...and sometimes "Y"

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Puzzle by Kelsey Blakley, edited by Will Shortz

AEIOU (17D Fivesome seen in order in the answer to each starred clue) is a great entry/clue for nine entries in this wonderful Sunday crossword puzzle: GAMEMISCONDUCT (23A *Ice hockey penalty); FACETIOUS (34A "Tongue-in-cheek); HALFSERIOUSLY (40A *Somewhat in jest); GATHERINGCLOUDS (68A "Sign of coming danger); WANDERINGSOUL (94A *Drifter); TAKEITOUT (102A *What "dele" means); WATERINGTROUGH (119A *Barnyard fixture); TRADEDISCOUNT (13D *Professional courtesy in pricing); and LATENIGHTHOUR (58D *Time during a graveyard shift). I was reminded of my school days when we learned the vowels by reciting "A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y"!

Note: The electronic puzzle differs from the newsprint. AEIOU is clued as "Fivesome seen in order in the answer to each italicized clue"; and the clues are subsequently italicized without a "star".

This is a nice easy-going Sunday solve -- a very friendly and near-perfect crossword puzzle that left me with a very satisfied feeling accompanied by amazement at how brilliantly word upon word fell into place. This crossword is without a single clumsy entry or far-fetched clue, making it akin to the perfect fits of a jig-saw puzzle. So many crosswords are being Googlized these days with ridiculous lazy entries, that to encounter one without a single odd-ball abbreviation, variation, permutation, et cetera, is a genuine relief and pleasure!

YOU (99D Crossword solver, presumably); however, becomes someone else after its entered! No matter -- from EDEN (1A Starting point) to ESSO (129A Bygone U.S. gas brand), this puzzle is so tight and together with so many great entries that it’s a little classic! ...and SNOOK (8D Derisive gesture)?! -- never knew it had a name!

Other acrosses: 5. Wraps on stage; 9. Org. that inspects factories; 13. Frog’s place; 19. DEMI-pointe (ballet position); 20. Footballer-turned politician Swann; 21. Inn’s offering; 22. Hungry lion, e.g.; 26. Mame, e.g.; 27. Motrin rival; 28. They may be high before a competition; 29. Purges; 31. Companion of a spade; 32. Surgically excise; 33. Pod that’s sometimes pickled; 36. Cote d’ AZUR; 38. Observed; 46. Unbroken; 50. Dinner spread; 51. Food label abbr.; 52. Rocky Mtn. highs?; 55. Patron saint of metalworkers; 58. Not skip a beat?; 59. Go-go-go; 61. Not go by one’s own locomotion; 61. Connections; 63. Family V.I.P.’s; 65. “Myself was stirring ERE the break of day”: Shak.; 66. Oiled, in a manner; 72. To be handled by; 75. DOE-eyed; 76. “TV Funhouse” show, for short; 77. Key holder? Abbr.; 80. “Fantastic Mr. Fox” author, 1970; 81. Upshot; 85. Lack of variety; 87. Special case?; 88. Dan ISSEL, former N.B.A. star and coach; 89. Roman historian; 91. Jazzy Anita; 92. Sharp bend; 98. Colorless, flammable gas; 101. Imitator; 105. PEAT moss; 108. Does just all right; 113. Top-notch; 114. Israeli statesman Barak; 115. Actress/spokeswoman Belafonte; 116. Ancient Greek region; 117. Tin: Prefix; 122. New Hampshire senator John; 123. 1965 movie “ISAW What You Did”; 124. Give a come-hither look; 125. Toy company whose name is an anagram of 124-Across; 126. Corkscrew, e.g.; 127. One-liners; and 128. General TSOS chicken.

Downs: 1. Annual literary award; 2. Silas of the Continental Congress; 3. Thompson and Lazarus; 4. Relative of 26-Across; 5. Jewish crepe; 6. Exclamations of exasperation; 7. Religious recluse; 8. Derisive gesture; 9. Periods in prison, e.g.; 10. Old French coins; 11. Ad follower; 12. City of New Orleans operator; 14. First word spoken to earth from the lunar surface; 15. Dashed; 16. Maker of Bug-B-Gon; 18. Shady sorts?; 24. Biotite and phlogopite; 25. Home of “The Diane Rehm Show”; 30. Put away for good; 34. Christopher Morley novel “Kitty FOYLE; 35. Future residents; 37. Banquet holder; 39. Designer Cassini 40. Some cliff dwellers; 41. English playwright Ayckbourn; 42. “I’m game!”; 43. Backing; 44. Landlord, e.g.; 45. Development sites; 47. Came down; 48. Word with bar or color; 49. One-to-one, e.g.; 53. Card catalog abbr.; 54. Chiantis, e.g.; 57. Poet who wrote “The moving finger writes; and, having writ, moves on”; 60. Tears to pieces; 64. Arch sites; 67. Nothing doing?; 68. Sea of GALILEE; 69. Newts; 70. Stephen Jay GOULD, author of “The Panda’s Thumb; 71. Role in “The Color Purple”; 72. Carded, say; 73. Grp. Conducting Operation Deny Flight; 74. Repeated cry at a beer blast; 77. Cousin of Spot; 78. Beach bash; 79. AMYL nitrate; 82. Lick again; 83. Flair; 84. Nielsens; 86. To-DOS; 90. Small bark; 93. Saint-ETIENNE, capital of France’s Loire department; 95. 4-Down’s brothers; 96. Brings to naught; 97. Feminist Germaine; 100. Philosopher Wittgenstein; 102. Italian poet Torquato TASSO; 103. Misbehave; 104. “The Family Circus” cartoonist; 106. Side flap; 107. Rampaging; 109. A Confederacy of Dunces” author; 110. Pivots; 111. American Pie” actor Jason; 112. Uneducated boor; 115. Unaccompanied; 118. Novice, maybe; 120. Simile’s center; and 121. Day-GLO.

I (excuse the expression) was glad to see ELOI clued differently, and OMAR shedding the extra R -- and the favorite of the AEIOU entries? WANDERING SOUL.


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