Saturday, December 20, 2008 Puzzle by Brad Wilber, edited by Will Shortz Yes, this Saturday puzzle has all the letters of the alphabet -- so what? A holoalphabetic crossword without an ulterior purpose is like a can of Campbell’s alphabet soup (“oh, let me see if they are all there…”). What it is not is a “pangram” -- an overused misnomer of crossword bloggers. A pangram is a sentence that uses every letter of the alphabet. A holoalphabetic crossword allows the construction of a pangram, e.g., “In PALAZZO PANTS, FELIX, the SLOB with MOJO, thawed an OVENPROOF ANTIQUE from OMSK so FRIGID his SCHWA was lost in Canada.” Pangrams? -- HERE. That said, onward! I’d never heard of PALAZZO PANTS (7D. Woman’s loose-fitting garment with flared legs) which translates to palace trousers -- what? NETFLIX QUEUE (21D. It has things you want to see) is another unfamiliar entry -- let’s look that up, HERE. The countdown… Nine-letter entries -- AGNES GREY (20A. Brontë classic); ASIA MINOR (42A. Neighbor of the Caucasus); MOGADISHU (52A. World capital long beset by civil unrest); and OVENPROOF (31A. Able to stand the heat?) are more familiar. Eight-letter -- DRUM SOLO (17A. When the beat goes on … and on … and on?); GOMORRAH (15. One of a notorious pair in Genesis); OENOLOGY (58A. Science concerned with aging); OMAR EPPS (1A. “The Mod Squad” co-star); PURPOSES (62A. Missions); SEATBELT (64A. It’s put on before pulling away). Seven -- AMADEUS (41D. Broadway play with the role of Emperor Joseph II) and/or the film; ANTIQUE (47A. Object of many an appraisal); FROSTED (10D. Like some cakes and hair); HAZIEST (23A. Least definite); KINSMEN (44A. Blood); THE FRUG (26A. 1960s dance showcased on “Laugh-in”). Six -- AFRAME (9A. Architecture that gets to the point?); AFRESH (9D. From square one); ENISLE (45D. Maroon); FRIGID (16A. Arctic); JARFUL (61A. Quantity of peanut butter); ONBASE (63A. Trying to get home); ORALES (57A. Papal capes); RONALD (18A. Presidential first name). Five -- AMUSE (3D. Keep from being bored); DEANE (35A. Connecticut delegate to the Continental Congress); FELIX (27D. Aspirin pioneer Hoffmann); GNAWS (25D. Vexes, with “at”); IHOPS (48D. Units of a chain with links?); MOOSE (49D. Jock in “Archie” comics); MORAY (2D. Reef predator); OGDEN (1D. City near the Wasatch Mountains); OPALS (37A. Australian export); RIGEL (50D. Orion’s left foot); SCHWA (40A. One of two in Canada?); SHOGI (8D. Game played on an 81-square board); TRYST (51D. Subject of many a billet-doux). Four -- AERO (24A. Prefix with car); AGAR (12D. It helps a culture advance); ALFA (55D. Soviet sub class); EASE (19A. Maneuver gently); EDDY (14. Certain air current); ETHN (33D. People: Prefix); GARB (54D. Threads); GEEZ (25A. “Man!”); 39A. “LIDA Rose” (song from “The Music Man”); MILE (13D. League part); MITA (36A. Classic name in copiers); MOJO (52D. Lucky mystique); OMSK (31D. Trans-Siberian Railroad stop); ORAN (53D. Birthplace of Yves Saint Laurent); RAIN (28D. Mac user’s motivation); RING (11D. Token that you’re taken); ROME (4D. Capitoline Museums locale); SABU (38D. One-named film star of the 1930s-’60s); SLOB (56D. One likely to leave things out?); SOIR (56A. Time after le soleil sets); VICI (32D. Part of a Latin trio); 46A. XBOX 360; and finally the Shortzesque clues for GEAR (30D. Reverse, e.g.) and UNDO (29D. Reverse). Loose ends -- ERS (5D. Beginnings of hedges?); HEP (23D. Zoot-suited, say); MOE (43D. Bart Simpson’s prank call victim); MRT (49A. Onetime bodyguard of Muhammad Ali and Michael Jackson); NRA (59D. Org. with the Eddie Eagle safety program); NYE (22A. Frequent ad-libber on “The Steve Allen Show”); OAS (34D. Grp. formed in Bogota in 1948); OPT (60D. Elect); PRO (6D. Backing). Unless you love the alphabet, don’t go HERE!
------------------ For today’s cartoon, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated. Click on image to enlarge. Puzzle available on the internet at THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
If you subscribe to home delivery of The New York Times you are eligible to access the daily crossword via The New York Times - Times Reader, without additional charge, as part of your home delivery subscription.