01.31.09

ESP?

A mentalist on a stage apron in a mind-reading performance, 1900.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Puzzle by Ken Bessette, edited by Will Shortz
On an apron between the wings...
Ten letter entries -- ADAPTATION; ERECTORSET; KOOLAIDMAN; MOVIETITLE; ONTHESTAGE; PASSTHEHAT.
Nine-letter -- ANASTASIA; EMAILLIST; HARDSHIPS; HONESTABE; RAINMAKER; RENTALCAR; RESTSEASY; STAGPARTY.
Seven -- ANDRESS; HAMITUP; ONEUNIT; THEWAVE.
Six -- ESTEEM; EUREKA; MADAME; SESAME; TAMALE; TENENT, keeping TENET company.
Five -- AGAVE; AMOLE; ANOUT; ASTIR; FODOR; GAITS; NAGAT; NANCE; NEATO; NOKIA; POKES; SAABS; SAFES; SANDP; SNEES; SHLEP; SPITS; STENS and STEPS, STORE; TEAKS; TENET, keeping TENANT company.
Four -- ASCI; BIAS; BLTS; BRER; DUCE; EARS; HSIA; KISS; LAME; MORA; SNIT; STET; TALK; TIAS.
Three -- AHI; APU; DOW; ETD; HBO; IVA; MLS; NGO; PIC; STA.
... ESP? (Excellent Saturday Puzzle)!
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01.30.09

AXOLOTL, et al

Axolotl, National Geographic
Friday, January 30, 2009
Puzzle by Brendan Emmett Quigley, edited by Will Shortz
Any puzzle containing the MIASMAS (1D. Noxious vapors) of VON and AVON, PAS and PERS, JAR and JIF, SOB and SOP, RAF and RAJ, DAB and DAR, LDS and LTS, MAV and MOTH, ONAN and OREM, ACCT and DATA, along with ALOG, BAO, INRI and SERE, is usually composed of longer entries meant to be as puzzling as possible, never mind the resulting aforementioned SCREE (45A. Cliffside detritus). Evil chortling emanates from somewhere in the dank dark dungeon of the DIGERATI (34D. Computer-savvy crowd) gleefully declaiming 47D. “WE DID it!” (cry of accomplishment), taking delight in hearing the wails of WERE DOOMED (47A. Cry when you don’t think you’ll make it), as solvers disappear into the abyss of an etymological morass.
Links:
AXOLOTL; VENTURA; SENECA; MATT DRUDGE; LARRY DAVID; ADDIS ABABA; TERRA COTTA; CRANK CASES; HIGH TREASON; OUTSIDE MAN; TOBACCO SHOP; ARMOIRE; XENON.
In the future, I suppose one will now need be on the look-out for variations on AXOLOTL -- AJOLOTE, AMBYSTOMA MEXICANUM, MUDPUPPIES, NEOTENIC MOLE, UPA RUPA, WATERDOGS, WOOPER ROOPER, or any other damn slimy thing that creeps out of the crossword constructor’s cranium!
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01.29.09

BAR


The Banishment of Rienzi
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Puzzle by Barry C. Silk, edited by Will Shortz
BAR (66A. Word defined by 17-, 25-, 35-, 45- and 58-Across), LEGAL PROFESSION, BANISH BY DECREE, TAP ROOM, UNIT OF PRESSURE, MUSICAL NOTATION (all defined as See 66-Across) and LAW (60D. 66-Across topic) are the interrelated entries of this Thursday crossword.
ICAME (51A. Start of Caesar’s boast), IMAX, IPASS, IPHONE and IPODS are another group, all beginning with a set-apart letter I.
Links:
MISTRALS (38D. Cold northerly winds of southern France); GALEN (31A. Influential Greek physician); AVIA, GIZA, IOLA, LOMA, OPEC, POPE, YVES.
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01.28.09

Maid Inn Tie Juan

Devil Satan, Made in Taiwan

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Puzzle by Michael Langwald, edited by Will Shortz

CHILDSTOYS (60A. Bearers of a phrase suggested by saying the starts of 17-, 24-, 38- and 49-Across), along with MAIDMARIAN (17A. Robin Hood’s love), INNKEEPER (24A. One at the front desk, perhaps), TIEGAME (38A. Nail-biter, perhaps) and JUANPERON (49A. Leader deposed in 1955) constitute a paronomastic conglomeration of interrelated homophonic-first-word entries -- the main feature of this Wednesday crossword. In plain English, “Maid Inn Tie Juan.”

