January 18, 2006

Thursday Afternoon: a Brian Eno album

If you're thinking of attending the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament this March 24–26, go print out the registration form and mail it in. Highlights on this year's schedule include a trivia quiz with "Jeopardy!" champ Ken Jennings, a "Sudoku Smackdown" (watch for the glowering faces of crossword constructors who deplore sudoku as a threat to their livelihood), and a screening of Wordplay. Also, the Stamford Marriott has added a day spa (the Agora Spa—very crosswordy!), so if the tournament stresses you out, you can get a massage, and if you prefer more stress, there's always waxing.

I loved Joy Andrews' Sun puzzle, "Achtung, Baby!" The German number puns are great, especially SECHS PISTOLS—and all three theme entries led to "aha" laughs. And there are plenty of good entries, including people (the new RIORDAN, plus VONNEGUT and MEATLOAF) and phrases (RATED PG, IN UTERO, I SEE YOU, and IN THE BAG). My favorite clue was "spine line" for AUTHOR.

Another great puzzle from Joe DiPietro in the NYT. I went temporarily blind while doing this puzzle—I was reading "Sykes" as "Skye" for the longest time and trying to figure out the play on IONE instead of WANDA. (Ow.) I also compounded my trouble by entering EXTRA instead of SPARE and then crossing it with TAHOE instead of ASPEN. Great entries here, too, of course—notably, IF I MAY, BRUSH AWAY, and MAN TO MAN.


Randall Hartman's CrosSynergy puzzle, "Either Way You Look At It," has a fun theme, which I won't spoil. But if you remember other puzzles with a similar theme, tell me about them in the comments—I'd like to do more in this vein.

There's another days-of-the-week puzzle in the LA Times, but this time it's not a rebus. Jesse Goldberg's got all the days in their proper order, plus ONE FULL WEEK at the end. (But I like to parse GETS A TAN as GET SATAN—good clue for that, anyone?)

NYT 6:48
NYS 4:57
LAT 3:54
CS 3:12