July 01, 2007

Monday, 7/2

CS 3:12
NYS 2:48
LAT 2:32
NYT 2:24

(updated at 1 p.m. Monday)

Whoo! I should take the day off more often. Well-rested from a brief blogging break, I whooshed through the Monday puzzle. I know I've done early-week Newsday puzzles (generally the easiest of the quality daily newspaper crosswords) that fast, but this could be my quickest NYT solve. The puzzle's by Peter Collins, and there are circled letters within four theme entries. The circled words are all BEFOREHAND, in that they compound with HAND to make new words. However, three are agricultural nouns—COW(HAND), FARM(HAND), and STABLE(HAND)—while the fourth is either the adjective SECOND(HAND) or the clock-related two-word noun SECOND (HAND). Nice smattering of pop culture in the fill (HAL Holbrook, LANA Turner, Bob FOSSE, Zorro's SWORD, ELIA Kazan, ELLA Fitzgerald, Harold RAMIS, the movie JAWS, AB FAB, and ANNE Heche), and CLAM UP feels like a phrase that doesn't show up often in crosswords.


Hmm, this could be the easiest Monday Sun puzzle I've seen, too. Doug Peterson's "Info Please" contains phrases that start with synonyms for info: DIRT, SKINNY, POOP, and SCOOP. I don't recall knowing that Popeye's dad was called POOP DECK PAPPY, but the crossings were pretty straightforward. Plenty of good fill, such as PINE-SOL, KARAOKE BAR, and RAP SONG.