(updated at 12:10 Saturday afternoon)
Does it make one lick of sense to let NYT applet time hit and then spend 45 minutes making spring-break travel plans and getting all riled up and tired before doing the crossword? No, it does not. It doesn't make unfamiliar words any easier to piece together. On the bright side, while I may fall asleep whilst blogging, my airline miles are taking me to the Big Easy. Brad Wilber's New York Times crossword had a few vexing spots:
My favorite answers:
Barry Silk does the expected and the unexpected in his themeless LA Times crossword. Expected: Answers containing high-Scrabble-count letters like Z, Q, X, J, and K. Unexpected: Little swaths of black squares in the corner allowing stacked pairs of 14-letter answers. We see plenty of stacked 15's, but not much in the way of 14's. Here are the highlights:
Merle Baker's Newsday "Saturday Stumper" is easier than many Stumpers. (PDF solution here.) You and your boils do not scare me! That's RAGES, SEETHE, and SCALD, all with [Boil] or [Boils] clues, and not a single pustulent carbuncle in sight, fortunately. There's also a trio of 15-letter answers. I like COME TO THINK OF IT (["Say..."]) and CHINK IN THE ARMOR ([Achilles' heel]), but GOLF ENTHUSIASTS ([They're in the gallery]) rings hollow. I dunno—is that solidly "in the language" in golfing circles? Last week's Stumper, I think, clued EDNA with the name's meaning, and this week there's SVEN clued as [Name that means "young man"]. Has Stan Newman picked up a baby name book or something? I loved those baby name books when I was a kid, but prefer famous people in crossword clues for first names. It's surprising to see CHACHI, Scott Baio's ['70s teen-idol TV role], in this puzzle, but I like it. TAMIL is [An official language of Singapore], which surprised me because most of the populace is ethnically Chinese; apparently about 9% are Indian.
January 16, 2009