(updated at 10:30 Saturday morning)
Hooray! We just had a Sun puzzle co-constructed by Frank Longo—who has been keeping himself too busy with things other than newspaper themeless crosswords—and now the Saturday New York Times puzzle proudly sports the Longo byline. And good gravy, is that an insane-looking grid. Triple-stacked 15's at the top and bottom, and a midsection spanned by two more 15's. They're not such easy 15's, either—none of the usual-suspect 15-letter answers that get used over and over. Here are the big boys:
How did you survive this one? Did 36-, 37-, and 38-Down kill you? Me, I was just happy to have a too-rare Longo themeless to kick me around.
Robert Wolfe's LA Times crossword has 70 answers, and about 20 of them are multi-word phrases—ranging from the very short (MR. T, ['80s Peppard costar]) to the long (I DON'T UNDERSTAND, or ["Huh?"]). Here's a selection of the other phrases:
And now, some single-word answers with interesting answers:
Three things I didn't know:
Two bits of standard old crosswordese are here. An ARIL is a [Seed protector]; one aril you may recognize is the little juicy ruby surrounding each pomegranate seed. The STOA [often bordered an agora].
Dan Stark's Newsday "Saturday Stumper" was the day's hardest themeless for me. (PDF solution here.) Favorite clues and answers:
Lynn Lempel's CrosSynergy crossword, "Le Puzzle," adds -LE to the end of four phrases that end with a CK to transform those phrases into something different. The results sound zingy:
I'm fond of PTOLEMY, the [Ancient Greek astronomer with an Earth-centered theory] and a silent P, not at all fond of NO PARKING signs, though NO PARKING makes for an excellent bit of crossword fill.
November 21, 2008