December 27, 2008

Sunday, 12/28

NYT cryptic 9:16
PI 8:32
NYT 8:04, maybe
LAT 8:02
CS 4:53

(updated at 4:35 p.m. Sunday)

Wow, cruises and crosswords don't mix for me. I know Stan Newman puts on an annual crossword cruise, but I don't think I could ever go on that trip. The Transderm Scop patch cut down on seasickness, but gave me blurred vision, so I wasn't doing any crosswords. Now that I'm back on dry (well, rainy) land, my head is convinced that I am still aboard a ship—mal de debarquement makes me dizzy unless I lie down. So here's my answer grid for Patrick Berry's New York Times crossword, "Going Around in Circles." I have a typo or error somewhere, but I am ill-equipped to look for it as my head is swimming.

I also don't grasp how the theme works—something about planets in orbits, but the circled squares didn't mix well with dizziness. So if you have some insights about this crossword, feel free to share them in the comments. I think I'll lie down now, and hope the mal de apres-mer is short-lived. This is a really weird feeling, and I don't appreciate the way it is interfering with blogging!


A belated thanks to Puzzle Girl for filling in all week! I hope to get caught up on some of the week's puzzles and read her posts and your comments, but this may take a while.

I still haven't been able to find all the planets in Berry's NYT crossword. I get too woozy looking at the grid.

Merl Reagle's Philadelphia Inquirer puzzle has a classic Merl pun theme—all 13 of the "Guy Friends" have more or less plausible names that sound like phrases related to the clues. The [Hell-raising guy?], for example, is BARNABY WILDE, which sounds like "born to be wild." NOAH VALE is the [Guy who's just plain useless?], or "no avail." I enjoyed this puzzle a lot, but am seriously too woozy to write more about it. I need to take a lie-down break before moving on to another crossword!


Lying down with a small laptop isn't the best set-up for solving crosswords or typing, especially Sunday-sized ones. Oh, well.

Lynn Lempel's themeless CrosSynergy "Sunday Challenge" has some goodies in it. My favorite clues and answers:

  • LA RAZA is a [Term signifying Latino pride].
  • LONG-LOST FRIENDS and SPEAK OF THE DEVIL criss-cross in the middle of the grid.
  • [It comes straight from the horse's mouth] clues a BIT literally rather than some information metaphorically.
  • A trivia factoid livens up Johnny MATHIS: [First-ever singer with a Greatest Hits album, in 1958].
  • [President Lincoln, astrologically] is an AQUARIAN thanks to his February 12 birthday.
  • [Where many shots are taken] on the basketball court is the FOUL LINE.
I'm not fond of ORE MINER, or [Iron man?].

Updated again, quickly:

Donna Levin's syndicated Los Angeles Times Sunday crossword, "Not on the Best-seller List," features a pun theme like Merl's puzzle. In Donna's theme, the theme entries are reworded book titles. A few examples:
  • [Tolstoy saga about a jurist's porridge ingredient?] is WARREN PEASE, as in Earl Warren and pease, the original plural of pea. War and Peace is the real Tolstoy title.
  • [Lewis book about lobster?] is MAINE'S TREAT. Sinclair Lewis's novel is called Main Street.
  • [Eliot book about a stoic bereaved?] is SIGHLESS MOURNER, playing on Silas Marner.
The grid's got a lot of longish Down answers in the fill.

Doug Peterson crafted a cryptic crossword for this weekend's second Sunday New York Times puzzle. Like most American cryptics, this puzzle's a lot easier than the typical British cryptic. If you have any questions about how an answer is extracted from its clue, leave 'em in the comments.