March 04, 2006

Snein (Frisian Sunday)

The highlight of Ashish Madhukar Vengsarkar's Sunday NYT, "Begone," has got to be 17 Down, "Concern for Rev. Falwell?"—GODLESS AMERICA, dropping the B from "God bless America." I liked CHEESE URGERS and THE NOEL PRIZE, too; a solid theme, rendered a little tougher by the variety among the theme entries (one to four words apiece, with the B dropped from various words and, as in NO[B]EL, not always dropped from the start of a word. There's perky fill, like SUSIE Q and ITS LATE, to buffer the difficult (but gettable via crossings) entries like SGT MAJ, IODATE ("halogen salt"), and SOCLE ("projecting part at the foot of a wall"). Question: can a HAHA (see Tyler Hinman's Friday NYT) have a SOCLE? The puzzle also has Don KNOTTS in it, but presumably the clues were finalized just a tad too soon to reflect his recent death. I'm holding out for a Don Knotts tribute puzzle with Mr. Furley, Barney Fife, and The Apple Dumpling Gang...


Bob Klahn's themeless CrosSynergy Sunday Challenge actually put up a challenge. I got stuck in the NW corner and confess that (alas!) I Googled the capital of Swaziland to extricate myself.

NYT 9:44
LA Weekly/Hex 9:36
Washington Post 8:36
LAT 8:14
CS 8:26