August 28, 2007

Wednesday, 8/29

NYS 5:03
NYT 3:30

All righty! Our flight to Florida leaves in less than 10 hours, and we have to finish packing and get some sleep. We're taking a wireless router and a couple laptops, so I ought to be able to keep up with the crosswords and the attendant blogging, but I might skip some puzzles along the way. It'll be a low-key vacation—staying at my in-laws', swimming in the pool, vegging out.

Tony Orbach's New York Sun crossword, "Give It a Whirl," has a diamond in the grid's center in which THE EYE OF THE STORM is spelled out. (The Across Lite notepad gives that spiraling entry a clue, [Safe spot in this puzzle?]. There are two straight-across theme entries, HURRICANE CARTER and a BROOKLYN CYCLONE. I'm dizzy! Favorite clues: [Link letters] for the resolutely non-golf HTTP; [Best alternative?] for the sign-off YOURS; [Fuzzy navel ingredient?] for LINT; [Bug exterminator?] for TECHIE and [Terminal person?] for USER; [Meet] for RISE TO, as expectations; and [Hot spot?] for a spot of TEA. I didn't know the [2002 hit for Cam'ron], but just learned that the lyrics for "HEY MA" are...questionable.

Jayne and Alex Boisvert collaborated on the New York Times puzzle, which surprises us with a rebus a day before Thursday. The four long theme entries contain [THUMB]s, as do their shorter crossing words. A lovely batch of phrases: [THUMB]S ONE'S NOSE, the Rolling Stones' "UNDER MY [THUMB]" (holy cow, that song came out the year I was born??), [THUMB] THROUGH, and OPPOSABLE [THUMB], crossing TOM [THUMB], a [THUMB]NAIL sketch, a SORE [THUMB], and [THUMB]S UP, which has been in the news this week. As a little bonus, there's also a GREEN thumb, or the word GREEN by itself, anyway. The grid gets two more thumbs up for fairly Scrabbly fill (BORAX, FIJI, Q-TIP, ZONED out, TRINKETS) and for the low number of 3-letter answers.