November 07, 2005

Tuesday: New and improved

Whew! Now that's more like it. Maybe it's just not a good idea to solve a dozen puzzles and time yourself after spending seven hours traveling? I'm feeling much better after posting a decent time for the Tuesday NYT.

Speaking of which—nice puzzle by Gail Grabowski and Nancy Salomon. Gail's been doing solo puzzles for a while now, so I'm guessing this puzzle had been in the pipeline for some time. News flash for cluers and editors: AFROS have made a comeback in the last few years, so the preponderance of clues referencing the '60s or '70s are out of date. Anyone have a great hair-related (or non) clue for AFRO/AFROS? SLUSHY's a good word; is that the spelling used for the frozen concoctions Apu sells on "The Simpsons"? Which reminds me—that executive acquitted of financial fraud charges, Richard Scrushy, has an awesome name. I'm not sure what the word scrushy would mean, but it should totally be a word. Scrunchy meets squishy meets slushy meets screechy.

Timothy Powell's NYS puzzle, "Tsar Search," has nothing to do with Russian aristocrats and everything to do with an ST/TS swap. I liked the puzzle, but haven't figured out one of the clues: 12D, "blind, essentially," is ANTE. Huh? Is this about poker? (Dave Sullivan's Friday NYS includes one theme entry that had me at a loss. It turned out to combine a slang term from the theme—which I won't spoil yet—with a term from bridge, and everything I know about bridge, I learned from crosswords.)


If you enjoy early-week puzzles, Randolph Ross has a wiener winner in the CrosSynergy "Get Your Hot Dogs." I've never heard the first theme phrase, KNEW HIS ONIONS. According to World Wide Words, the phrase originated in the 1920s in America. Similar phrases that were used at the time included "know one's eggs" and "know one's sweet potatoes." Around the same time, Americans were fond of animal anatomy phrases like "the bee's knees" and others that haven't survived, like "elephant's instep" and "gnat's elbow."

NYS 4:14
CS 3:26
NYT 2:54