04.21.08 -- Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning -- Mark Keathley
Monday, April 21, 2008
Click here for abridged post in LARGE PRINT.
Puzzle by Janet R. Bender, edited by Will Shortz
CLEANSLATE (18A. Symbol of a new start); SCRUBOAK (20A. Low-growing tree found typically in rocky soil); SWEEPHAND (33A. It indicates the seconds on a clock face); DUSTDEVIL (40A. Small whirlwind); WASHSALE (52A. Stock transaction done at a loss for tax purposes); VACUUMTUBE (57A. Old radio part) are the inter-related entries of this Monday back-to-work puzzle.
Getting one’s surroundings in order, of course, is more complex than just cleaning, scrubbing, sweeping, dusting, washing and vacuuming, but spring cleaning days are here, and on the eve of Earth Day, this crossword is an appropriate reminder of chores to be performed. Recycling, of course, is an important consideration, as is conservation and preservation. Let’s clear out this crossword by using it's words!
Spring's in the AIR (48D. It’s about 78% nitrogen) and there are SEEDS (13D. Does some spring farmwork) to be planted, later to REAP (1A. Does some fall farmwork), remember, no ALAR (3D. Banned spray on apple trees), perhaps cleaning the EAVES (45D, Roof’s edge), watch your STEP (15A. Ladder rung), oh and do the GLASS (9A. Windshield material) -- in a LULL (10D. Pause) catch a few RAYS (1D. Sunbeams), wander through ARDEN (43A. “As You Like It” forest) with a NET (49A. Butterfly catcher) or be one that SWIMS (30A. Does the butterfly, e.g.). Perhaps ESCORT (5D. Debutante’s date) your SWAIN (30D. Lover) to your respective ZOOS (28D. Places with exotic animals) to espy some ROOS (37A. Aussie jumpers), or go to a SPA (8D. Fat farm).
The IRS (23A. Tax org.) has your return for the YEAR (17A. Twelvemonth), hope for no audit, just APERCU (50A. Hasty glance) by a HARD (26D. Difficult) nosed accountant somewhere in PERU (4D. Lima’s land). Our banks are now SITED (12D. Put in place) o’er the ATLAS (6D. Book of maps) we fear, tax forms floated by NAVIES (19A. Forces at sea) ASEA (61A. Out of harbor) with a shiploads of HAZMAT (26A. Dangerous cargo) and ETAIL (60A. Commerce on the Web). Yes, your bank accounts’ RIFLED (44A. Ransacked and robbed), but that’s knowledge at ERST (65A. Once, long ago).
Visitors are here with one DRACULA (41D. Bram Stoker novel) by GASLAMP (9D. Old-fashioned light), issuing a REEK (7D. Smell horrible) that we may Go to rack and RUIN (51D.). At the NABES (49D. Local theaters, in slang) we might find EVA (24A. Actress Longoria); AUDIE (16A. Actor Murphy of old westerns); or EWELL (24D. Actor Tom of “The Girl Can’t Help It”). Legendary Washington hostess Perle MESTA (29D.) may have a guest or two, perhaps ALOU (27D. Baseball’s Felipe or Jesus), the MAGI (62A. Visitors to baby Jesus) who'll perform Fugard’s “A Lesson From ALOES” (32A.) with ADAIR (11D. Red who fought oil well fires), and then serving everyone MEALS (38A. Three squares, e.g.) done MEDIUM (38D. Steak order), EARS (5A. Servings of corn) and PECAN (47D. Pie-nut); all sprinkled with SENNA (63A. Drug-yielding shrub) by an outgoing EXEC (2D. Prez or veep), ALLIED (22A. Joined by treaty) in oil.
No time or room left for such as ERIE Lackawanna (bygone railroad) (39A.), Asia’s ARAL Sea (34D.), DEED (36D. Land owner’s document), PLANE (42A. Carpenter’s tool), RDS (25A. Byways: Abbr.), AXLE (14A. Auto shaft), or NINE (35D. Three’s opposite on a clock face) -- for where they’d fit in, we’d need ESP (45A. Seer’s gift, briefly)!
So get out that AJAX (59A. “Stronger than dirt” sloganeer) in the corner with AJAR (54D. Not quite closed), go into a SPATE (46D. Sudden outpouring), turn on the TAP (58D. Faucet) -- don’t be a WUSS (52D. Pantywaist), clear off that SHELF (31D. Bookcase part), get everything SITED (12D. Put in place); SEVER (33D. Cut apart) from clutter without BIAS (21D. Favoritism or discrimination), get to the PITH (42D. Central part) of what LAGS (55D. Doesn’t keep up) in your world, no more of the SAME (53D. Unchanged) -- RESEAT (44D. Usher again) your life, it’s time for spring cleaning!
With that, I EXIT (56D. Number on an interstate sign) -- PSST (64A. “Hey!“), Earth Day tomorrow!
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Jed the Humanoid said...

thanks for the help. sometimes mondays are still hard for me.

DONALD said...


you're welcome, hard is relative -- as for the busboy business, you must be a very fine actor!

Yup, I read your blog!