03.15.08 -- Et tu, Anonymous?!

The Death of Caesar (1867) by Jean-Léon Gérôme
Saturday, March 15, 2008
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Puzzle by David Quarfoot, edited by Will Shortz
Soothsayer: "Beware the ides of March." -- Julius Caesar, I ii, Wm. Shakespeare
Et tu, Anonymous? This ides of March crossword puzzle is filled with quaint entries and esoteric clues, all just ducky for a soggy day -- well, it’s raining here, anyway! Oh, what’s with the Anonymous -- well, just want to be topical -- it appears there’s a little conflict going on this ides, why I have no idea -- maybe this will help -- Anonymous vs. Church of Scientology - The Ides of March.
As for today‘s crossword, et tu, Quarfoot! This puzzle is murder -- XSANDOS (18A. Football coaching figures); SILENTA (40D. Bit of cocoa?); PEDXING (26D. Warning about people moving from side to side?); GAYICON (1A. Judy Garland or Liza Minnelli); SKIHAT (42A. Top of a slope?); SODAPOP (20A. Slice, say); STNICK (31A. Dancer’s guider, for short); ACROBAT (44D. Flipper); SNAKE (30. Wind). The clues for these tortured entries might as well read “horse feathers”!
Wounds-a-wonder more in this coup -- so, beware!
Across: 8. Sushi covering; 15. It began in 1968, for tennis; 16. Targetable; 17. “Family Ties” family; 19. Combustion product; 22. An end to peace?; 23. Behind; 26. Bashkir’s close cousin; 26. Station; 27. Weapon for Wonder Woman; 29. TV shopper’s option; 30. Undertake; 33. Shallow; 35. Big name in notebooks; 37. Chips-in-a-can brand from Lay’s; 38. Silicon Valley city; 46. Hill of law; 47. Milieu for Katarina Witt; 49. Old Testament patriarch; 50. Romance, e.g.; 51. Female demon; 53. People’s 1999 Sexiest Man Alive; 54. City ESE of Utrecht; 55. Botched salon job; 57. OB, e.g.; 58 Lagged; 60. 1970 western named for a fictional Texas city; 62. Virtuoso; 63. Ethnic conflict; 64. Jacket option; 65. Bandera’s “The Mambo Kings” co-star, 1992.
Lamia by John William Waterhouse (1909); note the snakeskin about her waist
Down: 1. Some four-wheelers; 2. Popular costume party costume; 3. “Groovy”; 4. Undesirable result of making a pass?: Abbr.; 5. High-ranking suits; 6. “… then again, maybe I’m wrong”; 7. Market for Microsoft; 8. Bodybuilders’ prides; 9. “Scandalized Masks” painter, 1883; 10. “But hark! ARAP comes gently to the door”: Robert Burns; 11. Weak; 12. What a superscript in a text might refer one to; 13. Chanel fragrance for men; 14. Place for a trash can; 21. Some four-wheelers, for short; 24. Episcopal leader; 28. Speedy express; 32. Piece of a candy bar?; 34. “ITS O.K.”; 36. Rodgers and Hammerstein refrain starter; 38. Side; 39. One way to do something stupid; 41. Fool; 43. 55-Down with fiddles; 44. Flipper; 45. 2003 sci-fi disaster film featuring a subterranean team of “terranauts”; 48. Bimonthly magazine for environmentalists; 51. Stimulating order; 52. Met’s lineup?; 55. Blowout; 56. Casual footwear, briefly; 59. Bombed; 61. Setting for an idyll.
I’m sure Anonymous and the Church of Scientology will cut their differences -- if not, one shudders at the prospect of Tom Cruise as Julius Caesar -- scribbled to death with that old saw, "the pen is mightier than the sword!"
Et tu, Anonymous?!
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NYTAnonimo said...

Touche Donald and another impossible puzzle for me. Sadly I'm on a roll here. I enjoy learning new things but these puzzles and clues are becoming too tedious/clever for me.

DONALD said...

I agree -- the Friday and Saturday puzzles have been taken over by the mavens and ravens of the crossword set! I sometimes think the Times puzzle is losing touch with J Q Public!

I hope they're not trying to outsmart the few who know it all -- if so, that's a small audience!

Perhaps, if the difficulty gets really intense, I can declare Saturdays my day off!

Anonymous said...

I was looking on google for silenta, because I had no idea what the word had to do with cocoa, and I came upon your blog. Today's crossword was tortuous! I managed to fill in all but 4 squares, and there was just no way I was gonna get those!