05.01.08 -- GROSS GimmICK

I Am Glad I Came Back -- “…I go on with my work, it changes and all of a sudden there is fire and ruins and mud and grim debris all over...as if somebody more knowing and utterly destructive is leading me on.” -- George Grosz

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Click here for abridged post in LARGE PRINT.

Puzzle by Jim Leeds, edited by Will Shortz

Today’s puzzle features nine squares barely able to hold the letters ICK, which is fully intended to be an expression of revulsion, as clued by the central across entry GROSS (38. “That’s repulsive!” … or a hint to this puzzle‘s theme) -- WARNING, don‘t go HERE!

The across entries containing the nine multiple-letter squares are MRPICKWICK (17. Club founder and president in an 1836 Dickens novel); DROPKICKER (18. Field goal attempter, once); MONICKER (36A. Handle); SNICKERS (41. 6th Avenue alternative); BUICK (53. Century, e.g.); BREADSTICK (59. Crispy appetizer); QUICKTRICK (61. Easy winner in bridge). The corresponding down entries are STICKS (4. Boonies); SNICK and Snee (6.); CHICKENLICKEN (11. Hysterical hen of fable); STICKWICKETS (35. Awkward situations, informally); CLICKER (52. Quiz show gizmo); TICKET (56. Amusement park purchase); and PICKAT (58. Eat without enthusiasm).

All of the above, and for that matter, the remainder of the puzzle, fairly well exists to support the ICK gimmick; however, few of them are of help in the divination of the squares containing ICK. One is left constantly wondering where to stick the next ICK! I got my first ICKs in the upper left corner and my last licks with ICKs weren’t ICKs at all, for I tried to stick an ICK in the upper right corner, but it just wouldn’t fit!

ACK (10D. When repeated, antiaircraft fire), no relation -- leads off the barrage of the nonsensical abbreviation/ crosswordese parade which always exist in this genre, including ACTE, ANNO, ANTE, ARTS, AST, ATL, AYN, BBLS, CHE, CHEZ, DADO, DSC, ESA, EZRA, GMC, HOT, LASH, LETS, NEXT, NSA, QBS, RBI, SEXT, SYST, TEES and UREY.

The longer entries sans multiple-letter squares include LASTDROP (33A. Tiniest bit at the bottom of a coffee cup); SEGMENTS (43A. Grapefruit units); TOWERED (5D. Stood tall); MEASURE (44D. Dram or gram); BEASTS (1A. Unicorns and griffins); ALSTON (14A. Ex-Dodger manager Walter); SEENAS (28A. Perceived to be); Free STATER (1850s abolitionist) (46A.); BRAISE (64A. Brown and simmer); SETTER (67A. Gun dog); STRUTS (8D. Parade walks); RUNNER (27D. Hall floor cover); STEELY (28D. Unbending); and STETHO (46D. Chest: Prefix).
The middling group of five letters are BOISE (20A. Oregon Trail fort); MOUTH (21A. Sass);THORN (26A. Cause of a sore spot); TULSA (30A. City on the Arkansas); According to HOYLE (45A.); WYATT (47A. Sir Thomas who introduced the sonnet to England); DIETS (55A. Waist removal regimens?); SPOOL (57A. Plaything for a kitty); BAMBA (1D. 1959 pop hit, after “La”); ELROY (2D. The Jetson boy); Take out for ASPIN (3D.); CLOTH (9D. Draper’s offering); PHOTO (9D. Start to finish?); MINOR (21D. College student’s declaration); BERGS (25D. Arctic castoffs); Deaf as APOST (29D.); MSGTS (36D. Ones graded E-8 in the Army); SEANS (39D. Opinionated Hannity and others); READD (42D. Check the figures, possibly); TISCH (48D. Former CBS chief Laurence); GOTIT (50D. “Under- stood!”); and MORSE code (51D.).
Great puzzle, GROSS GimmICK!
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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Across: 7. U.S. Army award: Abbr.; 10. Part of une piece de theatre; 15. What SSTs crossed: Abbr.; 16. Word in a French party invitation; 22. Spanish pronoun; 23. Author Rand; 24. Box score no.; 37. Deal preceder; 40. Cry at a doctor’s office; 49. Intel org.; 50. Big inits. In trucks; 62. “I’m game if you’re game!”; 63. What: It.; 65. Meth.; 66. In great demand. Down: 7. Pedestal part; 12. Tourist shop display; 13. Cornell of university fame; 31. Noon service, to ecclesiastics; 32. Beaux ___; 33. You may get an extended one at a salon; 34. Cornerstone word; 53. Oil qty.; 54. 1934 Chemistry Nobelist Harold; 60. N.Y.C. hrs. + 1; 61. N.F.L. hurlers.

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