May 17, 2006


It feels like it's been a few weeks since the Thursday NYT was a rebus puzzle. This week, it's Peter A. Collins (who treated us to the RAD[IOWA]VES puzzle a couple weeks ago) with a Beatles-themed rebus. Tough to muscle through the first corner, with entries like PIG LOT and POST UP sharing a wide-open space with a rebus entry. Further upping the challenge, four of the six rebus squares (which spell out LOVE, ME, DO and LET, IT, BE) aren't in symmetrical locations, and there are two bonus thematic bits without symmetrical partners (GEORGE Harrison and Lovely R[IT]A). The theme entries are LOVE [LOVE] LOVE, DRUM[ME]R, BR[IT]ISH, TIT[LE T]RACK, TEEN I[DO]LS, and THE [BE]ATLES.

Trip Payne's Themeless Thursday Sun puzzle is as breezy as being naked on the beach (not that I know anything about that)—you start with TOPLESS BEACHES, make them BOTTOMLESS (PIT), and add some SKIN (DOCTOR), the MOONERS proudly showing their bums, and a fair MAIDEN (NAME), all in the OPEN AIR...with BATGIRL and a STONER rounding out the beach party. Wait, scratch that last one; the WEED-B-GON negates his PRIMO stuff. I don't know how many of these entries Trip intended to tie together, but they heightened the entertainment level of the crossword. Thanks for an excellent puzzle, Trip. (But it wasn't difficult enough for my taste—c'mon, Peter, make 'em harder!)


Over in the NYT forum, this puzzle was posted. It's by Peter Abide and Patrick Blindauer, and it's called "Man of Mystery." Tough clues—it took me about 7 minutes to fill the grid. Then I spent a few more minutes figuring out the hidden answer (which I won't spoil here). Clever puzzle, guys!

NYS 5:30
NYT 5:09
CS 3:49
LAT 3:31