March 23, 2006

Friday, and on to Stamford

Manny Nosowsky's NYT puzzle is intricately constructed, with 15- and 13-letter entries on each side interlocking at the corners and with the intersection central 13s. Most of Dr. Nosowsky's puzzles seem to include a medical or anatomical term as a signature; in this one, would that be PERSONAL HYGIENE or Mercedes E CLASS? Many clever clues, such as "library supporter, maybe" for MUNICIPAL BOND and "place for I, O or U" for PERIODIC TABLE.

Over in the Sun, there's a nifty connect-the-dots puzzle, “Digital Connections,” from Patrick Blindauer. I was forced to do the math for 15 Across, dividing 28,800 by 60 twice, to come up with the correct number for 4PM. Is it just me, or do you draw a five-pointed star starting where the 5 is in this puzzle? No matter—even if the puzzle doesn’t follow how I draw a star, it’s a great gimmick combined with tough end-of-the-week cluing (“margay’s cousin” for OCELOT, “it connects directly with the sternum” for TRUE RIB, “juramentum” for OATH, and “sponsor of NASCAR’s Meijer 300 race” for OREO).

I'm flying to Stamford Friday morning for the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. non-tournament crossword solving will lag over the weekend, and Fiendish blogging will be effervescent or phlegmatic, depending on how much free time is not occupied elsewhere. I'm hoping to do better than I did last year, or at least have a good time doing poorly...

NYS 8:15
NYT 4:45