I am beat. Between five and a half hours of sleep last night and a delicious dinner out (with wine), I can scarcely keep my eyes open to type the proper keys. And yet! I went ahead and did the Saturday New York Times puzzle by Charles Barasch. Let's see how much I can say about the puzzle before I drift off to sleep.
Two 15s: MARRIED WITH KIDS, clued as [Like a family man], would resonate with me more without a man-specific clue. Does the family man LEAD A DOUBLE LIFE ([Be like Clark Kent])? Among the mid-range and short fill, here were my trouble spots and/or the spots that troubled me (but did not slow me down):
Brad Wilber's LA Times themeless crossword is a fun one. The fill spins out from twp 15s that cross in the center square: the FERNWOOD FLASHER, an [Eccentric in the soap parody "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman"], and POISONED CHALICE, a ["Be careful what you wish for" gift]. Is the latter a Snow White reference? The "Mary Hartman" clue didn't really narrow it down much, as about half the characters on the show were eccentrics. (Season 1 is available on DVD.) Each quadrant of the puzzle had stacks of 8- or 9-letter entries. My favorites among them:
There were some fun shorter words (or clues for them), too:
Doug Peterson's Newsday "Saturday Stumper" was tough without turning to obscure words. Here are my favorite clues and answers:
Sarah Keller's CrosSynergy puzzle is an easy themed one—in "Ladies Last," each theme entry ends with a word that can be followed by lady. NATIVE LAND, or [Country of one's birth], yields a landlady. [Standard file cabinet color] STEEL GRAY produces the Gray Lady, a nickname for the New York Times. HEAD-FIRST, or [Impetuously], yields a First Lady. And the [Travel accessory] called a GARMENT BAG gives a "bag lady," which is a bit of a bummer.
May 23, 2008