August 04, 2005

Obligatory daily post (totally spoliacious!)

The puzzle that stands out today is Byron Walden's Themeless Thursday in the Sun, lending support to Matt Gaffney's argument that the Sun puzzles Peter Gordon ushers into print top those in the NYT. Tired of seeing HAN Solo in crosswords? This puzzle has CHEWBACCA, clued ingeniously as "Solo accompanier." Other highlights include "Yawner's self-diagnosis" for INEEDANAP, "Cheesecake ingredient" for SKIN, "Incapable of littering" for SPAYED, and "Hand-raiser's shout" for IKNOWIT. It was an educational puzzle for me, too, as I didn't know the Iggy Pop song BOOGIEBOY or political cartoonist DAVIDLOW.

I did Byron's puzzle a couple days ago in the grips of a migraine (it didn't effect a cure), so I'm not sure if the puzzle was really all that knotty or if I was having an off day. BEQ's Themeless Thursday two weeks ago took me a lot less time (5:15), so I wasn't expecting to take so long on Byron's.

What's up with Will Shortz and the gimmick-free Thursday puzzles this week (Gorski) and last (Berlin)? Will, you're giving us a complex. We do the puzzles and then we search for a trick that will explain why it's a Thursday NYT. It's one thing to toss in a harder-than-Wednesday regular themed puzzle every so often, but two Thursdays in a row serves only to confuse us, and possibly puts a wrinkle in the space-time continuum.

NYT 4:27
NYS 7:42
CS 3:11
LAT 3:51