November 18, 2006

Sunday, 11/19

BG 9:38
LAT 7:47
NYT 7:46
WaPo 8:35
CS 5:39

(post updated at 10:55 a.m. Sunday)

I finished two more puzzle books this week—Peter Gordon’s Hall of Fame Crosswords and David Levinson Wilk’s Really Clever Crosswords. Loved both of them! Peter’s book has lots of his easy, early-week NYT puzzles, but also some Thursday rebus action, themeless crosswords, and diagramless puzzles. Now I’ve moved on to a collection of tough NYT crosswords (Volume 13); I believe they’re all Thursday, Friday, and Saturday puzzles from 2001 and 2002. Sure, I did them all online (during my initial wow!-look-at-all-these-crosswords binge) a couple years ago, after I first subscribed to the Premium Puzzles service. But I won the book a couple months ago at Dean Olsher’s blog, and I’m always up for another themeless binge.

Tony Orbach’s Sunday NYT is called “What’s More,” and the theme is more themier—the theme entries add an -ER to their base phrases. For example, olive loaf (eww!) transmogrifies into an [Oddly colored shoe?], the OLIVE LOAFER (my favorite cold-weather shoe isn’t a loafer, but it is available in olive). Favorite crossing: FUTZ meets SLEAZES. This crossword offers the latest entry in the Parse It Another Way sweepstakes: the [Home of the NCAA’s Minutemen] just might be UM, ASS. My thoughts are a bit scattered this evening, so I’ll yield the floor to my esteemed colleagues in the comments lounge.


Patrick Jordan's Washington Post puzzle, "Toothy Picks," has whet my appetite for next Thursday, and has a good punchline in the last theme entry. The LA Times crossword credited to Samantha Wine also hews to the Thanksgiving motif; somewhere in the fill is the "what the heck does that mean?" word TREEN—which turns out to be a word for household objects made of wood. I love treen! I just never knew there was a collective word for those lovely things. Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon's Boston Globe puzzle is "Puzzling Poultry," with a turkey-related quote. (Bostonians, is this the puzzle in your newspaper today, or did they run a turkey theme a few weeks ahead of Thanksgiving?) I was lucky to finish this puzzle, what with the Irish town of ADARE crossing the acronym WAAC and the animal called the INDRI. Today's themeless CrosSynergy puzzle by Raymond Hamel is right up there in difficulty with this weekend's hardest themeless crosswords.