01.23.09 -- Till Death Us Do Part...

“Proceed with the execution.”
Friday, January 23, 2009
Puzzle by
Barry C. Silk, edited by Will Shortz
THE AFRICAN QUEEN (17A. Film with the line “By the authority vested in me by Kaiser William II, I pronounce you man and wife. Proceed with the execution”) must possess the longest clue so far this year. It, along with MAGIC CARPET RIDE (56A. Fantastic flight) are the two 15-letter entries of this Friday crossword together giving it a touch of intrigue and adventure.
CIA DIRECTOR (18D. George H. W. Bush, once), yes, he who tottered to the inaugural platform of late, along with SNEAK THIEF (25D. Lifter), FLEECER (59A. Cheat), SKIMP (26A. Not be generous), MISFIRE (61A. Ignition problem), DIRTY (36A. Ill-gotten); SMOKE (43A. Burning evidence); 54A. Have ANOUT (not be trapped); SECEDE (25A. Withdraw), IN A SNARE (37D. Trapped) and IN HORROR (33A. One way to recoil), render an aura of paranoia to the crossword.
AVIATE (7D. Focus on one’s approach, say) and EXALTED (60A. August) are the positives. HYPERTEXT (34D. Web connection means) and MORSE CODE (6D. A ham might use it) give us high and low tech. SAUERKRAUT (11D. Frank request) possesses a curious and misleading clue, while BOAS (4D. Givers of unfriendly hugs) is somewhat humorous.
“Just the facts, ma’am”entries with their clues are: ALABAMA (1A. Creek Confederacy tribe); ALONSO (30A. King of Naples in “The Tempest”); ARDEN (49D. “As You Like it” setting); FAITH (48D. Hill in Nashville); GRISHAM (8A. “The Appeal” novelist); LOHAN (2D. “I Know Who Killed Me” actress, 2007); MOLOTOV (15A. Two-time foreign minister of the U.S.S.R.); NAZARENE (39A. Jesus, Mary or Joseph); RENAL (9D. Kind of artery) and RENAULT (16A. Clio maker); ST JOHNS (62A. Big East team with six N.I.T. basketball championships).
Less definite in definition are ACCENT (44A. Evidence that one is an alien); ALERT (3D. Word often preceded by a color); COUPES (45D. Body types); PAUSED (41A. Like some DVDs in DVD players); GRADIENT (8D. Inclination); OPEDS (50D. Subjective pieces); PACER (47D. Apparently anxious person); RETAILER (23A. Recipient of a trade discount); TOPSTORY (46A. Opening for an anchor).
AMTOO (1D. Childish comeback) and 20A. SAIDA lot (was telling) round out the five-letter entries, while the short stuff includes AARP, AERO, AGES, ALEE, AMAH, AMFM, ARLO, ATF, AWNS, CCI, ESO, EYES, FAO, HUEY, INQ, IRES, LOAM, MALI, MORE, MTNS, OARS, ONT, ORZO, PROD, REO, RES, TAJ, WORE.
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
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Remaining clues -- Across: 19. Equipment for strokes 21. Observing things; 22. Home of Sault Ste. Marie: Abbr.; 35. Sported; 38. Prefix with marine; 48. Toy store inits.; 51. Asian au pair; 55. U.S. org. with over 39 million members. Down: 5. Justice Dept. division; 10. Govt. probe; 12. U.S. military chopper; 13. One way to turn a ship; 14. Chain links?: Abbr.; 23. Apt., e.g.; 24. Panamanian pronoun; 27. Ticks off; 28. Glutton’s desire; 29. Driving tool; 30. Bears; 31. The good earth?; 32. Pasta eaten with a spoon; 40. Franklin contemporary; 42. Word with longer or minute; 51. Switch letters; 52. Where Bambara is spoken; 53. All ___ (words on a game box); 55. One of a comic-strip married couple; 57. Third-century year; 58. Atlantic City hot spot, with “the”.

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