October 22, 2006

Sunday, October 22

BG 11:43 (on paper)
NYT 9:10
LAT 8:37
WaPo 8:17
CS 4:34

The Sunday NYT crossword created by Harvey Estes, "Linkletter Art," has nothing to do with Art Linkletter. Rather, there's a gimmick whereby the theme entries are linked by a letter that looks like art (if you can call a big letter H composed of black squares "art"). The theme entries (49/50-, 52/53-, 67/68-, 84/85-, and 89/90-Across and 7/95- and 13/97-Down) span two entries and make sense only if you pretend there's an H where a black square—part of the big H—separates the two; there's no separate clue for the second component). I don't see any commonality among the theme entries other than that they make use of that H. Next to the big H are vertical swaths of long entries stacked together, and inside the H are four 10-letter entries; these 10 longer entries are the highlight of the fill. Clever clues include [Hockey game starter, often] for O CANADA, [Where to find an eBay listing] for NASDAQ, [It's often left hanging] for ART, and [Very expensive contest prizes?] for SENATE SEATS. I also liked I OWE YOU ONE, clued as ["Thanks, pal"]. I didn't know the name ROSSANO Brazzi (star of South Pacific), but whaddaya know, he's got a fan site devoted to him. Another actor in this puzzle, B.D. WONG, has fan sites, too; here's a moving interview about Wong's becoming a father. Never heard of ad VALOREM—[how tariffs may be assessed]—before. The NORNs—[Norse goddess of fate]—are worth reading about. Oh! DALI is clued by his painting, Hallucinogenic Toreador"; my husband has been wearing that image on a Salvador Dali Museum t-shirt for so many years, the shirt's grown thin and the underlying molecular structure is all that remains. (Santa's bringing him a new one, but shh! Don't tell.)

David ("Evad") Sullivan has the Sunday Washington Post puzzle, "Oy!" The theme entries all sound a little Australian (though Aussie commenter DA may beg to differ), with a long A sound changing to an oi sound—e.g., [Doggie bag from a luau] for TAKE-HOME POI. Some good fill, like VAN HALEN and GO IRISH, and some fun clues, like [They may sport shades] for LAMPS, [Bare existence?] for NUDISM and [Place to swing?], which, after NUDISM, you may be disappointed to see is merely a TRAPEZE.

James Sajdak's LA Times syndicated puzzle, "Commercialization," places an AD at the start of each theme entry. My favorites were [What spin doctors do?] for ADJUST THE FACTS and [One selling green cheese?] for ADMAN ON THE MOON.

The highlights of Paula Gamache's themeless CrosSynergy puzzle are MR SPEAKER and BEER PONG. (No connection between the two is implied.)

The Boston Globe puzzle that's online for today was also published in the Philadelpia Weekly on October 11; any Bostonians remember when Henry Hook's "Booty Call" was in the dead-tree edition? Anyway, the clues for the theme entries all include the word boot in some fashion.