Saturday, August 30, 2008
Puzzle by Michael Shteyman, edited by Will Shortz
Six 15-letter entries are the main feature of this Saturday crossword with more than a soupçon of trivia.
FRENCHONIONSOUP (38A. Common restaurant offering that was Julia Child’s last meal), good grief, who keeps track of these things?!; PARKERHOUSEROLL (12D. Bakery item folded in half), maybe to soak up the soup?; GOODCHOLESTEROL (17A. Carrier of fatty acids), from the onions?; IDONFEELLIKEIT (3D. Unenthusiastic response to an offer); and Julia’s dinner guests, CALIFORNIAGIRLS (7D. 1965 hit parodied by the Beatles’ “Back in the U.S.S.R.”), who knew?; along with EBENEZERSCROOGE (59A. Name associated with spirits), now that‘s a clue one can use on any occasion! Maybe he'll bring a goose!
Joining the California girls and Ebenezer Scrooge in this puzzle, people and/or personages include ALDAMATO (16A. Former senator with the memoir “Power Pasta and Politics”); ARTISTES (65A. Cirque du Soleil troupe, e.g.); EEK (21A. Cartoon cat with an exclamation mark in his name); ELGAR (51A. Knighted English composer); an EMEER (11D. Arab commander); EMILES (66A. “Ratatouille” rat and namesakes); ETHEL (6D. One of the Barrymores); HAGMAN (1D. 1970s- ‘80s prime-time soap star); a HURLER (64A. Ace, say); ISAAC (44A. Singer of sewing machine fame); a LECHER (36A. Rake); LENIN (32D. “What Is to Be Done?” writer); NED (4D. Songwriter Washington); an OTO (13D. Plains native); REDD (2004 N.B.A. All-Star Michael); TALOS (25D. Brass guardian of Crete, in myth); but not HAMLET (28D. Dorp), the Dane.
Other mid-sized entries of this soupe du jour are a bit eclectic -- ALEGAR (8D. Sour condiment) and ALLELE (45D. Mutated gene); APOGEE (47D. Peak); ARDENT (15A. Burning); CACHEPOT (7A. Florist’s container); 34A. EASTER Island, discovery of Sunday, April 5, 1722; EROICA (2D. Symphony inspired by Napoleon); HEINE (1A. Bum); INCAPS (40A. With emphasis, as text); INSITU (42A. Undisturbed); LOWERS (48D. Brings down); OROMEO (18D. Start of a cry by Juliet); PAINPILL (63A. Anodyne); and TALKIE (41A. Silent‘s opposite).
The fill is fairly standard with just a few tortured clues. Five-letter entries -- ASCII, CSTAR, LIPID, LOFAT, MORAL, NAFTA, NASAL; PENNI, RERIG, RICHE, STANK, THESE. Four-letter -- ACTS, BLIP, DIEU, DRUM, FTLB, HATE, INCR, RAIL, REPO, YEPS. Three-letter -- BAR, CDS, EPA, KEY, LIL, MIN, ORI, OTO, RIO, ROW, TOL and the always unwelcome ZIT.
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Xword search information -- Across: 19. Part of a deg.; 20. Fix, as sails; 22. Play makers?; 24. Health claim on a food label; 29. Western deal since 1994: Abbr.; 31. Kind of support; 33. Kia model; 43. Teeny “tiny”; 46. Like “m” or “n,” to linguists; 49. It’s barely noticeable; 53. Auctioned property, maybe; 54. Crucial; 56. Oil, e.g.; 58. Brawl. Down: 5. Elevation: Abbr.; 9. Spinning circles?; 10. Not like; 14. “My mama done ___ me”; 27. Word in many French family mottoes; 30. Computer acronym; 35. “___ Dreams,” 1986 #1 hit; 37. Cool red giant; 38. Work unit abbr.; 39. Bitterly complain; 50. Old Finnish coin; 52. Like un millionnaire; 55. Slangy assents; 57. Oil holder; 59. Abbr. in car ads; 60. Setting of many jokes; 61. Accutane target, slangily; 62. “… ___ will die”.