June 15, 2008

Monday, 6/16

NYS 3:12
CS 2:57
LAT 2:45
NYT 2:42
Jonesin' —> see Tuesday post

Ronald and Nancy Byron's New York Times crossword marks the first time I've seen their byline. The simple theme includes three 15-letter [1960s weather song]s: BLOWIN' IN THE WIND, HERE COMES THE SUN, and RHYTHM OF THE RAIN. It's a fairly tight theme, as the titles all end with a weather-related word and they're all songs from the same decade. There are a couple old-school crosswordy answers—a STERE is a [Cubic meter] and STOATS are [Animals with brown summer fur] and white winter fur. The grid also makes room for fill like SHOWCASE (a [Cabinet for displaying wares]), EGO TRIPS, NITWIT, and ARCANA.

Alex Boisvert's New York Sun crossword, "Sayings of the Times," is a pop-culture extravaganza: Five theme entries are catchphrases from TV shows of the '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, and '00s. "SOCK IT TO ME!" was the Nixonian line from Laugh-In. Hawaii Five-O featured "BOOK 'EM, DANNO." "ISN'T THAT SPECIAL?" was the disdainful remark from Dana Carvey's Church Lady on Saturday Night Live. Jerry was even more disdainful with Seinfeld's "HELLO, NEWMAN." And Donald Trump is wont to say "YOU'RE FIRED" on The Apprentice. Plenty of Scrabbly fill between the theme entries—three Xs, a Q, and a Z.


My favorite clue in Donna Levin's LA Times crossword is [Montana's had a "16" on it]. JERSEY? What, two states? Oh! Joe Montana, football jersey. The theme is similar to one that appeared in another paper some weeks back—makeup. LINER NOTES begins with either eyeliner or lipliner. SHADOW OF A DOUBT has eye shadow. LIPSTICK JUNGLE, well, duh. And BLUSH WINES gives us blush. The previous makeup theme had included both ROUGE and BLUSH, hadn't it? And those are often the same thing. So bonus points to this puzzle for including four different kinds of cosmetics. (I won't mention how long it took me to recognize what the theme was here.)

I'm not completely clear about the theme in Mel Rosen's CrosSynergy puzzle, "Good Finishes." Most of theme entries appear to begin with words that can follow "good": NAME BRANDS and a "good name," WORD LADDER and "put in a good word," DAY CARE and "Good day!", BOOK REVIEW and "the good book." But what is JOE COLLEGE doing there? Does "good Joe" mean something? One might attend a "good college," but "good brands" and "my good ladder" don't seem like stand-alone phrases. Explanation, anyone?