January 09, 2007

Wednesday, 1/10

NYS 4:25
NYT 3:38
CS 3:32
LAT 3:11

(post updated 8:40 a.m. Wednesday)

There must be something in the water these days. Another quote puzzle that I actually like?? Unusual. The Sun crossword is a joint venture between Vic Fleming and Bonnie Gentry, and Curtis Yee made the NYT puzzle—I enjoyed both offerings.

The theme in Curtis's puzzle is a HOMER SIMPSON quote broken up into three long pieces and two short ones: JUST BECAUSE I / DON'T / CARE / DOESN'T MEAN I'M / NOT LISTENING. (This was something Homer said to his children.) Favorite parts of this puzzle: the Asian subtheme (HSING, KWAN, RAU, RANI, ANG LEE, JADE), good fill (LEMMINGS, OLD HAT, WKRP, KNOPF), The Fog of War director ERROL Morris (rent the DVD if you haven't seen it—a fascinating interview documentary with Robert McNamara), [Bud holders?] for STEINS, and [Famous Amos] for TORI.

Vic and Bonnie's Sun crossword, "Exterior Paint," has phrases enclosed in the letters that make up PAINT, such as the delicious PAIN AU CHOCOLAT. I admired the Scrabbly fill here—doubled up in MEZZO and FIXX, alongside HAZY and HAZEL, BEIJING and KOSOVO. There's also literature (the [Poe poem], TO HELEN) and pedantry (STRUNK of The Elements of Style renown). Two clues were particularly entertaining: [Lab coat discovery] for FLEA and [It sometimes has the poop] for DIAPER.


Some great fill in Randolph Ross's CrosSynergy puzzle, like BOOGIE and TIE-DYES. Van Vandiver's LA Times crossword includes four theme entries ending with anagrams of TOPS. It's a nice touch that three of the phrases sort of hint at the scrambling—TROUBLE SPOT, TRADING POST, and MELTING POTS. (I can't make WHISTLE STOP seem like part of a cryptic clue for TOPS, though.)