Singer Building at Night, Charles Vezin (1858-1942)


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Puzzle by Jim Page, edited by Will Shortz

NYC (38A. Song from 65-Across that’s hidden in 20- and 54-Across and 10- and 35-Down) and ANNIE (65A. Hit Broadway musical based on a comic strip); along with TONYCURTIS (20A. “The Defiant Ones” co-star, 1958); JOHNNYCAKE (54A. Cornmeal dish often served with maple syrup); FUNNYCIDE (10D. 2003 Kentucky Derby winner); and PONYCARTS (35D. Vehicles at a petty zoo), are the inter-related entries of this Wednesday crossword.

A pleasant puzzle with fairly equal-sized entries. However, I don’t much care for groups of ten-letter entries serving the purpose of a three-letter inter-related reference, and Tony Curtis, Johnny Cake (sounds like two thespians), along with the equestrian Funny Cide and pony carts entries, are no exception. They just land with a thud and seem lifeless. A little less lifeless, probably due to their being autonomous of any inter-relationship, are the eight-letter CANNABIS (40A. Hashish source), recently in the NYT puzzle as REEFER; and SET PIECE (36A. Movie chase scene, e.g.) followed by four seven-letter entries, DISCMAN (28A. Sony music player introduced in 1984); ARGYLES (43A. Some socks); MESSKIT (8D. Not backing); and BEIJING (41D. 2008 Olympics host).

Six-letter entries, CLOROX (6D. Bleach brand); ASPENS (26D. Quakers in the woods); METALS (27D. Most are good conductors); BENOIT (44D. 1984 gold-medalist marathoner Joan); MAPPED (32A. Delineated, with “out”); and KNEADS (42A. Massages).

Five-letter entries, AMISS, RECAP, ELITE, IDIOT (37A. Yo-yo); EDGED; MOLAR, CROPS, ARETE, MELON (2D Deep pink); ICING (3D Hockey no-no), usually defined in relation to cake; SATYR, ROUTS; SHOTS, SCORN; TALON (48D. Kite’s clutcher), I actually wrote in “child”; OKAPI; and PERSE (50D. As such), which appeared this last Sunday.

Four-letter: CRAM, FAZE, LONE, URAL, OUTS, NIPS, NASA, ENGR, STOP, AQUA, BURR, the nicely contrasting ITOO and NOTI, continuing with LIST, ETAS, GEST, SPEC, ANTI, ARIA, ZAPS, ELSA, USED, MICA, ADAR, PING, MEGA, ACED NEDS, ABLE, QUIT, KEEN, STOP, URSA, OTOE, and YMCA, also a song from a musical.

Three-letter: KAY, MEX, NIX, DEC, CSI, SEE, SYS, and SOS.

Off to work -- Leapin' Lizards!


For Annie's first appearance, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.