The entries FROM (10A) with STARTTOFINISH (37A) cannot be divined by their clues, nor are the inter-related entries to which they don’t actually refer and for which they supposedly provide a clue, of help in solution of those entries, which are as follows: RUSTINMET (18A Reason to renovate an opera house?); HEATEROFWART (20A One cauterizing a skin blemish?); RAILWAYSBUST (54A Narc operation on Amtrak?); and finally, ENDEDBART (57A Dropped “The Simpsons” from the TV schedule?) What FROM STARTTOFINISH indicates is imagining the removal of the last letter (“T”) of each of those entries and placing it at the beginning, eliciting an “oh, I see” or a “who cares?” Left hanging in the wind with no further reference are the results: TRUSTINME; THEATEROFWAR; TRAILWAYBUS; and TENDEDBAR, all without further clue or explanation. This gimmick appeared just last week in the Wednesday The New York Sun puzzle in the guise of ARCANTONYM, ASTERHATE, RAININGBRAT, RACKSTART, and UMBERLINEN resulting in MARCANTONY, EASTERHAT, TRAININGBRA, TRACKSTART, and NUMBERLINE, with the notation "The First Shall Be Last” with the same resulting ennui. It is nice that the center O of ABOVO (30D From the beginning) crosses and shares the center O of STARTTOFINISH resulting in an O in the exact center of the grid -- however, ATAD of DATA (yes, those are entries) more is needed for all to coalesce in a satisfactory manner -- including is there something to the fact that all the removable letters are “T”’s -- you know, if one were playing golf, and kept moving one's tee from start to finish during the game? Having never played golf, I have no idea! Then there’s ANGER (63A Tee off). Maybe the central O is the hole in which to putt. Compared to today’s Times puzzle, Alan Arbesfeld’s last puzzle was SET in stone! The Puzzle Police will be very upset to see ENYA (6A 2001 Oscar nominee for the song “May It Be”) as an entry,deeming that entry to be highly overused. In fact, I thought I’d never heard Enya warble, but having seen the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, I guess I have -- it’s the same contingent of the Puzzle Police, aficionados of The Simpsons, who despise The Da Vinci Code, swearing eternal hatred without (at least so avowed) ever having read or viewed same, so as to their their comments on Enya -- well...more ennui! Golem, The Lord of the Rings QTIP (64A Wax remover) always sends shivers down my spine -- so many have punctured eardrums from packing in the wax -- try warm water and head-tilting -- there should be a warning on the Q-Tip package -- “never put anything larger than your elbow in your ear!” This goes for UVEA (62A Iris’s place) -- those poor souls blinded from contacts! Today’s acrosses include RAISE (1.Union demand); Monkey’s UNCLE (14); BEET (15. Sugar source); OILS (16. Some artwork); STEAL (17. Super bargain); TUXEDO (22. Prom wear); ECO (23. Prefix with warrior); ESL (24. Night school subj.); OPE (27. What flowers do, in poetry); ADA (28. Abbr. On a toothpaste box); KNIGHT (31. Caballero); CASABA (33. Wrinkly-skinned fruit); ILIAD (36. Poem about Paris, in part); REALM (40. Kingdom); “When I am dead and gone, remember to AVENGE me…”: Henry VI, Part I“ (41); EXPELS (42. Throws out); OWL (44. Hieroglyphic symbol for the ancient Egyptian “M“; LOU (45. Bud‘s bud); DYE (48. Salon supply); OKS (49. Blesses); ACTOUT (51. Pantomime); Florence‘s PONTE Vecchio (60); SULA (61. Toni Morrison novel); MEND (65A Rectify); and NEEDS (66. Can‘t do without). The downs include RUSHTO (1. Hurry in the direction of); ANTEUP (2. Make a stud payment); ICEAXE (3. Climber’s chopper); SLATE (4D Ballot listing); EELED (5D Caught congers); Battle of the EBRO, in the Spanish Civil War (6); NEUF (7. Nine, in Nantes); ’YESWE Have No Bananas” (8); ATTACK (9. War cry); FONT (10. Helvetica, for one); RIM (11. A dunker may grab it); OLE (12. Soccer cheer); MST (13. Boulder hrs.); IRONING (19. A Household chore); ROAST (21. Comical tribute); EGIS (24. Sponsorship: Var.) SHAH (25. Ruler toppled in 1979); LTD (26 Bygone Ford); DATA (29. Bank contents); “Would ILIE?” (32); CALE (33. Racer Yarborough); ARMLOAD (34. Big bag of groceries, e.g.); AFEW (35. Some); SEXY (37. Hot) TAPE (38. Marathon terminus); INLAY (39. Dental work); RED (40. Brave opponent); SKIBUM (43. Slopes devotee); LOUNGE (45. Waiting area); OUSTED (46. Given the boot); UTTERS (47. Comes out with); SLAVE (50. Work like a dog); CSPAN (52. Hearings airer); TBONE (53. Steakhouse selection); REAP (54. Bring in); WREN (55. Word with house or Carolina); ATAD (56. Slightly); ESQ (57. Atty.’s title); NUT (58. Buff); and last and least DLI (59. Mid sixth-century date). ENDEDBART (57A Dropped "The Simpsons" from the TV schedule?) 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
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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