Thursday, August 2, 2007
Puzzle by Robert Dillman, edited by Will Shortz
GETTHEPBOUT (17A “Shake a leg!”);
GOFORTHEAU (11D Try to win);
AGBELLS (24D Christmas song since the 1950s);
SNPANALLEY (28D Songwriters’ home);
CASTFEALIBI (59A Sound out?)
I mean, honestly -- how many people have committed to memory the Berzelius's symbols (Latin abbreviations) for ferrum (iron) Fe; plumbum (lead) Pb; aurum (gold) Au; argentum (silver) Ag; and last, lowly stannum (tin) Sn. You may wish to use these or other latin names of metals in your casual conversation in order to alienate those around you -- or just string them together as a sort of mini-Latin Mass -- “ferrum plumbum aurum argentum stannum -- et cetera!”
Oh, but that deep dark hole of a mineshaft wasn’t enough for Mr. Dillman, our possessed puzzle constructor du jour -- for good measure, he slaps us in the face with NAHUM (5D Prophet who predicted the destruction of Nineveh); FROSTS (8D Ticks off); WILD (26A Uncombed, say); IBN (31A Start of many Arabic names); and other clueless clues: Dimwit, Target of some testing; Territory on the Arabian Peninsula; Alternative to Le Bourget; Sobriquet for Charles V, with “the”; Suddenly changes course; Get on; Tired-looking; Common car decal; Warthog feature; Ones standing around monuments?; Farm letters?; Certain jack, in cribbage; Put up; Vacuum; Kitchen coat; Tie; and V.
Of course, there will be some who SNEER (68A Visual put-down) or SCOFFAT (54A Jeer) my consternation, and that’s just SWELL (37D Super) because I truly believe neither MORON (15A Dimwit) or MAVEN (1A Whiz) will find this puzzle any less than a mind-shaft!
“Ferrum plumbum aurum argentums stannum -- vade in pace!”
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