Newsday (not timed, but on the easy side)
I'm getting to the New York Times crossword late because I was at one of those indoor family amusement park/arcade joints. Frankly, I'm astonished my brain still worked at all after five hours of unceasing kid noise. The Saturday puzzle is by Robert Wolfe. It mostly didn't grab me, but then, I'm tired. The things I liked most were these:
Among the least familiar answers and clues were these ones:
Doug Peterson's themeless L.A. Times crossword has an abundance of interesting answers and clues, and yet the whole shebang tumbled like a house of cards. It's a fun puzzle, but I wish it had made me work harder for the payoff of finishing it. Highlights in the fill:
My favorite clues:
I didn't time myself on Raymond Hamel's Newsday "Saturday Stumper", but it felt almost as easy as Doug's L.A. Times puzzle. (PDF solution here.) Here are some of the clues in the realm of pop culture (more than the usual Newsday Saturday allotment of it):
There's a two-clue evocation of pop culture here, too. Corey Haim was in Lost Boys—the vampire movie, not J.M. Barrie's Lost Boys. HAIM is a [Hebrew name that means "life"], and STARE is clued as [Emulate vampires].
This puzzle has a little geography:
Today's themed crossword is Patrick Blindauer's CrosSynergy puzzle, "RE-Verse." In each theme answer, a word that starts with RE- sees those letters reversed in order and location such that the word instead ends with -ER:
I'm not crazy about the theme entries themselves—they're not goofy or outrageous or zany—but I love the concept of flipping the RE in two ways. Patrick, have you tried doing this theme in the opposite way, changing an -ER ending into a RE- start? I wonder if that would amp up the crazy; I'm having a hard time thinking of -ER words that would lend themselves to such a theme without creating a bunch of dreadful RE- verbs that nobody wants to see in a crossword.
March 20, 2009