August 12, 2005

Wrapping up Friday

I'm still digesting Bob Peoples' Sat. NYT. In the meantime, let me tell you about the puzzles I did this morning instead of freelance work: the Friday Wall Street Journal and two Sunday puzzles, from the Philadelphia Inquirer and LA Weekly. (I also did the regular Friday LAT and CrosSynergy puzzles.)

Henry Hook's "Who's That Girl," LAW—An entertaining theme that took me far too long to suss out. I had to work for each theme entry, too. My two favorites crossed each other: LUCICANNON (loose cannon) and TRACIELEMENTS (trace elements). Of course, I went with LUCY and TRACY, the more traditional spellings, but Across Lite told me the Y was wrong. (Whatever.) Anyway, it was a fairly tough puzzle.

Randolph Ross's "Insurance Adjustment," WSJ—A good challenge. As much trouble as I have getting excited about business themes, the constructor really did all he could to make insurance industry–related puns entertaining, and he succeeded. I was also oddly pleased to see the "yellow-red dyestuff" ANNATTO make an appearance—finally, all those years of reading food packaging pays off!

Merl Reagle's "Witches My Point," PI—Usually I fly right through Merl's puzzles, but his witchcraft-related puns slowed my broom down. It felt like the fill was more obscure and the clues harder—though maybe it was just me. Anyone else struggle more than usual with this week's Merl?

Sun. PI 12:14
Sun. LAW 10:30
Fri. WSJ 9:17
Fri. LAT 4:38
Fri. CS 3:38