July 14, 2005

I decided to challenge myself with a 12:45 time limit for today's three-fer. I got my butt handed to me on a platter (14:50). In each puzzle, I miskeyed a single letter and used the "check all letters" function to figure out where I went wrong. Even with that cheatin' help, I was still slow. Arrgh!

Tough NYS by Gary Steinmehl (6:32). Great theme (be sure to do the puzzle if you haven't already—the theme is delicious), but not one whose entries came to me at all quickly. Having a star name (ALIOTH) lurking in the NW corner sure didn't help. Will you shoot me if I ever create a puzzle with DENEB or another star in the fill? (Possible exception: ALGOL, which was the name of my college yearbook.)

Easy CrosSynergy by Sarah Keller (3:48). I liked the girliness of LOWHEELEDSHOE for "flat" (plus I hate high heels). And how delightful to have a puzzle called "Key of C Minor" that doesn't require familiarity with musical arcana!

Barbara Olson's LAT took 4:30.

Oh! Way to bury the lead in the article. I really enjoyed Kevan Choset's Thursday NYT last night but a late supper got in the way of blogging about it right away. The Bastille Day theme was un peu slow to dawn on me. The inclusion of NEURALGIA and RENAL seemed Mannyesque, didn't it? (Let's have more medical terminology in puzzles! Those are gimmes for me.) On the Erica Kane watch, here's yet another recent puzzle with a Susan Lucci inclusion. (If any solvers don't remember that name yet, it's possible they are learning-impaired.) I suspect I wasn't the only one to try thick-SKINNED before switching to thick-SKULLED. (Does that make me thick-skulled?) I appreciated the pop-culture clue for LEO ("Seinfeld" uncle), just two rows over from another erstwhile NBC Thursday must-see TV name, MATTLEBLANC. As much as I deplore OLEO (butter tastes so much better), I must commend Kevan and Will for the awesome hall-of-fame clue, "Pat on the buns?" (I wonder which of them wrote that one.)

("I can't wait for the Friday puzzles," she added parenthetically.)