October 12, 2008

Monday, 10/13

LAT 2:59
NYT 2:51
Sun 2:48—via "Today" link at Puzzle Pointers
CS 2:32

Ginormous thanks to PuzzleGirl for giving me a whole day off. Yesterday I met up with a crosswordy friend (Dean Olsher—look for his book, From Square One: A Meditation, with Digressions, on Crosswords, in the spring), and my mother was spending the night at my house. This morning, my husband and I went downtown for the Chicago marathon with our "Ovation Pavilion" tickets. Breakfast and lunch buffets! Limited-access bleachers and portapotties! Respite from the sun in a tent with TVs! Not a bad way to partake of a sporting event (though we also watched the lead packs at mile 13.) During this time, was I writing about crosswords? Not at all. So thanks again, PuzzleGirl, for the rejuvenating break.

The Sun crossword's new subscription dealio doesn't appear to be in place as of Sunday night. I know there's a Monday Sun puzzle out there waiting for me, but I can't get to it until I subscribe. I shall be patient, because the Sun's worth waiting for, isn't it?

I like to think that Anthony Salvia's New York Times crossword is a tribute to Kenny Mayne: Each of the theme entries ends with a homophone of "Mayne."

  • The SPANISH MAIN is a [Caribbean area where pirates plundered].
  • THE LION'S MANE is clued as a [Sherlock Holmes adventure, in brief. (The title is The Adventure of the Lion's Mane.)
  • [Faux Chinese dish] is BEEF CHOW MEIN. This could be any variety of chow mein, I suppose, but BEEF fit the theme length constrictions.
  • BANGOR, MAINE is a [City on the Penobscot River].
Among the livelier fill in this crossword, we have a QUADRATIC [Kind of equation graphed as a parabola] (shout-out here to those who cannot abide the "kind of ___" clues in which the answer is not itself a kind of the thing in question. You'd better hit the books, because ROLE MODEL and STUDY FOR are sitting right next to each other in the grid, not too far from SCHOOL. Don't just hit the sauce—there's hard CIDER, or [Fermented apple juice] (nonalcoholic cider's not fermented), along with a MIMOSA. There's some music in this crossword, too—TINA Turner's "We Don't Need Another Hero" and the Police's "EVERY Breath You Take."


I enjoyed the theme in Mike Peluso's LA Times crossword. You know how a clue like [Queens stadium] could be either ASHE (tennis) or SHEA (baseball)? Shea's being razed and replaced with something called Citi Field (which is "citified" with an L added to it), so present-tense stadium clues can't be for SHEA any more. Anyway, ASHE and SHEA are anagrams, so [Two Queens stadiums] are ASHE AND SHEA. The other three theme entries are related word pairs that are also anagrams:
  • [Two kinds of footwear] are SHOE AND HOSE.
  • [Two ways to remove excess] are DIET AND EDIT.
  • [Two pro sports teams] are CUBS AND BUCS.

Tom Schier's CrosSynergy crossword, "Coming to America," marks COLUMBUS DAY—[October 13, 2008 celebration]— with a holiday theme. That holiday accounts for this morning's inattention to my blog, as my son is off school and his grandmother is visiting us. Anyway, the remainder of the theme entries are:
  • The ATLANTIC OCEAN, an [Expanse traversed by today's honoree].
  • CHRISTOPHER, the [First name of today's honoree].
  • QUEEN ISABELLA, the [Sponsor of voyages of today's honoree].

When I try to access the Sun crossword via Will Johnston's Puzzle Pointers page or Cruciverb.com, I get this error message: Whoops, you've tried to access the Sun Crossword using the new URL format. The cruciverb.com site is undergoing construction in order to support the Sun puzzle. We hope to have the puzzle available very soon. If you managed to download the puzzle, would you please share the link that worked for you? Updated: The "Today" link at Puzzle Pointers works, but apparently not the links in the "2008 new" calendar page.

The Sun puzzle by Ogden Porter, a.k.a. Peter Gordon, is called "Human Pretzels" because that's what you turn into when you play TWISTER. The theme entries begin or end with things found on the spinner in the game of Twister—the spinner has left and right hand and left and right foot quadrants, each with red, yellow, green, and blue sections. Depending on what you spin, you've got to place that extremity on a spot of a particular color, and you end up entwined with the other people playing. MY LEFT FOOT was the [Best Picture nominee of 1989], starring Daniel Day-Lewis. SOYLENT GREEN was the [1973 Charlton Heston movie set in Manhattan in 2022] in which the titular foodstuff turns out (spoiler alert!) to be made from people. RIGHT-HAND MAN is a needlessly gendered term for an [Indispensable assistant]. RED LOBSTER is the [Restaurant chain "for the seafood lover in you"], and boy, do I hate that ad jingle. Too bad the RIGHT HAND and RED bits aren't also parts of movie titles here.