April 06, 2009

Tuesday, 4/7

Jonesin' 9:18
NYT 5:15
LAT 5:15
CS 3:37

[Updated Tuesday morning 10:40am]

Okay, this is going to be super quick. I'm just going to get the ball rolling and then you all have at it in the comments. I really liked Joon Pahk's New York Times crossword today. And I'm not just saying that because Joon is part of the Crossword Fiend Family! I really did like it! Theme answers are two-word phrases where each words begins with TR (I'm not counting conjunctions).

  • [Valuable discoveries] are TREASURE TROVES;
  • A [Cry while holding a bag] is, of course, "TRICK OR TREAT!";
  • Something [Proven to work] can be described as TRIED AND TRUE; and
  • A [Semi] can be called a TRACTOR TRAILER.
Good, solid theme, well-executed. I like the two funky plural spellings: NOVAE [Exploding stars] and AEONS [The time it takes mountains to rise]. Not crazy about the clue for STRAP ([Amusement park ride feature]), but including a Red Sox Hall-of-Famer — Bobby DOERR — in the puzzle on opening day is cool. And I can't see the word TECHNO without hearing Eminem saying it ("Nobody listens to techno...").

As for Dan Gagliardo's L.A. Times puzzle today, I'll post the grid here, but you can head on over to L.A. Crossword Confidential to see what I think about it. C'mon, click the link. You know you want to.

I'll be back in the morning with a couple more puzzles.

[Updated Tuesday morning 10:40am]

Matt Jones's Jonesin' crossword, "A Sustainable Puzzle," helps us go green today. St. Patrick's Day again? No, not that kind of green. The reduce/reuse/recycle/all-natural kind of green. Theme clues are green-oriented and the answers can all follow the word green to make a familiar phrase. Did I mention there are eight theme answers! Wow! Here they are:
  • [* "These poker items are made from 100% recycled material..."] (CARDS).
  • [* "The chickens and pigs are locally raised..."] (EGGSANDHAM).
  • [* "Use an energy-saving bulb, rather than the old style..."] (LIGHT).
  • [* "The arms of the garment were stitched together from previously worn shirts..."] (SLEEVES).
  • [* "No pesticides were used in growing these habaneros..."] (PEPPERS).
  • [* "I got this hat at a thrift store; all I had to do was clean it..."] (BERET).
  • [* "I grew these in my own garden with composted material..."] (VEGETABLES).
  • [* "I only run the Mac as needed, turning it off when not in use..."] (APPLE).
  • [Word that can precede the answer to each starred clue] (GREEN).
A few modern-ish things I didn't know, like PSP, [Sony handheld], and THE OC, ["Street-smart kid moves to Newport Beach" series]. I've heard of both those things but didn't know enough of the details to get the answers without crosses. I do remember androgynous PAT from 80s(?) "Saturday Night Live." And Timothy B. SCHMIT was a gimme. I was raised on the Eagles. Which is totally different than being raised by wolves. The only other thing that tripped me up was ONE for [Relieving number?] I thought two would be more appropriate. Just sayin'.

Today's CrosSynergy crossword, "Split Levels," is ... yay! Doug Peterson! It's like the old saying goes: A guest-blogging stint at Orange's place is not complete without a Doug Peterson puzzle. (Old, in this case, meaning just made up a minute ago and used primarily by ... me.) This particular DP creation is a smooth, smooth ride. I mean, no bumps in the road at all. Fun, breezy, easy, just what I needed to finish out my puzzling time this morning.

The [Levels that are split in this puzzle's theme entires] are TIERS. Each theme entry begins with TI and ends with ER. TISSUE DISPENSER is a little, um, boring (sorry, Doug!), but it's 15 letters so I can see why it's included. The other three theme answers are cool though: TICKET TAKER (that's fun to say), TIGRIS RIVER (My first though? Nile. Duh.), and TIGHTROPE WALKER. Good, good stuff. Looking back at the puzzle now, I realize I didn't know the [Early Soviet space program] VOSTOK, but I didn't even see that clue because I blazed through the crosses. Several answers made me feel like my solving skills are definitely progressing. Without even thinking I entered:
  • [Poetic dusk] (E'EN)
  • [Waving wahine's word] (ALOHA)
  • [Punk rock offshoot] (EMO)
  • [Indignant, with "up"] (HET)
  • [Singer Adams] (EDIE)
  • [Teensy bit] (SKOSH)
  • [Without compassion] (ICILY)
  • [Macbeth or Macduff] (THANE)
  • [Bothered a lot] (ATE AT)
  • [_____-Ball] (SKEE)
All stuff I learned (or have had reinforced time and time again) from crosswords!

Thanks for hanging out with me the last couple days. I leave you in Joon's capable hands for the rest of the week.