Newsday a leisurely 10 minutes
CS untimed (J)/3:38 (A)
I'm on tuck-in duty tonight and my kid's back on his school-year schedule, so I've gotta run. I'll be back tonight if I don't wind up falling asleep myself.
Barry Silk's New York Times crossword
Updated Saturday Morning:
Don Gagliardo's Los Angeles Times crossword
(Post excerpted from my L.A. Crossword Confidential writeup.)
I worked an advance copy of the puzzle in Across Lite, and there's an error in the solution. The corrected file has not yet made it onto Cruciverb, but the puzzle should be correct on the L.A. Times website and the newspaper itself presumably doesn't reveal the solution until the following day. The error is a D where 5A: [Snake with a puff variety] meets 9D: [ACLU concerns], and those are a puff ADDER and rights, abbreviated as RTS. There is no "puff added" (though that phrase should appear on packages of cotton candy), and the ACLU does not customarily concern itself with delirium tremens.
Bob Klahn's CrosSynergy/Washington Post puzzle, "Opener Openers"—Janie's review
26A: [Show featuring agents 86 and 99] is GET SMART. I never, ever saw the TV show, and I've only seen a portion of the Steve Carell movie. Did I miss much? I know about the shoe phone. (My son peeked over my shoulder at this puzzle and knew this clue thanks to the movie. The title was on the tip of his tongue but he couldn't summon it up. Kids! They're just like adults sometimes.)
32A: ["See?!"] points towards the wordier "WHAT DID I TELL YOU?!" Now, that's awesome. I love it when the puzzle speaks to me in exclamations.
54A: The [2002 film for which Adrien Brody won a Best Actor Oscar] is THE PIANIST. And then he inappropriately smooched Oscar presenter Halle Berry, who did not give up her bodily autonomy just because he thinks she's swell. (Hmph!) I always hear that movie title as "The Penis." Anyone else have that problem? No? Just me?
7D: ["Sound familiar?"] and "DOES IT RING A BELL?" are synonymous. I kinda feel like "Does that ring a bell?" is a bit more natural-sounding.
13D: [H.G. Wells's island researcher] is DR. MOREAU. Didn't South Park have a Marlon Brando/Dr. Moreau character with a bunch of mutant animal combos?
27D: [Sargent portrait of a mysterious Frenchwoman] is called MADAME X. Even if you don't know the painting in question, you really can't complain about fine arts content in a Saturday crossword. The Saturday puzzle should challenge, entertain, and expand our knowledge base. And you know what? Right now I'm sort of wishing I'd chosen Madame X instead of Orange as my fake name. I'm a bit of a RUER.
Three theme phrases; each begins with a word that can precede the word opener. Two of these words are tiny; all of the phrases are power-packed. There aren't tons of longer entries, but the four eights are especially good; and the cluing of the many shorter words adds to the overall success of today's Klahn. Looking first at the theme fill, there's:
Each of the four eights deserves a mention, too: THE ENEMY [He is us, to Pogo], VOLATILE (because it's such a good word), and the rhyming (and symmetrically placed) INTERPOL and BANKROLL, the latter with its alliterative [Back with bucks] clue.
And then, let's look at the way Bob writes his clues, using repeated words to make sequential connections from one clue to the next and strengthening their impact in the process:
Some other clue/fill combos that made me think twice (and smile):
In other words, this whole puzzle is basically ['60s "Wow!"]/"FAR OUT!"
Sandy Fein's Newsday "Saturday Stumper"
(PDF solution here.)
I generally prefer themeless crosswords with stacks of long (9- to 15-letter) answers to the ones with a slew of 7s, which feel drier to me. Comments on a handful of clues and answers:
September 11, 2009
Newsday a leisurely 10 minutes