Newsday about 6 minutes
CS untimed (Across clues only)
Doug Peterson's New York Times crossword
See? Didn't I say yesterday that Shortz foozled the order of the puzzles? I found the Friday Quarfoot to be a Saturday challenge, while the Saturday Peterson is a mere Fridayish bagatelle.
The grid's sort of a double-decker Z, with stacked pairs of 15s at the top and bottom joined by two diagonal swaths. The highlights are high, even if the puzzle didn't put up as much of a fight as I hope for on a Saturday:
Fun with chemistry! Did you know URETHANE is a [Bowling ball material] or that [Like turbojet fuel] could clue ATOMIZED? I did not.
Overall, I liked this puzzle a heckuva lot. It's a good start to the weekend.
Updated Saturday morning:
Paula Gamache's CrosSynergy/Washington Post puzzle, "Outta Sight!"—Janie's review
Greetings, solvers—as Paula's puzzle puts us in a "peace, beads and granola" state of mind in this 40th year since Woodstock. Four theme-phrases begin with a slangy term of approval/admiration (like that of the title) and a fifth one is the song title that ties it all up. Here's how she does it:
A spate of lively sevens and eights add to the punch this puzzle packs: THE COPA [New York club, informally] where you certainly could have ordered MIMOSAS [Champagne-and-orange-juice concoctions], FAT-FREE [Words of appeal to a loser?], the no-nonsense "LEAVE IT!" ["We don't need that!"], LANYARD [Whistle holder], "FEAR NOT" [Encouraging words] (and it's nice to have encouraging words when there's also the Scottish "NAE," the German "NEIN" and the ENG. "OH, ME" to contend with), SOUTHPAW [Lefty] and SEES INTO [Knows beforehand, as the future].
But for a small portion of the SW, I really was able to solve this one using only the "across" clues. What messed me up? My insistence in holding onto FANFARE where FAT-FREE lives and not knowing CWT as the abbreviation for [100 lbs.]. A hundredweight=1/20th of a ton—and that "C" (like the Roman numeral) is from the Latin word for hundred, centum. This all makes sense of course, but because I'd not given it any thought before, it did feel a bit like new INFO to me.
There seems to be a SLY little French undercurrent today, too, with ISÈRE [River to the Rhone], ARRÊT [Stop, on the Rive Gauche] and SABOT [French peasant's shoe]. To which I say (with my best French pronunciation), "Impeccable!"
Michael Wiesenberg's Los Angeles Times crossword
As I was saying over at L.A. Crossword Confidential, I really liked the long answers (well, except for the lifeless BELT SANDER) and the clues for a few short ones, incuding these:
Overall, this puzzle was almost sinfully easy. I miss the days of Saturday L.A. Times puzzles that were only a notch easier than the NYT ones.
Doug Peterson's Newsday "Saturday Stumper"
(PDF solution here.)
As Dan F. said in the comments, this is the same grid pattern Doug used in his NYT puzzle today. Me, I enjoyed the NYT version more. This one didn't seem to have any of those horrible dead spots that some Stumpers have, those seemingly insoluble clues that you don't have any helpful crossings for. And by "horrible dead spots," I mean "sometimes welcome challenges, but sometimes vexatious bothers." In other words, my progress through this puzzle was a smooth one with occasional missteps but no real snags or frustration.
Top 5 clues and answers:
August 28, 2009
Newsday about 6 minutes