(updated at 10:15 a.m. Saturday)
Barry Silk's byline appears atop the Saturday New York Times crossword. That usually means there'll be plenty of Scrabbly letters and indeed, such is the case now. Namely:
I feel compelled to point out the double use of hockey ice in intersecting answers—ICERS who are [Some players in penalty boxes] crossing HOME ICE, or [Place for a skating edge]. There are also intersecting eggs—OVI is the Latin prefix, or [Egg head?], while OOCYTE ([An egg develops from it]) uses the Greek prefix.
Mystery answer: RUFFS is clued as [Plays a trump card]. I'm not sure why the biblical-era EDOMITE, or [Ancient Negev dweller], was a gimme with just the first letter. Lots of crossword training, I guess! Answers and clues I liked:
It's a pretty grid, ain't it?
Randall Hartman's CrosSynergy puzzle, "In Like Flint," interjects a FLINT into three phrases or compound words, forming a new phrase with the FLINT joined to a new compound word:
Freshest fill: TONY HAWK, the [Big name in skateboarding].
Michael Wiesenberg's themeless LA Times crossword came together in backwards fashion—from right to left and from bottom to top. There are eight 15-letter entries (two sets of triple-stacked answers and two more 15s in the midsection), and not a single one of 'em was a gimme for me:
Trickiest clues: [Burns and more] are SCOTS, as in Scottish people. I can't tell you how long I clung to CHARS or SEARS. [Rec. measures] made no sense to me. RPMS? Then rec. must be short for record, as in a record album. I was thinking prepositionally and about physical location for [Not under], but it's AT LEAST, as in an amount.
The Newsday "Saturday Stumper" is by S.N. (Stan Newman). Sometimes his Stumpers have the Anna Stiga ("Stan again") byline, and I've heard that Stan reserves the S.N. byline for his toughest puzzles. It took me a good long while to grasp where Stan was going with the clues, but eventually everything fell together. Here's a substantial sampling of answers that eluded me for a time:
September 05, 2008