Split Decisions, Second Sunday NYT puzzle 9:27
(updated at 9:25 a.m. Sunday)
I only saw half of the theme in Joe DiPietro's New York Times crossword, "Perjury." I saw the hidden OATH tucked inside all the long entries, but it wasn't until I reached 112-Across that I learned of the other half: [Perjure oneself ... or what can be found six times in this puzzle] clues LIE UNDER OATH, and below each of those five hidden OATHs, the word LIE appears.
CAN'T DO A THING, or [Is completely hamstrung], sits above LIE OVER, or [Completely cover]. The LIE portion is under OATH.
The visual rebus aspect of the theme is cool—"lie under oath" is represented by LIE beneath the word OATH, making it a far more intricate theme than one with just an embedded word.
Here's today's assortment of answers and clues:
This weekend's second Sunday puzzle in the New York Times is another "Split Decisions" by George Bredehorn. I found the upper right corner to be kinda tough, and the lower left corner to be much knottier than the opposite side. From top to bottom, left to right, here are my answer pairs (use your mouse to highlight the white text to see the answers):
Across: THUS/TOSS, CHAPEAU/CHAPELS, CANTATA/CANASTA, STRAINER/STRANGER, RACKETS/RACISTS, ANVIL/ANGEL, DISASTER/DISPUTER, ISOBARS/ISOMERS, CADMIUM/CALCIUM, INSOMNIA/INSIGNIA, SCANT/SPENT, BASSOON/BALLOON, HEADLESS/HELPLESS, LEISURE/LECTURE, HONESTY/AMNESTY, RAPT/RIOT
Down: GRIDDLE/TWIDDLE, UPS/BUS, SUITORS/EDITORS, BURST/FIRST, HUMANLY/UNMANLY, FOLKS/FOCUS, SCRAWNY/SCRAWLS, BLATHER/FEATHER, LATCH/LYNCH, CARDIAC/CARDING, SWEPT/SWELL, ANCHORS/ANCHOVY, SPA/SAW, TRANSIT/TRANSOM
This kind of puzzle's good training for looking at spaces in a crossword and thinking about what words could fit there, narrowing down the list of options as you read the clue.
Merl Reagle's Philadelphia Inquirer crossword, "The NASA Gift Shop," marks the 50th birthday of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration with a batch of NASA-related puns. The ones I liked best were GEMINI CRICKET, the [NASA doll that sings "When You Wish Upon a Star"], playing on Jiminy Cricket, and ORBITAL REDENBACHER'S, [NASA's special-edition popcorn?], citing Orville Redenbacher. I liked the puzzle just fine, but find myself having nothing much to say about it. (This coughing, sneezing, and sniffling business is distracting.)
Pamela Amick Klawitter's syndicated Los Angeles Times Sunday crossword, "All Is Lost," dumps an ALL from eight phrases to change the meaning. The most amusing theme entries were:
My favorite bit of fill here is CAMP IT UP, clued as [Act in an amusingly affected way].
Liz Gorski's Boston Globe crossword in Across Lite, "I'll Pencil U In," inserts a U into eight phrases to change the meaning. I had a little trouble with one crossing, where a ["TV Guide" acronym] that's really an abbreviation (acronyms are pronounceable words) crosses a [Baroque dance]. There are four time zones in the U.S., but apparently the one TV Guide mentions is Central, or CST (the other time zones' TV shows are scheduled an hour off from when they air in the Midwest, where prime-time shows run from 7 to 10 p.m.). The dance is CHACONNE, and I'll bet not many people know that word. I'd have clued CST more specifically to unknot that square. My favorite theme entries are CARPENTER AUNT (ant), or [Kin seen sawing?], and LOBSTER FRAU DIABLO (Fra), or [Mrs. Freud's spicy seafood recipe?]. That last one's just plain nuts, but it goes for broke so I like it. Highlights in the fill include GLASNOST, THINK BIG, LAKE ONTARIO, USER'S MANUAL, and SPY RING.
Patrick Jordan's themeless CrosSynergy "Sunday Challenge" is the week's easiest themeless puzzle. Patrick is perhaps more drawn to pangrams than any other constructor, and he did manage to get all 26 letters of the alphabet into this grid without having any horrid abbreviations or woebegone obscurities. He did trick me with [Pina colada ingredient], 3 letters—not rum but ICE. [Engages in logrolling] is BIRLS—this lumberjack sport is sometimes called roleo, which is another word that seems to pop up more in crosswords than in day-to-day living.
October 18, 2008