Alphabet Soup

Friday, December 28, 2007

Puzzle by John Farmer, edited by Will Shortz

Whatever can be said or not said about this crossword puzzle, it is full of seldom-seen entries accompanied by brutal cluing. Additionally, every letter in the alphabet is included -- some would call it a pangram, which it is not; but it could be called pangramish, which is about as clumsy a definition as possible outside of perhaps an alphabet soup. The very symmetrical diagram (or grid), with its double-cross and anchored edges is an attractive one at which to gaze!

The 15-square
LANDOCALRISSIAN (14A Sci-fi character whose name is an anagram of CAROLINA ISLANDS) and MEMBERSOF THEBAR (53A Some licensed practioners); with the 14-square entries, JENNIFER LOPEZ (11A Singer with the #1 hit “All I Have“) and QUICKBROWNFOX (56A Exercise animal?) utilize most of the alphabet with the exception of V, Y, and G, which can be plucked from VALOR (43D Pluck); POTSY (57A Hopscotch); and OMEGA (26D Corinthian conclusion).

Rarefied definitions coupled with unusual entries make any puzzle more difficult, and today’s crossword is replete:

Across: 1.
Algonquian Indian tribe; 6. Went sniggling; 16. Otoscope user, for short; 17. Have quite enough for; 18. MedWatch agcy.; 21. Chalon-sur-SAONE, France; 22. “The Da Vinci Code” priory; 23. “Half ALOAF … “; 25. Bygone Ford; 26. Place to find a C-note?; 27. Climber’s support; 29. Indian pastries; 31. DON Herbert, TV’s Mr. Wizard; 32. 100 qintars; 33. Hands out; 37. Constellation between Cygnus and Pisces; 41. They’re plucked; 42. Bird: Prefix; 44. Star ANISE; 45. “ASET of Six” (Joseph Conrad story collection); 46. “A parlor utensil for subduing the impenitent visitor”: Ambrose Bierce; 48. 1950s British P.M.; 49. Mooring site; 50. Stuffed with cheese, in Mexican cooking; 52. D-Day arena: Abbr.; 58. Tough to dig into, as soil.

Down: 1. Notice; 2. Home of many of 1-Across: Abbr.; 3. A long time in Lisbon; 4. Fuchsite and alurgite; 5. Assuming even that; 6. They’ll give you the run-around; 7. Illuminati; 8. Place, e.g.; 9. 7-in. platters; 10. More than exalts; 11. Sound of change; 12. Mr. Rosewater in Kurt Vonnegut’s “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater”; 13. “Butterfly” actress, 1981; 14. Clear the way to; 15. Some babysitters; 20. South Beach, e.g.; 22. Northwest tribe; 24. 2004 Sondheim musical, with “The”; 28. Country INN; 30. It can fill a yard; 33. Elevator button; 34. 1968 hit whose title is repeated three times with “Oh” and then again after “Baby I love you”; 35. Make hot; 36. Passes effortlessly; 37. Miss badly; 38. Seaman in a ceremonial honor guard; 39. Excise on some out-of-state purchases; 40. Mr. abroad; 46. Extra benefits; 47. When a football may be hiked; 50. Geom. Figure; 51. “This is disastrous!”; 54. Pulitzer category, briefly; 55. Red EFT (young amphibian).

Last, but not least -- TGIF (19A “I’m ready for the weekend!”)!


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