07.11.08 -- A to Z

WCFIELDS (34D. He said "I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally").
Friday, July 11, 2008
Puzzle by Barry C. Silk, edited by Will Shortz
The main feature of this Friday’s frustrating crossword appears to be initials or abbreviations combined (or not) with a word or name:
ATMCARD (1A. It can be used to get your balance); BDALTON (37D. Barnes & Noble acquired it in 1987); BTU (55D. Heat meas.); DNATEST (18A. Suspect eliminator, often); EMAGS (28A. Reads online); GMAIL (20A. Big name in Web-based correspondence); KCAL (10D. Heat meas.); LBJRANCH (36A. So-called “Texas White House,“ once); MGMLION (3D. Hollywood icon since 1924); LLB (51A. Barrister’s deg.); PTL (22A. Old televangelism letters); RCRUMB (46D. Fritz the Cat’s creator); RIN (6D. Abbr. after Sen. Richard Lugar’s name); WCFIELDS (34D. He said “I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally”).
Although the definition of pangram is an incorrect one for a crossword puzzle, the entire alphabet is represented. A pangram is a sentence that includes all the letters of the alphabet; e.g., "FORTY IRAQIS and WCFIELDS had a CAPON and BAKLAVA with a MERTZ HEXER at the LBJRANCH." A crossword puzzle by itself cannot be called a pangram, contrary to what anyone may CONTEND (58A. Argue).
The clues for “Forty Iraqis and W. C. Fields had a capon and baklava with a Mertz hexer at the LBJ Ranch.” -- 45A. Back FORTY; 40A. Natives of Umm Qasr; 4D. Stuffed and roasted entrée; 8A. It’s flaky and nutty; 27A. Old sitcom couple’s surname; 53A. Charming person? (along with 36A and 34D) -- also contain the entire alphabet, except for Z, which we can snatch from Fritz the Cat.
Other long entries across include ATABOIL (54. Very hot); BEDREST (61. Doctor’s orders); CAMPING (17. Activity in which stakes may be laid); ENDURES (60. Holds out); ELEVATES (31. Buoys); ENCODER (16. Modem, e.g.); MINUTES (59. Degree divisions); REGALIA (15. Fine trappings); UNICODE (56. Ascii alternative).
Downs of size include ADEPTAT (12. Having a knack for) ARCADIA (1. Peaceful place); ARTLESS (14. Natural); BEDAZZLE (8. Impress, and then some); IMPEDES (42D. Bars); JUGBAND (38. It might include a washboard); LAPLACE (36. “Mécanique Céleste” astronomer); SPAREST (43. Least copious); TEAPOT (2. Ones left holding the bag?); VESTIGE (13. Shadow).
The maddening remainders include ADULT, ALIT, AMANA, ANNIE, APLOT, AROW, ATIE, BLEAR, BOER, CIRCA, CLINE, DAGGER (7D. It has a sticking point), DOIN (23A. Ice), EARLE, EVEN, EVERY, EVITA, HIND, HORA, ITO, LOT, MARAT, MITE, NIE, PAGE, RECUR, RIPA, SETON, SEIZE, UMP (47A. Stay-at-home worker?) -- many of which are clued in a very wicked ways.
Oh, and speaking of initials -- T.G.I.F.!
For today’s cartoon, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.
Click on image to enlarge.
Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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Search information: Across: 19. Hatch ___; 24. Appropriate; 25. Play to ___; 26. Early Japanese P.M. Hirobumi ___; 29. Comparable to a pin?; 33. Ranked; 35. Square; 44. Minor's opposite; 48. Beep, say; 49. Date preceder; 50. Gifford's replacement as Philbin's co-host; 52. Cloudiness. Down: 5. Put down; 9. Tony winner between "A Chorus Line" and "Ain't Misbehavin"; 11. Studio site; 21. Tiny bit; 24. Not likely to be dissuaded from; 25. Microwave option; 27. Safin who won the 2005 Australian Open; 28. Word on a prescription label; 30. ___ Wheeler, 1964-70 chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; 32. When the song "The Lady's Got Potential"; 39. Ring after exchanging rings?; 49. Singer profiled in "Sweet Dreams," 1985; 50. Come and go; 52. Great Trek figure; 53. Kind of leg; 57. When German pigs fly?

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