October 18, 2005

I really liked Kelsey Blakley's NYS puzzle, "Hang Five," in which the theme entries were altered by the addition of an A, E, I, O, or U at the end. (Although I must deplore the inclusion of the GOP spin term "death tax" in DEATH TAXI.) "Keep heat out of?" is a great clue for SPAY.

Levi Denham's hidden-NYSE NYT puzzle had a ton of 3-letter entries, but fortunately, they didn't detract from the puzzle. There were many elegant longer entries to balance them, such as IN A SLUMP, MEL TORME, and some blocks of 6-letter words. Fresh clues, too, such as "where 'besuboru' is played" for JAPAN. (That reminds me of an old Games magazine puzzle that entailed figuring out the original English of English-based Japanese words. I recall things like "otomiru" for oatmeal and "Biru Kurinton" for Bill Clinton; in fact, around my house, we've been calling it otomiru ever since doing that puzzle. Anyone remember the other words Games included?)

NYS 5:52
NYT 3:48
LAT 3:30
CS 3:25