11.26.07 -- Dakota Territory

Bear Butte, sentinel mountain just east of Sturgis, South Dakota, an almost-volcano, noted for its role as a pioneer landmark; and its continuing role as a holy mountain and founding place of religion for several tribes of Plains Indians.


Monday, November 26, 2007

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Puzzle by Andrea Carla Michaels, edited by Will Shortz

Today, reporting from Bear Butte, near Sturgis in the former Dakota Territory (67 Across)!

HACK, HECK, HICK, HOCK, and HUCK may sound like excuses not to go in to work this Monday, but they are merely the first syllables of five inter-related entries in this back-to-work crossword, including HACKYSACK (17A Bean-filled bag moved with the foot); HECKLER (25A Comedy club razzer); HICKORYSMOKED (37A Like some hams); HOCKNEY (52A Pop artist David); and “I Heart HUCKABEES” (51A). If that last entry sounds a bit odd, it seems that a glyph of a heart was used for a film title -- I ♥ Huckabees -- but who these days has a printable heart? Joining in on the phonetics are BOK and WOK.

Plenty of contrast and look-alikes are included, among them REARUP, RISE and DROP -- A MESS and WIPEUP -- LAYTO, LAPSE and LESSENED -- RAH and YAY -- PIPELINE, SINK and PLUG -- ROMANIA and ARABIA; A LOT and ACRE; GARB and TOG; EGO and BRAIN; SAPS and SASSES -- MISS YOU and GO HOME (which I will do tomorrow).

People in the puzzle include Angela Lansbury, Bea Arthur, Oskar Schindler, Rory Calhoun, nanas aka grandmas, Queen Elizabeth, David Hockney, Saudis, and the “spokesduck” for AFLAC. Employers include the aforementioned AFLAC, the frequently mentioned APPLE, RKO and MGM.

IDECLARE (38D “You don’t say!”, after “Well”) has a rather complicated clue, along with NAG (31A Say “Do this,” “Do that” … blah, blah, blah) -- and how about 59A Auto gizmo that talks, for short (GPS)?

Across: 1. Clothing; 5. It’s arched above the eye; 9. iPhone maker; 14. Crème-filled cookie; 15. Wine: Prefix; 16. Burger side order; 17. Bean-filled bag moved with the foot; 19. Expire, as a subscription; 20. Honor bestowed by Queen Eliz. 21. Farm unit; 22. Bowling alley divisions; 23. Postcard sentiment; 25. Comedy club razzer; 27. Simple; 28. Electric cord’s end; 30. Where dirty dishes pile up; 31. Say “Do this,” “Do that” … blah, blah, blah; 34. Border on; 36. Prefix with classical; 37. Like some hams; 41. Fishing pole; 42. Loads; 43. Id’s counterpart; 44. Beverages in barrels; 46. Fall; 48. Statutes; 52. Pop artist David; 54. Bucharest’s land; 57. Gather, as information; 58. Opposite of fall; 59. Auto gizmo that talks, for short; 60. Scarecrow’s wish in “The Wizard of Oz” ; 61. 2004 film “I ♥ HUCKABEES; 63. EARNA living; 64. On the briny; 65. Like a first-place ribbon; 66. “What AMESS! (“It’s so dirty!”); 67. Dakota TERR (old geog. designation); 68. Depletes, as strength.
Entrance to Bear Butte Creek Campground at my sister Mary‘s ranch, one of the many campgrounds established for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, an annual event in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

1. “Get out of here!”; 2. Where Saudis live; 3. Nook; BOK choy (Chinese green); 5. Chocolate syrup brand; 6. Stand on the hind legs, as a horse; 7. “ONCE upon a time …”; 9. Insurance co. with a “spokesduck”; 10. Throwing cream pies and such; 11. Oil conveyor; 12. Abated; 13. 180 degrees from WNW; 18. “That’s great news!”; 22. Peanut, e.g.; 24. Out of SYNC (not harmonizing); 25. Parts of cars with caps; 26. Early MGM rival; 29. LAYTO rest (bury); 32. Letters before an alias; 32. Letters before an alias; 33. Flax-colored; 35. Dress (up); 37. 3-D picture; 38. “You don’t say!”, after “Well”; 39. Actor Calhoun; 40. Kind of nut; 41. Stadium cry; 45. Balls of yarn; 47. Person comparing costs; 49. Actress Lansbury; 50. Use a paper towel; 51, Gives some lip; 53. Grandmas; 55. Schindler of “Schindler’s List”; 56. MEA culpa; 58. Subterfuge; 60. Actress Arthur; 61. Sombrero, e.g.; 62. Kids’ ammo.

I will be leaving the Dakota TERR (old geog. Designation) (67A) anon to be ASEA (64A On the briny), or at least a quick pass o’er it on the way home -- YAY (18D “That’s great news!”)!


For today’s cartoon, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.

Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games

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