February 25, 2006

Søndag (Danish and Norwegian for Sunday)

Aah, Randolph Ross's "Writing Lesson"...a perfect Sunday NYT crossword for the writer/editor type. I know all those grammatical rules, even if half of them are hooey and should be flouted by all right-thinking people who actually know how to write. (I'm not making this up—the linguists at Language Log eviscerate Strunk and White every so often, as in this post. The S&W rules they've protested include those pertaining to split infinitives, sentences ending with prepositions, and saying things like "Everyone should bring their lunch" instead of "Everyone should bring his or her lunch.") This doesn't detract from the theme at all, as most people educated in the U.S. will have had these rules foisted upon them, rightly or wrongly. Anyway, here are some clues/entries I enjoyed: "C-worthy" for SOSO, "Malodourous room?" for LOO, BEER CANS and GUINNESS, "Round end?" for BELL (boxing, ick), "Lowest state?" for MISERY, and PRESS KITS.

I like to list some of the trickier clues for the Saturday and Sunday puzzles, the clues that will give people fits and send them to the search engines in pursuit of answers. What do you know? Most of the trivia in this puzzle is clued so straightforwardly that Google should give these people what they need...


Today's LA Times puzzle by Rich Norris (the pseudonym Nora Pearlstone is an anagram of "not a real person") is great—it made me laugh a few times, and that's certainly the mark of a fun puzzle. The clue for AJAR is "Annoying to a draft evader?" The theme entry AMORAL SURGEON is clued as "Unscrupulous operator?" This puzzle's the first one I've seen that includes SUDOKU. And who doesn't appreciate a shout-out to Jean-Claude Van Damme, the muscles from Brussels? (Though I prefer Universal Soldier to TIMECOP.)

Speaking of Rich Norris, there's also a good CrosSynergy Sunday Challenge by him. If you're wondering about "ecological stages" and SERES, this may explain it a bit.

The theme in the Newsday puzzle by Gail Grabowski is the color brown. Many of the theme entries are food-related, so don't do this puzzle when you're hungry...

LAT 11:36 (with conversations)
NYT 8:14
Newsday 7:34 (on paper)
CS 4:45