Monday, March 3, 2008
Puzzle by C. W. Stewart, edited by Will Shortz
It's your friendly Monday back-to-work puzzle! GETAGRIP (18A. “Calm down!”); GETOUTOFTHEWAY (24A. “Move!”); GETTHISSTRAIGHT (39A. “Pay attention!”); GETALOADOFTHAT (49A. “Lookie there!”); GETALIFE (60A. “Oh, be serious!”); and GETIT (71A. “Savvy?”) -- those remarks brought to mind that old potboiler “What ever happened to Baby Jane?” I believe every one of the remarks in this puzzle were uttered by Bette Davis, or might as well have been, to poor dear (don’t believe it) Joan Crawford.
Large on EGO (36D. It may be puffed up), Baby Jane is putting together an ACT (10A. Series of scenes) for her return to the stage -- even though Jane sets out the CHINA (11A. Dishes for fancy meals) she’s preparing an indecent din-din for poor Joan to GAGON (49A. Not be able to swallow), and when she ATE (22D. Breakfasted, e.g.), it hardly got past a TONSIL (17A. Lump in the throat) -- UGH (31D. “Yuck!”) -- Joan gets TOTED (51D. Schlepped) by her legs when the STRONG (48D. Brawny) Jane commences to Blow AFUSE (become enraged) (47D.) -- GEE (19D. “Golly!”), everything’s TOPSY-turvy (12D.)!
Good reason to FRET (26D. Stew), this SAGA (42D. Heroic legend) could go on for EONS (23A. Years and years and years) -- after all, it’s HELL (40D. Hades) -- actually, it’s FUN (58A. Lots of laughs) and when it’s OVER (67A. Done with), only BYES (70A. Farewells) are in order -- “It’s AFACT” (“There‘s no doubt”)!
There is little relief in this aggressive puzzle; I mean HEADGEAR (34A. Cap or helmet) and HOUSESAT (43A. Cared for a home while the owner was away) together seem defensive and ANON (56A. Like many a wiseacre‘s comment: Abbr.). 28A. “If I HADA hammer…“ doesn’t help (that’s how Jane did in the maid). Sifting ashes seldom produces light, but here are the remaining clues anyway:
Across: 1. MARIE Antoinette; 6. Tallies; 13. Actress Blake or Plummer; 15. Not having a stitch on; 16. Letter before sigma; 20. Neighbor of Scot.; 21. Dabbling duck; 29. One-named Art Deco master; 30. Stephen of “The Crying Game”; 31. Bear in constellation names; 44. Pink wine; 45. Hang back; 46. Sail support; 57. Part of F.Y.I.; 64. Car model with a musical name; 66. Metalliferous rock; 68. Passes, as a law; 69. Auction motion.
Downs: 1. Crew member; 2. Honor AMONG thieves; 3. Poconos or Tetons; 4. Write-INS (some votes); 5. Manuscript receiver; 6. White, in Mexico; 7. Owing; 8. Banned insecticide; 9. Caribbean, e.g.; 10. “This way” sign; 14. Native seal hunter; 25. Parts of an udder; 27. Go like mad; 32. Rock’s REO Speedwagon; 33. Sutcliffe of the early Beatles; 34. F.D.R. successor; 35. Middle measurement; 37. Sighs of contentment; 38. Letter carrier’s assignment: Abbr..; 41. Golfer ISAO Aoki; 46. Call to a calf; 50. When to celebrate el ano Nuevo; 52. “Gimme ANA!” (frequent Alabama cheerleader’s cry); 53. Color specialists; 55. TUTTI-frutti; 59. Cartoonist Thomas; 61. High tennis shot; 62. Some Christmas greenery; 63. Doctor’s quote; 65. Scottish refusal -- NAE!
To finish this Monday madness, a song from BABY JANE!
Now, get going!
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Puzzle available on the internet at
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