's suffrage and founded the League of Women Voters. I many more deadly E COLI outbreaks before the bacterium's banned from crosswords?

Dave Tuller's Sun 15x16 puzzle is called "Working Animals," and it's got five professional-sounding beasties: the PILOT WHALE, NURSE SHARK, and SURGEONFISH (related to the blue tang, like Dory in Finding Nemo) all patrolling the waters and the CARPENTER ANT and gory BUTCHERBIRD plying their trade on land. A couple dozen 6-, 7-, and 8-letter words adorn the fill in this accomplished puzzle.


Ben Tausig's Ink Well/Chicago Reader crossword, "Way in Front," gathers phrases that start with BACK, LEFT, RIGHT, and FORWARD, all used as verbs rather than directions in the theme entries. A most edjumicational puzzle, as I learned several new words: a band from MontrĂ©al called ARCADE FIRE, the anime term SEME, and a basketball player's nickname (T-MAC is Tracy McGrady). Oh, and apparently VOX is a [Wah-wah pedal maker]. I like how the NE and SW corners each have three 7-letter entries stacked up alongside a theme entry—lotta white space for a themed puzzle.

Matt Jones goes RETRO with his Onion A.V. Club puzzle, "Go Ask Santa"—kids' Christmas wishes from a song, TV show, and movie. Good 8-letter entries in the fill—THAT MAY BE, IS IT SAFE, NO PICNIC, etc.