(updated at 9:10 a.m. Saturday)
If you ask me, Byron Walden's Saturday New York Times crossword didn't fight much harder than a Friday puzzle, but there were still plenty of gnarly bits to stumble on.
These cool answers weren't so obvious:
Some people populated the grid:
Three adjective + noun combos raised an eyebrow:
This being a Saturday puzzle, we have to expect some not-so-familiar pieces:
Clues to chew on:
Okay, maybe I retract the part where I likened Byron's Saturday puzzle to a Friday puzzle. The people have spoken, and they say it's eminently Saturday-worthy.
Brad Wilber's themeless LA Times crossword sparkles with its COSMO QUIZ at 59-Across, clued with ["What Kind of Sexy Are You?" is one], and the bottom half of the puzzle is fairly Scrabbly fare. I'm also fond of BAOBABS, [Trees seen on safari], especially at the right side of the grid where those letters are the ends of seven other answers. COSMO QUIZ is stacked atop two full names:
There are other people whose names weren't gimmes, either. [Soprano Mitchell] is LEONA. The [Portuguese prime minister, 1932-68] is SALAZAR. '80s marathoner Alberto Salazar is more familiar to me. OFFENBACH is the ["Les Contes d'Hoffman" composer].
Tough clues and answers, interesting clues and answers—we've got 'em all here:
Randolph Ross's CrosSynergy crossword feels a smidgen untimely, appearing after the baseball postseason has ended and we've moved on to other sports. Of course, baseball themes appear year-round in this country. In "The Umpire Got It Wrong," three phrases are changed by swapping out a word that's an ump's call for another apt ump's call.
Excellent theme—it plays on the popular perception that umpires make plenty of bad calls, and the three theme entries all involve familiar dichotomies.
The Newsday "Saturday Stumper" by Dan Stark wasn't too intransigent. (PDF solution here.) My favorite clue taught me some etymology: [Word from the Latin for "bite again"] is REMORSE. A morsel, then, is a small bite of something, and mordant wit is bitingly sarcastic. Premorse doesn't mean "to feel remorse in advance of doing something you know is wrong," but it should. [Italy's toe] is CALABRIA, which doesn't have any major tourist cities. Maya ANGELOU is the [Lincoln Medal recipient of 2008]. What's the Lincoln Medal? It's an award given by Ford's Theatre and it doesn't seem to have a very high profile as awards go. [Bismarck predecessor] pretends it's looking for another leader's name, but it's just the VON in "von Bismarck."
November 07, 2008