04.11.08 -- Icebox

Friday, April 11, 2008
Click here for abridged post in LARGE PRINT.
Puzzle by Manny Nosowsky, edited by Will Shortz
One thing for sure about this Friday’s crossword puzzle and that is it has a lot of blank spaces to fill with letters that turn into words or phrases, or whatever. Now, does that excite you?! Get help! I have an excuse in that I am compelled to write this thing I’ve started writing on a daily and religious basis -- but let me tell you, if it weren’t for that fact, I’d have tossed this one aside and got on with what must be something better to do!
Six 15-letter across entries are the mainstay of this lifeless crossword -- HASALOTGOINGFOR (1. Is blessed with many assets, before “him” or “her”); IMPROVEON NATURE (16. Have cosmetic surgery, for example); PORKBARRELBILLS (17. Sources of government waste); NATIONALECONOMY (52. Gross domestic product producer); TRADITIONALIRAS (55. Some bank offerings); and ALLALONGTHELINE (56. At every point).
The remaining across clues are 18. Old Turkish Title; 19. Significant advancement; 20. Excess; 21. Awards for J.K. Rowling and P.L. Travers: Abbr.; 23. Gulf of Aqaba city; 24. Traps; 25. Like an “eh,” maybe; 27. Something that shouldn’t be left open; 28. Three-time Masters winner Nick; 29. Sensitivity; 31. One of the Jackson 5; 32. “AVEC votre permission”; 33. Fix; 34. Sounded smooth; 37. 1954 title role for Ava Gardner; 41. Singer Jamie with the 2001 #1 country song “When I Think About Angels”; 42. John; 43. It’s negative; 44. D-Day sights: Abbr.; 45. Heads of a tribe?; 47. Turkish title; 48. Onetime Bowie collaborator; 49. Fired pitcher?; and 51. Void, in Vichy.
Going down are two 8-letter entries, TERRIFIC (7. Tops) and MOVEMENT (33. Progress in negotiations); followed by sixteen 7-letter entries: HIPBONE (1. Connector in a song); AMOEBAS (2. Studies under a microscope); SPRYEST (3. Most agile); GORILLA (8. Thug); FULFILL (13. Carry out); ORLANDO (14. “As You Like It” romantic); RESTSON (15. Leans against); SAHARAS (22. Vast arid wastes); GARDENA (24. California city with a horticultural name); POLENTA (34. Alternative to pasta); UNSNARL (35. Straighten out); RETOTAL (36. Double-check, as figures); CATALOG (37. Put in a bibliography, e.g.); SIGNORI (38. Titles for Italian 31-Down); SOHUMAN (39. Words before “a Brain” and “an Animal” in book titles); and ANALYSE (40. Examine, in Exeter).
To further prove that cleverness can border on inanity, the remaining down clues are 4. Ham’s place; 5. Hardly hard questions; 8. Roundish; 9. Sometime ahead; 10. Buzzards Bay, e.g.; 11. Bags; 12. Popular Volkswagen model; 26. Carpenter’s tool; 28. Coca-Cola brand; 30. But, to Brutus; 31. See 38-Down; 42. Ohio city on Lake Erie; 45. Nearing the hour; 46. Book containing a prediction of coming of the Messiah; 49. Spring; 50. Thomas COLE, artist of the Hudson River School; 53. Home of the Salmon River Mtns.; 54. No score.
In the days before computer-aided crossword construction, one might admire such shenanigans, but as it becomes more and more evident of the over-use of computers, many crossword puzzles have less and less to do with logical communication and a whole lot to do with specialization for a few mavens while turning a fa├žade of Arctic hubris to the everyday solver…
I really must get a life!
For today’s cartoon, consult Linda at Crossword…Madness and Otherwise.
Click on image to enlarge.
Puzzle available on the internet at
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Linda G said...

Thanks for sending the cartoon seekers over...since that was all I had to offer today.

Taking the day off was just what the doctor ordered. It's too easy to get to burnout if I become a slave to the blog...I like the way mellocat worded it in her comment at Madness.

cornbread hell said...

this was ridiculously difficult. what my kids used to call a meanie-head