September 11, 2005

Forgive the five-hour delay in getting to the Monday NYT. I was summoned to sit with my grandma for a few hours. Cleverly, I bored her to sleep so I could read half of Marc Romano's Crossworld. (Note to self: Next time, swing by the bar at Stamford.)

Cute puzzle by Michael Shteyman, who presumably has many friends who became greatly concerned with JOB APPLICATIONS a few months ago. I enjoyed the puzzle's chatty vibe—"That hurts!" for YOW, "Stop yelling AT ME," "Seriously, don't bother" for NO NEED—as well as the seldom-seen SPARE KEY, the full ENTR'ACTE entry, UN-PC, and REVS UP.

Jack McInturff's LA Times puzzle had a couple iffy words in the center (OSA and CTN), but I can forgive them because they enable the crossing COCCYX. It's clued, as in its two previous appearances in the Cruciverb database, simply as "tailbone"—I guess there's not much room for inventive cluing, but I still like the word.

Updated 1:10 p.m. Mon.:

Harvey Estes' CrosSynergy puzzle may be Monday-level easy, but it swings with non-theme fill like BOY WONDER, THE PEOPLE, and LAZYBONES.

Gary Steinmehl's NYS puzzle, "Wheels of Fortune," posed a nice challenge for a Monday morning. Well, afternoon, actually. Are the theme entries limited to the three long verticals containing BARS, SEVENS, and CHERRIES? I'm not a gambler, so I wasn't sure if EGGROLLS and ODDITIES, which seem to have dice-related terms embedded within, might also tie into the theme. And what about SNEAKY PETE and INS AND OUTS—just fantastic fill, or part of the theme?

NYS 3:56
CS 3:18
NYT 2:58
LAT 2:55