September 15, 2006

Saturday, 9/16

NYT 7:41
Newsday (untimed, but hard)
LAT 5:27
CS 2:57

Don’t let this deter you from using the word, but if you hear it just right, undeterred sounds like a two-word phrase that is unlikely to pass the Sunday-morning breakfast test.

Based on the early returns, the Saturday NYT by Michael Shteyman is uncommonly challenging. For starters, there's the fact that it's actually a Sathurday puzzle, a hybrid between Saturday and gimmick-laden Thursday. Me, I didn't know 1-Across or 1-Down, but eventually enough crossings in that section pointed me in the direction of a rebus for [MATCH]GAME, crossing [MATCH]BOX cars, and that made it so much easier to make headway on the rest of the puzzle. The Thursday-style rebus (five MATCH squares in all) is joined with Saturday-style cluing, like [Rake] (the verb) for SKIM, [Where singles start out in love?] for TENNIS[MATCH], [Mythical dweller across the Rainbow Bridge] for ODIN, [Half-serious run?] for AEIOU, "Low in education" for SETH, and [Frequent flier?] for KITE. Then, sort of out of left field there's YOU N ME. Great longer entries with the rebus squares in them, Michael. Thanks to Michael and Will for a twisty treat on a Saturday!


Doug Peterson's Newsday Saturday Stumper is indeed a knotty one. As with the NYT, there was plenty of staring blankly at the clues and wondering what the answers could be, but both eventually unraveled themselves. Bob Mackey's LA Times themeless was a little easier than those two, but not too easy.