Saturday, March 8, 2008
Puzzle by Brad Wilber, edited by Will Shortz
Ah!, a Saturday thinking person’s crossword puzzle! A contemplation of convoluted clues, little-known trivia, a sadistic Dantesque masquerade of exotic conundrums and brain-bruising enigmas -- what fun!
Eleven letter entries, SPLASHGUARD (1A. Big flap on the road?); TOUJOURSGAI (15A. Song sung by Mehitabel in Broadway’s “Shinbone Alley”); UNPATRIOTIC (17A. Traitorous); EDGARBERGEN (61A. Dedicatee of “The Muppet Movie”); CAESARSALAD (65A. Dish with coddled egg); and HYMENOPTERA (67A. Order of ants).
Ten letters, RAILBARONS (10D. Cornelius Vanderbilt and Jay Gould) and PANCAKEDAY (29D. Mardi Gras, in the U.K.).
Nine letters, REMBRANDT (24A. Rijksmuseum subject) and ATTACKERS (51A. People in a rush).
Eight letters, SEASNAKE (12D. Dangerous swimmer with an oarlike tail); RESIDUES (13D. Bathtub rings, e.g.); SCUTTLES (14D. Deep-sixes); LIEABEDS (35D. Early-birds’ opposites); ILLTREAT (36D. Ride roughshod over); and MELTORME (37D. “Born to Be Blue” singer).
Seven letters, LIMNING (35A. Sketching); HOSTESS (39A. She’s entertaining); USOPENS (8D. Sports biggies); GAGSTER (22D. Card); DANTEAN (27D. Bizarrely hellish); and AIRBASE (43D. Home to some fighters). For the record, Dantean's a noun; Dantesque, an adjective; and Dante himself was born "Durante" -- bizarre?
After that, some relief with shorter entries, but with longer clues:
Six letters, LEGSIT (21A. Forgoes a cab, say); TEEDUP (26A. Ready to be driven); SERBIA (47A. The Danube flows through it); BRONZE (55A. With 59-Across, it lasted from about 3500 to 1000 B.C.); STUART (1D. Prolific suspense novelist Woods); PONGEE (2D. Soft, thin silk cloth); LUPONE (3D. 2006 Tony-nominated “Sweeney Todd” actress); Charles Darwin’s ship H.M.S. BEAGLE (48D.) INGEAR (49D. Ready to be driven); AGENDA (Steering committee’s creation).
Five letters, CZECH, DICER, GRIER and SARAN. Four letters: BAER, EBRO, ELLE, GAUL, GIVE, HURT, ILET, MESH, SKEE, SOTS, STEP. Three letters: AGE, AGO, AGT, AJA, ANA, ASU, AVI, CIA, DAM, EEC, EER, ENG, GEM, NEA, NEE, RAT, REN, SEE, SRS, SSR, STE, and UNI.
Do puzzle constructors delight in the thought of the solver's hand of flesh placed upon a head of stone? I wonder.
For today's cartoon, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.
Click on image to enlarge.
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: 12. Yearbook div.; 16. Treaty of Rome org.; 18. First Fiesta Bowl winner: Abbr.; 19. Since; 20. Algorithm component; 23. Nickelodeon nut; 30. Poetry Out Loud contest org.; 31. Vandals’ target; 32. Tennis’s Ivanovic; 33. Est., once; 34. ____-Ball; 41. Abba’s “___ the Music Speak”; 42. Subj. of the 2006 film “The Good Shepherd”; 44. Identification aid in an obituary; 45. Sponsoring publication of TV’s “Project Runway”; 46. Prefix with culture; 54. Host and winner of the 1966 World Cup: Abbr.; 56. Defeater of Schmeling in 1933; 59. See 55-Across; 60. Slogan ending; 64. Flow checker; 66. ___ -Mere-Eglise (D-Day town). Down: 4. 1977 Steely Dan title track; 5. They’re often fried; 6. Offended; 7. Member of the 1960s Rams’ Fearsome Foursome; 9. Insurance fig.; 11. Cook, at times; 25. Be in harmony; 28. Aussie’s place of higher learning; 38. Yield some; 40. Lead-in to a sheepish excuse; 52. Language in which “k” and “v” are the words for “to” and “in”; 53. Kitchen gripper; 57. It rises in the Cantabrian Mountains; 58. Plaintiff’s opposite: Abbr.; 62. Beauty; 63. Turncoat.