Sunday, September 7, 2008
SPIRAL, Puzzle by Will Shortz
If you are familiar with the instructions for this type of puzzle, then the following won’t need reading: “When completed, this grid will contain two series of words -- one reading inward from #1 to #100, the other outward from #100 back to #1. Every space will be used exactly twice. Work from both sets of clues to complete."
I started right off on the wrong foot with SILLY (1-5 Nonsensical) for I had entered INANE, and when checking back the other direction saw no reason there should not be some species of flora with the moniker of AMARENANI -- fortunately for Mother Nature, I came to my senses with AMARYLLIS (9-1 Bulbous plant with a red or pink bloom).
The other catch was UBANGIS (46-52 Central Africans with stretched lips), women of the Sara tribe in the Central African Republic whose lips are pierced and stretched around flat wooden disks. So, I guess we are looking at a sect within a tribe. Fair enough -- the clue merely states Central Africans. Other tribes, however, with members sporting stretched lips are the Mursi, the Surma, the Makonde, the Nuba and the Lobi, most of whom ceased wearing plates several decades ago.
Those were my foibles with this puzzle, other than becoming continually confused over Inward and Outward.
INWARD: 1-5 Nonsensical, SILLY; 6-11 Competitor of Marriott and Holiday Inn, RAMADA; 12-18 Made or sold illegally, as a recording, BOOTLEG; 19-30 Act of pleading or petitioning for someone in trouble, INTERCESSION; 31-40 Inability to read or write, ILLITERACY; 41-45 501s, e.g., LEVIS; 46-52 Central Africans with stretched lips, UBANGIS; 53-62 “La Classe de Danse” artist (2 wds.), EDGARDEGAS; 63-68 Biblical character who underwent a hairy experience?, SAMSON; 69-79 Geographical area including China and Korea and extending south (hyph.), ASIAPACIFIC; 80-83 Recipe amounts, CUPS; 84-93 In all locations, EVERYPLACE; 94-100 Like doodle pads … or like bank accounts when funds are needed (2 wds.), DRAWNON.
OUTWARD: 100-95 Peace, by definition, NONWAR; 94-90 Stick-on, DECAL; 89-86 Funeral fire, PYRE; 85-78 Explorer Amerigo VESPUCCI; 77-74 Deduction on a pay stub (abbr.), FICA; 73-66 Italian buddies, PAISANOS; 65-59 There’s the rub!, MASSAGE; 58-55 Proceed tediously and interminably, DRAG; 54-49 Plan, DESIGN; 48-40 With harshly insulting treatment, ABUSIVELY; 39-35 Addition mark, CARET; 34-27 Big Ten team, ILLINOIS; 26-21 Skeleton in the closet, SECRET; 20-16 Doctor Watson player NIGEL Bruce; 15-10 “What a shame!” (2 wds.); 9-1 Bulbous plant with a red or pink bloom, AMARYLLIS.
That’s all, so I’ll wrap it up -- or better should I say wind it up?!
Click on image to enlarge.
Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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