01.11.09 -- If Little Else...

Sunday, January 11, 2009
GOING TOO FAR, Puzzle by Eric Berlin, edited by Will Shortz
This is one of those check-it-out-when-you’re-finished crossword puzzles. In this case, the gray squares reading left to right, line by line spells out a quote by author
Tom Robbins -- “If little else, the brain is an educational toy.” Playing hopscotch with the gray squares and their entry/clues is less “educational” than it is nerve-racking, especially if one is not particularly interested in being rewarded with an amusing quote at the end of the solve.
The across clues and entries are as follows, some beginning and some starting in a gray square, with no more than one gray-square letter per entry: 1. Wizards, MAGES; 6. Announcer’s call on a pitch, INSIDE; 11. Confused states, FOGS; 14. Get down on one’s knees and beg, GROVEL; 15 Dweller on the Red Sea, YEMENI; 16. Backwoods negative, NAW; 17. Modern connector, MODEM; 18. Anticipate, EXPECT; 19. Shade, HUE; 20. “Ash Wednesday” poet, TSELIOT; 22. Coffee bean variety, ARABICA; 24. Put forward, POSIT; 26.Correct, RIGHT; 27. State with authority, ASSERT; 31. Certain horse or bean, PINTO; 33. Adjustment specialist, TAILOR; 34. Crème-filled snack, OREO; 35. Wolfe of mystery, WOLFE; 39. Carrier to Eilat, ELAL; 40. Loom, IMPEND; 41. West Coast N.F.L.er, for short, NINER; 42. Baseball’s Hideo, NOMO; 43. Somme state, ETATS; 44. Somme school, ECOLE; 45. Single, ALONE; 47. Musher’s transport, DOGSLED; 48. Closes, SHUTS; 51. Not heralded, UNSUNG; 53. Fleshly, SENSUAL; 55. Common order of roses, ONEDOZEN; 60. Cry after “heads,” maybe, IWIN; 61. Remorseful, RUING; 63. Dillon portrayer, ARNESS; 64. Wall St. watchdog, SEC; 65. Leaves alone, LETSBE; 66. Thus far, TODATE; 67. Logical opening? IDEO; 68. Like old phones, ROTARY; 69. Sitcom test, PILOT.
The down clues, the gray squares of the entries resulting in a mild alphabet soup: 1. People in charge: Abbr.; 2. Got up; 3. Mathematician Kurt; 4. Daredevil Knievel; 5. No longer fully amateur; 6. Duma denials; 7. Questionnaire datum; 8. Unwilling to wait; 9. Farm equipment giant; 10. Microsoft digital reference; 11. Up above, like angels; 12 Socially clumsy; 13. Get a workout; 21. Horn sound; 23. Subject for the Six Million Dollar Man; 25. Sees what you’re saying?; 27. Gobbled up; 28. Place for a perm; 29. Thailand, once; 30. They’re in it for the money; 32. Signal agreement; 34. Letterman staple; 36. Name on a bomber; 37. Rent again; 38. Yawning, perhaps; 40. Kitty-cat sound; 44. Kind of soup; 46. Aetna, e.g.; 47. Loudness unit; 48. Francis’s home; 49. Cut down; 50. Sister of Jack, Bobby and Ted; 52 Felix of “The Odd Couple”; 54. Not manual; 56. Secretary Rice, informally; 57. Passion; 58. This, in Toledo; 59. Map feature; 62. Magic org.
Another Robbins quote: “Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.”
I’ll take that as sanction to do silly crossword puzzles!
No brain, no pain!
Click on image to enlarge.
Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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