Hey, Angelenos and other denizens of southern California! There's an upcoming crossword tournament in your area on April 25. For details about the Crosswords LA Tournament, visit crosswordswest.com. Registration is cheap and the proceeds go to a good cause. If you've never been to a crossword tournament, small local events are a great way to find out how much fun tournaments are.
The Monday New York Times crossword is by Randy Sowell, and the theme is all about hurling. (No, not that kind.) The four theme answers all begin with synonymous words:
You know what word I rarely use? PICAYUNE. It's a terrific alternative to [Petty]. Joining PICAYUNE on the list of answers I liked are these:
Isn't it great when a third-grader's homework helps his mom remember a phrase that shows up in a crossword puzzle? Pancho Harrison's LA Times crossword features three phrases that begin with a 1, 2, 3 set of prefixes:
The theme is mirrored in this clue and answer pair: [Uno plus dos] equals TRES. My favorite parts of this puzzle:
Cute, fresh theme in Stella Daily and Bruce Venzke's CrosSynergy puzzle—the title, "Which Doctors?", plays on "witch doctors" and alludes to the unifying theme. Each of the four longest answers begins with a fictional doctor's name:
Today's themeless Brendan Quigley crossword is Brendan's attempt to mimic David Levinson Wilk's gorgeous NYT grid from this past Friday. Brendan managed the intersecting tripled-stacked 15's, but not the extra four 15's framing the puzzle. He explains his construction process in the accompanying blog spiel. I don't know about you, but I always like a VH1 Behind the Music story about the making of a crossword.
So, what's in the puzzle? Lots of 3-letter answers to coax the solver along if the 15's aren't readily apparent. If you don't know that a 3-letter [Siouan of Nebraska] is an OTO or that [Hawaii's Mauna ___] is either LOA (as it is here) or KEA, then maybe those common 3's weren't going to be much help—but they do show up in a zillion crosswords. Now, ENEMA hardly ever appears in a crossword, but Brendan has it in his puzzle, clued with [It will help you go]. BEURRE BLANC is a [Nice sauce for fish?], Nice being a city in France. Mmm, butter. I know Ziggy Stardust but not ALADDIN SANE, a [Mid-'70s David Bowie alter ego]. ["M*A*S*H" actress Jo Ann] PFLUG, ["Under Two Flags" novelist] OUIDA, and ARLEEN, [Former TV host Sorkin], were other names I didn't know. [Barbie fan?] is a great clue for AUSSIE—you know how those folks love to throw shrimp on the barbie. But don't the Aussies call shrimp "prawn"? Mystery verb of the day: [Put in a cistern] clues VATTED. Who knew "vat" was also a verb? It is. [Petraeus, e.g.: Abbr.] sort of looks like a clue for a Roman emperor, but it's GEN. David Petraeus.
March 22, 2009