03.12.08 -- C-clamp

Wednesday, March 12, 2008
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Puzzle by Larry Shearer, edited by Will Shortz
Four inter-related entries, CARSTARTER (17A. C); CLAMPSHAPE (60A. C); AVERAGEMARK (11D. C); and EPCOTCENTER (26D. C), along with the fact that all clues begin with the letter C, and two oddly-shaped groupings of black squares in the center of the diagram depicting a large forward and backward C divided by the entry MADDEST (27D. Crossest), contribute to an over-awareness of the crossword constructor’s clever coalescence of…well, the letter C.
Of no avail in the solution of the puzzle, the choice of starting every clue with the letter C is clumsy -- I didn’t even notice the gimmick until I had completely solved the puzzle (I’m a diagram solver, the clues are merely reference), and when I did, I asked myself why, and was it worth the effort? It’s all a sort of a clamp unto my feat! In trying to make sense of it all, I decided that the constructor and solver in this instance are in two different worlds, the former in critical need of a C-Clamp-down.
Across: 1. Convenience store sign; 4. “Coming soon” messages; 10. Churls lack it; 14 Constrictor; 15. Convincing,, as an argument; 16. Confess openly; 17. C; 19. Cosmos legend; 20. Celebrity biographer Hawes; 21. Charlotte of “The Facts of Life”; 23. Canapé topping; 24. Coleridge, for one; 27. Curved motorcycle part; 29. Criticizes harshly; 30. Concluding appearance; 32. Clive Cussler’s “INCA Gold”; 33. Coal scuttle; 34. Conked out for good; 37. Completely wowed; 38. Columnist Hopper; 41. Comedy series award, maybe; 42. Con MOTO (animatedly, in music); 43. Countless years; 44. Commuter’s choice; 45. Collects one’s winnings; 49. Creature at SeaWorld; 50. Clarify; 52. Closely related; 53. Comic strip prince’s son; 54. Civil rights org. that became a governing party; 55. Clerk, to a bus. Owner; 58. Cole Porter’s “LETS Do It”; 60. C.; 65. Critic James; 66. Come aboard, in a way; 67. Comfy retreat; 68. Cartoon explorer; 69. Cowley and Keats; 70. Coach in Little League, often.
Down: 1. “Charlie’s Angels” airer; 2. Come TOA head; 3. Cause damage to; 4. Cuts for agts.; 5. Circumambulate; 6. Cruel person; 7. Coloratura’s home, with “the”; 8. Consequence of a solo homer; 9. Cremona collectibles, for short; 10. Choose; 11. C; 12. Crayon choice; 13. Coarse wool fabric; 18. Concentrates on specific achievement; 22. Conceit; 24. Cassandra’s father; 25. “Capitalism” rock group OINGO Boingo; 26. C; 27. Crossest; 28. Committed to the truth, in court; 30. “Can it!”; 31. Cry of grief; 35. Capua friends; 36. “Chimes of Freedom” songwriter; 39. Crosby’s “So DOI”; 40. Cape ANN; 46. Captors of Patty Hearst: Abbr.; 47. Chief; 48. City near Cleveland; 50. Course before an entrée; 51. Competitor of Ragu; 55. C.I.A. betrayer Aldrich; 56. Catch sight of; 57. Credit application figs.; 59. Coral SEA; 61. Cardinals, on scoreboards; 62. Count up; 63. Casserole morsel; 64. Close.
Now, had every entry begun with a C, I would be cheering and clapping! Clamp, clamp, clamp!
For today’s cartoon, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.

Carpe diem!

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NYTAnonimo said...

Did not notice that every clue started with a C until I checked out your blog Donald. I thought some of the clues could've been better-now I understand! Carpe diem is what my not quite 2 year old friend and I did today-she loves books but had not been to the library before. Put her in the red wagon along with bear and took a nice 20 minute walk on a brisk sunny day with beautiful blue skies. She was beside herself in the children's room-such fun to watch as she took it all in and checked it all out. Nice to get outside and see our 15 inches of snow melting away under warmer temps too!

DONALD said...


What a wonderful day for both of you! Carpe diem indeed -- and next week is the beginning of Spring!