10.17.07 -- Well, ILE Be!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Click here for LARGE PRINT.
Puzzle by Paula Gamache, edited by Will Shortz
MISSILEUNIVERSE (17A All the rockets in existence?) minus the ILE gives us MISS UNIVERSE; TEXTILEMESSAGE (26A "Dry-clean only," e.g.?), TEXT MESSAGE; CASTILEIRONPAN (44A Cooking utensil from central Spain?), CAST IRON PAN; and HOSTILECOMPUTER (58A HAL 9000, in "2001: A Space Odyssey"?), HOST COMPUTER. A nice illustration of what a little ILE can do -- ILE file away the puns, like "no man is an ILE" and et cetera.
Two eight-letter entries, CREVASSE (10D Deep fissure) and YATITTLE (37D First N.F.L. QB with consecutive 30-touchdown passing seasons) (we had him two weeks ago October 5 clued as YATITTLE (59A QB who was the 1963 N.F.L. M.V.P.); two seven-letter entries EXITFEE (9D Mutual fund redemption charge) and ALKALIS (41D Acid neutralizers); six six-letter entries, MUSKOX (4D Animal with a shaggy coat); TEENIE (34A Small, as a Beanie Baby); ALMOND (41A Marzipan ingredient); TAVERN (22D Place for shots); Iran-CONTRA (49A); and PROUST (46D Subject of the 1999 film "Le Temps Retrouve") are all fairly interesting.
Thirteen five-letter entries, TORME (1A The Velvet Fog); OPIUM (14A Smuggler’s stock); OBEYS (36A Does as told); EERIE (39A Like déjà vu); ASYET (63A Thus far); STEPS (66A Recipe parts); LOOIE (18D Sarge’s superior); TIBIA (26D Second-longest human bone); EDENS (27D Utopias); ENAMI (29D As a friend, to the French); AORTA (30A Outlet of the left ventricle); Astronaut GUION Bluford, the first African-American in space (31D); and “NOVUM Organum” (1620 Francis Bacon work) (42D) have good variety.
Four letter across entries are clued as 6. Casino pair; 10. Cabaret, e.g., 15. Giant-screen film format; 16. Summer wine selection; 20. Ask for; 25 Brand of shaving products; 35. First course option; 40. Turner who sang “The Best”; 47. Like a starless sky; 54. OSSO buco; 61. First-year J.D. candidate; 62. Restaurant chain acronym; 64. A sergeant might ask a soldier to pick it up; and 66. Recipe parts.
The four-letter downs are clued as 1. Tabbies’ mates; 2. Mayberry boy; 3. Angry reaction; 6. Fizzled out; 7. Radio’s former “IMUS in the Morning”; 11. Oral history; “Evil empire” of the ‘80s); 13. “It’s BEEN real!”; 19. Brewery units; 24. Baseball’s Ed and Mel; 33. Mil. Option; 32. Sport with lunges; 39. Novelist Ferber; 45. Crucifix inscription; 49. Karate blow; 50. The last Mrs. Chaplin; 51. Minute part of a minute: Abbr.; 52. A program usually has one; 53. “Stupid me!”; 55. Eyelid woe; 56. Ooze; 57. Table scraps.
Last, and least, EMI, CAN, EHS, PAS, ODS, OOO, RID, SAN, TOE, VAR, and IOU are the three-letter siblings of ILE.
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