April 21, 2006


Over in the NYT forum, I likened the Friday puzzle by Manny Nosowsky to crème brûlée—smooth and sweet but with definite crunch. The Saturday NYT by Brendan Emmett Quigley is a little more like a honey wasabi tuna burrito—newer and spicier, with unexpected flavor combinations. For instance, he's got SPACE CADETS, NO TELL MOTEL, ASIAN FUSION, and LA VIE EN ROSE; GIRLY MAN and quarterback TOM BRADY; operatic TURANDOT and the Pointer Sisters' HES SO SHY; SALT BATH crossing TUBB; AMSTEL beer, STARDATE, and JIVE. Trickiest clues: "deliver crosses, e.g." for BOX, "it's next to nothing" for IOTA, "they line some streets" for METERS, "creator of Genesis" for SEGA, "place for seeds" for TOURNEY, "you might tear it up" for ROAD, "Picture within a picture?" for CEL, "big Dutch export" for AMSTEL, "Ping and Pong are characters in it" for TURANDOT, "mad-dogged" for GLARED AT, and "it may follow a bridge" for REFRAIN. Lovely crossword, even if I've never heard anyone say ILL NEVER ("Me? Harrumph!"). Is that a regionalism?


Ooh! In honor of Earth Day, today's Times brings us another suite of puzzles from the Puzzability folks, Robert Leighton, Amy Goldstein, and Mike Shenk. My weekend just got busier.

Robert Wolfe's themeless LA Times puzzle has a great clue, "physical part," and an interesting assortment of fill. Hey, Jangler—please check this one out and tell me if you approve of the answer to 28 Down. (I won't include spoilers here for those of you who don't normally do the LAT but will now. Does anyone ever do a puzzle based on my recommendation, or do you all resolutely adhere to your standard regimens?)

Another pangram from Patrick Jordan in today's CrosSynergy puzzle. I was surprised to learn that the answer to "North Dakota's state tree" was ELM; I'd always heard it was the telephone pole.

NYT 7:55
LAT 6:41
Newsday Saturday Stumper 4:47
CS 3:18