(post updated at 8:51 p.m. Monday and 9 a.m. Thursday)
The non-NYT, non-Sun puzzle blogging will likely be delayed. Yours truly has jury duty on Monday, and has been staying up late watching the Olympics and then sleeping in each morning, so getting downtown by 8:30 is a tall order. I'd better pack my messenger bag with puzzles tonight to make sure I'm all set...
Paula Gamache is on a roll with fun early-week puzzles in the New York Times. This time, her theme is a DEADHEAD (63-Across), and dead can head each of the words in the other five theme answers:
Clues of note:
Alan Arbesfeld's New York Sun crossword, "Embodiment of Nature," uses an expanded 15x16 grid to accommodate the theme entries. The theme entries are phrases in which one word is a body part and another is a natural feature. For example, BERT PARKS includes the anatomical Bert and some state PARKS. No, just kidding. That one's not a theme entry. Neither is DOVETAIL, though tail can be considered a body part.
Jury duty was great. Four hours to sit quietly and do puzzles, with a leisurely hour and a half for lunch? Good citizenship never felt so good.
The Across Lite version of the LA Times crossword is taking the day off, perhaps. Tuesdays are busy for me, but I hope to catch up on the LAT tomorrow.
Matt Jones's Jonesin' crossword, "Hit the Bricks," has a "Super Mario Bros." theme. Yup, a videogame I've never played features a STAR CHAMBER, MUSHROOM CLOUD, and FLOWER CHILD. All the TIRAMISU and '80s HEADBANDs in the world can't make up for a theme that is, for all the good it did me, "random phrases that fit." (Sigh.)
Randolph Ross's CrosSynergy puzzle, "Common Sense Solutions," is the second one I've done today with a five-senses theme. (The other one hasn't been published yet—I was doing a little test-solving at jury duty this morning.) The five theme entries begin with TASTE, HEAR, SMELL, TOUCH, and SEE. Tons of 7-letter answers in the fill surrounding the theme entries—and one of them made zero sense to me. PUTOUTS are [Many tag plays]? I suspect baseball, but can't say for sure because I've never heard the term.
Updated again on Thursday:
I finally got around to the previously missing LA Times crossword. It's credited to Gia Christian, an anagram of "it's Rich again," or editor Rich Norris. The five theme entries are mopey, or at least they begin with synonyms of that. There's a DEPRESSED MARKET, LOW BUDGET, SAD EXCUSE, BLUE BLOOD, and DOWN UNDER—all of which use their synonyms in non-tristesse contexts. The tricky spots for beginners tackling a Monday puzzle are clumped together in the lower right corner: [Old dagger] is SNEE; [Lyric poem] is EPODE; OLEO is a [Bread spread], and UCLAN is [USCer's rival]. Elsewhere there's also OMOO, the [Melville novel set on Tahiti].
August 17, 2008