Friday, December 19, 2008 Puzzle by Natan Last, edited by Will Shortz With a few good seldom-seen entries and many a misleading clue, this Friday fodder for the fanatical, crossword critics, pundits and professors, will likely elicit many a lengthy discourse upon its duplicity, familiarity and/or freshness, et cetera, so I will abstain -- after all, there is such a thing as too much of much ado about nothing. AZERBAIJANI (49A. Russian’s neighbor) leads off the long entries which include BIRDBRAIN (1A. Ding-dong); DIDGERIDOO (58A. Wind instrument Down Under); GUITARHERO (17A. Hit video game series launched in 2005); IMAREALBOY (14A. Exuberant cry from Pinocchio); INUNDATION (55A. Flood); REITERATING (20A. Hammering away at); SEESSTARS (60A. Reacts to a big buffet); TOUCHSCREEN (22D. Common A.T.M. feature); and XRATEDMOVIE (10D. Work with raw material?). Mid-size entries -- AIRERS (23A. Networks, e.g.); ALHIRT (7D. Wynton Marsalis’s first trumpet was a gift from him); BADLIARS (37D. Those who aren’t super dupers?); BEARABLE (5D. Not too awful); MARTINIS (36D. Some people like them dirty); OCCULT (45A. Alternative bookstore section); ORANGE (43D. Like goldfish); RELAID (39D. Put down anew); and TALCED (27A. Like a baby’s bottom, often). Pairs -- MONO (Precursor to 41-Across) which is STEREO (41A. Successor of 31-Across); IBET (8D. Response of disbelief) and NOREALLY (9D. Response to a disbeliever); POOR (52D. Description of 15-Down) YORICK (115D. Of whom Hamlet said “He hath borne me on his back a thousand times”); JACOB (24A. Third book of the Book of Mormon) followed by ENOS (53D. Fourth book of the Book of Mormon); ORES (32D. They may hold the lead) and ROLE (47A. Lead, for one). Five-letter -- AFOUL (29A. In a state of entanglement); 28D. “AMATE should keep himself to himself”: “Treasure Island”; AVERT (40A. Parry); BORAT (37A. “Da Ali G Show” persona); CESTA (46D. Sports basket); DISCO (44A. Club with a big ball); GRACE (35A. It’s often hard to maintain under pressure); ONDES (48D. Waves on l'océan); OZONE (45D. Gas with a penetrating odor); RAINS (12D. They may pound the pavement); RARER (6D. More enticing to a philatelist, say); TOSIR (11D. Quaint note opener). Three- and four-letter -- AFRO, AIDA, ANTE, APE, ARAG and ARAB, ARE, ASIA, BEAN, BIGD, COAT, DRT, DSL, IMUS, JAGR, JUDE (50D. Law with many parts), MLK, NARC, ORES, OTTO, RAIL, RAT, ROAR and ROLE and ROSE and ROTH, TARR, TIT, TUB, XTRA. With no further ado, I bid adieu! ----------------- For today’s cartoon, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated. THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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Xword search information -- Across: 10. Remarkably, in commercialese; 16. React angrily; 18. Minor area?; 19. Option for seeing the sites quickly, for short; 22. Basher ___, one of the eleven in “Ocean’s Eleven”; 30. Annual honoree: Abbr.; 38. Longtime Delaware senator William; 39. Unpopular singer; 51. Lummox; 54. Showed respect, in a way; 57. Table center piece?; 59. Bop. Down: 1. Cowboy’s home, informally; 2. ABC Radio host; 3. Alternative to air; 4. Sullivan Travis, in a 2000 film title; 13. “She’s ___ doll” (4 Seasons lyric); 21. Be altered?; 24. Five-time N.H.L. scoring leader of the 1990s-’00s; 25. Its locks are tight; 26. Snow on the ground, say; 33. One looking for a deal?; 34. Nobel-winning physicist Stern; 42. Hot ___; 49. Desert mount; 51. Musical that opens with “Every Story is a Love Story”.