October 11, 2006

Thursday, 10/12

NYT 6:18
NYS 4:30
CS 3:30

Tony Orbach's Sun puzzle, "For Ice Cream Lovers," and Dave Tuller's NYT puzzle bear some similarities. Where they differed was that the Sun puzzle seemed a bit easier than the average Thursday Sun; the NYT, harder than usual—the two flip-flopped my expectations. Getting into the specifics, both are rebus puzzles with a 4-letter word squeezed into the rebus squares—CONE (appearing four times) for the Orbach puzzle, TENT (five times) for the Tuller. (Tea for the Tillerman? Never mind.) The rebused crossings sometimes included unexpected entries, such as BB[C ONE] and [CON E]DISON, HOT[TENT]OT and GU[TEN T]AG. The NYT wins the offensive-to-other-cultures sweepstakes, with both HOT[TENT]OT ("nowadays considered offensive by the Oxford Dictionary of South African English," says Wikipedia) and ESKIMO (deemed offensive by Inuits in Canada but not, perhaps, by anyone else).

Both of these crosswords have plenty of interesting fill, too. Tuller's NYT features SIRRAH (so Shakespearean!) and COSMISM; Orbach's Sun, IONESCO, ANASAZI, and CAP-A-PIE.