August 14, 2009

Saturday, 8/15: NYT, LAT

NYT 7:58
LAT 5:25
Newsday: it's not posted as of 10:15 p.m. Central time so I won't get to it; sorry
CS: see next post

Look for sometime constructor Sam Donaldson on this page soon—he'll be covering the Sunday puzzles for us whilst I celebrate my birthday up in America's Dairyland. Thanks, Sam!

Matt Ginsberg's New York Times crossword

I woke up too early this morning so I'm sleepy and this puzzle isn't making sense to me. The byline reads "Matt Ginsberg," so I suspect that there's another level I'm missing. What I see is a short quote occupying just 33 squares, serving as sort of a plus-sized mini-theme that's smaller than a standard theme, with everything else themeless. I could well be wrong.

The quote's a [Scathing review attributed to Ambrose Bierce]: THE COVERS OF / THIS BOOK ARE / TOO FAR APART. Yeowch! That's mean. But sometimes assuredly true. Above and below the quote are two 15s: STILLER AND MEARA (Jerry and Anne) are clued by way of [They appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" 36 times]. Hey, Matt, did you know that Anne Meara does the NYT crossword? GREENHOUSE GASES are a ["Hot" political topic]. Do those 15s have anything to do with the Bierce line?

Who knew that MR. BONES was a name for a [Minstrel percussionist]? Not I. Mr. Tambo plays tambourine. We're talking American blackface minstrels here, not medieval ones.

A few favorite clues:

  • [Free, but not for free] clues the verb RANSOM.
  • The pair of [Not on the level]/DEVIOUS and [They're not on the level]/SLANTS. For more doubling up, there's [Sources of some leather], which clues both BOARS and EELS.
  • [Like some leaves] clues UNPAID, as in unpaid leaves from work rather than tree leaves.
  • [Baby showers?] are showers of talcum powder, or TALCS. I think you're supposed to use cornstarch baby powder rather than talc, aren't you?

Corey Rubin's Los Angeles Times crossword

There's not as much long fill as usual, I don't think—just two corners have stacked 10s rather than all four corners—but those long answers kick butt. I like 'em. Saturday morning, check out my full-length post at L.A. Crossword Confidential.