February 22, 2008

Questions about the Tribune Media Services crossword

I've been corrresponding with C.C., a new blogger who's been blogging about the crossword in the Minneapolis Star Tribune for a month. It appears that the puzzle the Strib prints in the paper is the TMS crossword edited by Wayne Robert Williams (the website has the Universal puzzle). Can anyone confirm that the TMS crossword does not become progressively more challenging as the week goes on, in contrast to the NYT and LA Times?

And do you know why the same answer would have different clues on the Chicago Tribune website vs. in the Minneapolis paper? C.C. sees LHASA clued as [Tibetan capital] in her paper, but the Chicago Tribune site has it clued [Forbidden City]. Perhaps the Tribune gets one version, and it's edited slightly for syndication customers?

One sample from the crossword in the Star Tribune: [Japanese deer], *I**. Can you fill in the other three letters? Or is this old-school crosswordese, the sort of obscurity that very few of us are well-versed in these days?