April 05, 2006

Bloody Thursday

Heading into the Thursday puzzles, I'm feeling a little puzzled out. I think I'll wait until morning to do the Sun puzzle. In the meantime, what are Friday-level solving times doing on a Thursday NYT? Ed Early's quote puzzle (to paraphrase Ellen Ripstein—whose views on quip/quote puzzles are unknown to me: Quotes, ick.) was harder than I expected. Not only was the quote an unfamiliar one, but then there are Saturday-stretchy, semi-obscure entries like ARMCO ("former steel giant"), CYANIN ("dye used on photographic plates"), and CROOKING ("bending"). Amazingly, "one-legged literary character" did not come to me without the crossings, despite AHAB making an appearance inside the Starbucks tiebreaker. At least IMAGO was fresh in my mind from the Starbucks puzzle. (Conspiracy theorists, those are surely coincidental.) And seeing ROSEBUD in this grid makes me think that should have been the answer to the Starbucks challenge! I bet at least one person tried to phone in with ROSEBUD as their answer.


I was telling my son, Ben, about the Gary Steinmehl "Heroic Men" puzzle, and the existence of a Plastic Man and Iron Man. "He dresses up like an iron," said Ben. Pressing shirts and steaming out wrinkles wherever he goes, it's Iron Man!

Karen Tracey gives us the one-two with the Themeless Thursday in the Sun and a themer in today's LA Times puzzle. The themed puzzle squeezes in a few hard words like Karen's themeless puzzles. The Themeless Thursday's skeleton is made of two vertical 15's joined by an 11 crossed by a central 9, and these entries contain a Z, Q, X, and J—one Scrabbly letter per entry. Nice work, Karen! (And Peter.)

Scumbag redux: In Slate, Jesse Sheidlower writes about the SCUMBAG flap. Thanks to Byron for the link. Sheidlower's concluding sentence: "If, once you come up with the seven letters, you're still bothered, well, you're the one with the dirty mind." Exactly.

NYT 6:15
NYS 4:52
LAT 4:38
Newsday 2:57
CS 2:52