Friday, October 26, 2007 Puzzle by David Quarfoot, edited by Will Shortz Using a nearly identical grid as the ones he used for the NYTIMES (64A Crossword source since 1942: Abbr.) on May 5, 2007; May 18, 2007; and with Brendan Emmett Quigley on October 6, 2007, this puzzle's constructor seems to be getting the hang of it. His signature negativism, liberal use of initials, and the inclusion of a minimum of one unpleasant personality, in this case YOKOONO (2D Poem reader at the 2006 Olympics opening ceremony) crossed by TOTO (22A Miss Gulch biter), has at least taken on a bit of humor. NETFLIX (39D Modern rental option) returns from October 6th, then clued as Blockbuster alternative; sharing its X with NEXTEL (63A Sprint acquisition of 2005) and joining other corporate entries, the previously noted NYTIMES, along with PGATOUR (19A Driving distance is a concern in it); TGI Friday’s (60D); ETICKET (61A Terminal timesaver); and MYSPACE (1A News Corporation-owner Web site that’s one of the 10 most visited sites in the world) -- if that’s not an advertisement, what is? Initializations, including the above ETICKET, NYTIMES, PGATOUR, and TGIFriday’s, are VCR (46A Taper); KRATION (59A Former field food); SILENTC (11D Center of Connecticut); UCLA (40D Sch. whose colors are “true blue” and gold); and SWF (10D Abbr. in personal ads). Abbreviation -- STDENIS (44D Burial place of many French kings) and MRSLATE (38D Cartoon boss working at a quarry). Negativity -- MISSTEP (1D Slip); SMITTEN (3D Gaga); INAPILE (12D All thrown together, say); GOSSIP (8A Dirt on a person); SKIPOUT (16A Abscond); ENEMY (26A Hostile); SNIT (25A Pet); TROUNCES (32A Buries); IMNOTYOU (37A “Let me live my own life!”); CREPT (48A Was sluggish?); BELOW (50A Reporting to); ARID (52A Vapid); WORRY (51D Trouble); and HASACOW (54A Flips) (that’s the humorous one). Clever cluing -- “Cab,” e.g. (15A REDWINE); What the key of D minor has (17A ONEFLAT); Driving distance is a concern in it (19A PGATOUR); Get a handle on? (29A TITLE); Gives a little, say (41A TITHES), even though 10% is not just a “little”; Wedding concern (45A DRESS); Little women (13D PETITES); It’s value is in creasing (62A ORIGAMI); Ones paid to conceive? (37D IDEAMEN); and Not yet 58-Down (55A WAIT) along with See 55-Down (58D ACT). A clue for clue’s sake is He wrote “It’s certain that fine women eat / A crazy salad with their meat” (27D YEATS). IOMOTHS (14A Yellow fliers with large eyespots); MALAISE (57A Not-so-good feeling); EPITOME (43D Beau ideal); and LOVESET (35D Lopsided court result) are double-take entries, along with the more conversational OMIGOSH (23D “Heavens!”); ROCKON (47D “Way to go, dude!“); HEREIAM (42D Cry upon arriving); and the non-identical twins, ERE and ETE. Other clues include 18A Sponge; 21A Dermal opening?; 24A Height and such; 28A In advance of; 30A They’re played at the track; 34A Brass; 36A Walled city of the Mideast; 49A Old Testament book: Abbr.; 53A 1980s sitcom title role; 56A Hiver’s opposite; 4D With 20-Down, waffle alternative; 20D See 4-Down (POP TART); 5D Capping; 6D Finishes quickly, in a way; 7D Groundskeeper’s charge; 8D Family group; 9D ODER-Neisse Line; 15D Cheering section; 29D Alb coverer; 33D Meal source; 50D Bernoulli family birthplace; 54D Raise; and 31D Sharp (SLY) -- oh, and 25D 1963 Academy Awards host -- SINATRA. ----------------- For today’s cartoon, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.
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