April 06, 2007

Saturday, 4/7

NYT 8:04
LAT 7:04
Newsday 3:29
CS 3:25

(updated at 9:40 a.m. Saturday)

Newsflash! The Chicago Sun-Times published an article about that local chap who won the ACPT. Yes, the headline falls back on the old trope of "Top puzzler, 11 letters," but the article branches out to describing Tyler Hinman's solving speed in terms of distance traveled. Tyler likes to finish early-week NYT crosswords within four blocks (a half mile) on the El, worst-case scenario, eight blocks. (Although the CTA's doing some platform construction now, and El travel times are slower—Tyler may be finishing crosswords in less distance.)

Kinda tough Saturday NYT crossword from Michael Shteyman, nyet? Nine 15-letter entries (2/3/2 sets going across, crossed by 1/1 going down), and not a one of them had a clue that gave me the answer quickly. Favorite nuggets: THE URGE; [Like some wine]/[Like wine] for OAKY and AGED; [Musical circles?] for CDS; THINKING OUT LOUD; IN A PERFECT WORLD; DON'T BE A STRANGER; EVENING RUSH HOUR; [95 for Am or 100 for Fm: Abbr.] for AT NO; [Go with] for PICK; [Salon job, informally] for EDIT; [Plantation head?] for TRANS (as in transplantation); [Capable, facetiously] for EPT; and the Iranian double-play of SHIA and SHAHS. Sweet construction, but I had trouble tuning into Michael's wavelength on this one.


The bottom section of Lynn Lempel's themeless LA Times crossword is anchored by the phrase PECK'S BAD BOY, which I'd never heard of before. Late 19th-century books, a 1921 silent film, and a 1934 talkie—a bit before my time. The phrase (clued here as [Mischief-maker]) is in the dictionary, though. (The E crossed the last name of someone I didn't know, [Former MSNBC anchor Randy] MEIER, who could just as well have been MAIER crossing PACK's. Lucky guess.) Favorite clues: [It might get rid of a pain in the neck] for ANACIN (though really, ibuprofen would be better for that); [Triumphant cry] for YES; [Fast prelude] for MARDI GRAS; [Hamburguesa, por ejemplo] for CARNE; and [Eponymous coastal Cuban village] for DAIQUIRI.

Much easier themeless offering from Daniel Stark's Newsday Saturday Stumper.