October 21, 2007

Monday, 10/22

NYS 3:05
NYT 2:55
LAT 2:55
CS 2:50

What do LAWRENCE WELK, CLAM BISQUE, and a FAIR AMOUNT have in common? Well, in Lynn Lempel's New York Times crossword, three of LITTLE BO PEEP's misplaced charges are hiding in those three answers: a EWE, LAMB, and RAM are split between words in the theme entries. Favorite fill: RAQUEL WELCH, NOSE JOB, RAZZ and MESTIZO not crossing each other, and the SALT I treaty (anyone else ever get nostalgic for the cold war? Sure, we feared nuclear holocaust, but cold wars are so much less bloody than hot ones). Those three Z's, a J, and a Q are joined by an X and three K's for an extra-Scrabbly Monday.


Sarah Keller's "Cross References" puzzle (CrosSynergy) includes four theme entries that are definitions of the word cross. The boxing blow, hybrid, and "you'd better not cross me" senses of the word are omitted, but the theme entries include a noun, verb, adjective, and proper noun (the PEN MANUFACTURER brand name).

Don Gagliardo's LA Times puzzle has a slew of 3-letter answers and a mild surfeit of black squares, yes, but it's also got six theme entries (in rows 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13) and a quartet of 7's. An easy enough Monday theme—phrases that end with -IEF words.

Sun update, Monday evening:

Mark Feldman's New York Sun crossword, "You Are What You Wear," elegantly groups five phrases in which a person is referred to as an item of apparel. For example, a STUFFED SHIRT, a TURNCOAT, a BRASS HAT, a SILK STOCKING, and a SMARTY-PANTS. The grid is well seasoned with the inclusion of four 10-letter entries in the fill.