September 10, 2005

other Sunday puzzles

Henry Hook's LA Weekly puzzle, "Why Sci-Fi," makes good use of the Star Wars movies by reworking their titles into a fun crossword theme. (Finally, a reason for the most recent three episodes to exist!) Overall, a great puzzle. My favorite entries are THIRTY-FIRST, OFF THE BOOKS, ATWITTER, AFTER YOU, and, believe ir or not, WOLFRAMITE and WOMBAT. Classic Hook clues permeate the puzzle, of course. (Note: There's an error in the solution file that insists the T where 89D NOTH and 98A GMT cross is wrong. Don't be fooled. While NOAH and GMA would be valid with other clues, the clues provided do lead to NOTH and GMT.)

The Washington Post Magazine puzzle is Gordon Seaberg's "People, Places and Things," with an overlap theme (e.g., SEAN PENN STATE FAIR) of those three noun varieties. I thought the clues, while certainly not of a piece with the recent David Kahn and Bob Peoples Saturday NYTs, were on the tough side: we had "Dinosaur" for RELIC, "Black hole" for ABYSS, "Show ender, maybe" for RECAP, "Denali denizen" for MOOSE, "Union station" for ALTAR. Not an especially showy puzzle, but a solid and challenging one that I enjoyed.

Matt Skoczen's LA Times puzzle, "Running Mates," features a V.P. theme with entries like VOX POPULI and VALET PARKING. Overall, a good puzzle, featuring POPTOP, HEINIE, and BUSH BABY, along with a bunch of phrases like SIT ON IT, GO BACK ON, SET APART, PUT AWAY, and GET A TIP. Nostalgia bonus: Besides the theme entry VILLAGE PEOPLE, there's another '70s shout-out with GONG referring to "The Gong Show."

WaPo 11:22
LAW 9:17
LAT 7:34
CS 6:40