November 03, 2005

Friday, at last

I liked Martin Ashwood-Smith's Friday NYT. Sure, it was easier than yesterday's puzzle by Byron, but we can't hold that against it. Who'd a thunk RABAT would make an appearance two days in a row? I'm not wild about the entry LESSON TWO, but check out the construction of this thing—those four 9-letter verticals that connect the three central 15's to the top or bottom 15's? That looks...difficult. I got NEUF ("dix preceder") only through the crossings—my brain came up with Fort Dix and ipso dixit. I also got duped by "megabucks event?"—5 letters, ending in O? I filled in LOTTO before RODEO revealed itself.

The NYS Weekend Warrior by Ogden Porter (né Peter Gordon) had some tricky clues, like "hears without ears?" for AITCH and "weak heart" for THREE. And C AND W was an elusive entry—I'm used to R AND D and R AND R, but parse Peter's entry until the W showed up. I can't say I've ever heard of Tony winner JIM DALE. And I hatehatehate the term GAL PALS; yes, it's in the language and utterly fair game for a crossword, but I just don't like the phrase. I loved BAA BAA, however!

I'll be away until Sunday night, and the to-do list down below will be waiting for me. I'm half done with Frank Longo's new book of cranium crushers. I'm trying not to devour them all at once, but during a weekend away from all the online puzzles? I can't be held responsible if I should finish them all...

NYS 6:49
NYT 6:01

To-do list:

Fri: WSJ, CS
Sat: NYT, CS
Sun: Reagle, Boston Globe, WaPo, CS