Yay! We can usher in the new year—or New Year's Eve, anyway—with a Lynn Lempel Monday New York Times crossword. I loved this puzzle while I was solving it despite having no clue what tied the theme entries together. So it was sort of an ex post facto solving experience, peering at the long entries afterwards to figure out what the theme is. A day at the office! IRON FILING, TOP BILLING, NAME CALLING, and BLOOD TYPING. (No stenography.) The fill has a lightness of spirit that I like—SCADS crossing SKIDS, TANG orange breakfast drink (oh, how I loved Tang when I was a '70s kid), NOT A WHIT crossing CHORTLE, a resounding SPLAT atop SPIELS, SAFETIES in football, and opera at THE MET.
Stella Daily and Bruce Venzke chart out a "New Year's Eve" in their CrosSynergy puzzle. HAVE A NICE DINNER at 8:00, move on to DRINK CHAMPAGNE and then SEE THE BALL DROP at midnight, and by 2 a.m., you may lose all inhibition and DANCE ON THE TABLE. The [Zoo landscaping feature] MOAT has been in the news in recent days—eek!
Samantha Wine's LA Times crossword has a rEAsonably EAsy theme—two-word phrases (well, one's a compound word) in which the EA vowel pair appears in both parts. The theme entries aren't so long, but there are six of them. Best entries in the fill: PUB CRAWL, QUEEG (one of several Scrabbly words), the NY POST, RATED R, and the ATKINS diet.
December 30, 2007