September 10, 2005

Catching up with the Chronicle

The Chronicle of Higher Education puzzles (edited by Sunday NYT slayer Patrick Berry) seem to run on a 5-week delay before the puzzles are released to the nonsubscriber masses, rather than the 3-week delay I thought was in play. Anyway, I just did the July 29 puzzle by Deb Amlen and the August 5 puzzle by Gary Steinmehl. Both are available on Will Johnston's handy-dandy Puzzle Pointers page.

Deb's "Guest Lecturers" theme was fun. "Grammar class taught by Jesse Ventura?" was BODY ENGLISH, for example; Hitchcock's theater class was PSYCHODRAMA. Three more entries round out the theme. This particular puzzle seemed less academically oriented than most CHE puzzles, which was (true confession time) actually a bit of a relief. Extra credit to Deb for having "Clio winners" be ADS and not the gender-specific AD MEN we see elsewhere. Lots of good fill and clues, such as MILKSHAKE; "Charybdis, for one" for WHIRLPOOL (there's some learned content for you); POSEUR and ODDITY; "Juju musician King Sunny __" ADE rather than the dull "summer fruit drink"; the apposed ZIG and ZAG; and "Good heavens!" OH MY.

Gary Steinmehl's "Abridged Novels" theme lops the last letter off a title; "Novel about a parent who's not apparent?" is INVISIBLE MA, for example. It's also got some good fill, such as NOSTRUM, NEW MOON, IRON-ONS, and SOURPUSS. Like Deb's puzzle, this one's a little more accessible and nonacademic than some other recent CHE puzzles. Just as I like non-businessy Wall Street Journal puzzles, it would seem that I like the less scholarly CHE outings...

7/29 CHE 4:16
8/5 CHE 4:36