04.04.08 -- Q as in...

Friday, April 4, 2008

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Puzzle by David Quarfoot, edited by Will Shortz

Initials take prevalence in this crossword puzzle with such fare as DNATURAL (16A. Accidental in the key of B or E); SUPERG (17A. Olympic even since 1988); ATT (18A. Call letters); SMORES (20A. Three-ingredient treats); FMAJOR (23A. Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony is in it); IRSAUDIT (53A. Dodger’s dread?); ATV (49A. Yamaha product, briefly); USSTEEL (15D. Largest tenant of Pittsburgh’s tallest skyscraper); JOHNQ (26D. 2002 Denzel Washington drama); VIPPASS (39D. It might get you backstage); AARP (47D. Powerful D.C. lobby); VTEN (51D. Powerful engine); and UPI (54D. News inits.), together with such shortenings as ESPO (10D. 1969 AND 1974 Hart Trophy winner, familiarly); INRE (12D. About); ALTHO (25D. Poetic conjunction); POPS (44D. Old man); and QUEENMUM (27A. Noted centenarian of 2000 familiarly). The latter had the same birthday as Roger Clemens, Barack Obama and me!

QUEENMUM holds court over a queue of Q’s in the puzzle, nine words beginning with the letter, including QUIETGAME (33Parent’s ruse to hush noisy kids); QUELL (35A. Silence); QTS (22A. Peck parts: Abbr.); QUILT (22D. It often gets down); QUEST (27D. Pursuit); QUINT (33D. Rare delivery); QUETZAL (35D. Guatemala’s national bird); and QUIZNOS (38D. “Mmmmm … Toasty!”); along with three crossing words containing the letter -- REHNQUIST (37A. Burger replacement), ELOQUENT (40A. One way to wax), and the aforementioned JOHNQ -- provoke one to note that Q is the initial of the author of the puzzle, especially since the Q’s are arranged flamboyantly in a diagonal row a little off-center of the diagram as a whole.

ADAMSALE (1A. Abstainer’s order) is after all just water; LIMETREE (14A. Linden); SAMSPADE (56A. Sleuth who “looked rather pleasantly like a blond satan”); and THESIREN (58A. Spellbinding “Batman” villainess played by Joan Collins) are the remaining eight-letter entries. Seven-letter entries include: STUDIOS (5D. Places to make racks); DRUMSET (9D. Band ensemble).

Six-letters: URSINE (15A. Like some cubs); KIOSKS (41A. Stands in line at an airport?); PIZAZZ (44A. Dash); ORIANA (52A. Title woman of a film that won the 1985 Camera d’Or); PATROL (55A. Do borderline work?); ARREAR (8D. Unfulfilled duty); and KISSME (41D. Pecking order?).

Five-letters: DEVIL (9A. Ranger rival); ROLOS (32A. Chocolate snacks); VITAL (39A. Key); SNIPS (57A. Small pieces); LEANN (7D. Rimes with “Blue”); FRERE (23D. RĂ©union reunion attendee);
MOSEL (24D. German wine region); NGAIO (28D. Contemporary of Agatha and Erle); MASTS (29D. Pair from a deck, maybe); UMIAK (30D. Literally, “women’s boat”); MEALS (31D. Board); and SARAH (43D. Miles of film).

Four-letter fill includes ALDA, DINT, AMAT, VIER, EELS, LEGS, IRAN, ZITI, ADAR, GIST, TIDE, DENS, ESTH, ASIA, and GASP; three-letters IAN, ITT, SIP, UPI; and ,of course, none of two, but a Q as in...



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THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games

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Across: 19. Retreats; 21. Producer/director ___ MacNaughton of Monty Python; 34. Job preceder: Abbr.; 36. Silk Road locale; 42. Member f an “ooky” sitcom family; 43. Take in tentatively; 48. Betray horror. Down: 1. Tynan player in “The Seduction of Joe Tynan”; 2. Force; 3. End of a loving trio; 4. Huddled (with); 8. Catch in pots; 11. Number between drei and funf; 13. Staying power; 45. Modern home of ancient Medes; 46. Feeding tubes; 48. Meat; 49. When the Feast of Lots is observed; 50. Periodic riser.

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