April 11, 2007

Thursday, 4/12

NYS 6:02
Jonesin' 4:23
NYT 4:17
LAT 3:50
CS 3:06

(updated at 8:55 a.m. and 8 p.m. Thursday)

Oddly enough, I have no new Tyler Hinman media exposure to report. We've covered a major urban newspaper, a major city's radio station, and a major city's marquee public TV program in the last few days; I await word that a magazine is profiling Tyler.

Are you like me? Did it take you a while to make sense out of the theme in Jim Page's NYT crossword? I am not averse to COMEDY CENTRAL, but the other theme entries had nothing to do with the cable channel. They did, however, contain a comedian's name in the center (Lucille BALL, Bob HOPE, Chris ROCK, and Jay-not-funny-anymore LENO). Of the various definitions of HASH(ED), the one I'm least familiar with is the verb meaning "to make a mess of." HASHED crossed the NEOSHO River at its H, which was a tricky crossing. [Neighbor of Hi and Lois] was a hard clue for IRMA; I used to read the strip and recall no neighbors. (I can picture Cora Dithers, though, so I don't mind encountering her in the crossword.) Raise your hand if you decided lava was MOLTEN long before you conceded that it was SPEWED (does all lava spew, or does some of it just ooze?) Gruesome word of the day: FLENSE, clued as [Strip off, as skin] and pertaining to whales.

The Sun crossword by Alan Olschwang offers another take on a different puzzle from this week. Ben Tausig's "Water Supply" had theme entries containing HHO, whereas Olschwang's "Waterlogged" squeezes those letters into H2O rebus squares joining eight theme entries. (My son saw HHO in a few squares in the Across Lite puzzle and was intrigued. It is never too early to learn about rebus puzzles!) I don't recall seeing SLEUT[HHO]UND before, but it's here, along with SOUT[H HO]LLAND (a region of the Netherlands, but also a suburb 14 miles from my mom's. LARA is also a state in Venezuela (speaking of estados, I saw my first Mexican license plate on a car in Chicago the other day—Durango plates).


Randolph Ross's CrosSynergy puzzle, "Catching a Few Z's," reminded me a bit of Tyler Hinman's first Onion A.V. Club puzzle back in November, though Tyler was changing word endings to -ZZLE, à la Snoop Dogg while Ross is inserting ZZ into the theme entries (two of which include a -ZZLE). In addition to the eight Z's included in the theme, there's another Z and two X's in the fill—and one of the theme clues uses the word pizzazz. Trip Payne sings hosannas to the letter Q, but I gotta say, there's just something about Z.

And one more:

Matt Jones' Jonesin' crossword this week is called "Oink Oink." The theme is a riddle that seems targeted to a nine-year-old's sense of humor—you know how kids gte hooked on joke books and will tell jokes they don't even understand? This puzzle's highlight was ALMOND clued as [Part of some Snickers bars]; I fell in love with the Mars Bar, but have followed it to its new home as the Snickers Almond, and now I'm in the mood for one (insert Homeresque "Mmm, Mars Bar..."). I also liked HEROES clued with reference to the NBC series, GUIDO Sarducci from SNL, the PERMs of the '80s (yep, I had one), and SCYTHE clued as [Prop for the Grim Reaper] (the Grim Reaper is a character on The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy; he lost a limbo contest and is doomed to spend his days with a dim boy and a bossy girl, and he's got a Caribbean accent).