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Image (click to enlarge): Dust ‘knots’ like these are a factor as we contemplate future probes moving at a substantial percentage of light speeds. Credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA).


Friday, July 27, 2007

Puzzle by John R. Conrad, edited by Will Shortz

Twelve entries sharing six one-square entries of the word “DUST” --

DUSTOFFS (4A Medevacs, in military slang);
DUSTUP (4D Quarrel) --

SAWDUST (9A Shop coat?);
DUSTCOVER (12D Furniture protector) --

BITTHEDUST (2D Went kaput);
DUSTYSPRINGFIELD (31A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee known as the White Lady of Soul) --

INTERSTELLARDUST (37A Nebulous stuff);
DUSTBUSTER (42D Black & Decker offering) --

CHALKDUST (43D Classroom sneeze elicitor);
DUSTMOP (62A Janitorial tool) --

ENDUST (57D Cleaning product with the slogan “It’s that fast!”);
STARDUST (63A Big band era standard)

Squeezing one word, albeit small, into one crossword square is a clumsy affair -- the electronic on-line puzzle allows only the letter “D” -- making for a rather clumsy SECRECY (3D Opposite of openness); however, it does LIVEN (60A Make more interesting).

Other "dust" -- SOD (9D Plot thickener?); NIT (33D Thing to be picked); NOVA (52D Astronomer's study) (just that it fits nicely with "interstellar dust"; and things to make something else of dust -- ETCH (17A Sharply outline); DADO (19A Carpenter's grove); ATABOIL (10D Very, very hot); ADOBE (56A Reservation dwelling); WHIPSUP (49A Puts together in a hurry); ADZ (50A Wood smoother); HOSE (53A Rip off); SEED (61A Future shoot); SHEETS (14D What rain might fall in); SOPPEDUP (25D Absorbed); RESOLED (41D Put a new bottom on, in a way); and SPEEDY (45A Express) -- kicking up the dust!

Other stuff: NIT crosses dead center very nicely with POLITIC (36A Tactful); HITTUNE (46A Billboard listing) complements STARDUST; the pairs of HIES and LIES; ETRE and ALTE; ERROR and LIES.

The good words, or their clues: URIAH (15A Officer slain in the Old Testament);
PENTA (18A Prefix with -hedron); OSAKA (21A City of canals); CHEESES (24A Things wheeled in supermarkets?); HORMONE (27A Kind of therapy); HECTOR (29A Cow); CELEBS (44A People people); ARTICLEI (22D (It contains the elastic clause); FILCH (35D Cop); IRIDIUM (37D Metal in the points of gold pens); NETZERO (38D EarthLink alternative); and WEBER (49D Grill brand) -- only because I thought it was "TYSON". Well, now it's time to ENDIT (48D Get divorced) and get on with the day!

Excellent puzzle!

To hear "Stardust", go

For today's cartoons, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.