February 07, 2007

Thursday, 2/8

NYS 6:16
LAT 3:51
NYT 3:44
CS 3:07

(post updated at 8:45 a.m. Thursday)

The theme in Dan Reichert's NYT puzzle—two 10's, two 11's, and a 15-letter entry—kinda made me laugh a couple times, and Patrick Berry's Themeless Thursday in the Sun was rather tasty.

In the NYT, the theme involved converting CH- words to SH-words that rhyme with them. My favorite theme entries were [Cobblers' cause?], THE RIGHT TO SHOES, and [Comment on a woman from Copenhagen?], SHE'S DANISH. If you get your ERNES and terns mixed up, see the pictures of both birds here—the photo makes it obvious why the [Sea eagles] clue is appropriate.

The Berry Sun puzzle is anchored by two 14-letter titles (A MOVEABLE FEAST and AS GOOD AS IT GETS) linked by the BRONTES (I wish there were a literary dinosaur called the Brontesaurus). It's got phrasal verbs like TRAIL AWAY, ZEROED IN, CARDED IN (which is new to me) and TOSS ASIDE; pop culture names like NOLTE, PLATT, and pulpy CONAN the Barbarian; phrases like YOU WISH and TO WIT; OHIO STATE and the BEAU MONDE—so yeah, no shortage of interesting fill. The clues? Just as tasty. ["Waiting" is a palindrome in it] is MORSE (c'mon, how close were you to entering NORSE?)—I just did Peter Gordon's Morse-code crossword from this book and recommend that puzzle and the book it's in. [Sites of camel executions] is figure skating RINKS, not desert oases of cruelty. Other clues I commend include [Carbon] for COPY, [Adventure serial extras, often] for NATIVES, and [Common middle name for someone named Francis] for XAVIER.


If you're one of those who don't customarily do the Sun puzzle, here's a heads-up about tomorrow's offering from Patrick Blindauer. Mind you, I haven't solved it yet, but I hear good things. (I'm practicing my delayed-gratification skills by waiting all week.)

Thomas Schier's CrosSynergy puzzle features a quip—generally my least favorite variety of themed puzzle. This time, I do like the quip itself (and it splits nicely among the three lines): SOME MISTAKES / ARE TOO MUCH FUN TO / MAKE ONLY ONCE. I also liked the longer fill entries—DOORMATS (clued in its colloquial sense) and COMMANDO (not clued in its slangy sense of underwear-free). The [Shrubby evergreen plant] turned out to be PYXIE, which is a pretty shrub found in New Jersey, but apparently there's also a striped pyxie frog and the pyxie cup lichen.

Peter A. Collins' LA Times puzzle has four theme entries containing hidden FRUITs. What, no ORANGE? Let's see...what 9- or 10-letter phrase could ORANGE be embedded in? KORAN GENIE? WHO RAN GE, EH? COLOR ANGEL?