05.19.08 -- Nothing

Monday, May 19, 2008
Puzzle by Mike Nothnagel, edited by Will Shortz
"Nothing" is featured today -- VACANTAPARTMENT (16A. Place not generating rent), EMPTYPROMISES (24A. Guarantees that mean nothing), HOLLOW VICTORY (42A. Win that brings little actual gain) and BLANKCARTRIDGES (57A. Contents of guns used in training exercises) are the inter-related entries in this Monday back-to-work crossword puzzle.
Way to start the week, a clean slate with a SYNONYM (5D. Roget's listing) quartet -- vacant, empty, hollow, blank.

Look out though, there’s a dangerous
VORTEX (44D. Whirlpool or tornado) of TOPSY-turvy (18D.) doings in this one -- AMPUP (41A. Increase) the PHASER (6D. “Star Trek” weapon), REAIM (30A. Point again, as a gun) for the commute -- there’s HERDS (64A. Groups of buffalo) and a FLOCK (40D. Group watched by Little Bo Peep) all GIDDY (36A. Euphoric) and MAD (28D. Off one’s rocker) and Stubborn as AMULE (15A.) from a weekend of SWAG (8D. Booty) and a SIDECAR (49A. Brandy cocktail) or a few! PSST (6A. “Hey…over here!”) if you’re INKNOTS (19A. Feeling tied up, as a stomach) -- it won’t be ASBAD (46D. Equally awful) as DYS (62A. Bad: Prefix) or dat, but don’t Slip ACOG (blunder) (50A.) -- just heed those OMENS (43D. Black cats and broken mirrors, by tradition) and GOAS (38A. Pretend to be, as at a Halloween party) you are -- AONE (15A. Absolutely the best)!
People in the puzzle include JOEPISCOPO (10D. Portrayer of Frank Sinatra on “Saturday Night Live”), PATCHADAMS (26D. 1998 Robin Williams title role), JIM (10A. PBS newsman Lehrer), “The Cat and the Curmudgeon” author Cleveland AMORY (13A.), HOWE (14A. Inventor Elias), EDIE (53D. Actress McClurg), a GROUPIE (20A. Rock band follower); man’s best friend represented by FIDO (40A. Pal for Spot or Rover) and RIN Tin Tin (58D); a GIANT (61A. New York footballer); Eli LILLY and Company (47D.), the guy from ISPY (34D. 1960s Bill Cosby TV series); GIL (36D. Baseball great Hodges), and an OKIE (60A. Dust Bowl migrant) sitting atop GENX (63A. Baby boomers’ kids, informally).
TOMBS (1A. The pyramids, for pharaohs) opens this crossword containing the remains of sensibly clued acrosses 21. “The first NOEL, the angel did say…”; 23. Worked at, as a trade; 31. Crimped, as hair; 32. Hit CBS drama with two spinoffs; 35. Formal entrance; 39. Without a prescription: Abbr.; 46. Avis competitor; 48. Post-it, e.g.; 52. Warms up again; and 59. Offerings to the poor -- ALMS.
That brave little mongoose Rikki-Tikki-TAVI (1D.) heads the downs which include 2. Neighbor of Yemen; 3. Make fun of; 4. Kellogg’s Raisin BRAN; 7. Soak (up); 9. Ariz., e.g., before 1912; 11. Concave belly button; 12. Rationed (out); 17. Feature of many a sports car; 24. Therefore; 25. Vegetarians avoid it (actually they eschew it!); 27. Common Father’s Day gift; 29. Climbing vine; 33. Suffix with dino-; 37. Words before “You may kiss the bride”; 38. London hrs.; 41. A pair of deuces beats it; 45. Anatomical passage; 51. Clean up leaves, e.g.; 54. Food thickener; 55. Care for, with “to”; and -- what would a Monday puzzle be without it -- SSTS (56D. Fleet that was permanently retired in 2003).
That’s the LOWDOWN (22D. Scuttlebutt) on this one -- a great little nothing!
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Puzzle available on the internet at
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