If you're not tomthedog, this post will likely be of little interest to you, but HaloScan wouldn't let me post it as a comment in his other journal. I could have posted in as comment in his LiveJournal, I suppose, but this way, if anyone other than him is interested, they'll be able to read them. Anyway, the rejected comment:
Here are a few reviews of Merv Griifin's Crosswords from people in the puzzling community:
Hinman and Payne are both constructors and three-time American Crossword Puzzle Tournament champions; Reynaldo won the B division in 2005 and placed in the top twenty of the A division the next two years.
My feelings: I agree that puzzles edited by Timothy Parker are often poorly clued, but most of the examples Hinman cited didn't particularly bother me; and yes, OBOLS is a terrible fill word.
Actually, while I'm on the subject, I may as well point out that Thursday's puzzle in the New York Times was outstanding. It was a fresh spin on a tired theme, with a gimmick I've only rarely seen. It was a rebus puzzle -- that is, it required you to enter more than one letter in certain squares -- but with a neat twist: each rebus square required different letters. So if you figured out that the four-letter answer to [Unpleasant feeling] was NAUSEA (with SEA all in one square) and then tried to figure out which [One of the Munsters] ended in the letters SEA, you'd be out of luck. The rebus squares ended up being THE (ATHENS/THELMA), OLD (FOLDED/SMOLDER), MAN (EMANATE/HERMAN), AND (ERRANDS/ANDEAN), THE (ESTHER/EAT HERE), and SEA (RESEAT/NAUSEA).. And the [Author of a 1952 novel published in full in Life magazine] whose name was splayed across the center of the puzzle was, of course, ERNEST HEMINGWAY. Beautiful. Making it even better: the very first rebus answer, called for at 14-Across, had a plausible non-rebus answer that shared several letters with the correct one. When you find yourself looking for a four-letter word ending in -MA clued as [Longtime Vicki Lawrence character], wouldn't you fill that as MAMA? I know one person who did.