Argh! You know when you have a tentative answer in place, and then you change one letter because you get one of the crossing words, and you leave the rest of the letters there, even though MNEA is clearly not a word? (I tagged the [Selective service registrant] as a ONE-A for some reason, but it's a MALE.) I made a few other wrong turns on Todd McClary's New York Times crossword, but managed to erase all the wrong letters when the time came. Like making the [Trattoria offering] into a meatball instead of OSSO BUCO, and [Menacing], that was sadistic instead of SINISTER, and [Exposed] was overt instead of OUTED. I liked the loser mini-theme, YOU CAN'T WIN 'EM ALL and MET ONE'S WATERLOO. But there was an overall vibe of "boy's club" that I found off-putting or, at the very least, not in my wheelhouse:
The crossings let me solve everything correctly, but it's not a good feeling to have two nouns and a name that are 100% unfamiliar to me. Are T-STOPS, GOBOS, and RANDA quite gettable for you, or were you also wondering what these random letter sequences were doing in place of actual words?
Yikes! I need to get moving here—am going to Wisconsin for the weekend, leaving later this morning, and I haven't packed at all. Must use blogular brevity!
In Patrick Blindauer's CrosSynergy puzzle, "Getting Quiet," the theme entries' original phrases take on a "SH." Thus, a roller rink becomes a ROLLER SHRINK, or [Skating psychiatrist?]. That was my favorite theme entry, with the SHRED ALERT (["Quick! Rip up the documents!"]) a close second. [Pre-flood ancestor of Jaws?] is NOAH'S SHARK, and [Bailiff's cry?] is SHOUT OF ORDER.
Barry Silk's themeless LA Times crossword was pretty smooth, but put up a fight in spots. Things I didn't exactly know:
Favorite clues: [Took in a poor boy?] for ATE a sandwich; [Sierra Nevada unit] for a BEER BOTTLE; [There's a lot of junk in it] is SNAIL MAIL; [They're paid for services] for SALARIES; and [Penn and others] are IVIES, as in Ivy League schools.
Merle Baker's Newsday "Saturday Stumper" is the easiest Stumper in weeks, thanks to a more workable batch of crossings for the answers I wasn't going to get based on their clues. The tougher bits included:
July 18, 2008