Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Puzzle by Gary Steinmehl, edited by Will Shortz
Ghosts are in season! MAKESABOOBOO (57A Misspells, say, as a ghost might at 20-, 28-, 37- and 50-Across?), along with HUMPBACKWAIL (20A Scary sound from the ocean?), BATTLECREAK (28A Scary sound from a war zone?), FARMGROAN (37A Scary sound from a cornfield?), and BELLANDHOWL (50A Scary sound from a steeple?) are the inter-related entries to prove it!
Word-wise, the five entries constitute synonym for an error and four homophones -- read humpback whale, Battle Creek, farm grown, and Bell & Howell -- for a clever play on words, just in time for Halloween. Strangely, I found 57A to be the last entry uncovered, as it is intended to also be a clue for 20A, 28A, 37A, and 50A. Oh well, everyone has their own personal hole in their brain!
The remainder of the puzzle is haunted by entries seven squares or less with
ARDEB (40D Egyptian dry measure equal to about five-and-a-half bushels) and BARB (60D Part of a fishhook) having made it difficult to find the BOOBOO!
The countdown to the end -- Seven squares: MACHETE (3D Cane cutter); UNAIDED (11D Helpless?); REPLETE (12D Filled to the gills); EARMARK (42D Tag for a particular purpose); CROATIA (43D Neighbor of Slovenia); and POBOXES (46D Co. addresses, often).
Six: RIPPLE (5D Wavelet); ARABIC (6D Language whose alphabet starts alif, ba, at, tha…); ATONAL (51A Like some music); NOODLE (52D Musically improvise).
Five: RANON (5A Chattered incessantly); IRATE (15A Seeing red); PANIC (18A Opposite of serenity); OLDER (26A Having seniority); ALEUT (34A Kodiak native); RCPTS (45A Sales slips: Abbr.); PROSY (53A Tedious); ELAND (63A African antelope); RURAL (68A Countryish); AMBLE (71A Walk leisurely); FOCAL (10D Kind of point); MALTA (21D Country just south of Sicily); REGAL (30D Fit for a king); SKEET (54D Sport utilizing a clay disk); and the aforementioned impossibly obscure ARDEB.
Four: ESAU, NANA, OTIC, NECK, TUFT, INCH, SERA, ACME, FURY, BIAS, ONEA, COCA, CAPP, SECT, HATE, AXLE, ERIE, SKAT, USAF, OAHU, the tricky ALUM (59d Styptic agent), not a grad; and the pesky BARB.
Four & Three: HEEL (69A Boot part) and TOE (55A Boot part) with their Shortzesque twin clues.
Three alone: AAA, ABA, ABC, AGO, ALI, AVE, BOY, BYE, CIO, ELF, ERG, ETE, ERR, HES, LEA, MAL, OAR, SOP, SLY, TOE, TWO, VAL, WOK, YAP.
Two together: RAE (38D Name that’s an anagram of 27-Down) and REA Irvin, classic artist for The New Yorker (27D).
For today's cartoons, with ghosts aplenty, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.