May 10th, 2009


Puzzles this weekend

The blogland consensus on Friday's NYT puzzle was that it was on the easy side, even "too easy" (you will NEVER hear me use that term). Oy, not for me. I had an average weekend-type time of 7:33 (paper; my NYT times are always on paper, AND I'm sort of proofreading - I do the more careful proofing when I solve the puzzle a second time after converting to Across Lite - so they're not really valid times).

Saturday's was thought to be much harder. Not for me: 7:10. But with a mistake at 41A/32D, so that's like adding 8 extra minutes in a tournament.

Sunday was slow: 12:43, almost twice as long as Dan Feyer's applet time. Grrr, that whippersnapper! (who is about to become my 6-blocks-away neighbor)

The week

I'm behind on blogging again (it's Facebook's fault!), so you may not hear about all the household minutiae - but I must mention that the nearby Associated had Minute Maid Light Raspberry Passion, woo hoo!

I'm still facing the addictive allure of sharpened pencils and number puzzles, and am working on a 2006 Dell kakuro magazine I found. That's almost done and I need to get back to picking up crosswords when I have a spare moment. Or a regular book.

I managed to finish (started a while ago):

"Enticements" by Una-Mary Parker - glamorous rich people get photographed by a glamorous young photographer who may have caught a murderer on camera. Intrigue and dead bodies ensue, with Princess Di making a cameo. Not bad.

"My Old Man" by Amy Sohn - the author made her name as a sex columnist, which seems vaguely unsavory for a nice Jewish girl, and her previous novel "Run Catch Kiss" had lots of sex. So did this, including some creepy older man aspects (I won't give away the plot, but one particular story was ewwww). It was also humorous; the heroine quits rabbinical school after failing to help a dying 39-year-old patient whose last gasped-out words are "You are the worst...rabbi...I ever met."

Last weekend we celebrated a milestone birthday for 2 puzzlers. I could use initials but linking to this picture negates that - unless people not Facebook friends with the hostess can't see it. Anyway, it was a fun time.

I saw the garden portion of "The Norman Conquests" at Roundabout. These are 3 1973 British Alan Ayckbourn plays, all concerning the same events. The theater-in-the-round setup meant there were no bad seats, and the play was entertaining. Now I'd like to see the other parts. I had to pick up my ticket early, and killed time by getting a white slice at Famiglia Pizza, eavesdropping on the people next to me, who turned out to be sitting behind me at the play so I could continue listening in.

Last Wednesday was the long-awaited broadcast of "Dinner: Impossible" featuring the ACPT banquet ("Crossword Puzzle Crisis"). My few seconds of guessing a dish at the end made it to air (wearing the same dress I usually wear on tournament Sundays - careful viewers will think I have no clothes, which is sort of true). Besides the chef, the real star was Andrea Michaels who displayed good humor while doing unaccustomed cooking tasks. The episode was fun to watch, and I want to figure out a less fattening version of that fantastic coconut soup.

I'm on a weird sleep-during-the-day schedule which caused me to miss yet another lunch with puzzlers. Occupational hazard of the freedom of freelancing.