October 23, 2005


Nice Monday NYT by Lynn Lempel. I'm always happy to see a shout-out to IHOP, where I enjoyed the International Passport breakfast with buttermilk pancakes today (abbreviated on the receipt as PASSPORT BUTT), especially when its anagram, HOPI, sits across the grid. The KAZOO, GIZA, HAIKU batches of Zs and Ks lended a smidgen of oomph as well.


Only on Mondays do we find the CrosSynergy puzzle taking longer than the NYT, but at least the NYT promises to ramp up in difficulty as the week goes on. Often all that makes it worthwhile to crack open the puzzles on a Monday morning is having a whole week's worth of Sun puzzles to do. (Of course, then Tuesday and Wednesday suffer in comparison.)

Speaking of the Sun, I liked the non-theme fill in the Monday puzzle by Fred Jackson III (newcomer?). The theme didn't excite me (I've never heard of DAMES AT SEA, and I'm not a big Broadway fan anyway), but the rest of the puzzle had much to commend it—KLEENEX, SAME SEX, IBIZA, CLASSIC clued as "textbook," and the word TRICE, which I really should use more. "Back in a trice!" "Hang on a trice, will you?" "Just rewind the TiVo a trice, please." Who's with me?

I don't usually talk about the rest of the week's Suns on Monday, but if you're one of those people who skips them or only does the late-week ones, reconsider this week. Tuesday's puzzle by Bonnie Gentry and Vic Fleming was elegant and funny; Wednesday's by Dave Sullivan had some tricky clues and a late-'70s vibe; the Themeless Thursday by Raymond Hamel was too easy, but has some bright spots; and Friday's Patrick Berry puzzle kicked my butt. More on these puzzles as their days arrive.

CS 3:34
NYS 3:29
LAT 3:12
NYT 3:00