Monday, September 22, 2008
Puzzle by Peter A. Collins, edited by Will Shortz
Today’s Autumnal Equinox crossword puzzle treats us to a small menagerie identified by the entries of THE (11A. With 66-Across, where this puzzle’s circled things can all be found) and ZOO (66A. See 11-Across). Within the circles of five entries are five members of the zoo -- CRUISEALONG (21A. Proceed effortlessly); LUGNUTS (38A. Tire irons loosen them); ILLBEAROUND (54A. 1972 hit for the Spinners); NOTASABLE (3D. Less competent); and CAMELATER (34D. Ensued). There’s a second uncircled sable in UNUSABLE (39D. Having no practical application), quite usable for this creature -- Martes zibellina.
CATCHALL (5D. Multipurpose) heads the few remaining longer entries -- 10D. Michael ANSARA, Cochise player in 1950s TV); MEETUP (48D. Join [with]); SNOWDAYS (40D. Winter “no school” times); TROWEL (52A. Masonry tool).
Five letter entries include 50A. ALERO (50D. Old Olds); APRES-ski; ARTIE (61A. Bandleader Shaw); CANON (15A. Religious doctrine); CRAMS (18. Shoves [in]); ENOLA Gay (W.W. II bomber); HORNS (12D. Centers of steering wheels); MANIC (1A. Wild-eyed and crazy); 7D. “I just met a girl named MARIA” (“West Side Story” lyric); MOTET (17A. Sacred song); NAMES (45A. April, May and June, e.g.); OCCUR (6D. Go down, so to speak); 6A. Mutual of OMAHA; PEALS (67A. Rings, as a church bell); 14A. PLANO (51D. Texas city just north of Dallas); PROPS (26A. Respect that one deserves, in slang); RUERS (53D. Contrite ones); SORES (68A. Tender spots); TBONE (60A. Steak variety); TONAL (52D. Having melody and harmony); TROOP (11D. Scouting group); ULNAR (64A. Related to an arm bone); YIELD (65A. Defer [to]).
The fill: ALEC, AMUR, ANAS and ANON, ARE and AREA, ARR, AVA and AVE, CARB, CON, ECON, EMAG, IGOR, ILE, INEZ, INOR, LORE, MEMO, NAST, NOEL, NEA and NNE, ONA and ORA, OVER, REDS (58D. Cincinnati team), RILE, RIO, ROM, RONA, and SOUL.
Today, on the occasion of the autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere, the night and day are nearly the same length as the Sun crosses the equator moving southward, and we mark the first day of the season of autumn.
May it bring a cornucopia of good!
For today’s cartoon, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.
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Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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Xword search information -- Across: 16. Bucharest’s home: Abbr.; 19. ___ pro nobis (pray for us: Lat.); 20. “Cat ___ Hot Tin Roof”; 31. “Are you ___ out?”; 33. Subj. that includes monetary policy; 41. Actress Gardner; 42. Guinness who played Obi-Wan Kenobi; 44. Song sung around Christmas; 47. Russia/China border river; 56. Airport info: Abbr.; 59. Teachers’ grp. Down: 1. Office note; 2. Soon, poetically; 4. ___ de France; 8. Santa ___ (hot winds); 13. Online pub.; 23. Oral history; 25. “You ___ So Beautiful”; 27. Sector; 28. Film unit; 29. James Brown’s genre; 31. Hunchbacked assistant of horror films; 32. Opposite SSW; 35. Through with; 36. Political cartoonist Thomas; 43. Low-___ diet; 46. N.Y.C.’s Madison ___; 49. Scam; 54. Mother of Don Juan; 55. Jaffe who wrote “Five Women”; 57. Stir (up); 62. ___ Grande.