Monday, June 23, 2008
Puzzle by Andrea Carla Michaels and Patrick Blindauer, edited by Will Shortz
Four across entries of consoling clichés are the feature of this Monday back-to-work crossword -- WINSOMELOSESOME (17. Words to a fourth runner-up), YOUDIDYOURBEST (26. Words to a third runner-up), WESTILLLOVEYOU (43. Words to a second runner-up) and CLOSEBUTNOCIGAR (58. Words to a first runner-up). Whether any one of the remarks belongs to a particular level of runner-up is of little or no practical value. In any event, this is a fine, compact and neat crossword with which to begin the week or -- as time goes by!
EATME (42A. Alice’s cake instruction); IBET (15A. “Yeah, right!”); HUSH (25D. Word to a crying child); BAA (59D. Sheep’s bleat); and 49D. “I cannot tell ALIE”, join the conversation.
Two eight-letter entries, TESTTUBE (4D. Science lab glassware) and PAYSLIPS (39D. Salary indicators) are the only other long entries in the crossword, followed by two six-letter entries, TEASET (44D. Cups, saucers, sugar bowl, etc.) and ABSORB (10D. What paper towels do).
CLOG (11D. What paper towels do to a toilet) sits next to ABSORB’s claim for paper towel functionality, joining two more Shortzesque sets of near-identical twins -- ALIEN (14A. Martian, e.g.) and ETS (9D. Martians, e.g., for short); DRILL (28D. Dentist’s tool) and RINSE (41D. Dentist’s direction).
Personages include BOGIE (22A. “Casablanca” star, informally); KLEE (37A. Swiss artist Paul); PAAR (39A. Jack who pioneered late-night talk); MIMI (12D. “La Bohème” soprano); NANA (56D. “Peter Pan” dog); ALAN (65A. Lawyer Dershowitz); ERATO (31D. Poet’s Muse); EBERT (19D. Film critic Roger); SHAMU (32D. Killer whale that does tricks); GORE (50D. Al of “An Inconvenient Truth”); a YALIE (26D. New Haven Collegian) and SANTA (1A. Annual sleigh driver) making his first summer appearance.
Other five-letter entries are ESSAY (66A. Op-ed piece); OMENS (27D. Signs for good or ill); OUTDO (30D. Surpass); RILED (41A. Irked); ROUST (35A. Push out of bed); SAGAS (48A. Norse myths, e.g.); SAMBA (34A. Latin dance); UPONE (63A. Ahead by a point); WIDTH (38A. Height’s companion); YODEL (29D. Call in the Alps).
Short fill -- ABLE, AIRE, ALIT, ANO, ANON, ARNO, BEET, CEOS, CUE, EGOS, EIN, ELS, EPEE, ETNA, HEAT, HER, HURL, IDA, IRES, LENT, MINI (and MIMI), NINA (and NANA), PACE, PIER, RHO, SAWS, SCAB, SKEW, STAT, TIN, TORE (and GORE), TREY and WILD.
Oh, and it’s always nice to have an entry/clue with which to END (46A. Finish up).
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