July 18, 2007

Thursday, 7/19

NYS 5:13
NYT 5:00
LAT 3:41
CS 2:49

Rex Parker e-mailed me a picture this evening—my book on the shelf at the Harvard Coop bookstore! "Harvard, baby!" he wrote. Indeed.

Thursday kicks off with a Times puzzle by David Kahn and a Sun crossword by Patrick Blindauer. In the Times, Kahn asks WHAT IMPLEMENT / CAN BE PRODUCED / FROM POTASSIUM / NICKEL AND IRON? The answer appears in the circled squares in the third-from-the-bottom row: KNIFE, as in K (potassium's symbol), Ni (nickel), and Fe (iron). The clue for EPEE branches out from the usual fencing sword, instead giving us Abbé de l'EPEE, a sign language pioneer. Favorite clues: [Like worms] for ICKY (Hey! What's with the anti-worm bigotry? I loved earthworms when I was a kid. Once gathered up a bunch after a rainstorm and stored them in the pocket of my raincoat. My mom was delighted.) and [Canines that bite] for TEETH. Most of the fill and clues seem fairly ordinary (exceptions: BRIAN ENO, REDWINGS, FICKLE, SET A DATE) , but I grooved on the compounding of KNiFe.

Patrick's Sun puzzle is called "Not Finalized" because each theme entry is based on an -ize word that is no longer finalized with the -ize suffix. I liked [Prius goes kaput?]/HYBRID DIES best because I think my next car will be a Prius. Plenty of 6- to 8-letter answers in the fill (many in the wide-open upper right and lower left corners), which I also liked. Isn't TSOTSI a wonderful entry to have in lieu of the TSETSE fly? I haven't seen the film but I hear it's amazing. Favorite clues: [Hearing aid?] for BAILIFF; ["Robot" man?] for Karel CAPEK; [Chicken tenders?] for VETS; [Stud poker?] for AWL (though I don't know what sort of stud's being poked by the awl); and [One end of a pump] for HEEL.