Laura Wait -- X, letter of danger, sex and the unknown, Vol. I, 2006.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Puzzle by Oliver Hill, edited by Will Shortz

ADULTFILMRATING (16A [See diagram]); ROMANNUMERALTEN (56A [See diagram]); along with PRODUCT (59A What x makes) and the convergence of four entries containing the letter "X" in the center of the diagram are the inter-related entries of this Thanx-giving puzzle. Encircling the nexus of a central 17-square "X" formed in the diagram, are LORAX (17D 44-Across character, with "the"); T. REX (32A); XES (33A Marks [out]); and XYLEM (38D Tree tissue). For good measure, the young Mr. Hill has thrown in AWARDS (1A Crosses and such) and
MAE WEST (42D Who said "I believe in censorship. After all I made a fortune out of it"), further padding this whimsical mix of "X".

Across: 7. Rid of persistent dinginess, say; 13. Crunchy salad ingredient; 14. Sluggishness; 18. Word with ceiling or football; 19. Son of David; 20. N.Y.C. commuter option; 21. Prefix with skeleton; 23. Author of “Winning Bridge Made Easy” ; 24. Wisconsin senator Feingold; 25. Trick; 27. “Gnarly!”; 28. “The Da Vinci Code” albino; 29. Some camp sights; 31. Beast that bugles; 34. ALDINE Press, classic Venetian printer that introduced italics; 39. Half of a 1991 film title duo; 44. Children’s doctor?; 45. SYD Lawrence Orchestra (British big band since the 1960s); 47. Domains; 48. Slew; 49. Los Angeles’s PALOS Verdes Peninsula; 51. A long time; 52. Hill creator; 53. Thumb’s end; 55. Feeling in a cathedral, maybe; 60. Superlatively Halloweenlike; 61. High point; 62. Small harpsichord.

Down: 1. Medium tempo; 2. Tense; 3. Poking tool; 4. Sch. Papers; 5. Clear up; 6. Crew member; 7. Barely missed, as a hole; 8. Corporation in 2001 headlines; 9. Withdraw (from); 10. “All nature is but ART: Pope; 11. Bright lights, at times; 12. Suggests; 13. Like blue-chip stocks; 15. Sampras rival; 22. A; 24. Light (into); 26. Gull relatives; 28. Skater Cohen; 30. Spot; 31. Soggy; 34. B flat, enharmonically; 35. “Fidelio” protagonist; 36. It’s shaken outside a house, not in; 37. Suffix with sex; 40. Pitching stat; 41. Heir; 43. Yes; 45. Private response?; 46. Nonprofit groups, often; 49. PINCE-nez; 50. Throat ailment; 53. Cozy; 54. Adriatic port; 57. Hustle and bustle; 58. Architect Maya.

Giving this one four out of four X's (XXXX)! and wishing one and all a Happy Thanksgiving!


For a too-soon pre-X-mas cartoon, go to
The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.