The Crossword Fiend will be out of town Saturday night. I may not get a chance to do the NYT crossword before Sunday night (do you want your Fiend to ditch her family and hang out at the wifi hotspot at a BP gas station?), and John Farmer may or may not guest-blog about the NYT on Saturday night. Feel free to talk about assorted Sunday puzzles in the comments here and/or in John's guest post. Enjoy your weekend!
Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon's online Boston Globe puzzle, "Bad to the Bone," has a theme that tickled my funny bone—puns using the Latinate names of bones. Hooray for medical terminology! I breezed through this one. Good vibe to the fill overall—much freshness and light.
Merl Reagle's Philadelphia Inquirer puzzle is also a breeze. The theme is the sort of music theme I like—no technical musical knowledge required, just an ear for pop culture and pop music. All the theme entries in "The Ultimate iPod Menu" are edible song titles (or a couple items of tableware that are also band names). Fun!
Robert Wolfe's Washington Post crossword, "Autosuggestions," takes seven words or phrases and tacks on a word that goes with the ends of those phrases to make a car part. The resultant answers are clued in silly ways, befitting the nonsensicalness of the theme entries. [Curb on an actor?] is TOM CRUISE CONTROL, for example. (Which his handlers were probably wishing for right around the time of the Oprah couch-leaping episode.)
Updated Sunday night:
I did Liz Gorski's New York Times puzzle in the paper this morning. As I've already written in the comments on this post, for a while I thought the theme wasn't too impressive, but then I noticed the full force of the theme and was duly wowed. In "Go With the Flow," each long theme entry contains a state name (which I'd initially thought were lesser-known rivers), crossed by a shorter entry that's the name of a river that traverses that state. The mighty MISSISSIPPI, aptly enough, is so big it crosses both TENNESSEE and MISSOURI. These are all tied together by the movie title, A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT. A geographical theme plus an allusion to a Brad Pitt movie? That's a winning combination. Best fill: CAROL ALT, MAY I GO NOW, ONE-SHOT, OSLO FJORD, STALL OUT, and NO REALLY.
Harvey Estes' LA Times Syndicate crossword, "In the Cradle," puts a TOT to bed in each theme entry. All the theme entries follow the [something]TO T[something] format. Fun puzzle, fairly breezy.
Patrick Jordan's themeless CrosSynergy puzzle must be one of the easiest themeless puzzles I've done. Two nice 15s, JACKRABBIT START and MASQUERADE PARTY, amid a sea of 7-letter entries—such as [Wilcox's 1970s costar], Erik ESTRADA.
October 13, 2007