04.29.08 -- SYZYGY

Syzygy, stained glass by Carl Powell
Tuesday, April 29, 2008

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Puzzle by Will Nediger, edited by Will Shortz
Five alphabetical syzygies are the inter-related entries of today’s crossword: ALLTHATJAZZ (17A. Semiauto- biographical Bob Fosse film); ALEXRODRIGUEZ (38A. A.L. M.V.P. in 2003, 2005 and 2007); APOLLOSOYUZ (60A. 1970s joint U.S./Soviet space project); ASHKENAZ (12D. Namesake of a branch of Judaism); and ALCATRAZ (38D. The Rock) -- that is to say, each entry begins with the letter A and ends with the letter Z.
SYZYGY (46D. Alignment of the sun, earth and moon, e.g.) is given an astronomical definition; however, it has a broader meaning, as defined in Webster’s:
Beyond that, this crossword puzzle’s entries are like bumper cars at an amusement park -- BATTY (4D. Loco) and CRAZED (48D. Loco), the requisite Shortzesque twin clues are a good definition. Can’t remember seeing KALKAN (2D. Brand name in dog food) and OSAKAN (8D. Resident of Japan’s “second city”) on the same page. Bashing about are JAG and ZAG, LIZ and IZE, UGH and URN, EWOK and EXES, EZRA and UZI, and the wee and wild PYX ramming about with TANYA, TARTAN, TASK, TECHNO, TOJO, TUNES and TYPE, leaving the only other long entries, JACOBITE (11D. Supporter of the House of Stuart) and LAGRANGE (39D. Georgia city or college), IDLING (3D. In neutral) in a LAZE (10D. Loll).
This puzzle also HADAGO (14A. Tried one’s hand [at]) such fare as The Beatles’ “I Am the WALRUS” (23A.) and WAGERS (34D. Exactas and trifectas); SKIBUM (1A. No stranger to the slopes) and SHASTA (1D. Daisy developed by Luther Burbank); NEWLINE (33A. “Lord of the Rings” studio); New Jersey’s MCGUIRE Air Force Base (43A.); RETINA (27D. Eye part); RUPAUL (40D. Drag performer with a wax likeness in New York’s Madame Tussauds) and ALEXEI (25D. Only son of Czar Nicholas II); AIRDRY (32D. Hang on the line) and SERUMS (35D. Blood fluids) -- rounding out with OBEYED (68D. Followed orders),JINGLE Bells” (65A.), BLARED (41A. Trumpeted) and EUROPE (44A. It was divided by the Iron Curtain).
MOAB? UGH! SFC? Get out the FERULE (47D. Punishing rod)!

The ROLL (7A. Bun) call Across: 11. Sporty auto, for short; 15. Mongolia’s home; 16. Cigarette’s end; 19. Tai CHI (meditative martial art); 20. “Saturday Night Live” bit; 21. Schnoz; 22. Creature from the forest moon of Endor; 24. Country singer Tucker; 26. Blacken on the barbecue; 28. Laid up; 30. “Brokeback Mountain” director Lee; 31. “Well, LAH-di-dah!”; 35. River along the Quai d’Orsay; 37. Highlander’s textile pattern; 42. Things to whistle; 45. Bogey beater; 46. Certain NCO; 49. “Getting close”; 50. Arizona birthplace of Cesar Chavez; 52. More cunning; 54. It’s a piece of work; 56. Decisive defeat; 58. Book after II Chronicles; 59. Part of a coffee service; 63. Sharp turn; 64. Ilk; 66. Suffix with modern; 67. Former mates.
The DEN (29D. Cub’s place) of Downs: 5. “Yecch!”; 6. Ancient land along the Dead Sea; 7. Eastern prince; 9. Clairborne of fashion; 13. 4, on a keypad; 36. Summer hrs. along the Atlantic; 41. Audi competitor; 51. Lawn diggers; 53. Spaghetti western director Sergio; 55. Actress Winslet; 57. Hitler : Germany :: TOJO : Japan; 59. Gun in an action film; 61. Eucharist vessel; 62. Sis or bro.
About that bumper car analogy -- one last look -- HERE!
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karmasartre said...

Donald, Loved the Bumper Girls.

DONALD said...


They are lovely.