(updated at 9:30 a.m. Thursday)
Vic Fleming's New York Times crossword contains eight theme entries, all with the same clue, [Draws]. The theme answers are short, but they criss-cross in pairs in all four quadrants.
Wow, I drew a blank on the [Tony player on "NYPD Blue"], and all I could think of was Jimmy Smits and his Bobby Simone character. Eventually ESAI Morales percolated up to the surface. Knowing that there's a Clearwater, Florida, I almost put FLA for [Home of the Clearwater Mtns.], which of course are not in the very flat Sunshine State—they're in IDA., or Idaho. I don't quite feel that a HEEL is a [Sole support]; doesn't a shoe's heel support, well, the heel? I had zero idea who the [Female companion in "Doctor Who"] was—LEELA is also the name of one of the main character's in Futurama. [Board with a couple seats] isn't a corporate board—it's a SEESAW. Although any investment bank's board probably feels like a seesaw right about now—or maybe a precipitously steep corkscrew slide. Favorite answer, on account of its sheer weirdness: SPURGE, or [Poinsettia's family].
The "Themeless Thursday" puzzle in the New York Sun is by Jeffrey Harris. Medium difficulty as these things go, no? Favorite answers and clues:
Scott Atkinson's LA Times crossword walks us through the dramatic solving process of an overconfident crossword solver:
In defense of crosswords, I must point out that the puzzles I blog about will almost never fall in the category of "stupid puzzle." There are crappy puzzles out there with mistakes, terrible fill, or bad clues that will irk even the aptest solver, but they're not the ones I blog about. If solvers find themselves grumbling, "Stupid puzzle," they're usually just mad that their skills weren't up to the challenge. But those skills are definitely amenable to improvement. (By reading my book, following the blogs, looking up unfamiliar answers and clues, and making a point of remembering those short words that are so crossword-friendly.)
In the fill, I got slowed down by [Catalogued compositions]. The word opus was already in the OCTETS clue, [Mendelssohn's Opus 20 and others], so it couldn't be OPUSES...except that it was. Having done a quick test-solve/edit of PhillySolver's puzzle that's posted at the Fiend forum, I learned that I wasn't at all attuned to catching that kind of duplication between clue and fill words. D'oh!
Patrick Blindauer's CrosSynergy crossword, "Splitting Airs," hides the word SONG (67-Across) inside each of the four otherwise disparate theme entries:
Favorite fill and clues:
September 24, 2008