November 09, 2007

Saturday, 11/10

NYT 7:48

The Fiend will not have time to blog about non-NYT puzzles for Saturday. Sunday-puzzle blogging may have to wait until after dinner and fun in the Pacific time zone, or maybe Sunday morning. Sunday night will be free for Monday-puzzle blogging, but Monday will bring laptopless confinement in the green room.

The Saturday NYT crossword details, after the cut.

It's been a while since I've seen Dana Motley's byline, and here it is on the New York Times crossword. Wow, there were a lot of spots to get snagged in, weren't there? I fell for [Oil holder] down in the bottom, thinking CRUET rather than the correct EASEL. What's a [Part of the earth's outer layer]? CRUST? No. PLATE! No idea what the [Target of a rabbit punch] was—a CHIN? No. NECK? No. NAPE! (Really? Huh.) [Roger Hornsby's nickname, with "the"] was tricky because I never heard of him—his nickname is RAJAH, and he may play baseball. (Cool to have a non-[Indian prince] clue.) The [Leon who won both a Pulitzer and a National Book Award in 1963] escaped me—URIS? No. AUEL? No. EDEL! Is the [Following group] a SECT? Nope, CULT. How about that [Light carriage with a folding top]—SURREY? No, CALASH.

Favorite entries: GRASS STAIN (clued as [Knee problem], v. tricky if you had the -AIN at the end and thought of strains and sprains); QUIZ SHOW ([It has valuable questions]) crossing BONANZA ([Windfall]); JOURNALESE ([Some cliched writing]); TOADIES ([Hangers-on]); and DEBONAIR ([Jaunty]). The Debonair Toadies would be a good name for a band.

Favorite and/or toughest clues: [Smith, e.g.] for ARTISAN (as in a silversmith); [Symbols of freshness] for DAISIES; [Senior ctr.?] for SCH (as in the senior class goes to school); [Garage alternative] for SHED (alternative for tool storage, maybe, rather than cars?); [Other drivers (never you, of course)] for IDIOTS; [Like Y, e.g.] for NEXT TO LAST; [Character lineup] for the letters RST (blah); [___ francese] for ALLA (is this Italian for food made in the French style?); [Maker of a historic touchdown] for the EAGLE that landed on the moon; [Iota] promoted from entry to clue, for SHRED; [Feature of many a big do] for TEASED HAIR; [Neighbor of Monterey Park, briefly] for EAST L.A. (I don't think I'll make it over that way); [Filling stations?] for EATERIES; [Had a causerie] for CHATTED; [#1 best sellers] for SMASHES; the verb [Apes] for PARROTS; ["Right?"] for IS IT NOT; [Some materiél for ARMS; [Mexican uncle?] for Roberto Duran's NO MAS; [Halite, chemically] for NACL

Foodstuff that dampens my appetite: [Vegetable oil, e.g.] for ESTER and [Soft, high-fiber dish] for MASHED PEAS. ZITI ([Fusilli alternative]) would be more appetizing if it didn't start with zit.