We haven't heard from Randolf Ross here in over a year (he's been contributing to The Wall Street Journal) but his NYT puzzle count ranks number 10 in my database. The Sunday, September 7 crossword (answers) is his 90th, although he's a Tuesday short of hitting for the cycle. I don't imagine he cares.
As the political season heats up, the pundits are pontificating and what better puns than pundit puns to provide puzzle pleasure. Oh, Really? Yes, according to reliable sauces. BEAT THE PRESS has, oddly enough, been used before nearly exactly ten years ago.
Highlights today include "possessor of many rings" for TREE and "works at a museum" for OILS. NPR's SUSAN Stamberg makes her puzzle debut. Speaking of reliable sauces, she's the one with the cranberry relish. "Subject of the book Disaster in Dearborn" is a nice clue because crossword regulars can easily guess EDSEL without knowing anything about the book in question. "Passed out in a bad way" is a fun clue for MISDEALT because it makes you wonder about those times you passed out in a good way.
Word on the street is that Will and the rest of the NYT Box Team are treating us to Teen Week starting tomorrow — six consecutive puzzles constructed by kids — to make the rest of us feel old. I'm looking forward to it.