December 14, 2005


Well, I definitely noticed that Pat Merrell's Thursday NYT puzzle only contained certain letters—A, E, and a little over half of the consonants. But it wasn't until I opened the Across Lite file, read the notepad, and then read up the list of clues that I discovered the twist: Pat used only the letters that you type with your left hand. Oddly enough, I did a similar puzzle once on paper (anyone remember the constructor or date?), and figured I would have noticed right away if only I'd solved it via a keyboard. But no. Great job using the X, Q, and Z, and finding three 15-letter entries, Pat!

Joe DiPietro's "Themeless Thursday" in the Sun had some tricky clues ("check out" for EYEBALL was a favorite), but the main appeal for me was the fill. FU MANCHU mustache (How many other constructors wish they'd used that one first?), WENT AWRY (I love the word "awry"), LA RAIDER, and GAME BIRD are new to the Cruciverb database, and VULPINE only has one prior appearance. Great job, Joe!

NYS 5:08
NYT 4:28
LAT 4:05
CS 3:26