12.26.08 -- XOXOXOXO

Titania,1897 -- Frederick Howard Michael
Friday, December 25, 2008
Puzzle by Brendan Emmett Quigley, edited by Will Shortz
This Friday crossword features non-words and/or multiple consonants -- XOXOXOXO (3D. Love letters?), XIII (26A. Chapter 13?); XAMOUNT (26D. An unknown quantity); TSTRAP (7D. Sandal variety); TVCAMERA (8D. An anchor often faces it); ETSEQ (51A. Reference book), along with a good dose of double-wording -- CRATEUP (18A. Prepare to ship); FITIN (41A. Conform); KEPTIN (14D. Didn’t strike); NEXTUP (31A. At the head of the line); ONEINTEN (2D. Pretty poor chances); ONEUP (49A. Best); SAIDIDO (58A. Got hitched); SETOFFS (24D. Counterbalances).
Music and entertainment… ALLOFME (37A. Song standard with the lyric “Can’t you see I’m no good without you?”); ATRAIN (45D. Title transport in a 1941 song);
BALOO (30D. “The Jungle Book” bear); EADIE (51D. Title lady in a 1933 song); FREEJAZZ (38D. Bop alternative); INX (23A. “Listen Like Thieves” band); JAFFE (44A. Rona who wrote “Mazes and Monsters”); SEXPERT (17A. Dr. Ruth, e.g.); SIRPAUL (20A. Pop superstar’s informal name since 1997); SUZIE (28D. Wong of book and film); THEMASK (8A. Comic book series that spawned films in 1994 and 2005); VOLANTE (16A. Lightly and quickly, in music); and why is TITANIA (62A. Uranus’s largest moon) no longer clued via Shakespeare?
Daily doubles… SNORTED (64A. Responded contemptuously) and SNOOZED (3A. Had a 33-Across, say) make a nice pair -- oh,
DREAM (33A. It’s unreal) is the cross reference, perhaps one had at FOURAM (43A. End of a middle watch). Another pair is QUART (52D. Two 55-Downs) and PINT (55D. Half a 52-Down). Also ANOINTS (15A. Gives last rites to, e.g.) with another definition, and EMPOWERS (40D. Delegates). Phonetically, OTIS (50A. A leading manufacturer of cars) and OTOES (27A. Missouri relatives) seem a pair.
Location, location, location…
MAUNAKEA (39D. Literally, “white mountain”) and PARAMUS (55A. New Jersey shopping mall) make for exceptional geographic diversity -- DIRTROAD (36D. Way out in the country), would that also be a “way in” or is it just “far out?” BOXSEAT (1A. Where to get a good view of a hit and run) or BASTIONS (1D. Strong defenses) could be from where to watch JOUSTS (44D. Old tournament events).
Leftovers… BACON (30A. Strips on a table), along with ANEMIC (12D. Weak); ATRIP (6D. Just off the bottom, nautically); BRONZER (63A. Alternative to a tanning booth); DEMOBS (48D. Retires from the R.A.F.);
HORUS (9D. Falcon-headed god); PALMS (25A. They may be greased); STUDIO (13D. Small pad); and the short stuff -- CNN, DAR, ELAL, ELF, ENES, JAW, MAT, MDT, NASA, PET, PLOD, POE, RAD, SIP, STOA, TENO, TIO, URN (54A. Funeral home item).
FINITO (46D. Done, slangily).
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.

Xword search information -- Across: 19. Member of la familia extensa; 22. Wyo. Is on it in the summer; 29. One of the Baltimore Ravens’ mascots; 47. Far out; 53. Sinew: Prefix; 57. Be windy. Down: 4. Nurse; 5. Hydrocarbon endings; 10. Company whose slogan is “Home away from home”; 11. Purchase at a home store; 21. Move slowly; 32. Kind of rock; 34. Mischievous tyke; 42. Pioneer’s org.; 59. Women’s org. with the motto “God, home and country”; 61. “House Call” airer.

No comments: