10.16.07 -- It's a Date!


Tuesday, October 16, 2007
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Puzzle by Michael Kaplan, edited by Will Shortz
A SETOF (29D) DATES (41A Calendar units hidden in 20- and 61Across and 11- and 35-Down) are the central entries and a clue for the inter-related entries STANDATEASE (20A Relax during a drill); FLORIDATECH (61A Sunshine State School); SHEDATEAR (11A Show sadness); and UPANDATEM (35D "Time to rise, sleepyhead!"). Play by a different SETOF of rules (29D) crosses DATES (41A) in the center of the grid, with their shared "T" in the central square. Nice!
Numbers and such to go with these calendar units include SEVEN (36A Craps natural); OCTET (57D Largish combo); SEMI (5A Round before the final); maybe even PHASE (58D Terrible twos, e.g.); and DAY (23A Temp’s work unit).
Lots to like in this pleasant puzzle! IDEAS (8D They may be bright); YESSIR (24A Polite affirmation), UNITE (2D Bring together); HIMOM (71A TV shout-out from the team bench); EDGE (31D Upper hand); SMART (44A Like a brainiac); MEME (7D Hand-waver’s cry); ACHOO (16A Blessing-inducing sound); and OPTSIN (52D Chooses to participate).
EVENSO (4D “Nevertheless…”) some entries are a bit negative, such as FUSSY (1D Hard to please); NOSY (13D Like a yenta); IRES (70A Ticks off); NOWAY (54D “Impossible!“); BASH (59D Bad-mouth); SAP (22D Deplete, as energy); AXED (15A Gave the boot); and FUME (1D Show anger).
Financial matters get attention with WAGE (43A Worker’s pay); SALARIED (5D On the payroll); RANA deficit (lost money) (62D); TAXFORM (45D Schedule B or C, e.g.); and MIDAS (3D Greedy monarch).
People in the puzzle include AENEAS (49A Trojan War hero); DIXON (53A Surveyor Jeremiah, for whom a famous line is partly named); the aforementioned MIDAS; the non-existent RED (48A The “R” in Roy G. Biv); a BASEMAN (9D One in the infield); an ASTRO (64A Minute Maid Park player); the LAPD (39A Sgt. Friday’s org.); ILSA (33D Ingrid’s role in “Casablanca”); a SRTA (67A Sp. Girl); NATE (73A “Great” kid-lit detective); and MOPTOP (55A Beatle, endearingly).
Food and such -- STEWS (19A Crockpot concoctions); LIME (18A Gimlet garnish); ICER (63D Pastry prettifier); ASTI (60D Sparkling wine city); BREW (26D Cold one); FRITO (51A Popular snack chip) -- time to SLIMDOWN (42D Lose the spare tire).
Places and objects include IOWA (12D Political caucus state); UNIV (14A Ph.D. awarder); BASIN (9A Washroom tub); ICU (33A Post-O.R. stop); WACO (66A Baylor’s city); STOA (47D Ancient Greek colonnade); and TERRA firma (56D).
A few leftovers: SAMBA (25A Brazilian dance); OBIES (27A Big Apple awards); PARTED (30A Like hair, usually after combing); COALS (46A Fire remnants); STEER (68A Rodeo animal); EVAC (28D FEMA recommendations, briefly); there’s more, but it’s time to EXIT (6D Lighted sign in a theater).
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