07.26.07 -- WORD/CROSS

Hamlet stands over his uncle Claudius praying for forgiveness for the murder of his brother -- the Bell Shakespeare Company at the Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia, March 1, 2003.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Puzzle by Joe Krozel, edited by Will Shortz
I ripped this puzzle in half and changed the left with the right half so that the thing made some sense. It’s now a parallelogram -- note that the puzzles' construction is actually two puzzles completely divided by a top-to-bottom stepping of black squares -- so no harm done!
The across clues for 1, 13, 16, 19, 26, 34, 37, 41, 45, 51, 59, 63 and 66 on the left side of the puzzle are all the same -- a hyphen (-).
The right side of the puzzle (which is now the left side after being torn asunder) has the following across clues:
10 Opposite of all; 15 Loser; 18 Try, as something new; 22 Like some low-rise buildings; 30 Places where fans may gather to watch a game; 36 Noted 1829 West Point graduate; 40 Deem appropriate; 44 Irish playwright who wrote “The Shadow of a Gunman”; 47 Countryman of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer; 55 Target of chondrolaryngoplasty; 61 Barely; 65 Comforting words; and 68 What some browsers browse.
The English language is written left to right. Why are these entries right to left? The meager hyphen clues and their inter-related clues opposite are just gimmick for gimmick’s sake -- a joyless discovery eliciting “why?” ----- (Upon receiving a note in the Comments section from an "anonymous", my "why?" has been answered --I cannot but help agreeing with same -- the explanation is very enlightening and recommended. See Comments below at end of this post.)
The longer across entries and their clues are RANTED (14A Went on and on); EMCEES (17A Hosts); HENRYI (60A English king who was the youngest son of William the Conqueror); ENAMEL (64A Canine coat?) and SALSAS (67A Some dips).
The longer down entries and their clues: ATHROB (15D Like a thumb struck with a hammer); LIPSYNC (24D Not really sing); SMILEY (42D Symbol in Wal-Mart ads); ISRAELI (25D Certain Middle Easterner); OPEN ARMS (39D Guests may be greeted with them); and most of ARSENAL (43D Magazine locale).
On the new right is STEPSON (7D Hamlet, to Claudius) which hangs from GHOSTS (4A Common Halloween costumes) bringing to mind the action in the photograph of "Hamlet" above -- and this schizophrenic puzzle!
Eugène Delacroix. Hamlet and Horatio in the Graveyard. 1839. Oil on canvas. Louvre, Paris, France
The New York Times Crossword Puzzle solution above is by the author of this blog and does not guarantee accuracy. If you find errors or omissions, you are more than welcome to make note of same in the Comments section of this post -- any corrections found necessary will be executed promptly upon verification.
Puzzle available on the internet at
If you subscribe to home delivery of The New York Times you are eligible to access the daily crossword via The New York Times - Times Reader, without additional charge, as part of your home delivery subscription.


Anonymous said...

It is not just a gimmick for a gimmick's sake. There is a better visualization than a parallelogram: a cylinder. That is, paste the (square) puzzle onto a can -- one with a circumference of fifteen squares -- and all those split entries will recombine, each in the correct left-to-right order. It is amusing to imagine crossword puzzles on other surfaces. Just figure out how to cut the surface to spread it out on a plane. Surely, the only possible objection is an excessive attachment to a two-dimensional world!

The only Thursday puzzle I have enjoyed this much is one a few weeks ago in which answers were written backwards (with the word "back" present only in its illustration).

DONALD said...


You are absolutely correct -- I will amend my remarks in reference to "gimmick" (not meant as a negative word in itself), and refer readers of the post to read your comment.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I have just started to do crosswords and this was fun but took me two days. I still don't know what nler means.

DONALD said...

NLer -- National League (baseball division of MLB -- Major League Baseball) as opposed to the other division AL, American League, a player of team would be an ALer or a NLer -- there are 15 teams in each division.

The clue for the NLER entry is "Card, e.g." -- "Card" is short for "Cardinal", the St. Louis team -- of the National League.

Anonymous said...

This is complete BS, it's no fun, and I am a crossword freak....for the rest of you that have no life and can take 2 days to solve the thing...I'm happy for you that you have something to do...