December 05, 2007

Wednesday, 12/5

NYS 5:04
NYT 3:34
LAT 3:22
CS 3:14

Am I the only one who sees Allan Parrish's byline on a crossword and thinks of Jumanji? (Different spelling of the first name, but it sounds the same in the movie.) The Allan Parrish not portrayed by Robin Williams has constructed the New York Times puzzle for Wednesday. Given the number of typos I'm catching as I write this post, I'm amazed I made it through the crossword alive. The theme, as given in 71-Across, is DEER. The theme entries include JOHN DOE in the middle, HINDQUARTER and STAGFLATION going across, and UNCLE BUCK (I am not ashamed to say I loved that movie) and COREY HART (I would be ashamed to say that I loved "Sunglasses at Night") going down. This time, DHARMA is clued as [Teachings of Buddha] rather than evoking the sitcom Dharma and Greg. A little Scrabbly action with ARNAZ beside OUIJA and QUAILS and JITNEY crossing theme entries.

The New York Sun puzzle by Mark Feldman...I paid no attention to any "Pictures of Pants" theme while solving. It's late, I'm tired, trivia night kicked my butt, there was beer, and it's past my bedtime. The theme entries in this plus-sized crossword (15x16) are movies that end with kinds of pants—STRANGE CARGO, SOME LIKE IT HOT, TWO-WAY STRETCH, and ALL NIGHT LONG, the latter two being movies I swear I've never heard of. Also, my brother-in-law grew up calling pants "long pants," and my sister has (rightfully, in our opinion) mocked this. They're just pants. The Streisand movie does indeed sound Razzie-worthy (i.e., lousy). An IMDb user calls the STRETCH movie Peter Sellers' best, and yet it's completely unknown to me.


Robert E. Lee Morris's LA Times crossword embeds NFL (59-Down) in each theme entry. 59-Down's clue is [HBO's "Inside the ___" (and hidden theme in this puzzle's four longest answers)], so there's the extra fillip of the "inside" connection. Those four long answers are CORN FLAKES, IAN FLEMING, SKIN FLICK, and a GREEN FLAG in auto racing. Other flavorful entries and clues: GAS PEDAL, the singer JEWEL, CHILE clued as [Country that's nearly 25 times as long as its average width], JEREMIAH (clued as the Bible book, alas, and not ["___ was a bullfrog"]), SPICE UP, and JANE Austen. I had never heard of the [Prestone competitor] ZEREX, an antifreeze/coolant—but with a Z and and X in it, it is welcome in my crossword.

Bruce Venzke and Stella Daily's CrosSynergy puzzle has a quip theme: I SOMETIMES / STOP TO THINK / AND FORGET TO / START AGAIN / BURMA SHAVE. No, wait, I made up that last part. I Googled I sometimes stop to think and forget and got a grand total of one hit: a 22-year-old Australian's MySpace page.