"A Friend in Need" by C.M. Coolidge (ca. 1870)
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Click here for LARGE PRINT.
Puzzle by Mike Nothnagel, edited by Will Shortz
Add "ling" to "A Star is Born"; squid ink; military coup; with all due respect; duck and cover, town dump; and under arrest and it produces ASTARLINGISBORN (24A Bit of news at the aviary?); SQUIDINKLING (34A Notion of an underwater creature?); MILITARYCOUPLING (47A Fraternization on an army base?); WITHALLDUELINGRESPECT (63A How courteous swordsmen fight?); DUCKLINGANDCOVER (80A Farm young'un with a blanket?); TOWNDUMPLING (93A Local cutie pie?); and UNDERLINGARREST (108A Capture of a Mafia runner, e.g.?).
Add PICKLINGOFTHELITTER (Intoxicating puppies?) and you'll have my vote.

With such odd entries as ALII, JAGR, KANJI, MEDO, NOOR, STASI, SAIS, SIPE, TUVALU, YEGG, you’d think this puzzle’s constructor got tired toward the end and just went the Dogpile route to justify the leftovers. A lot of this crossword’s entries and their appertaining clues seem slapdash.

The word-plus-a-letter entries, IMAX, SILENTL, POINTA, XOUT, AONE, NSEC, KDLANG, ONTHEDL, even ABBA and other odd-looking entries get too much time by my Sunday morning sermon - GOD (74A Saturn, for one)! EBSEN on top of EBERT, KABOBS for the nth time, DRNO and DINO, ESTA and ESTER, ION and IONIA, XOUT and IMOUT.

If I were schmoozing with puzzle constructors, perhaps I would be obliged to consider their efforts more AMIABLY, or nobly perhaps, making pretense to AWE; but I’m not, hell; I don’t even get a reciprocal link from their toadies -- so I can only tell you what I like and don’t like and no JABBER or JEREMIADS. The unnumbered clues follow...

Across: Grand Ole Opry sight; “Huh?“; Style of Japanese writing; N.H.L. great from the Czech Republic; Buddy on TV; James Joyce’s home; Be gaga (over); Annual “Movie Yearbook” author since the 1990s; Nag; Settle (into); Servings from a grill Cry from a selfish child; Chant at a basketball game, Load bearer?; Lease populous U.N. member; Fluoride, for one; Pet in old cartoons; TripTik provider: Abbr.; Tombstone word; East German secret police; Range part: Abbr.; Accumulate, with “up”; Speed; 1980 N.F.L. M.V.P. Brian; Org. that established the Legends Tour in 2001; 1992 Oscar-nominated title role for Robert Downey Jr.; With geniality; Wagered; Elegance; Particular purpose; Regarding; Inflammation reducer; Esq. Usually; Jordanian queen; Veneration; Fishing with traps, maybe; Calf feature; Charges (up); Start of an itinerary; Superior; Junked; Ultraviolet filter; Midway attraction; Go from dawn to dusk; Early version; Tied, in a way; They may prevent passage; “Hagar the Horrible” dog; “Think big company; and Ethyl cinnamate, for one.

Downs: It should have a head and a good body; “Voulez-Vous” pop group; Small interval of time: Abbr.; Prolonged complaints; Injured in baseball lingo; Bother; Cat’s warning; Work of Michelangelo, e.g.; Leaves after dinner?; Singer who spells her name in all lowercase letters; Emanate (from); Survey choice; Stir,; Comment to a new friend; Go on and on; Crazy as a loon; Get-ups; Instruction before “repeat“; Coachman’s line; Sound’s partner; Dishonor; Mouthwash flavor; Literary preceder of “Goldfinger”; Benchmarks: Abbr.; Renounce; Anatomical part whose name comes from the Latin for “grape”; Like many Scots; Cut above the flank; “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” songwriter; What a train goes down; Bit of tomfoolery; One may be double or free; Hint at; Stuck on; Unforgiving; Kids go through them; Scandinavian native; Sanford of “The Jeffersons”; Feeling much less than 100%; Master; Primitive; Something bad that may be put on you; Comic actress Sykes; Poker declaration; Coloring; Succeed, with “it”; artery (blood vessel of the arm); Protected, as a surgeon’s hands; Russian conductor/ composer Markevitch; Order for Oscar night; What a specialist men’s store may offer; Fifth state to ratify the Constitution: Abbr.; One trying to find the right combination?; Gives the oath of office, e.g.; “Away in a Manger,” for one; Field calls; Plot again; Part of a season; Zellweger and Adoree; Like some verbs: Abbr.; Lodger; Supervising; Amount paid on some out-of-state purchases; Reject; Land bordering ancient Lydia; Radio talker G. Gordon; “Copy that”; It might get your kitty going; Judge; “Donde esta…?”; Delete; Suffix with insist; Bucks, e.g.; Singer Janis Diamond stat.

So, are there better ways to spend this last Sunday of summer? Yes!
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Herb Levy said...

but you'd have to drop the "E" to make "pickling of the litter" work, so it doesn't exactly follow the rules, eh?

DONALD said...

Interesting thought -- so, what should be done about dropping the "e" in "couple" to make "coupling"?

Webster's drops the "e" in both cases.


Anonymous said...

You are both off base. pick + ling (no pickle), coup + ling (no couple). There ain't no such thing as a pickle of the litter and military couple is not the same as a military coup.

R. Kane said...

Semantics. Military coupling, town dumpling, pickling of the litter, just stupid humor. No one was trying for classic etymology. You are all correct!