05.30.08 -- Rigmarole

Illustration from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript of
Loki, a villainous Norse deity with the ability to transmogrify.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Click here for abridged post in LARGE PRINT.

Puzzle by Nathan Last, edited by Will Shortz

RIGMAROLE (1A. Elaborate procedure) leads off this crossword as the first entry and amusingly finishes with IAMSODEAD (60A. “My parents are gonna kill me!”) -- in between we are treated to such fun fare as BEESKNEES (16A. Living end); CANITRYSOME (21D. Question while eying someone else’s plate); TAKETHERAP (25D. Be a whipping boy); FLYSOLO (39D. Eschew aid) which no one in this heavily populated puzzle will do, for there is plenty of company.

LOKI (34A. Shape-shifting giant of myth) headlines this puzzle's large cast of characters which include a JERK (10A. Creep); ASTA (38A. Four-legged film star of the ‘30s); an ORYX (46A. Animal some believe to be the source of the unicorn myth) AMONG (17A. In with) homo sapiens READE (19A. “The Wandering Heir” novelist, 1872); COEN (21A. “The Big Lebowski” director); STYNE (35A. “Just in Time” composer); ERROL (54A. “The Fog of War” director Morris); CHICOMARX (55A. Old comedian known for his unique piano-playing style); ILER (2D. He played on of TV’s Sopranos); ACKROYD (5D. Peter who wrote “The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde”); EDSEL (9D. Old bomb); JIMIHENDRIX (10D. Follower of Sha Na Na at Woodstock); SHEA (50D. Jets used to be seen there); SADE (35D. She had a 1993 hit with “No Ordinary Love”); RICCI (45D. Golden Globe-nominated actress for “The Opposite of Sex,” 1998); RANEES (6D. Eastern Royals); OCEANAUTS (7D. Sealab inhabitants); and a PIXIE (15A. Playful trickster).

Dry stuff includes OLEICACID (14A. Soapmaking compound); OBELISK (42A. Luxor Temple sight); ERECTS (43D. Assembles); EXONERATES (11D. Clears); ANABOLISM (32D. Process of molecular synthesis); TETRAD (47A. The classical elements, e.g.); NTEST (47A. Big bang creator); and the very wet LETHE (22A. River in Hades).

Dante submerged in the River Lethe, by Gustave Dore: illustration from The Purgatorio.


Action, emotion and condition includes LIED (8D Invented things); STAYSAT (24A. Occupies); LEERAT (27A. Not view innocently); STAND (30A. Something to take in court); NAPE (33A. Rabbit punch landing site); FREED (39A. Let out); HYPER (44A. Bouncing off the walls); SEAMY (57A. Squalid); TYPE (59A. Disclosure on eHarmony); MIS (4D. Fire starter?); RINK (12D. Flames shoot in it); PASTE (15D. Belt); STONE (24D. Pit); Sneak APEEK (28D.); SINKS (20A. Settles); AXED (53D. Dumped); APTLY (41D. Well); and MAD (56D. Unbalanced).

TEND (29D. Lean) and DTEN (36A. Call in the game Battleship) pair up anagrammatically mid-puzzle -- the remaining clues are the acrosses 18. Where to find lifesavers, for short; 31. Orsk is on it; 37. “Without ANET” (Grateful Dead album); 49. Keys; 51. Org. that can’t be lax about LAX?. The downs include 1. Something to put on before trying?; 3. Goes right; 13. They’re tapped; 23. Publication with an annual “Green Issue”); 26. “TRYTO Forget” (Harbach/Kern tune); 30. Plane wing part; 47. Leaves home?; 48. One before four; 51. Top pick, slangily; 52. Scena segment.

Did I forget CESTLAVIE (58A. “Oh well”)!


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