CS 7:57 (J—paper)/3:26 (A—Across Lite)
Doing crosswords and blogging 'em while my son and his friend watch the Simpsons movie and show zero signs of growing tired. It's my kid's first sleepover!
Peter Collins' New York Times crossword
You know, ever since Brendan Quigley (with an assist from Francis Heaney) compiled that list of Ten Bullshit Themes, I cast a jaundiced eye at certain themes. Today's NYT theme (#4 in BEQ's list) is THE SECRET GARDEN embodied in spaced-out GARDENs appearing in circled squares in three longer (and unrelated) phrases:
Oh, hey, I just noticed that this is the second day in a row with a 16x15 puzzle. Those aren't 14s and 15s in the theme, they're 15s and 16s.
Updated Wednesday morning:
Patrick Blindauer's CrosSynergy/Washington Post puzzle, "Heads of State"—Janie's review
Then, didja notice all the names?? The ladies include EVE Harrington, RAQUEL Welch, Betsy ROSS, and Ms. MONA Lisa (or her smile as part of a film title at any rate). The gents are out in even fuller force: Felipe ALOU, Jamie FARR, PETER Graves, EMIL [Jannings or Zápotek], OREL Hirshiser, TIM [Rice or Curry], BERT the Chimney Sweep, DANNY Partridge, and—lookee here—BOB SLEDS (okay... BOBSLEDS) and EVEN-STEVEN (who's apparently fit-to-be-[Tied])...
There's some standard crosswordese with ERSE and ERST and EERIE. All that's missing from this group is aerie.
Went off the track a bit, initially making GRADS and not MAMAS those [May honorees], and going OUT ON that [...tangent] rather than OFF ON it. We do, however, go out on a limb. Just not today...
Sam Donaldson's Los Angeles Times crossword
I like this puzzle, which sent me off to YouTube to watch Pink, Seal, and Jewel videos (...and the OZARK Mountain Daredevils) and bemoan the lack of Prince videos.
The theme hinges on recognizing that Pink, Jewel, Seal, and Prince are all singers and not just the second word in assorted phrases. Each is a CLOSING ACT in those phrases. For more detail on the theme and the fill and clues I liked most, please see my L.A. Crossword Confidential post.
Matt Jones's Onion A.V. Club crossword
Matt has "tagged" each theme entry's original phrase with GRAFFITI by inserting a TAG:
Around my neighborhood, we've seen three different places where someone's spray-painted FORGIVE in black. I like to think this graffiti's from a conflicted individual—driven to tag, but remorseful. Or maybe there's a street gang whose M.O. is the promotion of forgiveness and letting go of anger.
A few favorite bits:
Brendan Quigley's blog crossword, "Wet Bodies"
...as in bodies of water. Each of five theme entries embodies a "C-SPAN" in that the name of a sea spans two or more words in a longer phrase. It took me a while to grasp the theme and find the hidden seas, which I've circled in my answer grid. I'm partial to [NPR correspondent since 1985] MARA LIASSON hiding our crosswordese ARAL Sea.
There's a bit of crosswordese-style stuff in the fill, too—ARISTAS, RAJAHS, SERAPE, and ASTA pop out. But I like NO-NAMES clued as [Walk-ons, e.g.], the combination of ALCOHOL and T-PAIN the ["Buy You a Drank" rapper], and the clue [12, 13 and 14 in a series] as the clue for the (otherwise meh) alphabetic run NOP.
August 18, 2009