Thursday, September 27, 2007

Puzzle by Peter Wentz, edited by Will Shortz

Pressing THESHIFTKEY (61A What is being held in 17-, 32-, 38- and 45-Across) is a clue for PARENTHESES (17A 90); POUNDSIGN (32A 3); EXCLAMATIONMARK (38A 1); and AMPERSAND (45A 7) in this Thursday thrashing. The reference to the typewriter/ computer keyboard (with its quirky QWERTY), might present some puzzlement beyond the usual to those who don't use a typewriter or a computer, along with DOTEDU (1A End of many college addresses); ONEGIG (12D Capacity of many a flash drive, informally); and strangely, HELP (18D Information desk offering).

The remaining Acrosses: 7. Fictional pirate; 11. Suffix with official; 14. "I do," e.g.; 15. King's position, in a game; 16. "Another Green World" musician; 19. The Silver State: Abbr.; 20. Like white elephants; 21. Damp basement cause; 23. One way to stand; 26. Prime Cuts maker; 28. This and that; 29. Shia leaders; 37. Lake TROUT; 43. Present-day Persian; 44. Don't stop; 49. Criticize sneakily; 50. Skittles variety; 53. Roll call call; 54. Auto accident sound; 57. Cruise ship Empress of the SEAS; 60. Turner in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; 66. Receive; 67. Captain of literature; 68. "The Power and the Glory: novelist, 1940; 69. Walletful, informally; 70. Like many games.

The other Downs: 1. Drop bait lightly on the water; 2. Eggs in labs; 3. A.L. team, on scoreboards; 4. Still-life object; 5. Carvey of "Wayne's World"; 6. Extreme sort; 7. Alan Jay Lerner's "SHE Wasn't You"; 8. MISSOURI Valley Conference in college sports; 9. Gen. Robt. ELEE; 10. Alternatively; 11. 20,320-foot Alaskan peak; 22. Some carriers; 23. Old King Cole accessory; 24. Kind of card; 25. Soapstone, e.g.; 27. Plant nursery activity; 30. Pseudonym of Jean Baptiste Poquelin; 31. STARR Report of the 1990s; 33. Breakfast place; 34. Beach sights; 36. Second in a Latin series; 39. Damned one; 40. Samoan capital; 41. Like some muscles; 42. Common injury site; 45. Franciscan locale; 46. Unpopular, in a way; 47. Makes applesauce, e.g.; 48. One helping; 52. Pretend; 55. Locale of many Italian vineyards; 56. Bawl (out); 58. It's rarely seen under a hat; 59. Originate; 62. Sauce ingredient; 63. Mauna KEA; 64. Culmination; and 65. "You bet!"

Crossword puzzles sometimes bring about some interesting information, which for me today was the entry PELOTA (35A Jai alai ball). According to one manufacturer's specifications, it seems the Pelota is the most lethal ball of any sport. The Pelota is 3/4 the size of a baseball, harder than a golf ball, and has been clocked at speeds in excess of 180 m.p.h. The Guiness Book of Records calls it the world's fastest ball. The Pelota is constructed of hand wound Brazilian rubber with two hand-sown goatskin covers. Pelotas cost over $150 each and must be re-covered after 15 minutes of play. No machine has ever been developed to construct a pelota.

This is an interesting-enough puzzle for a Thursday, but I'll MOVEON (13D Not dawdle) as tomorrow is another day -- TGIF (51A Weary worker's cry)!

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