November 25, 2006

Friday/Saturday, 11/24–25

Sat NYT 4:37
Fri NYT untimed
Fri WSJ 7:45
Reagle 8:25
Sat Newsday 4:19
Sat LAT 4:00
11/17 CHE 5:25

Just got home this afternoon after a couple days away, and since my last post, I've done a grand total of three crosswords: Dave Mackey's Friday NYT in the newspaper, Sherry Blackard's Saturday NYT on the applet just now, and the Saturday NYT puzzle from six weeks ago syndicated in the Sun-Times (Byron Walden's work is more tractable the second time around). Congrats to Dave on his first Friday NYT (I think)—definitely my favorite of his puzzles to date.

Sherry's puzzle seemed a lot easier than her usual Saturday killers—my hypothesis is that crossword-solving performance is optimized by consumption of pecan/chocolate-chip pie, so I'm thinking of baking again for Stamford. Regrettably, I will be unable to share pie with anyone I deem to be a competitive threat. I liked the mini-theme: TAKE MY WORD FOR IT: THE THRILL IS GONE, and has been since a LONG TIME AGO. Favorite clues: [See people] for BISHOPS, [It may be fit for a queen] for BED SHEET (I thought of queen ants first), and [Result of doing the twist?] for TORSION. Great fill with HAS DIBS ON, ONE DIME (as seen here), SAD EYES (song lyrics here, LASH OUT (or, if you prefer, LA SHOUT), and MAUNA LOA (rather than the crosswordESE LOA or KEA stranded in the grid without MAUNA). Because Sherry likes to make solvers work hard, there are also some tough words, such as TERNATE (here's a picture of soybean leaves) and ISOTYPE.