November 19, 2005

Patrick Merrell's plus-sized Sunday NYT was wonderful: It's big, it's harder than the typical Sunday puzzle, and sometimes it's funny. When I filled in my first theme entry, I laughed at the rejected school mascot, ST JOHNS WORT; I want to know what other theme candidates didn't make the cut. I also laughed at "it might make the torso seem moreso" for BRA. (Pat, that's terrible! Do we blame you or Will for that one?) There were plenty of traps in this one, too. LIBELERS ("Name-callers, maybe") could be LABELERS, until you see LABELED a few rows below it."Author Sinclair," of course, could be UPTON or LEWIS, but look over there in the opposite corner for "Author Carroll" to see where LEWIS belongs. The four-letter landlocked country, second letter A? Isn't that always MALI? This time, it's LAOS. (The latter was the only trap that snared me.) Also, I learned that Ping-Pong balls tend to be ORANGE these days.

Anyway, thanks for scheduling a great weekend of puzzles, Will! You can't beat Manny on Friday, Byron on Saturday, and a jumbo Pat on Sunday. (Although other bylines would certainly be welcome, too—here's hoping that Frank Longo, Sherry Blackard, David Kahn, Joe DiPietro, and Bob Klahn make Saturday appearances soon.)

NYT 11:23
LAT 9:32
CS 5:19