March 15, 2008

Other Saturday 3/15 puzzles

LAT 5:38
Saturday Stumper 7:32
CS 3:18

Hi everyone, Al here. Since Orange wasn't able to get to the rest of the puzzles today, I thought I'd post a quick summary...

Robert H. Wolfe's LA Times was a fun themeless of average difficulty with some great phrases such as LAST DAY, ALL HANDS (we just had an ALL HANDS meeting at work yesterday, so that fell pretty quick for me), I DARE SAY, LIVES A LIE, SINE CURVE, and my favorite, "NOT A PEEP!" Lots of juicy 7's, 8's, and 9's in the grid to complement the two 11-letter entries. Great clue for STREET LIGHT, I thought. I wasn't familiar with DANISH BACON, but since there's a whole council dedicated to it, I guess it must be good stuff! I love clues like the one for MOUNT ETNA in which a well-known phrase is clued by an obscure bit of trivia. Always results in a satisfying "aha" moment. Apparently, "Mongibello" means "Mountain of the Mountains". Wonder what Mt. Everest thinks of that!

I was slowed down on Doug Peterson's Saturday Stumper by confidentally entering NEW YORK ISLANDERS for "Rangers' rivals" until I saw it didn't fit. It then took me a while to come up with their rivals across the other river, the NEW JERSEY DEVILS (who started life as the original Colorado Rockies. So much for having an advantage by being a hockey fan. BOOB TUBE, SCHUSSING, EL ALAMEIN, and ABSENTEE BALLOTS were my favorites here. ESSAYISTS? Not so much.

Randy Ross' Crossynergy puzzle, "Tour De France" consisted of fun puns built around names of French cities, like PARIS SITES and BREST PLATE. I thought the consistency of the theme was hurt a little by LYONS TAMER, in which the pronunciation of LYONS doesn't really work. I guess that's true for NO MORE MR. NICE GUY as well. It was still fun though. Anytime a constructor fits 4 10's and a 15 in for theme entries, I'm impressed.

We're going to a surprise 50th birthday party for someone tonight (a milestone I hit in December, watch out Ellen and Jon, I've got my eyes on that ACPT 50's trophy! :-), but I hope to get the NYT blog posted before we leave. I'll have the PI, WP, and BG posted for sure, with the rest to follow tomorrow morning.

And BTW, I also loved today's NYT.