November 22, 2005

Levi Denham paints a clear picture in the Wednesday NYT puzzle, with DRAW POKER, DRAFT BEER, and the other theme entries he penciled in. (Sorry. Too many puns?) I liked the clues and fill, such as "knocked off, in a way" for the synonymous ICED and SLEW, "utter" for OUT AND OUT, "it may be organized" for CRIME. But how come TAKES TEN wasn't clued as "knocks off, in a way"? I've noticed that now I sometimes fill in some answers without reading the clues; what else could T?M?W?RP be, after all?

Lee Glickstein and Nancy Salomon paired up on the NYS puzzle, "Easy Come..." My favorite clue in this one was "gin maker of note" for ELI WHITNEY. Surely I'm not the only one who thought of spirits flavored with the juniper berry? I love a clue that dupes me (temporarily) in a clever fashion. There's some great fill in this puzzle, too—NINJA, GAZETTEERS, SEERSUCKER, NEXT TO LAST. Since the first two theme entries seemed to substitute an "ease" for an "ee" sound, the third one confused me for a bit. Then I realized the trick was adding EZ, so CANNES FRANCE became CEZANNES FRANCE. Nicely executed, Lee and Nancy!


Today's CrosSynergy puzzle by Randall Hartman felt more like a Sun puzzle to me (high praise, indeed). Maybe it was because the PETER theme brought Peter Gordon to mind, or maybe it was because of fill like PLEXIGLAS. There was also a good clue for ASP that seemed new (though it may well have have been used before): "Cleo's feller."

Aah, at last Ben Tausig's weekly puzzle has arrived! It's usually one of Wednesday's highlights, since it typically offers more of a challenge than the other puzzles of the day. One of Ben's trademarks is to use things that sound racy even if they aren't—e.g., "house for rakes and hoes" is TOOLSHED, and "it gets laid in a bathroom" clues TILE. Another fresh touch was defining MCJOB as "Data Entry Associate, say." And I always appreciate "YOND Cassius has a lean and hungry look," because my mom and her friend used that line when they were scoping out my then-skinny dad-to-be in their college English class. It ain't much for romance, but that's my backstory.

Tausig 4:28
CS 4:08
NYT 3:45
NYS 3:42
LAT 3:30