May 10, 2006

Sweet Thursday

I loved the flip-flopped magazine theme in Joe DiPietro's NYT puzzle. (I love magazines and geography, yes, but not so much geography magazines.) Clever theme, terrific assortment of non-theme fill, and hard clues. Highlights: OHMS LAW ("current rule"), THE SEMIS, BIG YUKS, SODA JERK ("float preparer, maybe), LONG O ("it appears in droves"), HAS GUTS, BUN ("dog holder"), and XFL (will there come a day when this disappears from the hive memory?). The ASO volcano is a new addition to my memory banks. In summary: a great theme is like chocolate cake, and the entries and clues you might expect to find in a wide-open themeless puzzle are like a perfect strawberry sauce (or vice versa). Yum!

Timothy Powell's Sun puzzle ("Signs of the...") throws a [TIMES] rebus into the mix six times, in symmetrical locations; and if you tilt your head (or the puzzle) 45 degrees, there's even a black-square times sign in the middle. What makes this rebus a little trickier is the fact that sometimes the S doesn't belong with the TIME, as in [TIME S]HEET and [TIME S]LOTS. Favorite clues: "Final line of a movie?" for CREDIT, and "horse source" for ARABIA. For good measure, IRA LEVIN and ED HARRIS make appearances, and there are plenty of other rock-solid entries (SIT ON IT, SARONGS, and, of course, AMYS).


The CrosSynergy and LA Times puzzles are by Ray Hamel and Elizabeth Gorski, respectively.

NYS 5:38
NYT 5:02
CS 3:54
LAT 3:23