July 30, 2005

Saturday summary

All those wisecracks about Sherry O. Blackard and her initials, and whips and chains—they're making a little more sense to me today. It was a delight to have to fight so hard in each section of the puzzle, and the puzzle was so elegant. Those beefy 6x6 squares. Those interlocking long entries (four 10s crossing both of the horizontal 11s). The SQUADCAR/ARREST combo. The logical but new-to-me "interdigitation" (cluing MESHING). I don't even know what EDA ("Dept. of Commerce div.") stands for—ah, Google tells me it's the Economic Development Administration; I'll file that away in the synapses. I liked PRIZEMONEY, too. (Is it because I like prize money?) And how many of you knew that a cowboy in a sombrero could be a CHARRO? I also liked CASTIRON as "not subject to change." Fabulous puzzle!

Stella Daily and Bruce Venzke made today's LAT puzzle, with stacked pairs of 15s. Nice to see JOHNWOO and BODACIOUS make an appearance. I hadn't known VESICLE was a geologic term ("volcanic rock cavity")—I only knew it as a medical term (blisters and seminal vesicles). Anyone familiar with CSTORE as slang for a convenience store? It doesn't seem to be used in Chicagoland.

I liked Henry Hook's LA Weekly puzzle, of course. For those of you doing it in Across Lite, be aware of the typo in the solution (where 15D meets 22A, the wrong vowel shows up).

I won't be home for the Sunday NYT in a couple hours, but hear rumors of left-right symmetry. Must be something special if Will Shortz is bending the rules—I look forward to seeing whose puzzle it is and what they've wrought.

NYT 10:50 (yow!)
LAT 5:25
CS 3:49
Creators Synd. 6:08 (with Googling to check the director George PAL and the CEP mushroom)
WaPo 7:42
LAW 9:05