Links for the day: HANES (14A. Big name in briefs); MEL (23A. Blanc who voiced Porky Pig); RODGERS (4D. “Blue Moon” composer); 56A. ELYSEE (French president’s home); AGOG (35D. Totally wowed) and AMAZE (51D. Totally wow); INTEL (24D. Major chipmaker); UMIAK (50D. Eskimo boat); UNION 7D. Men in blue); and USURP (10D. Take forcibly).

Toy of the day --
HERE!
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01.27.09

Ugly as Sin!


Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Puzzle by Jim Hyres, edited by Will Shortz
MILLE
BORNES (17A. Game with “Out of Gas” cards); JASON BOURNE (58A. Robert Ludlum protagonist); FIRSTBORN (11D. Heir to a throne, typically), and WIND-BORNE (33D. Like the dust in a dust storm) are this Tuesday crossword’s interrelated entries.
DEDICATE, ENERGIES, PULL RANK and
TANTRUMS also belong together. Get out the AIR TASER. Another group -- PROWL CAR, RAG TOPS and SEDAN. Also, TESTERS are familiar with a BELL JAR.
A few links --
MAGOO (42D. Myopic Mr.); I ROBOT (28A. Classic Isaac Asimov short-story); BENIN (41A. Nation once known as Dahomey) and 60A. Ugly as SIN.
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01.26.09

What's the Idea?

Monday, January 26, 2009
Puzzle by Timothy Powell and Nancy Salomon, edited by Will Shortz
LETS NOT GO THERE (20A. “Bad idea!”); YOU MUST BE JOKING (“Bad idea!”); I DIDN’T HEAR THAT (52A. “Bad idea!”) are this Monday crossword’s interrelated entries. The puzzle continues in the same vein with 63A. “You’re something ELSE!“ and a FUROR (14A. Lots of screaming and shouting) with an occasional HE HE (15A. Gleeful giggle).
Opening with NAG AT (1A. Bother persistently) and closing with PESKY (67A. Bothersome), in between we have LEERY (17A. Distrustful) VETOES (9D. Presidential noes) and SAY OK (25D. Give the go-ahead), NADA (10A. Zilch), SLY (61D. Wily) KIBITZ (44A. Offer advice from around a card table) and NERTS (21D. “Phooey!”).
Not a bad idea!
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01.25.09

Fiddle Dee Dee!


Fiddle Dee Dee!
Sunday, January 25, 2009
FIDDLE DEE DEE, Puzzle by Michael Torch, edited by Will Shortz
In this Sunday crossword, substituting DD for TT results in the interrelated entries of UDDER NONSENSE; PUDDIN ON THE RITZ; CADDY REMARKS; SHUDDER SPEED; LADDER DAY SAINTS; ONLINE BEDDING; BIDDER COLD; FADDY ACIDS.
None of the remaining entries in the puzzle are more than eight letters.
Across links: 1. Objects of core workouts, ABS; 20. Landlord’s schedule, RENTROLL; 47. Labyrinth parts, WALLS; 51. Monkey, pony or alligator, DANCE; 54. Source of the word “clan”, OLDIRISH; 59. New York town with Playland amusement park, RYE; 76. “Zip-ADEE-Doo-Dah”; 94. Losing admiral in the Battle of the Falkland Islands, 1914, SPEE; 105. Actress Beverly who played Patsy Cline in “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, DANGELO; 109. Sponges, TOSSPOTS.
Down links: 5. Some signs, NEONS; 10. Style expert Klensch and others, ELSAS; 27. Fox News opinionator, HANNITY; 35. County next to Mayo, SLIGO; 43. Robert of “The Sopranos”, ILER; 56. Anglers’ baskets, CREELS; 67. Sources of milk for chèvre cheese, GOATS; 77. “Desperate Housewives” role, BREE; 86. Some underwear, BOXERS; 96. Rock group whose members wear red flowerpots on their heads, DEVO.
Fiddle dee dee, INDEED (55D. “Definitely!”)…
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01.25.09 -- the Acrostic

