07.08.09 -- AURA

Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Puzzle by Andrea Carla Michaels, edited by Will Shortz
Today's lighter-than-air crossword features five interrelated entries with first-syllable homophones -- AIRJORDAN (16. Big name in athletic shoes); HEIRTOTHETHRONE (22. Prince); EREISAWELBA (37. End of a Napoleonic palindrome); AIREDALETERRIER (52. Black-and-tan purebred); AERLINGUS (61. Carrier with a shamrock logo).
AURA (14. Surrounding glow), which can be defined as a particular atmosphere or quality that seems to arise from and surround a person or thing is left hanging in mid… well, air.
SUBPOENA (10D. Court summons) and ESTRANGE (37D. Alienate) are the only two eight-letter entries, which seem to compliment each other nicely. HONALEE (24D. Puff, the Magic Dragon’s frolicking place), the sole seven-letter entry, is new to me, but seems likely a place for a breath of fresh hot air!
AUDITS (5D. I.R.S. scares) lead the six-letter entries -- DONORS (9D. Patrons of the arts, perhaps); EURAIL (2D. Provider of a pass abroad); GOITER (1D. Possible result of iodine deficiency); RECUSE (50D. Disqualify, as a potential juror); SEXTON (45D. Church groundskeeper); STARVE (47D. Go hungry); STYLES (21D. Modes); TIARAS (33D. Pageant toppers); ZINGER (49D. Clever comeback).
GARBO (4D. Greta of “Anna Christie,” 1930) headlines the five-letter entries which include ARGOT (64A. Slang); COENS (67A. “Fargo” brothers); DIETS (53D. Removes excess poundage); DOUSE (15A. Throw water on); EDITH (8D. Mrs. Woodrow Wilson); EDSEL (8A. Ford misstep); ELLES (54D. Monthly fashion issues); MONTE (59A. Three-card con); PASHA (13D Turkish poo-bah); and finally, INBED (18A. Still asleep) which goes nicely with AROSE (51D. Got up from sleeping).
A ROAR of four-letter entries -- ARLO, AXIS, BAER, DOVE, ENOW, EZRA, GABS, NOLO, ONES, POUR, RUES, RUTS, SEER, SESE, SONY, SEER, SHUL, STOP, WAHL -- are eclipsed by a busy ADO of three-letter entries -- ALB, ALT, ARE, BRA, DRJ, EON, ESE, FBI, GED, IRA, IQS, LED, LEW, MAC, NCO, NOR, NSA, OFT, OLE, ORO, QUI, RBI, SAN, SEA, STA.
“Fresh air is good if you do not take too much of it; most of the achievements and pleasures of life are in bad air.” -- Oliver Wendell Holmes
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Search information -- Across: 1. Option for a H.S. dropout; 4. Yaks; 13. Dispense, as milk; 19. Site of a tkt. Booth; 20. J. Edgar Hoover’s org.; 21. “Enough, you’re killing me!”; 28. Singer Guthrie; 29. Electronics giant; 30. Reader of omens; 31. Supermodel Carol; 34. Defendant’s plea, for short; 36. Neither’s partner; 40. Mensa figs.; 42. “Wiseguy” actor Ken; 43. Mediterranean, for one; 44. Boring routines; 46. Laments; 48. Rock’s Better Than ___; 56. Bush’s “___ of evil”; 57. Priestly vestment; 58. Sgt. or cpl. 65. Bird with an live branch; 66. Zaire’s Mobutu __ Seko; 68. Singles; 69. “What ___ the chances?” Down: 3. Basketball’s Erving, familiarly; 6. Article under a blouse; 7. ___ Diego; 11. Chicago-to-Pittsburgh dir.; 12. Commanded; 17. Frequently, to a poet; 23. Engine sound; 25. Sufficient, for Shakespeare; 26. Prefix with con; 27. “To ___ is human…”; 32. Dr. Kildare player Ayres; 35. Corrida cry; 38. Synagogue; 39. 1930s heavyweight champ Max; 40. Tax planner’s plan, for short; 41. On the ___ vive; 55. Category in which the single-season record is 191; 59. Bub; 60. Gold, in Guadalupe; 61. Hubbub; 62. Long, long time; 63. Code-crackers’ org.


andrea carla michaels said...

thank you Donald!
what a gorgeous pic of Garbo!
Thank you for all your thoughtfulness in posting this!
It's interesting to see the letter word counts broken down, I didn't even know!
I also tried to sneak ERR into the puzzle and AYRES into the clue for LEW, but that was met with complaints as too obscure!

DONALD said...

ms. michaels

Thank you for your comment. I see ERR and Ayes, and also Zaire -- didn't mind LEW and WAHL at all. A lovely puzzle!

cornbread hell said...

one of the more interesting tuesday puzzles in my memory. complimented by an as usual deft commentary.

thanks to you both.