03.10.08 -- Obedience School

Monday, March 10, 2008

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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.

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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: 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.

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