Extraction
Steve Martin, "The Little Shop of Horrors", 1986
Sunday, January 25, 2009
ACROSTIC, Puzzle by Emily Cox & Henry Rathvon, edited by Will Shortz
This Sunday’s acrostic utilizes a quotation from Steve Martin’s
Born Standing Up. A review of the book by NPR states in part: Steve Martin gave up stand-up comedy in 1981, at the height of his fame, moving on to acting and writing. Martin calls his new book Born Standing Up a biography rather than an autobiography of a guy he used to know. In the beginning, there was a string of small, quirky stages like the drive-in movie theater, where the audience honked at the punch lines. In the end, there were giant arenas and a life suffused, as he puts it, with a "freakish celebrity aura."
The quotation: MY MOST PERSISTENT MEMORY OF STAND-UP IS OF MY MOUTH BEING IN THE PRESENT AND MY MIND BEING IN THE FUTURE THE MOUTH SPEAKING THE LINE WHILE THE MIND IS OBSERVING ANALYZING WORRYING AND THEN DECIDING WHAT TO SAY NEXT
The author’s name and the title of the work: STEVE MARTIN BORN STANDING UP
The defined words: SHEBANG; TERMITE; ENDGAM; VESTIGE;
EYETEST; MANHUNT; ALTHING; RHYMING; THINKER; IMHOTEP; NUMBERS; BRUXISM; OPPIDAN; RHIZOME; NIGHTLY; SHERIFF; TIMOTHY; ACIDITY; NOSWEAT; DENTIST; INANITY; NEWMOWN; GODSEND; UNFUNNY; POODLES.
A few thorny defined words, including oppidan, rhizome and bruxism, plus a less than memorable quotation and my lack of interest in Steve Martin’s career, made this a solemn solve. However, there‘s no accounting for taste -- that‘s why they have menus in restaurants!
For the complete post, go HERE.


01.24.09

The Eyes Have It!

Open Your Eyes”, Ada Jackson

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Puzzle by Mark Diehl, edited by Will Shortz

OPEN YOUR EYES (7D. “Look, bonehead!”) and ALL GUSSIED UP (21D. Dressed to the nines) lend a colloquial air to this Saturday crossword, and along with DARN IT (62A. “Aaargh!”), WANNABE (49A. Hanger-on), PSST (8D. Discreet call) and AHA (54A. “I knew it!), set this puzzle IN A SPIN (12D. Twirling), a DRONE (52D. Go on and on) on a RADIO SET (9D. Ham’s rig) PAGER (6D. Cell alternative) for a SAD SACK (13D. Born loser)!

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01.23.09

Till Death Us Do Part...


“Proceed with the execution.”
Friday, January 23, 2009
Puzzle by
Barry C. Silk, edited by Will Shortz
THE AFRICAN QUEEN (17A. Film with the line “By the authority vested in me by Kaiser William II, I pronounce you man and wife. Proceed with the execution”) must possess the longest clue so far this year. It, along with MAGIC CARPET RIDE (56A. Fantastic flight) are the two 15-letter entries of this Friday crossword together giving it a touch of intrigue and adventure.
A few links: CIA DIRECTOR; AVIATE; ALABAMA; ALONSO; ARDEN; GRISHAM; MOLOTOV; ST JOHNS.
Proceed!
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01.22.09

HEAD to HEAD


The Execution of Lady Jane Grey by Paul Delaroche, 1833
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Puzzle by
Gary J. Whitehead, edited by Will Shortz
Six squares containing the shrunken word HEAD, or a glyph of same (or a rebus, if you will), along with the central across entry of
SHRUKEN HEADS (37A. Primitive trophies ... or a hint to this puzzle's theme) provide HEAD to HEAD amusement in this Thursday crossword -- and for good measure, the author’s name is Whitehead; who, dare I pun, appears unshrinking in his dedication to the heady world of crosswords.
The resulting entries across: EGG[HEAD] (10. Walking encyclopedia); [HEAD] FOR THE HILLS (20A. Split); [HEAD] TO TOE (33A. All over); RADIO[HEAD] (43.
Alternative rock band with four platinum albums); DRAWBRIDGE A[HEAD] (54. Traffic sign that indicates a possible temporary road closure); [HEAD] END (66. Front).
Down: BIG[HEAD]ED (1. Macrocephalic); SWELL[HEAD] (9. Egoist); [HEAD] ON (13. One way to meet); [HEAD]CASES (45. Nut jobs); BE[HEAD]ING (49.
Lady Jane Grey’s fate); AX[HEAD] (58. Chopping part of a chopper).
A few more links: BRAINDEAD (34D. Unable to think at all), EWENECK (50A. Conformation defect in a horse), STEELE (47D. English essayist Richard), EATME (52A. Words on a Wonderland cake), NIECE (32D. Eleanor Roosevelt, to Teddy), OTERI, ANKA, GHIA, XENA.
And then, of course, there are all those
SHRUNKEN HEADS!
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01.21.09

Grrrr...!


