07.23.08 -- Alas, no ZSAZSA!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Puzzle by Henry Quillen, edited by Will Shortz
Interrelated entries in this Wednesday wonder are contained in a whirling pattern of faint circles in the diagram meeting at the center of the grid with ATOZTOA crossing ARIZONA, anchoring two arms of A to Z and Z to A entries.
Diagonally from upper left to down right are a string of entries in the circles, alternating entries that start with Z first and end with A last with entries that start with A first and end with Z last and exchanging order in the center of the puzzle -- ZIMA (1A. Coors product), ARROZ (4D. Ingrediente en paella), ZESTA (23A. Keebler cracker brand), ARIZONA (24D. Flagstaff‘s place), ADBIZ (52A. Madison Ave. trade), ZEENA (53D. Ethan Frome’s wife) and ANTZ (70A. Animated film hit of 1998).
Again, diagonally, this time from lower left to upper right are the second string of entries in circles, alternating with entries that this time start with A first and end with Z last with entries that start with Z first and end with A last, and again exchanging order in the center of the puzzle -- ARNAZ (58A. Ball’s comic partner), ALCATRAZ (39D. The Rock), ATOZTOA (39A. Theme of this puzzle), 9D. Cubic ZIRCONIA (gem) and ZAPPA (9A. Frank in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame).
That still leaves plenty of room for GOURMANDS (17A. Lovers of fine fare) and 63A. Queen HENRIETTA Maria, mother of England’s Charles II and James II, along with a BRASSHAT (5D. Military bigwig) who may have WENTTOPOT (6D. Deteriorated), and the STRIDENCE (36D. Harsh quality) of an OILBARON (40D. Getty or Rockefeller).
BWAY (5A. N.Y.C. theater area) and the world of showbiz are represented by MYWAY (33D. Ol’ Blue Eyes classic), the teams of MEARA (65A. Stiller’s comic partner) and ARNAZ (68A. Ball’s comic partner), the aforementioned ZAPPA, a SOLOIST (20A. Recital player), along with a smattering of other personages -- RENE (15A. Surrealist Magritte), ITOO (2D. Langston Hughes poem), TORI (44A. Famous Amos), EOS (25A. Aurora’s Greek counterpart), a BOT (26A. Sci-fi sidekick, maybe), NARZ (61D. Onetime “Concentration” host Jack), SHOR (29A. Restaurateur Toots), someone with an ANONYM (30A. Assumed name), ACHESON (10D. Truman’s last secretary of state), EDW (41A. One of eight Eng. Kings), NILS (48A. Guitarist Lofgren), 18D. Architect Ludwig MIES van der Rohe, BABYM (26D. Child in a 1980s custody case), a DAMA (54D. Lady of Spain), 64D. Schubert’s “The ERL-King", and MUNICH brings to mind (46A. Birthplace of Richard Strauss), "Thus Spoke Zarathustra."
Conversational entries are headlined by 8A. Sammy Davis Jr.s “YESI Can” and includes ICHAT (16A. Apple instant-messaging program), AHH (34A. “That feels great”), 42A. “YOULL regret it!”, SAY (50A. “For example …“, NAE (51A. Highlands refusal), 62A. “Be ADEAR and …”, 67A.“NEAR as I can tell …”; OHYOU (27D. “What a kidder!”), YADDA (32D. When said three times, “et cetera”), SISI (49D. “Of course, señor!”) and 60D. “Let’s leave ITAT that!”
DELETES (54A. Redlines), EASESIN (58A. Begins slowly), INCENSE (21A. Madden, and how) and LINEARA (43D. Ancient Cretan writing system) complete the group of long entries.

THEUN (28D. N.Y.C. country club?), and ZIGS.
Alas, no ZSAZSA!
For today’s cartoon, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.
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Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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Search information -- Across: 14. ___-Tass news agency; River flowing into and out of Lake Geneva; 35. Honeybee genus; 37. Bit of dental work, 38. Free pass, of sorts;66. Sacramento’s ___ Arena; 69. Secluded area. Down: 1. Goes this way before that; 3. Rough up; 7. What’s more; 11. Unit of loudness; 12. Producers’ fears; 13. Faultlessly, after “to”; 22. Three R’s org.; 31. Cubs, but not Bears, for short; 47. Part of a bray; 55. German river to the Fulda; 56. Show preference; 57. Layered haircut; 59. 9-mm. gun of W.W. II.


Anonymous said...

This is NOT the puzzle in today's NY Times! What happened?

DONALD said...

anonymous 9:34

There is some confusion in the publication of the syndicated puzzle; however, the printed NYT today appears to have the ATOZTOA puzzle.

Is it the syndicated puzzle to which you refer?

If so, what puzzle appears, and what newspaper -- with a little help, perhaps we can figure this out so that future puzzles can appear at the time of publication.


Vicki said...

28 Down: the U.N. Country club - get it?

I enjoy your blog very much.

Anonymous said...


There's an explaination (of sorts) on page A4 of today's print version.

The *wrong* puzzle is indeed the one from last June.

Anonymous said...


The following correction appeared in today's paper:

Crossword Puzzle

Because of a production error, some copies of Wednesday’s paper contain an outdated crossword puzzle and its solution. If you look here first, proceed with caution. If the answer in the solution to one across also appears in the puzzle above it, you have a paper with the wrong crossword. If the solution to one across matches Tuesday’s puzzle, you’re in the clear, and on your own.

The outdated puzzle appears to be this one from last June. I assume they'll print both puzzles tomorrow or something, or subscribers can complete the puzzle online or download it in Across Lite format on the Times' puzzle page.

DONALD said...


Right you are -- that UN clue is cool!