Monday, March 10, 2008
Puzzle by Ken Bessette, edited by Will Shortz
OBEDIENCESCHOOL (64A. Command center? … or where you might hear the starts of 17-, 28- and 49-Across); SPEAKOFTHEDEVIL (17A. “Here he is now!”); SITONTHEFENCE (28A. Be undecided); STAYTHECOURSE (49A. Persist to completion) -- I am sure OTTO (43A. Sgt. Snorkel’s dog) would be pleased to enlist.
However, there’s really not a lot to bark about in this back-to-work puzzle, which is filled with obediently familiar Monday crossword standards. The exceptions are the entries of length, ten-letter LOVELETTER (11D. Billet-doux) and THISSIDEUP (30D. Message on a shipping crate); seven-letter SADSONG (9D. Dirge) and PARTIES (45D. Republication, Democratic, Green, etc.); and the six-letter GLADTO (4D. “My pleasure”); INHALE (8D. Divided 50/50); TWENTY (51D. A score); and UPSHOT (52D. End result).
Over-and-over-again fill includes the five-letter entries of AESOP (44A. Fable writer); ALONE (16A. Unaccompanied); COMIC (47D. “Luann” or “Blondie”); ECOLE (53D. French place of learning); EXPOS (71A Bygone Montreal ball club); GOTON (35A. Mounted, as a horse); ISLIP (60A. Long Island airfield town); KEENS (18D. Wails); LOUIE (68A. Nephew of Donald Duck); PHOTO (40A. Snapshot); POBOX (54D. Mail receiver, in brief); SALUT (9A. French greeting); SPADE (20A. Black card); TELEX (13D. Old message system); UNITE (12D. Join).
The bulk of the puzzle are words one could easily use as commands to a dog, all four letter crosswordese: AREA, ATOP, CIRC, CITY, EARL, ECHO, EPEE, FEES, FLAG, FOCI, GLIB, IOTA, ISLE, LAPP, LOCH, NONE, OCTO, ORCA, OTIS, OTTO, PLOW, RAIN, RAMP, SAGA, SHAH, SOAP, TEAS, THAW, THEE, TIER, TREE, YAPS, YOGA, and YORE.
In the end, the best of the verbiage with which to get your lazy dog to roll over are most likely the three-letter entries: ALE, ASH, BOT, COD, COO, EEG, EIN, EPI, ETE, FRO, LEX, LEO, OAF, ROW, and SEA. Any one of them alone, spoken loud and firmly will perk old Droopy’s ears right up!
For today’s cartoons, 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
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Across: 1. Stars and Stripes, e.g.; 5. Places where lines meet; 14. ___ of Sandwich; 15. Cause of a game cancellation; 21. Talks one’s head off; 22. French summer; 23. Twinings selections; 26. Sign before Virgo; 27. Big Apple ave.; 33. ___ Wednesday; 34. Suds maker; 38. Talking maybe a little too fast; 46. No. on which a magazine’s ad rates are based; 48. Freudian one; 53. Prefix with center; 55. Column’s counterpart; 56. Interstate entrance or exit; 57. Fish after which a cape is named; 58. Logic diagram; 69. For whom the bell tolls, in a John Donne poem; 70. Numerical prefix with -ber; 72. Quiet exercise; 73. Remove from the freezer. Down: 1. Admit (to), with “up”; 2. Reindeer herder; 3. Geometry calculation; 5. Black power hairdo, for short; 6. Dunderpate; 7. The “C” in N.Y.C.; 10. Schooner fill; 19. Dueling sword; 24. Perched on; 25. Deposed Iranian; 28. “Roots,” for one; ___ of Wight; 32. Pigeon’s sound; 36. Big elevator manufacturer; 37. ___ too soon; 39. Droid; 41. Wedding cake feature; 42. Killer whale; 50. Knight time?; 59. Repeat; 61. ___ Ness monster; 62. Itsy-bitsy bit; 63. Winter truck attachment; 65. God, in Italy; 66. Brain scan, for short; 67. Bounding main.