November 12, 2005

Boy, I just flew through the Sunday NYT puzzle by Brendan Emmett Quigley, "Flying Start." It wasn't until I got to the theme entries starting with VIRGIN and DELTA that I looked into the theme and saw that it was phrases starting with airline names. (Will had to run this one quickly, since the demise of SONG is just a few months off.) I wonder if Brendan was cognizant of the Hibernian vibe, with OREILLY, LIAM, and AIDAN? This grid was chock full of fantastic fill, as we expect from BEQ—MR MAGOO, QWERTY, TIPTOEING, AL FATAH, and POLE VAULT, to list a few—and commensurate clues. "Bar challenge" for POLE VAULT, for example, and "They haven't any definite forms" for AMOEBAE, and "Is that what you expected?" for SURPRISED. To answer that question, yes, this is the quality I expected from BEQ (one part delicious Saturday, one part expansive Sunday), so I wasn't surprised by it. Thanks, Brendan and Will, for a meaty challenge. (If you're still working on the Sunday puzzle and you're here to get a few answers, 'fess up.)

Although technically I can stop any time I want, I did buy another puzzle book today. It's The Big Book of Crossword Puzzles: 288 Puzzles for the Crossword Fanatic. It's actually four Sterling books in one: two books of puzzles from the '50s and '60s, which I may well skip; one book of US Airways puzzles edited by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon, and—the reason I bought this—one book of "Beat the Champ" puzzles that includes the finishing times for past ACPT champions Ellen Ripstein, Jon Delfin, and Doug Hoylman. I love to see how my times stack up against other people's times, so this should be fun.

Updated: Hey, a CrosSynergy Sunday Challenge that actually challenges! Bob Klahn can always be counted on to cook up a tough one.

NYT 9:49
CS 6:51