March 31, 2006


It's April Fool's Day tomorrow, so this week's Weekend Warrior in the Sun is Trip Payne's annual Wacky Weekend Warrior. Always fun to have a twist on the usual format, and surprisingly challenging.

I liked the quiet theme in Gilbert Ludwig's NYT, but I was out of it just enough to swap MID and CAP in 1 and 17 Across, which slowed me down. There was some quaint fill in this puzzle, like SWAINS, GAMINE, CRUMPET, CAMPHOR, and...HELLCAT.

Good Wall Street Journal puzzle from Manny Nosowsky, "Contain Yourself." I enjoyed the medical vibe with EUSTACHIAN TUBE, SPECIMEN JAR (YECCH), and SACRA, not to mention OWIE. And ERUCT for "burp." (I'm still waiting for Dr. Manny to work borborygmus into one of his puzzles. It's such a fun word to say!) One thing that threw me in this puzzle, though, was the nonstandard (but existent) use of the spelling PAHLEVI instead of PAHLAVI; at least the crossing of BASEMENT made it clear that the E was needed. At Stamford, someone described Manny's clues as "pitch-perfect," and I can't say this puzzle refutes that. (It's also a relief to see a puzzle that Mike Shenk worked on that doesn't stymie solvers! Man, his A finals puzzle was an absolute bear.)

Who wouldn’t like a Reagle puzzle called “A Regal Puzzle”? Yet another fun excursion into Merl's realm of puns.

NYS 9:52
NYT 6:34
LAT 4:06
CS 3:37

WSJ 9:12
Reagle 7:21