Thursday, August 14, 2008
Puzzle by Damon J. Gulczynski, edited by Will Shortz
The note accompanying today’s crossword --“When this puzzle is done, unscramble the five circled letters to find out how the circles could have been left with the puzzle's solution still being correct.” An afterthought to the puzzle, amusing in a way and certainly clever, the circles and the note, however, are of no assistance in the solution of the crossword. In the circles are the letters E, M, P, T and Y. That’s right, empty.
Leaving in the letter in a circle or removing it results in the dual entries of JOEY and JOE (5A. Nickname for a namesake of Mary’s husband); YOUR, OUR (8D. Not their); EMIGRATE, MIGRATE (24A. Resettle); EMEND, MEND (24D. Fix); SOMBER, SOBER (28A. Serious); MIKE, IKE (29D. One of a candy box duo); GOOP, GOO (42D. Sticky stuff); SPOILING, SOILING (56A. Defiling); ROTUND, ROUND (53A. Roly-poly); THORN, HORN (55D. Protective protrusion), ten clues with two different answers each -- super-Shortzesque!
CUMULATIVE (18A. Like some interest) and PROGRESSED (61A. Went on) are a nice pair of balanced acrosses. Other entries of length include the nine-letter ONELINERS (3D. Comic’s stock); ENTAILING (35D. Making necessary); the eight-letter MENSCLUB (30A. Strip joint, euphemistically); COMPLAIN (50A. Crab); SEACOAST (9D. Port locale); ENSNARES (40D. Tangles); the seven-letter JACKALS (5D. Crooks’ lackeys); SMOLDER (47D. Smoke a little); and EBONICS (27D. Vernacular that came into prominence in 1996).
Middle-sized entries include the six-letter DOSING (44A. Part of a veterinarian’s job); ESKERS (34A. Glacial ridges); 45D. “GODBE with you” (parting words); LISLE (19D. Thread type); LLANOS (52D. Grasslands); REPEGS (4D. Adjusts, as a currency rate); and the five-letter group of 11D. Out on ALIMB; DREAR (13D. Gloomy, literarily); EERIE (68A. Poe-ish); EULER (16A. Institutiones Calculi Integralis” writer); LEVEE (12D. It holds water); METOO (25D. Little brother’s cry, perhaps); NORSE (38A. Like 1-Across) and its partner THOR (1A. Mythical hammer wielder); the haven‘t-seen-in-a-puzzle-before OCREA (54D. Papery sheath on a plant stem); RESIN (36D. Balsam, e.g.); RANTS (71A. Some histrionics); RIPER (53D. More red, maybe); SCALD (9A. Burn, in a way) and its partner STUNG (37D. Burned); TENET (43A. Position).
Small stuff: ABA, ANG, ARC, ARLO, ASHY, CUT, ELM, ERA, ETE, ETS, GIT, HERE, HIE, KEEP, ICH, IOS, KIT, LAI, LEAK, LEAL (60A. Faithful, to a Scot), MEA, NIKE, ONIT, ORU, RIC, SEE, SINE, SITU, SGTS, SNO, TUNA, YEAR and the trio of TSK, TSO and TSU.
Gotta go, running on EMPTY!
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Search Information -- Across: 14. ___ wave; 15. First name in folk; 20. Unauthorized preview, say; 22. Ocasek of the Cars; 23. Apology starter; 31. My ___; 32. Joan Miró’s “L’ ___”; 33. Prefix for many cold-weather product names; 41. Lee of Hollywood; 46. Aegean island near Naxo; 48. The Tigers of the Ohio Valley Conf.; 49. General for whom a style of chicken is named; 57. German pronoun; 58. Lawyers’ org.; 65. Goddess in the hand of the statue of Athena in the Parthenon; 69. Call to Rover; 72. Career division, in sports; 73. Capt.’s inferiors. Down: 1. Finger wagger’s sound; 2. Speed; 6. Sch. In Tulsa, Okla.; 7. State tree of Massachusetts; 10. Director’s cry; 21. Fly ball’s path; 26. Deli sandwich choice; 39. In )___ (positioned naturally); 51. “American ___”; 59. Wan; 62. “Shoo!”; 63. Match; 64. Reconstruction, e.g.; 66. Do-it-yourselfer’s aid; 67. Uranians, e.g., in brief.