January 14, 2007

Monday, 1/15

CS 3:46
NYS 2:56
LAT 2:52
NYT 2:46

(post updated at 10 a.m. Monday)

There's much to like about David Pringle's Monday NYT crossword. Four long theme entries, tons of Scrabbly letters, over a dozen 6- to 8-letter fill entries, pop culture (The Jeffersons theme song, "Movin' ON UP," The WIZ, YELLOW SUBMARINE), groovy animalesque fill (LEAPFROG, KOWTOWS, CATCALL)—and they're all wrapped up in a Christmas bow (YULE, NOEL, EGGNOG). And it's a good theme, too—the TRAFFIC LIGHT of RED-LETTER DAY, YELLOW SUBMARINE, and GREEN BAY PACKERS (my husband's favorite team—he was disappointed that the Packers' nemesis, the Bears, won their playoff game this afternoon).

Is it just me or have the Monday Suns been easier than usual in recent weeks? Alan Arbesfeld's easyish Sun crossword, "Word Ladder," has six theme entries that end with 4-letter words that make up, yes, a word ladder. It runs the gamut from HEAD to FOOT: HEAD to HEAT to BEAT to BOAT to BOOT to FOOT. Gotta love any crossword that crosses TIGER BEAT magazine with SWEETIE PIE.


Donna Levin's LA Times crossword celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr., with two 15's, two 11's, and the MLK initials. Good puzzle.