April 04, 2006

Hooray for Wednesday

...and the onslaught of great crosswords. First up, Patrick Merrell's NYT puzzle with its CKS-to-X theme. I hope the germ for this puzzle was the funny DREAD LOX. Throw in BABYING, BAGPIPE, METOOER, and BUSYBODY, and you've got yourself a lively crossword.

In Ben Tausig's Ink Well/Chicago Reader puzzle, "Park Parlance," the timely theme this week is baseball. I thought the puzzle was harder than most of Ben’s Ink Well crosswords—his editor mentioned at Stamford that they’re aiming for harder, so that’s good. The world needs more challenging crosswords! Okay, now, be honest. Who saw "brand of rubbers," 5 letters, and put in DUREX? Oops. It’s TOTES, the brand of rubbers my dad used to wear…over his shoes on rainy days. Rubbers, not scumbags! Duh. And who can explain why "modern mod" is TAT? Mod = modification? And how 'bout that clue for PEN: "some like it felt on the tip"! Tch.

The Sun puzzle by Gary Steinmehl, "Heroic Men," appears to have three theme entries, CASEY AT THE BAT, ITSY BITSY SPIDER, and BUILDING SUPER. And...I don't get it. How do they tie together? (I await a grand "d'oh" moment.) Albrecht Dürer's WOODCUTS, $5. Cluing EWE as "baa nana," $100. USES PLASTIC, priceless.


'Tis the season: More baseball in Bruce Venzke and Stella Daily's LA Times puzzle.

Tausig 5:19
NYT 4:49
LAT 4:03
NYS 4:01
CS 3:15
Newsday 2:34