October 14, 2005


Ouch. Paula Gamache's NYT didn't fight me as hard as some of those other wicked Saturday puzzles over the last couple months by Byron Walden, Bob Peoples, and Sherry Blackard—but it did put up a helluva fight all the same. I never, ever heard of LA CORUNA, and I also tried to spell FRIED as FRIID, which mangled that section for an extra minute of pain. MAIN MENU clued as "automated answering machine base" was a great inclusion, as were FLIMFLAM and TWIST TIE. No shortage of difficult clues, like "walloping" for GIGANTIC, or clever clues, like "Goth's look enhancer" for EYELINER. Cool five-zone grid, with plenty of difficulty spread over all of the zones. I have a quasi-nit as a medical editor, though; LESION clued as "cut" may be technically accurate with the definition of "wound or injury," but I can't say I've heard the word used in that sense. (Anyone else?) Of course, there are other 6-letter words that would work with the clue, such as BISECT or INCISE or SLICED, so if the intent was to lead solvers astray, it could work. Aside from the clue for LESION, walloping kudos to Paula and Will for a fairly meaty challenge.


Am I impaired this morning, or is this week's Newsday Saturday Stumper by Merle Baker really 40% harder than the Paula Gamache puzzle? See what you think. And maybe have your caffeine first—I did the puzzle decaf.

Stumper 13:08
NYT 9:19
LAT 7:46
CS 4:42

WaPo 10:50
LA Weekly 9:41