Patrick Berry's New York Times crossword, "Double Break Point"
Theme: At the break point between two words, the first word's final letter gets doubled and scoots over to the second word. A few examples:
There are nine theme entries in all. That long central Down answer, LIBERAL-MINDED (29D: [Tolerant of other opinions]), is not part of the theme, though it does intersect three theme answers.
Weirdest (i.e., least familiar) answer: RAHAB, or 91A: [Prostitute who protected Israelite spies, in Joshua].
Notable clues and answers in the fill:
That's all for tonight. See you Sunday morning!
Updated Sunday morning:
Merl Reagle's syndicated crossword, "Fashion Plate"
Merl's theme this week is "food items that contain words that are related to clothing (items of apparel, fabrics, clothing fasteners, parts of clothing), clued with the word fashionable." For example:
This theme feels too sprawlingly loose to me. FRENCH SILK needs to be followed by the word "pie" to be a food. BLUEBONNET isn't food, it's a brand name of margarine. The vague "things you can wear/things that are used to make things you wear/things that are used as fasteners on things you wear/a pocket" concept doesn't have much punch.
No hitches in the fill. I did not know that 13D: ARBOGAST was the name of [The detective in "Psycho"], but the crossings were more familiar. I could see people getting snagged by the B, which crosses 23A: Victor BORGE, [Great Dane by the piano].
Weird ones: 117A: [999 follower, perhaps] is OOO (but really 000, with zeroes), if you're looking at a three-digit dial that's going to flip back to 000 after it reaches 999. 103D: E NOTE usually gets clued as the not-in-my-parlance "e-note," an electronic note. Here, it's [Part of a C major chord]. Do music people call the musical note E the "E note"?
Dan Naddor's syndicated Los Angeles Times crossword, "Subliminal Messages"
The theme is fake advertising slogans in which the name of an apt company is embedded"
The cross-referencing made the puzzle a little slower to unravel, I thought. There are some tough answers (obscure ARTEL, 21D: [Soviet cooperative]) and clues (80D: [Lesser of two evils, metaphorically] for FRYING PAN, as in "out of the frying pan and into the fire"), but no real trouble zones.
Interesting way to massage the "embedded word" gimmick into a sensible theme with a purpose. The idea of "subliminal advertising" ties the company names to appropriate slogans, so there's no randomness to the embeds. I did a little Googling afterwards to see if these were actual slogans—if ad agencies had actually persuaded corporations to go with the embedded-name approach—but the two I looked up weren't real slogans used by those firms.
Tyler Hinman's CrosSynergy/Washington Post "Sunday Challenge"
Yay! Tyler made this puzzle a couple years ago but Will Shortz wasn't keen on 1-Across. I liked the puzzle then (the * is because my solving time was assisted by the previous go-round) so I'm glad to see it's been published now. 1-Across had been completely unfamiliar to me, but I enjoyed learning it. [LSU cheer that includes a punny French spelling] is "GEAUX TIGERS," playing on "go." What's not to love about a bilingual sports pun? Kudos to the Louisianans who came up with that one.
The grid's chockablock with interesting fill. Such as:
Surprised to see the double A grades in EASY A'S and [An A often boosts it (abbr.)] as the clue for GPA. Never heard of AL RITZ, 3D: [Part of an old comedy trio, with his brothers Harry and Jimmy].
Gotta run now—hope to find time for the Boston Globe puzzle this afternoon.
Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon's Boston Globe crossword, "U and U Alone"
The theme entries—five grid-spanning 21-letter fake headlines—all contain no vowel other than U:
I like the intersecting Simpson clues. 86A: ITO is [Simpson judge] and 78D: [Sax-honking Simpson] is LISA. 65D goes with trivia, [World found by Herschel], to clue URANUS. My kid gets a kick out of inquiring, "How big is Uranus?" When I answer that it's surprisingly light considering that it's larger than Neptune (but less dense), he collapses into giggles.
December 05, 2009