(updated at 11:50 Thursday morning)
Hasn't it been a while since the Thursday New York Times crossword had a straight-up rebus theme? Jim Hilger's debut puzzle is impressive in part because he's placed seven rebus squares (which I've circled in my solution grid) in a symmetrical pattern—and because the rebus theme works TURN into 12 answers without forced fill. The most awkward answer, I thought, was SINCERER ([Comparatively honest]), and it's 100% legit—seldom used, but in the dictionary. Here are the TURN answers:
Assorted other clues and answers in this polished debut crossword:
Patrick Berry's "Themeless Thursday" Sun crossword is among the easiest themeless Suns I've done. Like many of his creations, it's as smooth as melted ice cream (which is to say, quite smooth indeed). Berry doesn't make many triple-stack puzzles, I don't think. This one's got three 15's stacked in the middle and another pair of 15's above and below. My favorite of the 15's is the OKEFENOKEE SWAMP, [Albert Alligator's home] from Pogo. Aside from the long entries, here's what I liked most:
Dan Naddor's LA Times crossword has a broken-down theme—51-Across, WHAT'S THE DAMAGE, doubles as the puzzle's title. The answer is found at the end of the other three theme entries:
I'm less fond of LATI, or LA TI, [Sixth and seventh of eight], as in do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do. And there are two odd-jobbers: MUSERS are [Thoughtful types] and MENDERS are [Sewers, often]. I'm thinking of starting a sports team and going with one of these names. I think the Musers will play hockey. Or maybe roller derby.
Patrick Jordan pays tribute to the late MICHAEL CRICHTON in the CrosSynergy puzzle, "Sci-Fi Guy." The ANDROMEDA STRAIN, WESTWORLD, and RISING SUN are books/movies he wrote. Did you know that LISA is a [Simpson with eight hair spikes]? I never counted. Nor did I know that the Philadelphia EAGLES were an [NFL team whose mascot is Swoop]—I know they're a team, but nothing about their mascot.
December 10, 2008