04.02.08 -- Monkey Business

Cheeta, (pictured above with “Boy”) the male chimpanzee most famous for his roles in Tarzan movies of the 1930s and 1940s, also became the longest-lived nonhuman primate on record in 1996 when he turned 64. As of 2008, he is still alive (at age 76 on April 9th), living at a desert sanctuary named after him: C.H.E.E.T.A. (which stands for Creative Habitats and Enrichment for Endangered & Threatened Apes). He is reputedly an enthusiastic painter, and his paintings are sold to benefit the sanctuary.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Puzzle by Patrick Merrell, edited by Will Shortz
HAPPYBIRTHDAYTO (16A. Step 1: Highlight this answer); CIRCLELETTERSTO (27A. Step 2: With 43- and 55-Across, do this in the grid [scrambled or not] … it works for almost anyone!); SPELLOUTTHENAME (43A. See 27-Across); OFYOURRECIPIENT (55A. See 27-Across) are the inter-related entries of today’s crossword -- should one add 47A. With 48-Across, “ …and that AINT HAY!” (43A. See 27-Across)?
It would be a shame to waste the sentiment, so I tried to sandwich CHEETA into the space allotted for THELMA (31D. Louise’s cinematic partner), mistaking Louise for Maureen (O'Sullivan). What?! UGH (8D. Cry before or after sticking out the tongue)! These long original-quote crosswords are nearly as impersonal as a computer-generated birthday greeting, but here goes!
Pictured in the inset poster (click on image to enlarge) with O'Sullivan and Weissmuller -- Cheeta has outlived both his human Tarzan costars. Johnny Weissmuller, who played the lead, died in 1984 aged 79, and Maureen O'Sullivan, who was Jane, died in 1998 at 87.
Oh, and the rest of the Puzzle -- fill, fill, fill!
Across: 1. Indian music; 5. 12-time Pro Bowl pick Junior SEAU; 9. N.F.L. game divs.; 13. Close to closed; 14. In debt; 15. Europe/Asia boundary river; 19. Strainer; 20. Sailor’s “Stop!”; 21. Wharf workers’ org.; 24. Little Rock-to-Birmingham dir.; 25. Demolish; 33. How Santa dresses, mostly; 34. Saturday worshipers; 35. Electrical law maker; 36. Diamond of note; 37. Build ANEST (settle down); 39. Canadian native; 40. Fellow, in British slang; 41. Co. figure; 42. Belfry sound; 49. End of a machine gun sound; 50. “Star Wars” title; 53. The heart in “I Love New York” signs, e.g.; 61. Big name in supercomputers; 62. Set one’s sights on; 63. Sleep symbols; 64. Prime coffee-growing area in Hawaii; 65. Ferris wheel site; 66. North Sea feeder.
Down: 1. Good cheer?; 2. Steely Dan’s best-selling album; 3. Feature of Alfred E. Neuman’s smile; 4. Some Dada prints; 5. Feature of many an office chair; 6. Green land; 7. Figure on a hill; 9. Eighth note; 10. TRYA Little Tenderness” (1960s hit); 11. “Darn it all!”; 12. Part of a schedule; 14. Overly large; 17. End-of-ramp directive; 18. Stuns; 21. Bakers’ coats; 22. A Suspect might appear in one; 23. Make it; 25. Sts. And rds.; 26. Periodic table no.; 28. Framable frame; 29. Bounce; 30. Irritated with; 32. Western OMELET; 37. Nerve appendage; 38 Like “das” in Ger.; 39. King’s employer; 41. Root who won the 1912 Nobel Peace Prize; 42. Excite; 44. One of the Jacksons; 45. 1977 James Brolin thriller with the tagline “What EVIL drives …”; 46. Usually black garb; 50. Where to tie one on?; 51. Rounded hairdo; 52. Meg of “You’ve Got Mail”; 53. Do followers; 54. Tag info; 56. Part of Britain’s mil.; 57. Estuary; 58. Reef dweller; 59. Grain Belt state: Abbr.; 60. “The Waste Land” poet’s monogram.
For today's cartoon, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.
Click on image to enlarge.
Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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chalam said...

sorry, but even with the answers, I still don't understand how you get to "Cheeta".

DONALD said...


The "greeting card" entries of the puzzle state:

"Circle the letters to spell out the name of your recipient" -- CIRCLELETTERSTO (27A. Step 2: With 43- and 55-Across, do this in the grid [scrambled or not] … it works for almost anyone!); SPELLOUTTHENAME (43A. See 27-Across); OFYOURRECIPIENT -- enlarge the image of the puzzle to see the circles.

I gather the idea is that one can send it to almost anyone -- it appears all the letters of the alphabet are contained in the puzzle, so circle what you need.

In crosswordese, this is often referred to as a "pangram", a misapplied term; however, many inappropriate terms are used by "mavens" in the blogosphere, unless, of course, it's not in "their Websters"!

Have a good day!

Anonymous said...

This concept is too nebulous, even for Will Shortz

Anonymous said...

I couldn't wrap my head around this puzzle at all. I would never have gotten to 'cow' had I not cheked your blog.
Still had trouble. Just my head, I think.


Linda G said...

Catching up on my blog reading...my bad.

Cheeta was a good choice for your birthday greeting. Thanks for the update on him and a link to the organization that bears his name.

DONALD said...

anonymous april 3 @ 12:38 pm:

I seemed to remember that this device (a crossword birthday card) was used once before, so I went on that assumption -- however, as you say, it was a bit of trouble!

I was inspired by wanting to get Cheeta's birthday posted!

DONALD said...

linda g -- isn't it something that he's still kicking?! It appears from his birthday celebration video of last year that he's kept his sense of humor -- home us humans can do the same when we get around to his age!

I will probably find a way to link this post to the one on the 9th to make note of his 76th birthday on that date -- it'll probably be in the "news" also.

Perhaps even a little attention here and there can help save our 80% relatives!