The Red Protector, known as Jamsran in Mongolia

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Puzzle by

Fred Piscop, edited by Will Shortz

I find it fascinating how a crossword will speak to one solver in an entirely different language than to another -- there are those who wish to rush through the experience as though it were a mere trifle and others who savor same as though it were a truffle, an etymological delicacy oozing from the deep recesses of the constructor’s mind up through the cracks of a solemn surface, turning bloggers into barking dogs!

MONGREL EMPIRE (20A. Genghis Khan’s non-pedigree domain?), CUR CURRICULUM (38A. Non-pedigree essential courses?) and MUTTVILLE NINE (57A. Casey’s non-pedigree team?) are the interrelated entries of this Wednesday crossword, punning the Mongol Empire, curriculum and Mudville Nine, the joyless baseball team of “Casey at the Bat”

Words from Alphonse or Gaston are AFTER YOU, and ULTIMATE appears to be the name of the Frisbee game involving body contact, those being the only other long entries -- however, here are a few links for the day: ATOMIC (1D. Like super precise clocks); LUTIST (34D. Elizabethan ballad player, maybe); OLIVER (49D. Twist of fiction); RENOIR (2D. “The Bathers” painter)

I, myself, step cautiously from puzzle to puzzle. Quo vadis?

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01.20.09

PRESIDENT OBAMA

Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Puzzle by Tim Wescott, edited by Will Shortz
Y E S W E C A N in a circle of circled squares, along with PRESIDENT OBAMA (52A. Oath of office taker on 1/20/09); LEADER OF AMERICA (3D. 52-Across, starting 1/20/09); AUDACITY OF HOPE (20A. Book by 52-Across, with “The”); CAMPAIGN RIVALRY (11D. 52-Across had one with John McCain); 39A. OVAL office, BAR (41A. 52-Across once passed it, with “the”); IN TURN (2D. Through regular order of succession); DAIS (16A. Setting for an inaugural address); ILL (37D. Home state of 52-Across: Abbr.); JOE (29D. With 36-Across, 52-Across’s number two); BIDEN (36A. See 29-Down); and STAR (17A. Representation of a state on the U.S. flag) constitute the timely interrelated entries of this January 20th of 2009 crossword puzzle -- a scoop for the administration of Will Shortz, forcing thousands of crossword solvers to enter PRESIDENT OBAMA before it has become an actuality!
The Crossword Blog of The New York Times states it best -- “The W passes into history and the new O gets represented by a circle of circles in the center of today’s grid.” For the full commentary --
HERE.
OBAMA I, OBAMA II, and OBAMA today!
In the words of a final timely entry -- TIME TO GO (12D. Cry just before leaving)!
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01.19.09

A Chip Off the Old Block

Monday, January 19, 2009
Puzzle by Tracey Snyder, edited by Will Shortz
CHIP (52D. Word that can follow the ends of 17-, 27-, 43- and 57-Across) along with NATALIE WOOD (17A. “Splendor in the Grass” actress), HOME COMPUTER (27A. Telecommuter’s need), HOT CHOCOLATE (43A. Drink with a marshmallow) and COUCH POTATO (57A. Common remote control holder) are the interrelated entries of this delightful Monday crossword!
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01.18.09

OBAMA II

Sunday, January 18, 2009
HIGH FIVE, Puzzle by Randolph Ross, edited by Will Shortz
OBAMA last Sunday, OBAMA today!
With the note “The answers to the nine italicized clues all contain five letters in common, reading left to right, not necessarily consecutively”, today’s crossword features nine interrelated across entries containing, as described, a high-five -- O-B-A-M-A!
OLD BLACK MAGIC (23. *“That something” in an Arlen/Mercer tune); GLOBAL CLIMATE (25. *Kyoto Treaty topic); GOLF BALL MARKER (36. *Links accessory); COWBOY HAT MAKER (51. *Stetson, for one); GOD BLESS AMERICA (67. *Berlin production); ROBIN AND MARIAN (89. *1976 Connery/Hepburn film); ROBERT MCNAMARA (98. *Kennedy/Johnson cabinet member); HONOR BLACKMAN (112. *She played the Bond girl in “Goldfinger“); MOBILE ALABAMA (120. *Hank Aaron‘s hometown).
Time for change!
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01.18.09 -- the Acrostic

