Monday, July 23, 2007

Puzzle by Randall J. Hartman, edited by Will Shortz

I don’t know how many times I’ve sat at a STOP sign and contemplated anagrams!
Today, we get POTS, STOP, SPOT, TOPS and POST -- hopefully, later in the week we’ll get OPTS -- many drivers read STOP signs as optional!

The five “two-word” entries containing the anagrammed STOP (including STOP) are:

(17A Traps off the coast of Maine)
(28A Ball catcher behind a catcher)
(34A Source of disruption to satellites)
TANKTOPS (42A Sleeveless shirts)
NEWYORKPOST (56A Gotham tabloid)

I don’t recall seeing The New York Post mentioned in The New York Times crossword puzzle before -- Alexander Hamilton would be pleased!

Innocence and humor permeate this construction: ABOO (2D “Peek-____”); BOPEEP (13D “Little” shepherdess of children’s verse), BEANPOLE (36D Tall, skinny guy), TOOT (20A Horn sound), INLAWS (45A Strained relations?), and BLOOPER
(41D Knee-slapping goof).

More seriously, ABASE (14A Humiliate), NODEAL (26A Part of a TV catchphrase from Howie Mandel), DEFIES (39A Disobeys), RIPS (7D Steals, with “off”), and CURSE (62A Put a hex on) are the flip side.

CEO (30D Corporate V.I.P.), NBC (56D Peacock network), KFC (57D Col. Sanders chain), DKNY (39D Designer letters), USSTEEL (4D Andrew Carnegie corp.) and DUPONT (11D Company behind nylon and Teflon) hang heavy in the grid, while LABORDAY (3D Jerry Lewis telethon time) and friendly talk, SALUD (1A Toast to one’s health), BRO (36A “My man!”) and FELLA (60A Guy) keep things human.

Interesting juxtapositions, etc.: BEANPOLE and IBEAM form a cross; BACKSTOP and BASES (28D Points on a diamond?) share initial B; aren’t LOBSTERPOTS and a CREEL (63A Fish basket) pretty much the same thing?; OPIE has returned to his standard clue (52A Mayberry lad) after receiving two wild variations this past week; and
ENESCO (12D Georges who composed “Romanian Rhapsodies”) spelled his name ENESCU -- it's the French who spell it wrong -- oh well!, we need the O for STOP!

Drive carefully if your on the way back to work this Monday, and have a good week!


For today's "cartoon" go to
TheCrossword Puzzle Illustrated.

To go to original post with illustrations and puzzle grid or to leave a Comment, click on TITLE at the beginning of this post’s commentary.