03.05.08 -- ZZZ

Wednesday, March 5, 2008
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Puzzle by Steven Ginzburg, edited by Will Shortz
CDROMDRIVE (18A. Common computer feature); VWSCIROCCO (23A. German auto debut of 1974); JKROWLING (37A. First person to win a Smarties Prize, for children’s books, three years in a row); ABPOSITIVE (53A. Universal recipient type); and UVEXPOSURE (61A. Cause of some burns) are entries all beginning with initials in this indifferently abbreviated crossword puzzle.
Those longer initialized entries are joined by the shorter SST (11A. Plane with a machmeter: Abbr.); HMS Pinafore (64A); DIY (50D. Like many a home improvement); NBA (49A. Hoops org.); abbreviations and contractions (AGCY, CONJ, HRS, ORE, TIS, TSP, VEE, VOCAB); and the wannabe 4D. One eye in ;-), DOT, which might as well be clued in reference to Department of Transportation. The curt, the short and the terse continues with AGO, ANO, ANN, AWL, EVA, IDE, KEN, MAR, ONO, RAW, SEX, SIR, TIM and TIN, giving this crossword the feel of a graffiti lesson.
Going down, a dozen seven-letter entries occupy the four corners -- SHRIVEL (1. Turn from a grape into a raisin, e.g.); HEADWAY (2. Progress); ERNESTO (3D. Automaker Maserati); SMILEAT (11. Show friendliness); SAVINGS (12. Cash cache); TREETOP (13. “Rock-a-bye, baby” spot); TOOMUCH (40. An overdose of); INFAVOR (41. Pro); SOFTENS (42. Starts to melt); IGIVEUP (45. “You win”); DIVERSE (46. Varied); and SNEERED (47. Showed contempt).
Going across are a half-dozen six-letter entries: UPDATE (5. Software rerelease, e.g.); LEONID (15. Meteor in a meteor shower); AVALON (33. Frankie with the 1959 #1 hit “Why”); EUCLID (43. Ohio city named for a mathematician); ARISEN (66. Cropped up); and MEREST (69. Lease prominent).
Five-letter entries include YALIE (22A. Bulldog); EATON (28A. Big name in stationery); DIGIN (50A. “Eat!”); MATES (57A. Some game endings); ULCER (5D. Peptic disorder); Los Angeles’s San PEDRO Bay (6D.); DORIC (7D. Kind of column); CELLI (25D. They’re part of the string section); OVOID (26. Egg-shaped); ARUBA (33D. Dutch-speaking part of the West Indies); PAUSE (54D. Remote control button); OGRES (55D. Fairy tale baddies); and SCENT (56D. Bloodhound’s guide).
Rounding out the statistics are four-letter entries AIDS, EDDY, GAIT, HERO, HERR, LYON, MUSE, OFFS, RANT, SHED, SPAM, SPED, TERI, and WENT (27A. Departed).
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Across: 1. Humble Home; 14. Protagonist; 16. Spray-paint, maybe; 17. Fly off the handle; 20. Chemical compound suffix; 21. Hatcher of “Desperate Housewives”; 29. Longoria of “Desperate Housewives; 31. Long, long ___; 32. City near Saint-Exupery International Airport; 36. It’s more than a pinch: Abbr.; 40. “__ the season …”; 44. Lends a hand; 48. 1969 “bed-in”: participant; 49. Hoops org.; 51. Does in; 60. Neckline shape; 64. Munich mister; 65. Sting; 67. Melpomene, e.g.; 68. Units in a coll. Curriculum; 70. Hightailed it. Down: 8. “It’s ___-brainer”; 9. Curry of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”; 10. Drainage indicator; 19. Undeveloped; 21. Shack roof material; 24. If, and or but: Abbr.; 30. “Raggedy” one; 35. Spiked punch?; 38. Novelist Kesey; 39. Manner of going; 52. Driver’s license datum; 62. Ida. Neighbor; 63. Round Table honorific

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