04.22.08 -- Earth Day

Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Puzzle by Nancy Salomon, edited by Will Shortz
SOIL (48A. Terra firma) is the sole bow to Earth Day in this Tuesday crossword -- other than that, it’s business as usual.
NETEARNINGS (17A. Fishing trawler’s haul?); CAPITALGAINS (28A. Seat of government’s acquisitions?); PAPERPROFITS (44A. Publisher’s windfall?); and GROSSINCOME (59A. Salary for selling insects as food?) are ordinary phrases in themselves, inter-related by the fact, and dressed up with twisted clues containing a faint trace of humor.
So, what does this crossword offer…diversion, I guess. HARDG (1A. What a gal has that a gent doesn’t?) is certainly the most outrageous entry/clue seen in a Times puzzle in a while, slightly ameliorated by it’s following entries, BABAR (6A. Elephant of children's literature) and PEW (11A. Church perch).
Pairs include AMEER & OMANI; AYE & YES; and I guess SPLURGE & FATTENUP. Lots of little stuff including AIR, AMI, ANT, ANY, APE, ARA, ART, CAN, CHE, DES, DIE, EON, ERN, LIS, MIN, PTA, RAE, REO, SAX, SEE, URI.
Five-letter entries include the notorious HARDG -- AROAR, along with ADELE, DEKES, EGRET, FLOAT, HENCE, ONEND, PERSE, RATON, REAPS, REMUS, SINAIR, UHAUL, along with four-letter entries BAND, CAPE, ENYA, ERIE, HAAS, INTS, ISAY, MINT, NEAT, PORK, SOAP, SOTS, PORK and WIND.
At sunset yesterday, I went out to the oceanfront. As I walked along the water’s edge, I saw a tangle of thin ribbons and knew they were tied to a murderous object -- I planted my cane firmly in the sand and bent down to pick up the colorful but deadly item, for dangling from the end of the ribbons was a fragmented balloon.
Through ingesting plastic bags and balloons, approximately one billion seabirds and mammals die every year. I am only one of 6,500,000,000 -- I put it in my pocket, not sure if I made any difference at all, not sure where to dispose of it, not sure of anything.
My time on this Earth is nearly gone -- I will gladly go with the soon to be extinct, rather than weep in the coming storm. It is not someone else that must save our world -- it is us! Balloons and plastic bags? May God help us! There is so much more that is wrong -- take the time to view the following -- Earth Day 2008.
For today’s Earth Day cartoon festival, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.
Click on image to enlarge.
Puzzle available on the internet at
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Across: 1. What a gal has that a gent doesn’t?; 6. Elephant of children’s literature; 11. Church perch; 14. Correspondence sans stamp; 15. Muscat resident; 16. Mystifying Mr. Geller; 19. Opposite of max.; 20. Board of directors hiree; ___ Plaines, Ill.; 22. Needed fixing, as a faucet; 24. Suffix with east or west; 25. Lukas of “Witness”; 27. QB boo-boos: Abbr.; 32. Family cars; 35. Whichever; 36. 1910s-’20s car inits.; 37. Upturned, as a crate; 38. Gallery display; 39. Parade entry; 41. Yeoman’s agreement; 42. Caesar of comedy; 43. Big Easy team; 44. Publisher’s windfall?; 49. Money maker; 50. Celestial altar; 53. Getting slick during winter; 56. Funny Charlotte; 57. Business owner’s dreaded ink color; 58. Jazz instrument; 62. Big galoot; 63. “Snowy” bird; 64. Ryder rival; 65. “That’s a go”; 66. Fakes out with fancy footwork; 67. By itself. Down: 1. Therefore; 2. Mideast pooh-bah; 3. Betray, in a way; 4. Gambler’s cube; 5. Campaigner’s greeting; 6. Dwarf tree; 7. Parisian pal; 8. Wedding reception staple; 9. How curses are exchanged; 10. On the upswing; 11. Works out with weights; 12. Lake next to Avon Lake; 13. Kiting necessity; 18. Harvests; 23. Sch. Monitor; 26. “American Idol” quest; 28. Pink-slip; 29. Industrious insect; 30. Spiffy; 31. Elbow-benders; 32. “General Hospital,” for one; 33. New Age superstar; 34. Throws in the trash; 38. Run on TV; 39. Add some meat to the bones; 40. Fleur-de-___; 42. Go off a diet big-time; 43. Mount of the Ten Commandments; 45. Forever and a day; 46. Manipulated, as an election; 47. Many Guinness listings; 50. Loud, as a crowd; 51. Twin of Romulus; 52. Fred’s dancing sister; 53. “Look here, old chap!”; 54. Part of Batman’s ensemble; 55. “The other white meat”; 60. “Didn’t I tell you?”; 61. ___ Guevara.


Linda G said...

I got behind in my blog reading this last week...but wanted to comment on your sunset/balloon story. The picture is stunning, and I'm certain it's one of yours. Thanks for sharing ; )

DONALD said...

I sometimes don't credit my own photo, in this case I thought it would distract from the text below. Thanks for your comment, it means a lot!

Anonymous said...

hardg? what a gal has that a gent doesn't? care to explain for a young fan, please?

much thanks for sharing the story, and the photo. =)

DONALD said...

The letter "g" has two sounds, one hard (from the back of the throat) and one soft (from more or less the front of the teeth so to speak) -- Gal is a hard G, while gent is pronounced with a soft G.

More or less.