February 27, 2006

Tiisdei (Frisian Tuesday)

That's a nICEr puzzle, Jim Hyres' NYT with the CENTER ICE theme. The longer theme entries were supplemented with crossing central ICEs in the shorter entries in the puzzle's middle. Although...the wrong member of the Bush administration, ALBERTO Gonzales, is parked beneath AIMS AT ("Targets, as with a gun").

Graham Meyer (What has he done before?) presents the second Sun Oscar of the week, with "Worst Pictures." Cute theme—or should I say ugly theme? My Fair Lady becomes MY FOUL LADY, and A Beautiful Mind is A HIDEOUS MIND. Maybe it's a good thing I'm not a studio executive, because I'm oddly intrigued by the movies that would merit those bizarro-world titles. Plenty of interesting clues and 7- to 8-letter fill, though I can't help but wonder why Peter retained (or added) an abbreviation, RTES (22 Down), where it wasn't needed for the crossings. Change the T to a U and the I of I AM to an S, and you've got the perfectly respectable RUES and SAM crossing USED.

Updated: I liked the theme in Raymond Hamel's CrosSynergy puzzle—the clues for the theme entries were "L?" "V?" and "Y?" Intrigued?

NYS 4:54
CS 3:40
NYT 3:06
LAT 2:56
Newsday 2:35 (on paper)