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Thick Tricks and Trivia

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Puzzle by Myles Callum, edited by Will Shortz

Thick obfuscation, slick tricks and odd-ball trivia constitute the modus operandi of this Saturday stumper.

Could-be-anything clues: THETHINGIS (1A “That may be true, but…”); SOCIALCALL (15A Visit); IWON (18A Exultant cry); AHOOT (26A Tons of fun); IMEANIT (40A No-nonsense cry); ALAMODE (38A Chic); IDIOTS (52A They’re thick); REGALE (54A Feast); HONE (2D Improve); HAHAS (5D Routine responses); NOWYOUKNOW (12D Response to “I had no idea!”); RUBITIN (25D Cry “nyah, nyah!”); CEASEFIRES (27D Engagement breakers?); SMALLTIMER (29D Insignificant sort); ADAY (56D What you may call it when you’re wiped out); and the Shortzesque twin clues for REEDY (51D Like some instruments); and SURG (53D Like some instruments: Abbr.).

Trick clues: ANOTHERDAY (17A When a procrastinator tends to something); RELOAN (19A Advance further?); SEWER (22A Place of refuse), which earlier this week was a reference to tailoring; CASE (27A It’s built for a trial); SERUMS (31A Shot putters’ supplies?); SALEMSLOT (41A King’s second); RAMS (59A Ones going head to head); WINETASTER (14D One concerned with the nose).

Total trivia: 11A “…there are evils ENOW to darken all his goodness”: Shak.; 16A. LORI Lemaris, early love of Superman; 20A Comic ELAYNE Boosler; UMA (33A Player of June in “Henry & June”); BABUSHKAS (36A Russian peasant wear); CLORIS (45A She had brief roles as Phyllis on “Rhoda” and Rhoda on “Dr. Kildare”); UTNEREADER (60A Magazine that hands out annual Independent Press Awards); TSAR (1D Alexis, e.g.); 4D Italian tenor TITO Schipa; ILENES (6D Soap actress Kristen and others); SLYE (10D Roy Rogers’s surname at birth); ORONOMAINE (13D Northeastern city named for a Penobscot chief); LASSES (21D Some of those who “hail the new” in “Deck the Halls”); WEBELOS (23D Arrow of Light earner’s program); ALLANADALE (28A Outlaw band member); GAYE (55D “What’s Going On” singer, 1971); and LENE (57D New Wave singer Lovich).

Biblical: ELIAH (11D Son of Elam whose name means “God the Lord”) and HOSEA (49D God commanded him to marry a harlot). Kid stuff: RAGGEDYANN (65A Little redhead); GOOGLYEYES (67A Puppet glue-ons); ESME (30D Saki story whose title character is a hyena); and TOMCAT (35D Felix, e.g.). Incredibly cheap clue: ELEE (64A Part of a rebel name).

Nice stuff: FATHA (48A Jazz pianist who played with Satchmo); MUM (32D Clammed up); HATE (57D Bete noire); ORE (42D Nugget holder); and ELMST (34A Title locale of five 1980s films: Abbr.).

I suppose there are those who will like the triple layers of 10-letter words in the four corners, while scoffing at that old reliable, ERNS (58D Shore scavengers), at the puzzle's end.

Time to fly!