April 03, 2006


I haven't even heard of two of the songs in Robert Dillman's theme in the Tuesday NYT puzzle. If I'm too young to know the vulgar connotations of "scumbag," then surely I'm too young for some of those songs...

David (Evad) Sullivan's Sun puzzle, "Pump Up the Volume" adds an FF (fortissimo, "to be played very loudly") to generate the theme entries, turning AVIAN FLU into AVIAN FLUFF (aptly clued "Down?"). Great fill, too—just a guess, but I bet VISHNU and PLOTZ have never appeared together in a crossword. The clues "Dead" for AT PEACE and "Vomit Comet org." for NASA raise a mildly surprised eyebrow—death and puking in a single crossword?—but the eyebrows return to their default amused position with GO WEST (“Advice for a young man?”), LALA land, the “Common sense?” of SMELL, and the shout-out to Gladys and ABNER from “Bewitched.” Dave, is that OREO clue—"Cookie that’s been kosher since 5758"—yours or Peter's?


Harvey Estes' CrosSynergy puzzle plays a Jeopardy!-ish "Before and After" game in the theme entries (five interlocked 15's). It felt refreshingly challenging for a Tuesday, even though my finishing time says otherwise.

NYS 4:23
LAT 3:27
NYT 3:15
CS 3:13