August 26, 2007

Monday, 8/27

CS 5:02
NYS 3:22
NYT 3:16
LAT 2:45

Boy, it's been one of those days. Beautiful day, but the sunny side of that taxi was a tad roasty, and the open window was whooshing my hair around too much, so I asked the driver to turn on the AC (per the passenger's bill of rights, I can ask that). And the cabbie tried to argue that it was plenty cool! I know it's nice out, but I feel too warm in your cab anyway, sir. Then we got to the movie theater, and while my husband and son bought snacks, I went in to find three seats together. Alas, there were no threesomes outside of the front rows of non-stadium seating, and we do like the stadium seating. There was a couple sitting in the first stadium row with two seats open on either side, so I scooched in and quietly asked if they'd mind moving in one seat. "We're watching the movie!" the man hissed in reply—during one of the first trailers, which, technically speaking, are not "the movie." And then at dinner, the waiter was fantastic but didn't ask if we wanted dessert, and does it sound like I could've used the chocolate soufflĂ© cake by then? I tell you, the world was out to get me today.

At least I liked the movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, all right. Not my favorite of the Potters, but pretty good. And who doesn't like a loathsome character whose surname is a homophone for "umbrage"?

Quick! Call the exterminator! Steven Ginzburg's New York Times puzzle has a couple ANTs in each of the three theme entries, along with some NITS near the middle of the grid and the theme-defining word ANTS at the bottom. The middle theme entry, ANTIOXIDANT, is hitched to the top and bottom theme entries by 11-letter fill, ISAAC ASIMOV and CLASS ACTION. (My husband and I were just chatting about the Niketown class action lawsuit recently decided in favor of the employees, including the inspirational pair described in this Trib article.) What do you think of the TWO X TWO entry, clued as [Four]?

The New York Sun puzzle, "Head of the Animals," is by Pancho Harrison. It's got EYES, TEETH, NOSE, EARS, BRAIN, and JAW, so somewhat reminiscent of the Sunday NYT, only they're head parts from certain animals. We've got the piscine lenses called FISHEYES, cervine BUCKTEETH in need of orthodontia, porcine HOG NOSE tools, canine DOG-EARS marking a page, the avian BIRDBRAIN, and the...what's the adjective? Also a cervine thing, the Canadian town of MOOSE JAW (locals are called Moose Javians, Wikipedia tells me).

So both of those puzzles double up on something thematic—two ANTs and not one in the NYT, and animal/head part combos in the Sun. Twice the themed goodness at no extra cost!


If you like to do battle with Bob Klahn's cluing style, don't miss today's CrosSynergy puzzle. The theme, alas, is a quip, but the clues will give you a Monday workout.

Tracey Snyder skews maternal in the LA Times crossword, with a MA/MOMMIE/MAMMA/MOTHER theme.

Speaking of cluing style, Patrick Merrell has written up a list of crossword clue rules. If you're newish to crossword solving, you'll want to read Pat's post and make about 20 mental notes to remember when solving.