February 20, 2007

Wednesday, 2/21

NYS 5:13
NYT 4:41
CS 3:30
LAT 3:06

(post updated at 8:50 a.m. Wednesday)

Just as Tuesday's puzzle felt a little Wednesdayish to me (though there were others who posted obnoxiously Tuesdayish applet times), Elizabeth Gorski's NYT Wednesday crossword took me a Thursdayish amount of time. The theme, which is both deddy- and doddy-free, includes WHO'S YOUR DADDY (which I think of as more a "jeer from the opposing team's fans" than a [Slangy question from a benefactor, maybe]), the song DO WAH DIDDY DIDDY, and an OLD FUDDY DUDDY. Look at all the down entries that rock: BOTSWANA! GOO GOO! HOW-TO BOOKS (yes, I have that link bookmarked)! PEDAGOGY AT DAWN! (That's two entries, and that's also too early for class.) You'd hold a GRUDGE if you HATED something. Favorite clues: [Wine and dine, say] for WOO (anyone else go for WOW first?), [Thing that doesn't go off without a hitch?] for U-HAUL, [Soreness?] for GRUDGE, [In great disfavor] for HATED, and [20-20, e.g.] for DRAW.

The Sun crossword is by Fred Sabanella (is this a debut?). It's called "Now Showing: Best Picture Oscar Winners," and the five theme entries have an Oscar-winning movie title embedded within. I like the assorted doubling-up: Nick Charles' dog ASTA and wife NORA; OUGHTA and OUTTA; PAMELA and SHARON (neither clued as [Girl's name popular in the '50s], but rather as a book and a statesman). The clue for EDEN, [Garden of good and Eve?], puts me in mind of Grant Goodeve, the dreamboat in the back row of this picture of the Eight is Enough cast.


Doug Peterson packs an easy LA Times puzzle with an armoire's worth of lively fill.

Randall Hartman's "Ott Couples" puzzle from CrosSynergy switches a double-D to a double-T. Most of the theme entries had obvious roots, but BETTING PLANT left me at sea. "Bedding plant"? So I looked it up: bedding plants are those annuals that bloom like mad and are used to pack a flower bed with color. Think of impatiens, petunias, and marigolds, sold as plants that are ready to go rather than as seeds or seedlings that have to develop for weeks before blooming.