(post updated at 10:51 a.m. Thursday)
Barry Silk's New York Times crossword has a low enough word count (72) to cut it as a themeless puzzle, but it's got a theme: The last two Across answers are CLEAR / THE, and there are four theme entries that begin with words that can follow "clear the."
This puzzle's got a lot of curious little answers as well as cool longer ones. For example:
In the category of cool longer answers and groovy clues:
Martin Ashwood-Smith's "Themeless Thursday" Sun crossword is moored by two triple-stacks of 15-letter entries. BENITO MUSSOLINI is grouped with ANTS IN ONE'S PANTS ([Shpilkes]!) and a STICKY SITUATION up top, and down below there's a ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME COUNTERPROPOSAL about RECREATION ROOMS.
My favorite clues and answers:
The theme in David Kahn's LA Times crossword took me far too long to understand. Hmm, maybe that's why it's a Thursday puzzle and not a Wednesday one. The two Across theme answers reveal what unites the first part of each of the five Down theme answers: Each one is a ROCK AND ROLL / HALL-OF-FAMER. Some of these words are just that—words—so the fact that they're also surnames wasn't obvious. (At least, not to me.) They are:
An olio of non-theme clues and answers:
I don't typically begin a crossword by scanning the theme clues, but a CrosSynergy crossword makes that a little easier by including a title for the puzzle (like the Sun and all the Sunday-sized puzzles). Randall Hartman's "Full of Envy" suggested the answers would have NV in their middles, but it turned out that the answers had N.V. initials. Suspecting a V in the middle, though, I filled in ___ VISION for [20/20] and ___ VESSEL for [Aircraft carrier, e.g.]. Those turned into NORMAL VISION and NAVAL VESSEL. The other theme entries were NORTH VIETNAM, a [War opponent of the '60s] (that clue sounded to me like it referred to anti-war protestors rather than combatants), and NIA VARDALOS, the [Star of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"].
In the fill, I wasn't expecting the answer to [They're out standing in their field] to be GUERNSEYS. Moo!
December 03, 2008