Thursday, December 6, 2007
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Puzzle by Joe Krozel, edited by Will Shortz
This puzzle strangely provokes me to wonder at how in the world we've evolved from the combined pagan and Christian holiday celebration of the Winter Solstice and the birth of Jesus Christ to Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but I herby foist the blame on the fact that I can only concentrate in an ONAGAINOFFAGAIN (38A Sporadic) manner on such a subject, due to the wild variety of this great little Thursday puzzle which includes ONCOMETONCUPID (20A Cry from Santa) and OFFOFFBROADWAY (52A Some theater).
OFF and ON are repeated in various entries, including Come ONTO (proposition) (7D), OVALOFFICE (26D Center of power), and incidentals such as EGON (8D Austrian painter Schiele) and WONT (56D Custom). The ONs outnumber the OFFs, and through casting aside the rule of ALLORNONE (60A Not allowing for compromise), this light-headed puzzle will probably get a TALKINGTO (17A Scolding) by the puzzle paparazzi -- ergo, shedding LIGHT!
"Light" is not in the puzzle as either an entry or a clue, but OBTUSE (9D Dense) is, and making it's third appearance in as little as a week. That OFTEN (49D Quite a bit) may foment REVOLT (34A Renounce allegiance), and a petition to have it placed BEHINDBARS (11D Locked up)! So be it... and so, rattling on, which I never seem to TIREOF (35D Grow impatient with), let's turn it ON!
CRYPTIC CLUES (9D Dense) (just kidding, it's OBTUSE) -- 1A Exorcism, e.g., RITE; 24A You can hear it coming and going, ALOHA; 37A How experts work, ABLY; 43A Extremely, EVERSO; 50A Verb in a question from Juliet, ("Wherefore ART thou Romeo?"); 59A Discharges, EMITS; 64A War locale, broadly, ARENA; 65A Company leaders: Abbr., SGTS; 10D Hauls in, REAPS; 12D Product with earbuds, IPOD; 30D “What’s the DIF?”; 53D Ballpark figures, FANS; and 54D Modern writing, BLOG.
Plausible pairs: ROTO and FOTO -- NOOK and ROOKS -- ANNA and ANNI -- CARAFE and CARLOT -- BEEPS and REAPS -- the “Chevy offering” clues 19A TAHOE and 18D IMPALA.
As long as OFFOFFBROADWAY made an appearance, why not have 7D be INTO (with an appropriate cluing) so that 5A is an OBIE (Theater award) instead of an OBOE (Certain aerophone)?
Other stuff across: 9. Circle; 14. Like some histories; 15. Addition; 16. Toots; 22. Debate side; 23. A.A.A. part: Abbr.; 28. Father; 31. Paris’s Palais DES Congres; 36. Scala of “The Guns of Navarone”; 41. Wire measures; 42. Not long or short: Abbr.; 45. Bordeaux variety; 47. Longtime Mideast leader; 48. Shot, informally; 61. Duel measures; 62. Corner; 63. ANNA Wintour, real-life editor on whom “The Devil Wears Prada” is based; 66. Hubbub.
Down: 1. Old newspaper section; 2. It’s about 200 miles south of Georgia; 3. Anti-rash agent; 4. Nevada city; 5. Insurance seeker, frequently; 6. Circus; 13. Literary monogram; 21. Wine order; 24. Pipe tobacco has it; 25. “What Is to Be Done?” pamphleteer, 1901; 27. University of Arkansas team, informally; 29. Disco-era suffix; 32. “I Still See ELISA” (“Paint Your Wagon” song); 33. Ecclesiastical council; 37. All-AGES (G-rated); 389. Nancy Drew’s guy; 40. Personification; 45. Greek peak; 49. Quite a bit; 51. Chisels; 52. Title poet in a 1957 biopic; 55. Genetic strands; 57. MCI and others; 58. One of 57-Down, in English; 59. Govt. org. with a flower in its logo.
Time to turn in -- lights OFF!
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