08.14.08 -- EMPTY

Sun in an Empty Room, Edward Hopper, 1963

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!


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

If you subscribe to home delivery of The New York Times you are eligible to access the daily crossword via The New York Times - Times Reader, without additional charge, as part of your home delivery subscription.

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.

1 comment:

DONALD said...

The hard-copy newspaper posts at the head of the clues for today’s puzzle the following:

“Note: 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.”

E.g., the same as in the electronic version.