NYT 5:45 (the applet claims 5:58, but my browser froze for 13 seconds and I want the credit)
I'm not sure I'll get to all of the other Saturday puzzles on Saturday morning—we're heading up north for the weekend, and if I don't wake up early enough...
The charming and delightful PuzzleGirl will be your Dear Leader for the rest of the weekend, handling the Sunday crossword blogging duties. (Thanks, PG!)
Barry Silk's Saturday New York Times crossword has a terrific grid layout—each corner has four long answers (9 to 10 letters), giving it room for lots of interesting longer phrases and words. The shorter answers that cross them are pretty smooth (like Silk) and accessible, with no obscure abbreviations. And then! The middle! The middle of this puzzle with 90° symmetry has a 2x2 block of all Z's.
My favorites among the long answers:
The clues I liked best:
The ZZ zone contains RAZZ, or [Heckle]; PIZZA, or [Kind of oven]; OZZY, or ["The Osbournes" dad]; and DIZZY, or [Swimming].
Lesser-known items: ENESCO is the ["Oedipe" opera composer, 1936]. CHIOS is a [Greek island in the Aegean]. I'll betcha most solvers thought of Crete or Corfu] first. MASER is an [Electromagnetic wave enhancer]. GREER was a Sixer, [20-Across in the Hall of Fame]—and a basketball player I've never heard of. And AYER is a [Philosopher who promoted logical positivism]. ("Is that logical? I'm positive it is.")
Yeah, I didn't wake up early, so I'll write up the LA Times puzzle and then hit the road.
Doug Peterson's LA Times crossword was a delight to solve. Plenty of tricky clues that put up a fight, but then yielded to obviousness. The only spot that was at all off-putting was EEGS clued as [Head shots, briefly?]—EEGs are tracings, zigzag lines, and not "shots" of any sort. (X-rays, MRIs, CTs—those are quasi-photographic shots. EEGs and EKGs aren't.) Everything else was good. My favorite clues:
November 28, 2008