12.18.07 -- Key Questions

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

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Puzzle by Alan Arbesfeld, edited by Will Shortz
Today’s puzzle asks who, what, when, where, and why -- the Five Ws, also known as the Five Ws (and one H) or simply the Six Ws. The August 30th NYT crossword was missing the “Why” -- not today! The gangs all here!
WHOCANITBE (17A Response to a knock);
WHATMATTERS (26A The important thing);
WHEREDOESITHURT (38A Doctor’s query);
WHENPIGSFLY (44A “Never!”);
WHYPAYMORE (59A Discounter’s pitch).
There’s even a little imaginary, if skewed, HOW, if one gleans same off 27D (HOHO) and 41A (SOWED); or skips a couple letters of 45D (HOTWAR) -- so, WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW!
Jacob Marley, by Jared von Hindman of Head Injury Theater
Marley asked, "Why do you doubt your senses?" -- Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

WHO’s in the puzzle? JACOB Marley’s ghost in “A Christmas Carol” (5A); OONA (31A A Chaplin); LISA (53A Kudrow of “Friends”); REESE (66A Teammate of Snider and Hodges); TEC (4D Private eye, for short); ADAM (18D Genesis patriarch); OREL (36D Sportscaster Hershiser); EDWIN (39D Dickens’s Drood); TOMMY (48D Rock opera with the song “Pinball Wizard”); GENT (57D Fellow) and Soccer MOM (61D).
WHAT else? Well, yes, mostly “whats” with just a scattering of where, when, why, and how -- it’s all a matter of opinion to be sure.
Longer entries: JUNKYARD (5D Place to find auto parts); ISITSAFE (40D “Can I come out now?”); FEELFOR (25A Empathize with); STUDIOS (47A Some apartments); PRAISE (22A Heap kudos on); TORENT (52A Apartment window sign); BEEPER (9D Paging device); FESSUP (25D Come clean); TBONES (29D Steakhouse selections); and HOTWAR (45D Armed conflict).
Five letters: UNITE (15A Band together); 33A Lhasa APSOS (Tibetan dogs); SOWED (41A Scattered about); 63A Have an AIROF mystery; STEAL (10D Incredible bargain); CALIF (11D Where the San Andreas Fault is: Abbr.); ARESO (12D “Ain’t!” retort); MOVER (13D Shaker’s partner); RESAT (23D Convened again); STARE (24D “Can you believe this?” look); TIEON (30D Attach, in a way); PHASE (34D Terrible twos, e.g.); STAID (47D Sober); URBAN (49D Densely packed, in a way); and DEICE (50D Pour salt on, perhaps).

Three letters: TEC, OTB, HIE, SOB, SAY, TRE, and FIG.

There are so many nooks and crannies to this wonderful crossword. It has an AIROF mystery (63A) (follow that link to the tale of the 100 pound man who single-handedly lifted and maneuvered blocks of megalithic stones, mostly coral, weighing up to 30 tons each to build a castle). Headed by The Mystery of EDWIN Drood (39D) (the final novel by Charles Dickens left unfinished at the time of his death for readers to speculate what the ending might have been), the puzzle concludes with the entry of MYST (67A) (a computer game where a mysterious person known as the Stranger finds an unusual book titled “Myst”), to neatly wrap up any loose ends.

And with that, there are no more questions!
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
If you subscribe to home delivery of The New York Times you are eligible to access the daily crossword via The New York Times - Times Reader, without additional charge, as part of your home delivery subscription. Across: 1. Comment not to be taken seriously; 10. Con game; 14. Unwanted spots; 16. Poi source; 19. 29,035 ft., for Mt. Everest; 20. Have a bawl; 21. Designer label letters; 24. “For instance …“; 32. Sluggers’ stats; 42. Entre ___; 43. Metropolitan ___; 51. Uno + due; 55. Mediterranean fruit; 58. Both: Prefix; 62. Computer with an iSight camera; 64. Plower pullers; 65. Unit of force; 67. Classic computer game set on a seemingly deserted island. Down: 1. 1975 Spielberg thriller; 2. Eerie cave effect; 3. One not associating with the likes of you?; 4. Private eye, for short; 6. Have ___ with; 7. Half of an E.P.A. mileage rating; 8. Pony players’ locale, in brief; 26. Knocks the socks off; 27. Alteernative to a Twinkie; 28. From the top; 35. Browse, as the Web; 37. Hang around; 46. Battleship shade; 53. Apollo’s instrument; 54. N.Y.S.E. debuts; 55. Full of guile; 56. Tees off; 57. Fellow; 60. Step on it.


cornbread hell said...

even though i'm not much of a "crossword link" i sure appreciate the plug.

DONALD said...

Need a category -- any suggestions?

cornbread hell said...

no, but it would be interesting to see how you (or anyone) would categorize it.
there's really no point to it, but it's not really pointless either.