(updated at 9:30 a.m. Monday)
Well, eventually the NYT applet started working for the Sunday puzzle, so my guess is a technical snafu rather than an April Fools trick. It's still April Fools Day now that the Monday puzzle's been launched, and that works just fine.
The theme in Richard Hughes' NYT crossword is LATIN / LOVER, with three 15-letter Latin phrases, plus nota BENE and some words clued in non-Latin contexts, like TOTO (in toto) and DIES (Dies Irae). Fashion update for Messrs. Hughes and Shortz: a CAMISOLE is seldom a [Woman's sheer undergarment] these days. Cotton camis are everywhere now (and no, I would never ever wear the one in that link).
Now, I'm no big fan of baseball, but I loved Alex Boisvert's Sun puzzle. (I'm sure one of you can tell me why the title is "10 Baggers.") It's got HITS FOR THE CYCLE intersected by SINGLE-USE CAMERA, DOUBLE-DIP, TRIPLE SEC, HOMER JAY SIMPSON, and—as a wee bonus—TATER. (That's right: A vertical 15-letter theme entry crossed by five others!) The fill includes three X's, a Z, and a Q, plus AMY and a refreshing SLURPEE. I was thinking that IUD was one of those entries more likely to pop up in the Sun than in the typically more staid NYT crossword, yet the Cruciverb database insists that three of its five prior appearances were in the NYT.
Harvey Estes' CrosSynergy puzzle, "Unequal Footing," is a wide-open 70-worder with two 8x4 corners. The vertical theme entries are things that have three, four, and five feet (as in 12 inches, extremities at the end of legs, and iambs). I usually love Harvey's work (there are a few of his puzzles in my book), but this one—despite its impressive expanses of white space—didn't seem as lively as most of his crosswords.
Dan Naddor's LA Times crossword is, yes, another baseball-themed one. ('Tis the season, and no longer the preseason.) There are five baseball strategies in the theme, including the Scrabbly SUICIDE SQUEEZE and the unfamiliar (to me) DOUBLE STEAL. A solid Monday puzzle—plenty of short words, but a lot of theme squares (65) and no entries that made me frown by reason of crosswordese.
April 01, 2007