July 15, 2005

Friday's other puzzles—AND A CONTEST!

I almost made my 14:30 cutoff for today's three-fer—I went over by a mere 6 seconds.

6:05 for Joe DiPietro's NYS Weekend Warrior. A thing of beauty, that. FUZZYDICE crossing DIZZYDEAN at the Y, not a Z?? That takes mad skillz, yo. Cruciverbal cojones. Great fill, fantastic clues. It rivals the BEQ NYT for the title of Friday's Hardest Crossword. Or should I say Cakiest? The Artist Formerly Known as Cakey has clued CAKED as "Got hard"—seems appropriate!

Vic Fleming's latest LAT took me 4:18. An easy-to-complete theme, but probably a typical difficulty level for a Friday LAT. The good judge has a few signature nods to his profession: TRY, [hold] INCONTEMPT, and MISSUSA. (What? Pageants have judges.) Tell me I'm not the only one who thought SLEDGE for the 6-letter singer of "When a Man Loves a Woman." No offense to any Michael Bolton fans out there...

Tack on another 4:13 for Randall Hartman's CrosSynergy, "If I Were You..." Cute theme—changing an I to a U in a phrase, making "high profile" into HUGHPROFILE, for one. I can't think of any other good examples (unless you like "Evil cat"? for WICKEDPUSS).

Today's modest contest: Come up with a great Hartmanesque I-to-U change and give it a funny clue. (He already used BOWLINGPUN, BULLYTHEKID, and BATHTUBGUN.) You can contribute two entries if you just can't stop at one. And everyone's welcome to rave about the entries they think are best. Enjoy!