Americans

Sunday, January 18, 2009
ACROSTIC, Puzzle by Emily Cox & Henry Rathvon, edited by Will Shortz
Shirley Chisholm was an American politician, educator and author. In 1968, she became the first African American woman elected to Congress. On January 25, 1972, she became the first major-party African American candidate for President of the United States. Today’s quotation is from her book The Good Fight.
The quotation: WE AMERICANS CAN BECOME A DYNAMIC EQUILIBRIUM A HARMONY OF MANY DIFFERENT ELEMENTS IN WHICH THE WHOLE WILL BE GREATER THAN ALL ITS PARTS AND GREATER THAN ANY SOCIETY THE WORLD HAS SEEN BEFORE IT CAN STILL HAPPEN
The author’s name and the title of the work: SHIRLEY CHISHOLM GOOD FIGHT
The defined words: SPIRIT; HALFWAY; ICEWATER; RWANDAN; LENAHORNE; EMINENT; YACHT; CHARISMA; HEMLINE; IMBALANCE; SEAWALL; HYBRID; ONTHEQT; LISTEN; MOTORCADE; GRAPHITE; OUTREACH; OLYMPICS; DEFENSE; FUNNIES; INBETWEEN; GABFEST; HARLEM; TAYLOR.
It can still happen!

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For the complete post, go HERE.

01.17.09

SFUMATO

Pieces of Mona by Bigchrist

Saturday, January 17, 2009
Puzzle by Brad Wilber, edited by Will Shortz
SFUMATO is one of two or three entries that are not of the usual everyday fare for a crossword; however, the clue is doggedly descriptive in penance for the oddity, if not more or less so than for PEYO. The remaining lineup of entries are the usual suspects, all fairly familiar -- it’s the clues that create the degree of difficulty bordering upon sadistic mystification.
Doing research for this write-up, I came across this amazing YouTube video -- How to paint the MONA LISA with MS PAINT -- 9,481,559 views!
SFUMATO, OOCYTE or OTIOSE might require a mental spellcheck in this otherwise BASIC-entry puzzle, but not much else. Interesting juxtapositions -- DIRTYLOOK with ORELSE, STAYPUT with YEARN, PASTA and TORTONI; ELECT with SECTORS; ASSERTIVE with DARE; RIEL and REELIN. Two full-name actor entries are JOANALLEN and RIPTORN as Pat and Richard Nixon -- albeit in different films. Colleges, AMHERST and OBERLIN. SNAPE and SNIPEHUNT, SKIPASS and PASSAT, ELEE and PELE, SIB and SIR. Oh and it’s CEE not CHE. I’ll quit now, I’m beginning to JAW (59D. Yak)!
Signing off singing!
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01.16.09

ALLOK!

Friday, January 16, 2009
Puzzle by Mike Nothnagel, edited by Will Shortz
I have often returned to New York and looked down from the aircraft as it passed over my apartment building with regret that I could not parachute home rather than continue on to the airport and travel through traffic back to Manhattan. So, it was with some interest to observe that U. S. Airways landed a large aircraft at the end of my street into the Hudson River -- careful what you wish for! Everyone is ALLOK (49D. Perfectly good), but their luggage? Oh well, that’s nothing new, is it? Next?…an ocean liner landing at LAG! Long story short, my thoughts are everywhere but this crossword -- a humdinger!
The entries by size and alphabetical order:
Ten-letter entries -- ETHANHAWKE (27D. Oscar nominee for “Training Day,” 2001); HOURLYRATE; ICESKATING; IMPULSEBUY; LESSISMORE; MRUNIVERSE (53A. Arnold Schwarzenegger, four times); OPENSEASON; PERSISTENT; SINGLESBAR; YOUKNOWWHO.
Seven-letter -- ATTUNES; EASESBY;
HOT MILK (39D. Béchamel sauce ingredient); OKSHOOT; SHOWBIZ; YESWEDO.
Six-letter -- ELSIES; HEMSIN; HENLEY; INTHAT; REVEAL; TALESE; TENTHS; TROYER (46A. Verne of Austin Powers films); WASHOE.
Five-letter -- ANGST; BASSOS; DESAC; GOODY; LASSO; NOTRE; PRATE; SPREE; SWEDE;
WASPS (48D. With 64-Across, sight under the eaves, at times) and the four-letter NEST (64A. See 48-Down).
Four-letter -- ALMA; ANKE; ASST; ATKA; ATON; DAYS; DIME (34D. Torch site); ERGO; ERNS; ESSO; ESTA; EWES; EZER; HUME; KATO (41A. He fought Robin on an episode of “Batman”); KURD; OCTO; OMOO; PORK; POPE (2D. Poet who wrote “Hope springs eternal in the human breast”); RBIS; RICE; RUER; SANS; SKEE; SHOP; SLOW; TAME; TWOD; UPTO; WNET; Soprano YING Huang.
…and it’s cold!
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01.15.09

