03.13.08 -- AA to ZZ

Thursday, March 13, 2008
Puzzle by Alan Arbesfeld, edited by Will Shortz
Double letters in single squares are a feature of this Thursday crossword puzzle. The across entries involved are BUZZOFF (17. “Scram!”); PUTTINGGREEN (18. Practice area, of a sort); COMMONNAME (28. “Black rat” as opposed to “Rattus rattus”); ISAAC (36. Biblical patriarch whose name means “he will laugh”); ABBIE (41. Radical Hoffman); UPPERRIGHT (46. Northeast, on a map); ADDRESSBOOKS (59. Directories); and MCCALLS (62. Bygone women’s magazine), covering most of the alphabet, omitting H, I, J, K, Q, U, V, W, X, and Y.
The down entries utilizing the across doublings are RAZZLE (3. Half of a showy display?); MUTTS (7. Kennel club rejects); BOGGLE (9. Overwhelm); Lee Van CLEEF (spaghetti western actor) (9.); HAMM (21. Eponym of a classic Minnesota-brewed beer); INNO time (26.); PAARS (31. TV’s Jack and kin); ROBBY (33. Robot in “Forbidden Planet”); PEPPERBOX (38. Spice holder); ERRS (43. Misses the mark); UMASS (46. Amherst campus, briefly); CELLAR (52. Last place); ODDER (55. Less conventional); DOONE (56. Blackmore heroine); and ACCTS (58. Stops on a sales rep’s rte.).
Escaping the alphabet SOUP (15A. Starting fare, often); are DEE, IRRS, and KEEN. Leading off the remaining acrosses are FOULARD (54. Silk fabric for scarves), ENSNARE (39. Catch); “What a CONCEPT!” (37.); and SKILIFT (22. Way to the top), followed (alphabetically) by ACA, AIMS, BACK, CATS, ELEM, ELEV, ERDE, HAJI, ONER, ORLE, OSAGES, RUER, SAME, SARI, SERS, SONE, STPAT, SYN, UNLASH, and XENA are the remaining across entries.
UNINSURED (34. Without protection) and ARRIVESAT (10. Reaches) are the longest of the down entries without doubled letters, then SPIKEMEN (8. Railroad track workers); SCHISMS (40.Splits); JOSTLE (25. Bump); and ANEMIA (29. Shortage of punch), followed by ACE, AGAPE, ALENE, ASP, ASSTS, CAS, CECE, FAKE, GRO, INAT, INBUD, IOU, KEN, KENT, NILE, REUNE, SRA, and STOA, alphabetically, of course!
All those double lettered squares? -- NEATO (13A. “Cool!”)!
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Across: 1. Factory seconds: Abbr.; 5. Sights; 9. Support; 16. Shield border; 20. Get out of a bind? 23. ___ Snider, front man for rock’s Twisted Sister; 24. Once-in-a-lifetime traveler; 27. Figure usu. In hundreds or thousands of feet; 30. Org. established by Nixon; 33. Sorry sort; 35. Loudness unit; 42. Low-grade?: Abbr.; 44. Hipsters; 45. Abridged, for short: Abbr.; 48. Ditto; 50. Delhi wrap; 51. Here, in Toledo; 57. Onetime Missouri natives; 63. Sharp; 64. Humdinger; 65. Parade honoree, familiarly; 66. Himmel und ___ (traditional German potato dish); 67. Lawless role; 68. Sun. deliveries. Down: 1. About to bloom; 2. Catch up with old classmates; 4. Covered walkway; 5. Symbol of power, to the pharaohs; 6. Cash substitute; 12. Cigarette brand that sponsored “The Dick Van Dyke Show”; 19. Egyptian lifeline; 28. Grammy winner Winans; 32. Point of no return?; 36. ___ the finish; 37. Job for Hercules Poirot; 47. Miracle- ___; 49. Coeur d’ ___; 51. Visibly stunned; 53. Seconds: Abbr.; 54. Impostor; 60. Knowledge; 61. Mme., across the Pyrenees.


Anonymous said...

u blog makes me cheat

DONALD said...

"Solve" is a better word -- consulting references for crosswords is no different than asking directions rather than wandering around -- the next time you need to go there, you'll know where it is. It's your puzzle, and you can do what you like with it -- getting there is half the fun!

stephen said...

eh, there is a difference in asking for directions (i.e. googleing[?]) or finally giving up and hailing a cab to take you there.

i hardly think looking at the answers qualifies as consulting a reference.

DONALD said...

The word "cheat" implies deception or dishonesty, fraud or trickery -- I cannot agree that openly consulting a dictionary for verification can be classified as such -- especially when one is one's own proofreader -- I would think that any editor who doesn't proofread isn't worth his salt!

Should it be a goal for solvers to achieve memorization of the entire OED? I find that someone who admits to not knowing everything is a far better individual than one swathed in hubris!

stephen said...

I don't believe that when the person said that "u blog makes me cheat" he was referring to the dictionary. I assume he was referring to looking at the completed puzzles on your blog and then "cheating" on his puzzle.

so, by looking at the answers, in order to fill out his puzzle, he is indeed "cheating" or more aptly being dishonest with himself as a solver.

he is also cheating himself out of the whole experience.

but what the hell do i know, i can only solve wednesdays and before.

i do, however, have no qualms with you providing the answers and commentating on them. they help me on the second half of the week, when a word or letter here and there allow me to challenge myself.

DONALD said...


Good point!

I think there are times when a solver just wants to get the puzzle out of the way and get on with things -- instead of wandering and wondering. I can't see that as cheating because the solver is not in competition (with anyone or himself), but merely closing the book on a question. Self-improvement often involves knowing the answer in order to understand the thinking needed in the future. However, if one feels that even at this juncture of resignation that uncovering the answer by any means is cheating, then so be it.

I hesitate to judge the methods utilized by a solver in the quest for efficiency and accuracy -- as opposed to giving up on crosswords completely.

Thank you for clarifying your thoughts and sharing same with us all!