In Randall Hartman's New York Times crossword, there's a TV SET in the middle of the puzzle to unite the set of four T.V. phrase theme entries:
If you're new to the Times crossword, here are some of the answers that you'll be seeing again (and again...and again):
Cool answers: BATTER UP, or [Umpire's call at the start of an inning]; the STEELERS, [2009 Super Bowl champs].
Pete Muller, who snuck a stealth theme into his Saturday NYT crossword, goes postal in his Sun crossword. It's called "Zipped In" because the ZIP code of BEVERLY HILLS ([Location with an associated number hidden in...] the theme entries) is zipped into the midst of five otherwise unrelated theme entries—I've circled the letters that spell out NINE OH TWO ONE OH (90210). No overt links to the old or new TV shows here, just the ZIP code and municipality. Highlights in the fill:
Today's LA Times crossword by Bob Rois has a theme that breaks no new ground—Nancy Salomon had an '02 LAT puzzle with two of the same theme answers, and there have also been NYT and Sun puzzles with the same basic theme—but it's no less fun for that. The four theme answers are rhyming phrases that start with an H:
Other H rhyming phrases include hodgepodge, Henny Penny, hocus pocus, herky-jerky, and handy-dandy, so there's a lot of material to choose from for this theme. These phrases tend to have some innate entertainment value—they're just fun to say—so you could do worse than to cop this theme if you were making a crossword to entertain your friends. The Rois puzzle is notable for having a quartet of 9-letter answers in the non-theme fill. If you're like me and you went through this puzzle from top to bottom, you pondered what the HOKEY POKEY and a PEDOMETER might have in common.
Today's Brendan Emmett Quigley–brand crossword (accept no substitutes!) says "All Keyed Up: Take CTRL of the situation" in the title bar. I paid no mind to that title until after I finished the puzzle, and it was only then that I realized the theme entries weren't two phrases mashed together, they're phrases changed by the addition of a computer key:
The first book collection of Matt Jones's Jonesin' crossword is now available. Here's the Amazon page for Jonesin' for Crosswords. Today's puzzle is called "Just Playing," which is synonymous with "screwing around." Each theme answer has SCREW AROUND (38-Across) it:
The last square I filled in here was at the crossing of [Gluttonous exchange student on "The Simpsons"] and ["Street Fighter: The Legend of ___-Li" (2009 movie)]. Oy! Possibly made-up foreign name meets Chinese name that could plausibly be CHAN, CHEN, CHIN, CHON, or CHUN. I tried all five vowels before Across Lite let me know the U was correct, for UTER meets CHUN. Here's a Simpsons wiki page about Üter.
February 08, 2009