10.27.08 -- SPIN

Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr, The King and I, 1956
Monday, October 27, 2008
Puzzle by Andrea Carla Michaels and Michael Blake, edited by Will Shortz
SPIN (55D. Twirl … or a cryptic hint to 20-, 36- and 51-Across) is a “clue” to put an SP “in” front of ray of sunshine, ace of diamonds, and utter nonsense with the resulting SPRAYOFSUNSHINE (20A. Aerosol tanning?); SPACEOFDIAMONDS (36A. Tiffany showroom?); and SPUTTERNONSENSE (51A. Babble incoherently?). Incidentally, this Sunday’s crossword featured the addition of ST to eight long entries.
A quick, uh, spin around the crossword on this back-to-work Monday finds quite a few familiar entries and clues; however ONCREDIT (39D. By deferred payment), which may bring a wince, and ATLANTIC (4D. Europe/America separator, with “the”) are the lone two of any length.
GUSHES (10D. Spews, as lava) seems a good entry to lead off the six-letter group which includes the phonetic pair of BEATLE (25A. John, Paul, George or Ringo) and BITTER (43D. Not sweet), along with two authors, CAPOTE (5D. Truman who wrote “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”) and ERNEST (44D. Author Hemingway), and rounded out with EXCESS (44A. Overindulgence).
A quick alphabetical round-up of five-letter entries produces a disparate denizen -- ABAFT (6D. Sternward); ABATE (15A. Subside); AESOP (24A. Fable writer); AIRER (49A. Broadcaster); ANTIS (11D. Those voting nay); ASPEN (46D. Colorado resort); ASPIC (46A. Molded jelly); CAGED (5A. Like animals in a zoo); DEPOT (41A. Railroad station); EDICT (37D. Proclamation); GASSY (7D Bloated, as the stomach); IOWAN (50D. Des Moines native); 61A. Pesos : Mexico :: LIRAS : Turkey; LOEWE (58A. Lerner’s partner for “Camelot); NUTTY (23A. Daft); PASTA (18A. Rigatoni or spaghetti); PIANO (12D. Instrument for Rachmaninoff); PURSE (48D. Derby prize); SABRE (31A. Buffalo hockey player); SALEM (22D. 1690s Massachusetts witch hunt locale); SLANT (64A. Bias); SPELL (47D. Participate in a bee); STREP (13D. Throat ailment); and the clumsily interconnected END (40A. With “of” plus 49-Down, momentous time) ANERA (49D. See 40-Across).
Three- and four-letter -- ADO; ASPS, ASTI, ATAD, BASE, BIRD, DEAN, DOPE, EARL, EENY, ELLS and ELSE, ESPN, the champion of crossword quotes “ETTU, Brute?”, GAPS, GARR, IMIN, IDAS, IRA, KIA, KNEE, LEAP and NEAP and NEAT, NLER, NOMO, OBIT, OER, OILS, OLGA, ONES, PERT, ROIL, SFPD, STAR, TONY, UNIT, XES, and the ever-popular YUL (21D. Brynner who starred in “The King and I”) taking Deborah for a SPIN!
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Xword information -- Across: 1. Korbut who was a sensation at the 1972 Olympics; 10. Fissures; 14. Tidy; 16. ___ of measure; 17. Husband of a countess; 19. Something to wish upon; 28. Traditional paintings; 30. ___ Spumante; 33. Korean automaker; 42. ___ tide; 43. Tweety ___ of Warner Bros. cartoons; 57. Sassy; 59. Inside info; 60. Otherwise; 62. Poker declaration; 63. Dodge or Met, for short; 65. Theater award. Down: 1. Change for a five; 2. Jump; 3. Teri of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”; 9. College official; 25. First, second, third or home; 26. “Monday Night Football” channel; 27. Not much; 28. Death notice, for short; 31. Real-life org. seen in “Bullitt”; 32. “Much ___ About Nothing”; 33. Midleg joint; 34. Actress Lupino and others; 35. Egyptian snakes; 38. “___ the land of the free…”; 45. Illiterates’ marks; 52. Building additions; 53. Stir up, as the waters; 54. Baseball’s Hideo; 56. Start of a counting-out rhyme.

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