08.01.08 -- Honestly!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Puzzle by Patrick Berry, edited by Will Shortz

HONESTABE (52A. 1860 campaign nickname) might have difficulty living up to reputation with such shenanigans in this crossword puzzle as NORWEGIANBLUE (22A. Fictional parrot type featured in Monty Python’s “dead parrot sketch”) and WATERBALLOONS (40A. They often make a splash) which provide a wry humor to this pre-weekend crossword. He might even find himself CHOKINGUP (49A. Having trouble delivering the eulogy, say) at those who are ANTIUNION (17A. Unwilling to get organized).

Working the Times puzzle is often a silent ACAPPELLA (14A. Like singing in a shower). This WARHORSE (54A. Survivor of many battles) solver DUGINTO (9D. Tackled energetically) the clues glaring at the empty squares and ENROUTE (45A. While traveling) found RAFTS (21D. A lot) of which to warble:

SALESREP (1A. Mover of merchandise), not a salesman.

10A. CRIMEAN War (“Charge of the Light Brigade conflict), 1854 and 1860 too?

HORNET (39A. 1970s American Motors car), not HUDSON, but a Hudson, and SAAB (1D. “Born from jets” company) are today‘s autos.

OPENBAR (44A. Where to find free spirits), wanted something ethereal.

EPITOMES (4D. Archetypes), like WONKS (40D. Eggheaded experts) and the BOORISH (37D. Impolite) OGRE (30D. Big brute).

Shortzesque clues are given to BURRO (37A. Pack animal) and CAMEL (38A. Pack animal?) -- remember Joe Camel?

Lending a bit of class are the ANCIENTS (15D. Plato and Aristotle, e.g.) and the GODLY (18A. Divine).

The omnipresent crossword blemish, ACNE (2D. It might make you red in the face), crosses BEETRED (19A. Showing extreme embarrassment).

CORNSUGAR (29D. Dextrose) could have been corn syrup.

GLUEALL (23D. Elmer’s product) and all these years I thought it was Glues-All.

A few weapons like ABOMBS (10D. W.W. II enders, for short), crossing a UBOAT (16A. Ship sinker); a CARBINE (36D. The M-1, for one) and an EPEE, strangely clued as Sword: Fr.

LEFTS (26A. Some swings in a ring) a clue with some punch!

TURNSONTO (34A. Enter, as a cross street), RUNTO (28A. Reach in total), oh those dang dangling prepositions!

Any kind of thought or RESEARCH (28D. Bookwork, e.g.) ends there -- here are the remains of the day:

Across: 9. Deadens, DAMPS; 24. 7 and 11, PRIMES; 27. Threw a tantrum, RAGED; 29. Inner ear?, COB; 32. “Draft Dodger Rag” singer, OCHS; 33. Athletic schedule list, MEETS; 34. Ordering option, TOGO; 35. Spaying customer?, PET; 36. South-of-the-border homes, CASAS; 48. Lieutenant of Capone, NITTI; 51. Labor activist Silkwood, KAREN; 53. Catch, SNARE.

Down: 5. Drove, SPURRED; 6. Extends, as a lease, RENEWS; 7. Choose not to say?, ELIDE; 8. Mideast grp., PLO; 11. Architect’s starting point, MODEL; 12. Micronesian nation that hosted the 10th season of “Survivor”, PALAU; 13. “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” composer, STYNE; 24. Play thing, PROP; 25. Competition, RACE; 31. Wellington, e.g., BOOT; 33. Tree-dwelling snake, MAMBA; 38. Snapper, of a sort, CENTER; 39. Nose, slangily, HONKER; 41. Dealing with honey makers, APIAN; 42. Prefix with chloride, TETRA; 43. Singer Lewis with the 2008 #1 hit “Bleeding Love”, LEONA; 50. HOW-to.

Entering TUGS instead of TUBS (46D. Slow-moving ships), I wondered for a moment if there ever was an HONEST AGE.



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Puzzle available on the internet at

THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games

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Anonymous said...

Really like your website. Do the puzzle from IHT every day at 3am EST, (9am Salzburg time)
Is "Life is Shortz" your invention? LOL We don't have a title here.
Salem cmelas@yahoo.com

DONALD said...


Thanks for your comment. Yes, "Life is Shortz" is unique to this blog, however, the IHT or the NYT are both welcome to hang it on their doors!


Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say thanks for your posts to your website. Mr. Shortz frustrates me to no end sometimes and you help me keep my sanity. When I worked for the Sheriff's Dept, the Undersheriff would do the NYT crossword in ink. I was so impressed by that. Of course, it was a Thur/Fri that I would check out the NYT puzzles and found them impossible to do. Only later did I found out they started out easy and got harder. I still don't do Fri/Sat puzzles, but I do the Mon Tue and Wed puzzles in ink! My cousin told me that a relative of ours, (born in 1872) would also do NYT crosswords in ink. Must be heriditary. ha. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks.
RBH at holmer19@netscape.net