March 05, 2006

Hétfő (Hungarian Monday)

Jack McInturff's NYT drives through the gears, with theme entries beginning with FIRST, SECOND, THIRD, NEUTRAL, and REVERSE. The non-cheaters' applet times are slower than is typical for a Monday—is that because the puzzle's harder overall than most Monday crosswords, or is it that other people tried to figure out how FOURTH would figure into the answer for a clue about Esperanto? (D'oh.)

Over in the Sun, Doug Peterson draws his sword with "Choose Your Weapon," in which the theme entries end with assorted weapons. Wouldn't tough neighborhoods be more interesting if instead of guns and knives, one had to worry about facing a spear? Or a fencing foil? This puzzle also includes a couple first/last name combos (BILLY JOEL and NERO WOLFE), as well as non-Mondayish words like HOUSESAT and PYRAMID.

Updated: Could someone else do Harvey Estes' CrosSynergy puzzle,"Buttery End," and tell me if it's really that much more challenging than the rest of the Monday puzzles? With the first theme entry divided into two spots, it took me longer to figure out what I was doing, and next thing I knew, a Thursday's worth of time had elapsed.

CS 4:20
NYS 3:22
LAT 3:19
NYT 3:16
Newsday 2:39 (on paper)