09.22.07 -- SPYVSSPY

Saturday, September 22, 2007
Puzzle by Mark Diehl, edited by Will Shortz
SPYVSSPY (1A Mad magazine feature) is the first entry in a crossword puzzle that no one will “solve” in five and a half minutes! Like, you know, reading, looking at the squares, typing in the entry, moving on to the next, etc. Thinking!
CONTACT (12D Help for a secret agent) -- In the early 70’s I worked off and on for The New York Times as a temporary missing link between computers when the newspaper was in the process of eliminating typesetters due to the advent of new technology.
EYETESTS (55A Providers of peer review?) -- One of the perks of the job was getting The New York Times Sunday Magazine with the crossword puzzle on the Wednesday before it’s general publication. Eventually, I was also able to get the daily the day before its publication.
TIRED (43A Played out) -- I was the who never OWNSUPTO (20A Admits) lacking ENDURANCE (50A Mountain climber’s need), or that while solving, he TANKS (22A Falls apart) and goes CATATONIC (30D Beyond oblivious) checking the Yellow Pages under SANATORIUMS (33A Rest stops?), goes running in the CITYSTREETS (30A Locale for most of the New York Marathon) screaming SITONIT (26D “Happy Days” catchphrase)!
CRAPPIE (11D Small sunfish) -- I miss being able to get a jump on the puzzle -- especially when blogging the puzzle. The hour gets late, my schedule is thrown off something fierce in the process.
NAPTIME (21D When the kids are out) -- I know the puzzle arrives in the hands of one blogger a fair amount of time before it comes on line, giving plenty of time to solve.
SCENEFOUR (53A When Hamlet first sees a ghost) -- Do the puzzle, if needed, then write the blog. Next, wait until 10:00 p.m. when the puzzle comes on line, then type the results into the “Play Against the Clock” crossword section of The New York Times on-line subscription service, as quickly as possible! ...and presto, post!
YOUONLYLIVEONCE (8D Daredevil’s creed) runs the entire length of the center of the puzzle, intersected by SATELLITE (32A Kind of state), sharing their “L”’s.
RXS (29A Ones needing fulfillment?) -- this will give the appearance of lightning speed-reading, excellent typing, and a store of trivial knowledge unsurpassed by any living being on the planet Earth! Oh, and all challengers subject to "purge"!
DARING (48A Risque) THENATION (14A Weekly since 1865) which INTONES (13D Cantillates) its moans, but ELECTS (19A Puts in) to follow the Majorette of Puzzle POLICE (27A Keep in order) in a comical OATER (23D Old drive-in fare)!
PHALANX (2D Troop group) in force SHANT (18A Quaint contraction) explain these murderous two -- BISCOTTO (46A One use for anise) and COCCI (9A Spherical bacteria) -- a powerful brew!
YOW (42A “That hurts!”) -- So ragged and torn my poor Webster’s, it be -- Google to check, after all, it is free! Constructors are using it, so why cannot we? Alas! Nothing Google-able but CBSSPORTS (9D Home of “The NFL Today”) and PAMELASUE (17A Martin of Hollywood).
VNECK (4D Some sweaters), VEE (40A Hum follower), NSYNC (54A Band active from 1995 to 2002), FOLGERS (38D Kind of crystals), I drearily drone with arched eyebrow in pretentious preternatural knowledge -- “those are all things one must major in college!”
STPETER (1D Figure in many jokes) and the YEMENIS (3D Arabs who are not in OPEC) lurk with their SALTS (5D Smelling things) waiting in STAS (6D London’s Covent Garden and others: Abbr.), being watched by PIS (7D Dicks) (I kid not)!
A puzzle from NEWSDAY (35D Part of the Tribune Company) is missing some pieces -- OAHU, ONTAP, SAL, ENIS, and SAM, SLUED, LEE, and PAN, SAL, CARET, DUNE, and ATARI -- such CORN (47A It’s hard to walk on)! You'll find them here, all stuck in strange places!
ONEMAN (39A Solo), a BARON (16A Financial V.I.P.), an ELF (36A Dobby or Winky, in Harry Potter) and CLEO (41A “Pinocchio” character voiced by Mel Blanc), the last who ANOINTS (34D Chooses) to chew on a SOYBEAN (33d Source of lecithin) when a LEANCUT (37D Round steak, e.g.) awaits, if worms are called "baits"!
CANAL (45A Rialto Bridge sight) -- smooth sailing, all’s well, nary a care and a gondolier’s song!
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
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...

Missed your "Click here for large print today" Donald. Please don't discontinue that feature. I enjoy your blog and my aging eyes need that feature!

DONALD said...


Time constraints due to a sometimes heavy schedule keeps me from getting the feature on-line at the same time as the main blog.

It is scheduled to appear this morning.

Thanks for your comment.