The Devil Wears Nothing

Thursday, January 15, 2009
Puzzle by Patrick Blindauer, edited by Will Shortz
BREAKIN (38. Burglary … or a hint to 17/18-, 26/29-, 47/51- and 62/63-Across), JOSEPHI NEBAKER (17. With 18-Across, “J’ai Deux Amours” singer), MANDARI NORANGE (26. With 29-Across, tangerine), RAINRAI NGOAWAY (47. With 51-Across, wet-day wish), STUMBLI NGBLOCK (62. With 63-Across, temporary setback), are the marginally interrelated entries of this odd crossword -- do four misplaced black squares do anything for you? To be fair, the result includes breaking the IN in half in each of the combined entries... Oooh, cut me a slice of that!
Other seven-letter across entries are AMASSES, ARABIAN, BEGORRA, ESOBESO, GALPALS, SESAMES, SUBLETS and SUREBET.
That makes a grand total of seventeen seven-letter entries in all, a bit unusual for a crossword, but facilitated by the division of the crossword grid down the center by two six-square black bars separated by the entry of
TAZ (35. Looney Tunes nickname) in dead center being the only connection between the two halves of what is essentially two crossword puzzles pasted together. Further, within the two divisions are three nearly-separate sections in each, requiring the solver to traverse through seven sections, including the center, in order to complete the task.
TSK (68. “Shame on you!”) is on the bottom line of the remaining across entries which include AKA, ASHY, DORM (36. Rice pad), EBBS, EDEL, ELMO, HEP, OTT, PAT (11. One way to get something down), RENT, RUIN, SAKI, SLIM, SOT, SPR, YEO, ZENO.
RIP (5. It may be written in stone) is at the beginning of the short down entries which include ANI (7. What causes Fred to be fired?), ASET, BAJA, BARB, BRER, EROS, ETAS, GASH, GUM (64. Bazooka, e.g.), ICEE, INGA, KENS, LOBS, MKTS, NOOK, NSA, PEKE (11. Chow alternative), RAH, SINE, SSGT, SULK, TORS.
Down entries of more length include in AIELLO, AKELA, AISLE, BALLAD, EMPTY, GRETA, INSIST, MAYER, OBEYED, PSEUDO, ROBBER, MAYER, NAOMI (28. She renamed herself Mara, in Scripture), NOHOW, ONRAMP, PSEUDO, RUMBLES and SENSEN.
Need a break? Heeeere’s TAZ!
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11.14.09

Heirs, et al

Heirs

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Puzzle by Oliver Hill, edited by Will Shortz

Homophonic clues for the across entries of ALWAYS IN POETRY (19. E’er), MONARCH TO BE (32. Heir); BRONTES JANE (32. Eyre), and SNOBBISH MANNER (53A. Air) constitute today’s interrelated entries -- allow Eyre air e’er her heir errs!

GREATWHITE, MONOTONOUS, TERRA COTTA and UNKINDNESS are the other long entries of this frustrating but fun crossword.

Seven-letter across entries -- CARLTON; EXEGETE, whoopee, a word for the professor!; FOODIES; GRUYERE, chew your soup!; IMITATE; MINERAL; TANLINE; THELARK.

Five- and six-letter entries -- AMMAN, not currency; AXIOM; COMBO; DEMOS, not a locale in Greece; EBERT; GETSAT; HORSY; IBOOK; LAINE and LLANA; NOBODY; NSYNC (21A. Justine Timberlake’s former group); OBIES, I have one; OVERT, yes, I said that!; RENEE; STAYS, no, I didn‘t!; YENTL.

The short stuff is playful -- ACID in a CAN, DAG and DAHL, EEL, ENE, ETNA, FGH ("fugetaboutit"!), the HES are a LAD and MEN, ISEE says JESS, a MAT and a MESA, NAIL, NCAA, ODD, OCTA and OTTO, REED, SET and STE, SHU, TAR, TEMP, TOO and TOM, along with YAKS (46A. Talks one‘s head off). O.K., I will -- COMO and COMBO combine to overlap OVO and OVERT -- OBOE and OBIES share an O, as do TOE and OTAY, EAU with HUE their U, and AWE and OWE a W.

Air!

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