January 12, 2007

Saturday, 1/13

LAT 5:47
NYT 5:25
Newsday 4:44
CS 3:00

(post updated, ever so briefly, at 8:45 a.m. Saturday)

Patrick Berry's 66-word NYT crossword has just two question-marked clues—me, I rather like to have a bunch of twisted clues in a Saturday puzzle. However, the fill was smooth as silk—just one term I didn't know ([Kerosene] is COAL OIL? Okey-doke.), and none of the trumped-up entries that make people grumble. You know the type—the RE- and -ERS word formations. Instead, we get a little bit of pop culture: the 1956 cult film from Japan, RODAN, crossing the Elton John song SAD SONGS. My favorite bits here include the clue [Hospital dogsbody] for NURSE'S AIDE (here's what dogsbody means), [People in trees] for ANCESTORS, the double frosting ([Frosted] for GLACÉ, [Frost lines] for POEM), [Ticks] for MOMENTS (BUG BITE is entirely separate!), [They make tracks] for PAWS, [One that picks up the kids] for BABY MONITOR, TOWN MOUSE, [Napoleon, e.g.] for CORSICAN, [Cross references?] for BIBLES, [Detectives check them] for ALIBIS (I learned today that the word alibi means "elsewhere"), and [Still] being the adjectival AT REST rather than the verb ARREST. Mmm, yes, it would appear that I liked a lot of stuff in this one. And I did. And even without question marks, there was plenty of clue interpretation needed.


At 7-Across, Barry Silk's LA Times puzzle includes one of my favorite geographic place names—only somewhat sullied by the Billy Joel song.