November 22, 2006

Wednesday, 11/22

Onion A.V. Club 5:52
NYS 4:45
Tusig 4:27
CS 3:34
LAT 3:06
NYT 2:56

Thanks for all your kind words. My grandmother's still hanging in there, and she's comfortable. Turns out she's very popular at the nursing home—the lunch lady checks in once or twice a day, and assorted maintenance guys, nurse's aides, and administrators pop in to see how she's doing. And hospice care is making the end of my grandmother's life so natural and peaceful—beats the hell out of uncomfortable IVs, invasive ventilators, and noisy hospital wards.

I think the NYT crossword might be a debut—don't recognize Edward Alch's name. Seven theme entries! The fill seems a tad crosswordese-ish (SERE, ESSO, etc.), but an X and a Z found their way into the grid, so I like that. Seemed awfully easy for a Wednesday puzzle, but does anyone really object to the occasional ego boost offered by solving an easier-than-expected crossword?

The Sun puzzle...hmm, I did it last night and was tired, so I don't remember where my favorite clues were. Alan Arbesfeld's theme gathers words that are homophones of other words starting with a soft C.

I liked Tyler Hinman's Onion crosswizzle, in which Mr. Hinmazzle which Snoop Doggifies base phrases by changing some word endings to -ZZLE. [Have lots of head?] is FIZZLE TO THE BRIM (as in "fill to the brim"). With 10 Z's in the theme entries, lots of zip and zest in the fill. Plus PSHAW! and EWWW!

Ben Tausig's Ink Well puzzle, "Scandal Sheet," had some wonderful fill, like NEAT FREAKS and NO FRILLS, and a hilarious clue: [Elimination round?] is TOILET BOWL.

Today's LA times puzzle by Gail Grabowski has a theme I find to be quite topical: phrases that mean RUNNING ON FUMES. At last, a crossword theme that speaks to how I'm feeling!

Mel Rosen's CrosSynergy puzzle features "Broadway Closings," theme entries whose last words are the titles of Broadway shows. I'm drawing a complete blank on COMPANY, though—is that new or old?