11.04.08 -- Election Day

William Hogarth's The Polling. (London, 1758)
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Puzzle by Peter A. Collins and Joe Krozel, edited by Will Shortz
CAST A VOTE -- 36A. What many Americans will do on 17-Across (as hinted at by highlighting all the V’s in this puzzle’s answer -- is the main entry of this crossword, together with ELECTION DAY (17A. Early November occasion in the U.S.) and BALLOT BOXES (58A. Sights at polling places). The V’s form a grid-size
check-mark (a) upon the face of the crossword.
Words serving the gimmick, e.g., containing the letter V, are PREVENT (26A. Forestall);
VOLTA (31A. Italian battery pioneer); VICTOR (35A. Inaugural ball holder); CASTAVOTE; VACATES (41A. Leaves early, as an office); 45A. VENA cava; LOUVRE (38A. Where the “Mona Lisa” hangs); ANNIV (44A. Cause for celebration: Abbr.) and BEREAVE (48A. Deprive, as through a loss).
Of course, one could look at the downs as taking the vote --
AVOCET (22D. Long-legged shorebird); EVITA (27D. Mrs. Perón); VOCAL (35D. Outspoken); VANE (37D. Barn topper); WEAVE (30D. Zigzag); VEILED (45D. Hidden); VIAND (49D. Article of food); MCVIES (33D. Musicians John and Christine); LARVA (34D. Baby buggy?).
After the vote, the next longest entries include 5A. ACROSS the aisle (bipartisan); ALIENTO (12D. Not recognizable by); ATEASE (1D. Relaxed);
DELILAH (2D. Samson’s undoer); ELGRECO (50A. “View of Toledo” painter); EREMITE (3D. Religious recluse); EYEEXAM (42D. It involves reading letters out loud); FANBELT (11D. Water pump turner); HEMLINE (32A. It went up in the 1960s); LABCOAT (38D. Researcher’s wear); LEANTO (15A. Wilderness home); NOOSES (47D. Hangmen’s needs); ODDEST (65A. Most likely to raise eyebrows); ONDOPE (8D. High, in a way); ONEIDA (62A. New York lake); ONEPAGE (39D. Short, as an article); SLIMMED (23A. Dropped a size); TELSTAR (13D. Kennedy-era launch); UNRATED (40D. Not yet having gone before an M.P.A.A. board).
Short stuff: ABES (22A. Ribicoff and Lincoln, familiarly); ADES, AGE (61A. 35 is the minimum one to be U.S. president); AHERO, AIMEE, ALE and ALI, AMES, BOO (58D. Bad sound at a campaign rally), CEO, CPAS, DATE, 25D. “DONT Stop“ (Bill Clinton theme song), EAT, ELISE, FAT (11A. Like William Howard Taft), GAB, III, LOWE (29A. Actor Rob who played a presidential aide on “The West Wing“), OAT, ODS, RANT, RHODA,
SICEM (4D. “Attack, Rex!”), SOY, STARR, TAT, TED (64A. Sen. Kennedy), 18D. President TEM, TERI (14A. Actress Polo who played a presidential candidate‘s wife on “The West Wing“), TOR, YEN...
The winner?
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Xword information -- Across: 1. Summer drinks; 16. Ginger ___; 19. Zero; 20. Singer Mann; 21. The Blue Jays, on scoreboards; 28. Corrode; 46. Japanese moolah; 53. I.R.S. workers; 54. Jr.’s Jr.; 56. “Holding Out for ___” (1984 Bonnie Tyler hit); 57. Cereal bit; 66. Iowa college town. Down: 5. ___ Baba; 6. Co. captain?; 7. Tirade; 9. Beatles drummer; 10. Nondairy milk source; 24. Beethoven dedicatee; 51. Gossip; 5. “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” spinoff; 55. “Would ___?”; 59. Takes too much, briefly; 60. “Mom” in a heart, maybe, for short.

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