Puzzle by Peter A. Collins, edited by Will Shortz
T.G.I.F. is not always de rigueur, but here we are on Good Friday at least thinking so, for oddly, it is a holiday for the stock market!
Thorns in the form of ROSEBUSHES (1A. They have many sticking points) leads off four groups of three ten-letter entries, accompanied by ERASERHEAD (15A. 1978 cult film with a mutant child) and POLARBEARS (17A. Sealing fans) -- ha-ha-get-it “ceiling fans“…
The second set of three ten-letter entries are comprised of OCEANLINER (54A. Choice for intercontinental travel); TESTTAKING (57A. Student activity); and BETSYWETSY (59A. Doll that was once a going thing) -- ha-ha-get-it “going thing“… For a third set, upper right are FIRSTORDER (14D. Simplest, in math and logic); AMELIORATE (13D. Ease); and SQUEEZEBOX (12D. Zydeco instrument) -- ha-ha-get-it “accordian“… Finally, down left are and ORANGEZEST (26D. Marmalade ingredient); RAKELEAVES (25D. Tidy up the lawn, in a way); and finally, ADAMANDEVE (24D. Opening pair?).
Fall and Expulsion of Adam and Eve, Michelangelo, 1510 -- Fresco, Sistine Chapel, Vatican, Rome
OSMOSIS (35A. One way to get through a wall) appears to be the other lone deliberate entry being placed in the center of the puzzle. All of the remaining entries are, of course, happenstance. By that, I mean to say, secondary to the choice of long entries. One might add URBANDESIGN (6D Architectural sub discipline) and MARINCOUNTY (23D. Home to San Quentin State Prison) due to their length, even though they are partially controlled by the groupings of long entries above and below.
The remaining entries are somewhat shorter -- six-letter entries are AROUND, BERLIN, COAXER, EEYORE, LIESON, NEESON, MADEIT, OUTLAW; five-letter, ABOUT, ANEST, BOATS, DAZES, HEATS, INOUT, LASTS, NAMES, NAMES, NIELS, OLMOS, SERTA, SHESA, TINAS, USAID; four-letter, AUER, DART, EARS, EMER, ESTA, EVER, ICEE, JENS, ONIT, ORGY, OROS, REPO, SALT, SOSA, SQMI, USAF, VEST, VOTE; and three-letter, AKA, ALG, BAD, ERR, ESA, IKE, MEN, MGR, OJO, OST, OTB, SAM, SDS, TUT, TUT, VAT, YOS, and ZOO.
The main chore for the authors of a puzzle of this nature is to write clues for the leftovers that will render those unmalleable entries seem intended -- the following:
Across: 11. Falcon’s grp.; 16. Gazetteer meas.; 18. Oscar-nominated “My Man Godfrey” actor, 1936; 19. One of four directions in 5-Down; 20. Goes on; 21. Mathematician NIELS Henrik Abel; 22. Brown and others; 23. Hit the big time; 24. Not too far away; 27. Football Hall-of-Famer Huff; 28. Where many pens are found; 29. Corrida sticker; 30. Pessimist in a Disney cartoon; 33. Drop the ball; 34. Letters between two names; 36. Severe; 37. Checkers, e.g.; 38. Uses as a bed; 39. End of many a race; 40. It involves many unknowns: Abbr.; 41. Sched. Maker, often; 42. One using soft soap; 44. “Michael Collins” title role player, 1996; 46. Here and there; 48. Fogs; 49. Desk tray labels; 50. Eye of the tigre?; 53. At any point; 56. Endow; 58. It is in Peru.
Down: 1. Credit report damager, briefly; 2. Prizes for top atletas; 3. Curer; 4. Tikkanen of hockey; 5. It’s no longer divided; 7. “SHESA Lady” (1971 hit song); 8. Meet preliminaries; 9. Roadside stand units; 10. Old sit-in org.; 11. Lend-Lease Act provision; 21. When doubled, what a rat does; 22. Sound of disapproval; 27. “I’ve been better”; 31. Like some profs.; 32. Cries for attention; 35. “Stand and Deliver” Oscar nominee, 1988; 39. Brewery fixture; 43. Ban; 45. Perfect Day maker; 46. “ANEST of traitors!”: Shak.; 47. Gravy holders; 49. Summer cooler; 50. Taking care of business; 51. Norwegian P.M. Stoltenberg; 52. Immoderate indulgence; 54. Where races are screened?: Abbr.; 55. “They Like IKE” (song from “Call Me Madam).
Yesterday I was struck by the number of times that the word “hate” was used in seeming dead earnest in another crossword blog . One can only hope that beyond the thorns, those who hate may find love.
For today’s cartoon, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.
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Having seen Paul Scofield in two of his finest performances, "A Man for All Seasons" at the ANTA Theatre, for which he won the Tony Award (subsequently for the film, an Academy Award) and Shakespeare's "King Lear" at Lincoln Center in NYC, I am reminded of his greatness as an actor, a master of his profession.