April 26, 2006


The PROLIFIC Jack McInturff's 15x16 Sun puzzle does a "Flip-Flop" of and I and and O in each theme entry. My favorite one was CHIPPED LOVER ("Slightly damaged statue of a paramour?") Plenty of tough clues and answers in this one—"Temple building" for DORM, "Tennessee woman" for STELLA, YMCAS, and the southwest corner with BLITZ and OY VEY crossing BOOK I and ZYGOTE. The clue for BOOTS ("Dora the Explorer's monkey sidekick") shouts "Peter Gordon has small children," just like the kid lit and Teletubbies clues that find their way into the Sun puzzles fairly regularly. Those tend to be gimmes for me, but how do those of you who don't have small children like those?

Wednesday's NYT comes from the team of Stella Daily and Bruce Venzke, and features ELIZABETH TAYLOR and her series of married names, in chronological order from top to bottom (but without theme symmetry, because Her Violet-Eyedness was careless enough not to choose her husbands based on the length of their surnames). The longer vertical entries, of course, tie into the theme. Larry FORTENSKY was known to DENIGRATE SCALLIONS, wedding rings are like MANACLES, and Liz has had plenty of OFF YEARS between husbands. (P.S. I wouldn't say the puzzle was as challenging as my solving time would indicate. I did the crossword after sleeping off a headache, but I should've waited until morning when I would've been more awake.)

Lloyd Mazer posted this link at the NYT forum. It's a video of a guy working on Michael Shteyman's wonderful POOL TABLE puzzle—while driving. And doing the filming himself.

And by the way:

Patrick Jordan followed up with his fellow CrosSynergy constructors about those two recent themed Sunday puzzles that appeared in lieu of "Sunday Challenge" crosswords. The upshot is that both occasions were honest mistakes, and the CrosSynergy team will redouble their efforts to keep us supplied with a themeless puzzle on Sundays. Themeless fans, rejoice!

NYS 5:31
NYT 5:08
LAT 3:35
CS 3:01