Happy Labor Day! I caught my mother-in-law calling the day Memorial Day—which is exactly what I've been doing for weeks. It comes out right in "Ben starts school right after Labor Day," but most other uses, I find myself saying Memorial Day. Really, they're the same holiday. One end of the summer barbecuing season, a Monday, and an official observance that's largely ignored by all the people enjoying a long weekend.
Sarah Keller's New York Times crossword goes the anagram route for a theme: five phrases that begin with words made out of the letters AELST. She leaves out setal, which is a legitimate word but would ruin the puzzle, instead including SALES, LEAST, STALE, SLATE, and TALES. Oh! TESLA COIL could have been an electrifying 9-letter entry to replace SLATE ROOF. 4-Down here is the [Legendary sunken island], ATLANTIS. Who remembers the late-'70s TV show, Man from Atlantis? A pre-Dallas Patrick Duffy with webbed digits and the ability to swim like a merman. My husband spent our Florida trip swimming underwater like the Man from Atlantis, to great acclaim (from me).
Reminder: There's no NY Sun crossword for the day since the Sun doesn't publish on holidays.
Well, I'm late getting back to the crosswords. I had to clean out the fridge—how many half-empty jars of mustard does one man need? The answer turns out to be zero. There was one jar of something or other that expired August 26...of 1999. Holy crap, when's the last time I purged the fridge? At least eight years ago? Remind me not to let so much time lapse before the next go-round. I should be ready by about 2011. After fridge cleaning came shoe shopping—a boy embarking on second grade needs splendid new shoes. And then a little grilling.
Speaking of "Back to School" issues, that's the title of Rich Norris's CrosSynergy crossword, with school ___ phrases tied to the theme entries, such as HOUSE ARREST and ROOM SERVICE. Fll highlights: every parent's mantra, I SAID NO; CHEEZIT crackers; OEUVRES and GEYSERS with their unusual letter sequences.
I also liked Timothy Meaker's LA Times puzzle with FIRST, ORIGINAL, MAIDEN, and INITIAL ____ theme entries. A fresh feeling to the clues and fill—HALLE Berry and AVRIL Lavigne from movies and music; Cesar ROMERO from the old Batman series and TV financial show talker Suze ORMAN; [It doesn't feel good to be green around them] for GILLS.
September 02, 2007