December 24, 2007

Tuesday, 12/25

Tausig 5:30
Onion 4:42
NYT 4:03 (typo!)

D'oh! Having completed Santa Clausian duties (my husband's still hooking up the Wii), I settled in for Nancy Salomon's timely New York Times Christmas puzzle. That little typo won't ruin the holiday, though. Sure, [Hit the jackpot] could be past or present tense, and I opted for present without troubling myself to read the clue for the crossing, much less to notice that IVAL isn't a word. OVAL! Of course, I opted to scan the grid in the downward direction looking for the typo—bad choice. Anyway...the theme is "Merry Christmas" in French (JOYEUX NOEL), Danish (HAAGEN DAZS—no, wait, I mean GLAEDELIG JUL), Spanish (FELIZ NAVIDAD, Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad—sing it with me!), and Italian (BUON NATALE). There's a double play in the clue for RED SEA—[It had a notable part in Exodus], as in parting of the waters. Favorite entries: MUD BATHS, FLY-BY, DREAM JOBS, AVOCADO. I don't know that I like EVEN OFF as a verb phrase—I would even something out rather than off. But maybe that's just me.


Oh! I had sort of decided I was skipping the LAT and CrosSynergy puzzles today, but eventually remembered that I did want to solve the Onion and Tausig puzzles.

Brendan Emmett Quigley's Onion A.V. Club puzzle has a timely theme, too: Crapalicious Christmas presents one might have received. Here are a woebegone SUDOKU TIE and a dreadful pair of REINDEER SOCKS. The HOMEMADE SWEATER has potential, but the knitter's gotta be up your alley. If Space Invaders captivates you, you might like this sweater. The ABS OF STEEL DVD would be a fine thing to purchase for yourself, if you like that sort of thing, but getting it as a gift? Would suck. I heard an interview on public radio about Southern Supreme's FRUITCAKE, supposedly edible (first ingredient pineapple, contains no chewy radioactive green bits). The fill here is nuttier than a fruitcake—TOMSK is a [Siberian industrial center], it seems, and UNPEEL is not a word. A [Certain geneticist] isn't Mendel at all, but a CLONER, and that duped me. Things I liked: BAKED HAM appears opposite a rapper's EMCEEING skills. MACAQUES and FAUX jack up the Scrabble score.

Ben Tausig's Chicago Reader/Ink Well puzzle, "Knock It Off!", has bastardized brand names that might be used for counterfeit designer goods. If you're not up on your fakes, you'll need the crossings to know where the names have been changed. We've got a KATIE SPADE PURSE (Kate Spade), LEVY'S JEANS (Levi's), ROLAX WATCH (Rolex), and GUCHI SUNGLASSES (Gucci). Like the BEQ Onion puzzle, quite Scrabbly, but not a ton of fun for me. I am really tired, though, even at 6:20 in the evening. Plumb tuckered out from staying up late as Santa and playing Wii bowling this afternoon, I guess...