July 12, 2005

Three-fer Tuesday

The Sun puzzles weren't available yet Monday morning, so I didn't get to do my daily three-fer yesterday. I hoped to finish today's offerings in 10:30, and eked out a victory in 10:03. (I love to eke.)

Today's LAT is a joint venture from Stella Daily and Bruce Venzke, featuring hackneyed postcard phrases like WISHYOUWEREHERE. (Who knew so many postcard lines were 15 letters long?) Notable entries include ICECOLD, KLEPTO, CUPCAKE, and FATCAT.

The CrosSynergy was by Martin Ashwood-Smith, featuring phrases with synonyms for "wonderful." I'm not sure exactly why the puzzle's title is "S Wonderful"—wherefore the S? We have FANTASTICVOYAGE, SUPERCONDUCTORS, AND MARVELOUSMARVIN. I liked the inclusion of EARWIG as well, even though earwigs creep me out. A puzzle with a millipede/centipede theme might be impossible to finish, since those critters are even creepier than earwigs and I cannot abide them.

Lynn Lempel provided today's NYS, another nicely done Lempel puzzle. I have a modest nit to pick with 9D, CTSCAN for "X-ray follow-up." While some conditions are first screened for with a standard x-ray but need a CT scan to confirm a diagnosis, there are surely many other circumstances in which CT is a first step; x-rays are cheap, but there's no need to expose a patient to extra radiation if only CT or MRI will actually show what the doctor suspects is there. Okay, I'm stepping down off the medical editor high-horse soapbox now. (Why is the horse on a soapbox, anyway?)

Nancy Salomon's NYT was plenty of fun, too—classic NYT style, 15 multi-word phrases (including the theme entries), a fresh vibe with PEPSI and THEWHO, DUFFEL and MOMMY, and the breezy "I'm game" theme. It's also the second puzzle I've seen in the past week mentioning Susan Lucci/Erica, right after Ellen Ripstein's blog linked to an article listing her as one of the past Susan Luccis of the world (many years of ACPT runner-up status before she finally won).