I got a boost for David Kahn's Sunday NYT, "Comic Relief," from that Friday Sun crossword by Frank Longo that reminded me who some of the OSCAR EMCEEs have been. Like the Sun puzzle, the Kahn creation repurposed the emcees' last names in phrases in the theme entries. Excellent puzzle, with fill entries like MADAM, I'M ADAM as a bonus. I would have liked to have solved this one a little faster, but I'm feeling light-headed so really, I'm grateful just to have avoided passing out on the keyboard. (Which would totally muck things up in the applet, no?)
Paula Gamache's themeless CrosSynergy puzzle features four really nice interlocking 15-letter entries, plus it includes my favorite candy bar, the [Treat now called Snickers Almond in the U.S.]. I still think of it as the MARS BAR, just as it's still a $100,000 Bar rather than "100 Grand". (I would, however, accept a slangification to the "100 Large Bar.")
The LA Times syndicated puzzle by "Charlie Riley" ("really Richie" Norris) is called "Flosses," and the theme entries have an initial F loss. I know this theme was used sometime last year, maybe in a Sunday NYT or a Sun puzzle, but don't recall the specifics. (No, I don't mind if themes are repeated in new ways. And yes, I do remember people expressing confusion the previous time, at a loss to understand how "Floss" figured into the theme.) I like the idea of a LOUT CONVENTION, [Annual gathering of boors?]. Let us hope next month's American Crossword Puzzle Tournament does not fit that description.
Liked Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon's Boston Globe puzzle, "Playing House." (Speaking of House, my TiVo failed to record that recent episode with the 30-foot tapeworm. Drat! And I don't think the show can be downloaded from iTunes, which is unfortunate. Why isn't every show available from iTunes?)
February 25, 2007