August 30, 2005

Yo, Wednesday spoilers herein

I really liked Alan Arbesfeld's timely Wed. NYT with its hidden names. It was almost a pangram, missing the letter J. And I wasn't disappointed with my time, so I think my synapses have found one another again. There are a lot of 7:00-plus times tonight, so clearly something about this puzzle was tricky. What trouble spots were there for you?

The Wed. NYS by Joe DiPietro? Great! Such a smart theme, with the IM PATIENT and GE STATION and UN SEATS and whatnot. It took a while to figure out what he was doing with the theme entries, and then—aha!

Ben Tausig's "Crossing the Finish" (from the Village Voice, among other papers) was also a good one. You've got your LISTSERVE and DEAR JOHN spicing up the fill, and a CKS-to-X theme handled nimbly. (Political advisory: If you're a diehard Republican, you might not enjoy Ben's puzzles as much as the lefties do.) And it looks like Ben has toughened up the cluing a bit, which is terrific.

Tausig 5:22
NYS 5:08
NYT 4:10
CS 3:13
LAT 3:05