07.06.08 -- H is for Homonym

Sunday, July 6, 2008
WHAT THE H? -- Puzzle by Brendan Emmett Quigley, edited by Will Shortz
H is for Homonym sounds like a title for a Sue Grafton novel about a disgruntled solver seeking to avenge a deflated ego by making a crossword constructor eat his own words with the end result of unfortunate gasping and groaning unto an untimely demise. However, this crossword deserves no such fate, even though those despising a pun, may not take well to swallowing a homonym or two, no matter how quickly that proverbial oyster slips down the throat. If you can’t really chew on the thing, what the H are you eating it for? ...and careful, don‘t choke on the pearls!
The misleading (or cryptic) title of today’s puzzle is “What the H?”
WHEELEDAUTHORITY (22A. V.I.P. in a limo?), wield authority; TALESOFWHOA (36A. Stories about halting horses?), tales of woe; WEATHERWHYS (58A. Causes of meteorological phenomena?), weather-wise; ISLEOFWHITE (77A. Iceland?), Isle of Wight; WHALINGWALL (98A. Barrier Ahab stands behind?), Wailing Wall; THEEDITORIALWHEE (115A. Cry after writing a particularly fun column?), the editorial "we"; WHIRLEDRECORD (16D. 45, e.g.?), world record; and WHACKSMUSEUMS (57D. Where ax murderers weapons are on display?), wax museum.
BEWARE (83A. Start of a sign on a gate), there’s more!
Across: 1. Town at the eighth mile of the Boston Marathon; 7. 1971 Tom Jones hit; 16. Dict. Fill; 19. Charlie Chan player J. CARROL Naish; 20. Acted briefly; 21. Online activity; 24. Penn Station inits.; 25. Sycophant’s reply; 26. Articles by no staffers; 27. Singer Winehouse; 28. Glass-enclosed porches; 30. 1999 film with the tagline “Fame. Be careful. It’s out there”; 32. Way of the East; 33. Open; 35. Dirty; 39. Kisses, on paper; 41. Team building?; 42. 1954 event code-named Castle Bravo; 43. Swedish Chemistry Nobelist Tiselius; 45. Detailed, old-style; 47. Produce for show; 51. Roundabout; 53. Corduroy feature; 56. Certain guy, in personals shorthand; 60. “Q: Are We Not Men? A: We are DEVO!” (hit 1978 album); 61. Eponymous German brewer Eberhard; 63. Says, in teenspeak; 64. Stir; 66. They’re in control of their faculties; 67. Etc. and ibid., e.g.; 69. Unequaled; 70. Missile’s course; 72. Trudge (through); 73. Baton wavers; 76. Miffs; 81. Fully or partially: Abbr.; 82. French-Belgian border river; 84. Scatterbrain; 86. National League East player; 88. Kind of atty.; 90. Explorer VASCO da Gama; 94. MDX and RDX maker; 96. National League East player; 102. Literally, “back to back”; 104. Lure; 106. 60-Across producer; 107. Long-distance swimmer Diana; 108. Something little girls may play; 110. Fifth pillar of Islam; 111. Body layer; 113. Internet address letters; 114. “What are you some kind of ANUT?”; 119. Office note; 120. Settle; 121. Arab League V.I.P.’s; 122. Eur. Carrier; 123. Small plane, perhaps; 124. Common town sign.
SAYWHEN (91D. Pourer’s comment)! Here’s comes the rest!
Down: 1. “Treasure Island” illustrator, 1911; 2. Showed delight over; 3. Rive crosser; 4. Eng. Neighbor; 5. U.S.A.F. Academy site; 6. One who lifts a lot; 7. Little stubble; 8. Residence on the Rhein, HAUS; 9. Summer setting in MA and PA; 10. Extremely arid; 11. In ACOMA (really out of it); 12. Pitch maker?; 13. “AMI losing it, or …?”; 14. Investigators: Abbr.; 15. Goes up and down; 17. Connecticut town where “The Stepford Wives” was filmed; 18. Italian road; 21. Sen. McCaskill of Missouri; 23. “Are you DEAF?!”; 29. Like some good soil; 31. Clergy attire; 33. Out into view; 34. Rock’s Richards and Moon; 37. Orchestra sect.; 38. High, in the Alps, HAUT; 40. Legal suspension; 44. Overthrowing, e.g.; 46. Lead-in to while; 48. Cutting remarks?; 49. Slogan holder, often; 50. It has a blade; 52. Is shy; 54. 1887 Chekhov play; 55. Tomb raider’s find; 56. Derisive; 59. Lines on a musical staff, EGBDF (like, you didn’t know what the H else to do with that mess of consonents?); 60. 1973 Helen Reddy #1 hit; 61. Tylenol rival; 62. Troupe org.; 65. Calls one’s own; 67. Ray, e.g., in brief; 68. Like the bad guy; 71. Phnom Penh money; 72. Shaved, in a way; 73. Bygone station; 74. Part of N.C.A.A.: Abbr.; 75. Indication of big shoes to fill? 78. Dip; 79. Wishy-WASHY; 80. Words with snag or home run; 83. Carpenter’s supply; 85. Dow Jones fig.; 87. Blue blood, informally; 89. “Flags of Our Fathers” setting; 92. Catfight participants; 93. Boot Hill setting; 94. Title family name on TV; 95. Eye part; 97. Tiny laughs; 99. One with bad looks?; 100. Letters on a cross; 101. Polite tourndown; 103. Best; 105. Training staff; 109. Fen-PHEN (banned diet aid); 111. Exhausted; 112. Michigan town or college; 116. Season for les vacancies; 117. Little bird; 118. Third-century Chinese dynasty -- WEI!
It appears from the entries of this crossword, that just about any combination of letters possible can just be crammed into whatever spaces and given an alibi for existing.
Rocks arranged as grave markers in Tombstones Boothill Cemetery. Todd Gipstein/National Geographic Image Collection
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Anonymous said...

We had "thunderthys" for 58 across - no wonder it wouldn't work out!

DONALD said...

That is so funny!