Standup comic and sitcom writer Andrea Carla Michaels teams up with Michael Blake for the Monday, August 25 puzzle (peek) where they poke their way through the vowels in order. (I wanted to get pike and puke into that first sentence but I couldn't manage it.) There is one Y in the bottom row but it's not part of the theme so I'd call it only a Sometimes Y.
That's Michael and Andrea in the photo, holding up Cruciverbalism by Stanley Newman and Mark Lasswell. The occasion was a puzzle lunch last month with the west coast cruciverbaliterati. It looked like everyone had a great time.
Only constructors probably care, but Ms. Michaels falls victim to a quirk of my XWord Info statistics. I display stats for constructors with ten or more published NYT puzzles. Her nine solo efforts aren't quite enough and her two collaborations get counted as if the combo was a different author. Someday I will get around to giving authors their proper due.
Even Monday puzzles often have surprising debut answer words. Of the five new answers today, PECKING ORDER seems possible, but I would have guessed PONZI and STUNK were, if not common, at least not unique.
And finally, those of you with money down on the big lard vs. biscuit race will note that OLEO has lurched ahead of OREO in my stats, breaking the tie that has made this competition so exciting. Will the Nabisco Kid have the stamina to respond? If only the Olympics were this exciting...
Speaking of exciting, Ryan and Brian's Lollapuzzoola 2008 was held last Saturday and they've graciously allowed me to archive the puzzles they used on XWord Info. Also, Special Correspodent PhillySolver, who wrote a nice remembrance of the last American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, will be giving us the inside scoop on what really went on out in Queens so I'll be publishing that soon as well.