March 16, 2008

Monday, 3/17

Faith and Begorrah! David O'Sullivan here to discuss the Monday puzzles on the Feast of Saint Patrick (or Evacuation Day, as it's referred to locally--a more legitimate excuse to take the day off and drink green beer, methinks).

So, before the beer takes its toll...

Constructor Francis Heaney is not only one of the fastest (and most accurate) crossword puzzle solvers in the world (finishing seventh in the recent ACPT), he also crafted a fun St. Patrick's Day puzzle in today's New York Sun. The four theme entries, KISS AND TELL, ME AND BOBBY MCGEE, I'M A LITTLE TEAPOT, and IRISH SETTER spell out one way you can show the Irish man or woman in your life just what he or she means to you. (For me, a pint at the Marriott bar at next year's ACPT will do...)

Other entries in today's Sun I enjoyed: our local Blue MAN Group
(I know they originated as street performers in New York--are they still there as well?), CNN's ANDERSON Cooper (son of Gloria Vanderbilt and eminently kissable, even if he isn't Irish) and LISA NOWAK, the NASA astronaut charged with kidnapping her romantic rival in Orlando.
And you bball fans out there (not working on your NCAA brackets), please let me know why a player would only be hired for TEN DAYS? Is there a temp agency specializing in forwards and guards?

Strangest entry must go to SNAKIER for "More winding, as a path"--are there really degrees of windiness for paths? Perhaps "Snakes on a Plane II" (you know this is in the works) can have the tagline "Snakier than the first!"

The New York Times eschews the Irish celebrations, though with clues like "What Miss Molly said..." and "Wee," I wasn't sure at first. Instead we have six exclamations, all as if said by real or fictional characters. So we have President Washington saying "By George!" upon winning the lottery (they had a lottery back in colonial days? Did he win a shilling and tuppence?) to the Big Bad Wolf exlaiming, "Well Blow Me Down" (he technically did the huffing and puffing, didn't he?). In fact the whole puzzle had a rather colonial jive to it, with the first George W., Ben Franklin and flag sewer Betsy Ross making an appearance. Even Noah Webster was around during the Revolution.

I liked HUE clued as "Clamor," but felt an opportunity was missed to pair it with its partner at 15-Across, CRY. Jessica LANGE takes a backseat to crossword-friendly Ms. Alba in my book, and my favorite HERMAN has got to be from TV's "The Munsters."

The fill suffered a bit with the number of theme entries: GRAMO, ATH, LMN, ITAL and the partials ONE TO, I AM, A TIE and GET NO detract a TEENY (Wee) bit from the overall impression, but a fun Monday solve. Orange should be posting about tomorrow's puzzles poolside from Florida.