January 07, 2006


The Sunday NYT by Michael Ashley is called "Amateur Poker Party," and all the theme entries are poker terms. I'm sure the theme delighted the hordes of people who enjoy playing poker (or watching it on cable), but I've never played a hand in my life. But I liked the puzzle anyway—entries like ESTRAGON*, My SHARONA, HOLY TOLEDO, BLOTTO, and ENTRE NOUS; clues like "Store outside a city?" for ENSILE and "Food for thought?" for DATA

* If you liked Waiting for Godot and cooking shows, you'll love Francis Heaney's parody, "Bake Me Cutlets" (scroll waaay down toward the end). "Bake Me Cutlets" is, of course, an anagram of Samuel Beckett. Or skip the hassle of scrolling and buy yourself a copy of Francis's book, Holy Tango of Literature.


Bob Klahn's CrosSynergy Sunday Challenge is easier than most Friday and Saturday NYT puzzles, but it's about as stern a challenge as a CrosSynergy puzzle ever offers. I counted eight shiny new entries, including FAINEANT, which I never knew was from the French (it looked Irish to me), HOW ARE YA, PUTSCH, and BUSFARE (clued as "Greyhound charge"). Other good clues were "Parchment?" for THIRST and "End of Denver?" for BRONCO.

Nice LA Times puzzle from Matt Skoczen, "See You Around." Usually I enjoy the Washington Post and LA Weekly puzzles more than the LAT, but this week it's flipped.

NYT 9:25
LAT 9:10
CS 5:05

WaPo 8:43
Hex 7:53