09.12.07 -- Angst

Weeping Woman -- Pablo Picasso, 1937


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

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Puzzle by Alan Arbesfeld, edited by Will Shortz

Oh boy, so much fear and suffering in today's crossword puzzle!

"Strongbox", "strong-arm", "stronghold", and "strong suits" are the imaginary extractions from FINISHSTRONG (52A Sprint to the tape...and a hint to this puzzle's theme), BOXOFFICEHIT (20A Smash), ARMWRESTLER (29A Athlete seated at a table, maybe), HOLDONTIGHT (35A Advice to a Harley passenger), and SUITSTOATEE (42A Fits perfectly). This is another one of those crosswords we've been subjected to lately wherein the clue to the inter-related entries and the entries themselves are of no help whatever in solution of the puzzle. One finishes the puzzle and then figures out what the hell the constructor was trying to do. We had one just this Sunday with the tedious result being LEFTOVERS.

Joining the pain and paranoia parade are FELTITCHY (10D Suffered from an allergy, maybe); FRAIL (21D Hardly robust); FORTIFIES (33D Enriches with vitamins); SEVER (65A Break off); BEGS (Does a dog trick); RUMORS (2D They spread fast); SHIV (53 Weapon in a rumble); FAZE (10A Shake up); IRE (37D High dudgeon); RULE (14A Hold sway); PRANK (51D Short-sheeting, e.g.); and ELNINO (47D Cause of weird weather). Even entries such as NOHIT (59A Like any of seven Nolan Ryan games); STRIKER (49A Soccer forward); CRAG (1A Mountain goat’s spot); KNOT (66A Windsor, for one); and AXE (11D Send packing) have a feel of negativity. That’s ALOT (25D Plenty).

On the sunny side of the street, we are given GREAT (38D Destined for the record books); SRO (27D Good sign for an angel); ILIKE (62A With 57-Down, 1950s campaign slogan) IKE (57D See 62-Across); AMEN (17A “You said it!”); and TEEHEE (9D [Giggle]).

People and places in the puzzle: CRABBE (1D Tarzan portrayer); ALEXIS (3D Joan’s “Dynasty” role); BALI (6D Hope/Crosby “Road” destination); ECO (13D “Foucault’s Pendulum” author); SATIE (15A “Socrate” composer); LENO (19A “Jaywalking” personality); FIONA (33A “Shrek” princess); COMO (“It’s Impossible” crooner); DERRY (41A County near Tyrone); FIJI (56A Pacific retreat); GENOA (4D Salami variety); and OKIE (61A Tom Joad, for one); with three birds and a fish -- CYGNET (48D Young swan); ORIOLE (45D A.L. East player); NENE (63A Hawaii’s state bird); and WANDA (32D Fish in a John Cleese film) -- along with an ASS (39D Onager) -- all wandering in wary wonder of their sad surroundings!

Left to fend for themselves are such words as AERIALS (24A Once-common skyline sights); BRIAR (23A Pipe type); TENNIS (44D Court action); LINEAR (8D Going from A to B, say) intersecting ALINE (18A Dress design), held loosely together with a UBOLT (5A Letter-shaped fastener); and a lot of little happenstance fill -- a JIG, a JUT, AJAR, a HIKE, HAIR, EXEC, AKIN, FOB, LEM, OTIC, SEC, SKI, STER, TET, ROD, MNO, IRS, and USAF (5D B-1 letters).

Incidentally, the last time I saw arm wrestling (29A Athlete seated a a table, maybe, ARMWRESTLER) the contenders were two very thin wobbly rednecks who couldn’t fight their way out of a paper bag -- the winner had to buy the next pitcher of beer! So that’s a very big “maybe” in my book!

So much for STRONG!


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

this is wonderful!!! really, thanks for taking the time to do it

DONALD said...

You're welcome, and do stop by with again in comments! Thanks!