11.04.07 -- ENDONEND

Conjoined twin sisters from the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493

Sunday, November 4, 2007

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COMMON ENDS -- Puzzle by Bob Klahn, edited by Will Shortz

The “common ends" referred to in the “title” of this thing refer to the front end and the rear end of eight entries sharing three-letters, hence “common ends”, as follows:

ONTHEWATERFRONT (23A Best Picture of 1954);
OVERANDABOVE (33A In addition to);
DELUXEMODEL (59A High-end version of a product);
TONIBRAXTON (80A Singer with the 1996 #1 hit “You’re Makin’ Me High”);
OBIWANKENOBI (106A Role for Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor);
HOWARDSTERNSHOW (116A Broadcast with Baba Booey, with "The");
LESSERANTILLES (16D Where to find the Windward and Leeward Islands); and
ARTICHOKEHEART (50D Fancy salad ingredient).

Usually, a title that hints at a device or gimmick in the puzzle is scrutable at some point -- however, I found myself at the end of the solution just staring at this thing, saying what?!

The vagueness of the title's supposed "clue" permeates this crossword puzzle.

Across: 1. Ring regulator: Abbr.; 4. State secrets; 8. Argosy; 14. “The Perfect Fool” composer; 19. Cupcake; 20. Anise-flavored aperitif popular in Turkey and the Balkans; 21. Tan shades; 22. Have because of; 23. Best Picture of 1954; 26. Four-time Indy winner; 27. Not turned up; 28. Half-Betazoid on “Star Trek: T.N.G.”; 29. Olympic troublemaker; 31. Asian honorific; 32. Skin; 33. In addition to; 37. Boise-to-Billings dir.; 38. One whose business is taking off?; 40. It’s done; 41. Burlesques; 43. Descry; 45. Nursery nappy; 47. Doll in “A Doll’s House”; 48. Biblical name meaning “laughter” ; 51. “Hollywood Squares” line; 53. Six-pointer, perhaps; 55. It’s spotted on a ranch; 58. Swampy; 59. High-end version of a product; 63. Berenstain of kid-lit’s Berenstain Bears; 64. L.A. summer setting; 65. Took one’s first steps; 66. Ring Lardner title character; 68. “Sweet LEILANI” (1937 Oscar song); 70. Worry; 73. “Anne of Green Gables” setting; 74. True; 76. Looked for; 78. First name in chillers; 79. Casual denials; 80. Singer with the 1996 #1 hit “You’re Makin’ Me High”; 83. Row between houses?; 84. Lovers’ plight; 86. Reign; 87. Lose liquidity; 88. Topping made with pine nuts; 89. It should be even; 91. Snap; 93. Zigzag; 96. French mime; 99. Master of the double take?; 101. Showy climber; 105. Oh of Cologne; 106. Role for Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor; 109. Receiver of a brush-off?; 110. At birth; 111. Transcontinental bridge, e.g.: Abbr.; 112. City near Carson National Forest; 113. Gut feeling; 114. Full speed ahead; 116. Broadcast with Baba Booey, with “The”; 121. Champagne department; 122. French “White House”; 123. Jerk; 124 Bath suds; 125. Starting pay?; 126. One on a quest; 127. For the second time; 128. Key of cartooning.

Down: 1. Cousin of “uh-oh”; 2. British hood; 3. Buck topper; 4. Steep; 5. Bar code?; 6. Sometimes called; 7. Arctic; 8. Out of the country; 9. Tasteful; 10. Salyut 7’s successor; 11. What “syne” means; 12. With Altair and Vega, it forms the Summer Triangle; 13. Colt .45s, today; 14. Santa’s landing site; 15. Where to find the Windward and Leeward Islands; 17. “A Sentimental Journey” author; 18. Disraeli and Churchill; 24. Eve’s follower; 25. Go off; 30. One of the Brothers Karamazov; 33. Elect; 34. Civic center?; 35. Voltaire’s religious view; 36. Heighten; 39. Iron pumper’s target; 42. In film, gradual appearance of an image through an expanding circle; 44. Bride in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”; 46. When repeated twice, et cetera; 48. Fix firmly; 49. Brandy + orange liqueur + lemon juice; 50. Fancy salad ingredient; 52. Symbols of strength; 54. Tuscan treat; 56. Sign inside a restaurant; 57. Common baseball count; 59. Oscar winner as Mr. Chips; 60. Copy righter? 61. Annual literary prize since 1946; 62. Jazz (up); 65. Salt; 67. Physique, slangily; 69. Brilliance; 71. Boodle; 72. Subject of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution; 75. Ample, to Li’l Abner; 77. “You’re gonna pay!”; 81. Moviedom’s Massey; 82. Back; 83. Misses, e.g.; 85. Batgirl and Wonder Woman; 88. Brit. To an Aussie; 90. Soft shots; 92. Symbol of strength; 94. Neighbor of Greece: Abbr.; 95. Kona keepsake; 96. Summer topper; 97. Block buster?; 98. Gives religiously?; 100. Tumble; 102. Doughboy’s topper; 103. Oxford pad; 104. Stinko; 107. Intact; 108. Rebuffs; 113. Bamboozle; 115. Carol ending?; 117. Ex follower; 118. It’s all you have to do sometimes; 119. Slice of history; 120. Deli slice.

A little vague? It was just end on end!


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

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

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Rena said...

just wanted to agree with you--I did the puzzle and didn't get "it"--Thanks for offering an explanation to end my confusion...

DONALD said...


Like, it just wasn't there!

jeff said...

We journalists were taught the verb is "jell," never "gel." I was about to fire off a snippy letter to Shortz but first checked and see that it's now an accepted usage. Shortz dodges my wrath once more.

DONALD said...


Seems the language is dissolving rather quickly into acronyms and abbreviations, synonyms utilized as antonyms, etc. What does mean mean, or does bad mean bad -- it's a one street in some cases, as good is only good. As far as gel and jell, by their first definitions, it appears gel (jelly-like substance) is more of a noun and jell (to become or cause to become jelly) is more of a verb, but when we're so busy tossing our language into a blender on high, it's just coming out to be so much mush!

jeff said...

Thanks for your note, Donald. It's reassuring to know we're not struggling out here alone.