03.23.08 -- Convergence

Sunday, March 23, 2008
Click here for abridged post in LARGE PRINT.
Puzzle by Robert W. Harris, edited by Will Shortz
Common Interests is the given title of this Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle, a definition for the following across entries and their clues:
CURRENTEVENTS (24. Electrical engineers and news anchors?); EXOTICPORTS (26. World travelers and wine connoisseurs?); ROCKBANDS (44. Geologists and music video producers); SPRINGBREAKS (52. College students and mattress testers?); STAGECOACHES (82. Old West outlaws and aspiring thespians?); HIPJOINTS (89. Beat-era musicians and orthopedists?); GOLDRECORDS (110. Fort Knox officials and pop singers?); and STRAIGHTLINES (113. Comedians and parade directors?).
Common Interests is a timely title, for there is currently a rare convergence of Holy Days of more than one tradition in observance. The calendars of a variety of religious traditions mark special days on this weekend under no less than a full moon.

In the Christian tradition, it is Easter, with Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. In the Jewish tradition, this is the time of Purim. In the Hindu tradition it is Holi, a joyous and raucous celebration. In Buddhist tradition, Magha Puja Day commemorating Buddha’s teaching of the 'Ovadapatimokkha'. In Muslim tradition Mawlid al-Nabi, the birthday of Muhammad, the founder of Islam, is celebrated. And, finally, the festival of Noruz among Kurdish people, to a commemoration of the equinox among some other national groups. It is a rich convergence of events to be sure. An equinox to remember!
Convergence of across and down in crossword puzzles is our main subject, however; and the following are today's clues with a little linkage:
Across: 1. Track figure; 8. Din-din; 12. Nautical line; 19. Ally makers; 20. Search high and low; 22. Like some grievances; 23. Home of the newspaper Haaretz; 2. Wrestling locale; 29. Cheer greatly; 30. Some Millers; 31. It may be pinched; 32. Zealous; 34. Business card abbr.; 35. Oriole or Blue Jay, for short; 36. Completely bungle; 38. Hercules or Ulysses; 39. Eyed; 42. Classic Hans Christian Andersen story, with “The”; 46. Meal crumb; 47. Congestion site; 48. Some volcanic deposits; 57. Greeted; 58. Outdoor cover; 59. Robert who introduced the term “cell” to biology; 60. Where the antihelix is; 61. Under; 64. Itinerary word; 65. Choir stands; 67. Despicable sort; 69. Executed; 70. Stop; 72. The Gamecocks of the Southeastern Conf.; 73. Machinates; 76. Prominent D.C. lobby; 78. Wallop; 79. Twelve NOON; 81. Supercool; 85. Bit of gridiron equipment; 87. Obviously sad; 88. Boffo; 91. Show on the small screen; 96. Home of the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge; 98. PC screens, for short; 99. Certain investigators, for short; 100. Champ just before 36-Down; 101. Tough spot; 102. Lavishes gifts (on), say; 104. U.N. chief BAN Ki-moon; 105. Desex; 106. Huge, in poetry; 109. Shak. Is its most-quoted writer; 116. Defeat in a derby; 117. Office newbie; 118. “YOURE joking!”; 119. Lettered top; 120. Set out; 121. Cold war inits.; 122. Activity in which spelling counts?
Music Video featuring the ballet scene from the film of The Red Shoes (1940) with Joy Division's "She's Lost Control" -- HERE.
Down: 1. Like a guardian; 2. Kept from home; 3. Flew; 4. Bay STATERS (residents of Massachusetts); 5. Walter TEVIS, author of “The Hustler”; 6. Prince in “The Little Mermaid”; 7. Answer; 8. Mortgagee’s concern; 9. Sharp; 10. Craggy peaks; 11. Boulogne-SUR, France; 12. For all to play, in music; 13. With 105-Down, a short play; 14. Salon option; 15. Cambodian money; 16. Florid; 17. Stroked; 18. Car with an innovative “rolling dome” speedometer; 21. Ad-libs and such; 25. Honcho; 27. Western tribe; 32. Stepped aside, in court; 33. Gave; 36. 1976-80 Wimbledon champ; 37. Not touch; 38. Sounds of anger or jubilation; 40. Factory shipments: Abbr.; 41. Hurdle for some college srs.; 43. Sharpeners; 44. Estuary; 45. Assist in shady doings; 47. Blood SERUM; 49. Extravagant; 50. Mournful; 51. Sudden floods; 52. Much smaller now; 53. Exterminator’s option; 54. Gangster’s gun; 55. Nickname once at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.; 56. Hurried; 57. Member of the familia; 62. Needing bleach, say; 63. Campaign feature; 66. Eked (out); 68. Feels indignant about; 71. Egg holder; 74. Religious pilgrimage; 75. Rebounds and steals; 77. Hurt so bad; 80. Fruit-flavored soda; 83. ARS Magica; 84. “Essential” things; 86. A.T.M. need; 87. Without oomph; 90. Certain chamber group; 91. Oversee; 92. Heat-related; 93. On; 94. Dog after the winter, e.g.; 95. How Calvin Coolidge spoke; 96. You can say that again; 97. Lacking scruples; 99. Less accurate; 101. Kids; 103. Expressed delight; 104. Some South Africans; 105. See 13-Down; 107. Symbol of thinness; 108. Attire not for the modest; 110. Striped animals; 111. Wands; 112. Prefix with zone; 114. “Imagine that!”; 115. Note to be used later.
For this weekend, at least -- love and peace!

In memory of Arthur C. Clarke, 90, Science Fiction Writer, who died this week on the eve of the Equinox, “2001: A Space Odyssey” in 2 minutes and 1 second.


Linda has returned! Read Madness...Crossword and Otherwise

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.


karmasartre said...

Very informative re religions, thank you....

renard said...

I agree, the comments were interesting.

The Paschal full moon was also responsible for the early Easter and April Passover. The earliest since 1913 which won't be repeated until another 220 years.

DONALD said...

karmasartre, you're welcome, sometimes these things slip by us without notice!

renard, I heard something to that effect, but 220 years, wow!