From “Solium Infernum” a turn based strategy game set in the profoundest depths of Hell. ----------------- Sunday, February 8, 2009 CRYPTIC CROSSWORD, Puzzle by Richard Silvestri, edited by Will Shortz I wasn’t going to do this puzzle, but I did, and only with help from Elizabeth and Dan (see Comments)! Across: 1. Conclude 500 divides 2, DEDUCE; 4. What a guard might ask for: father’s weapon, PASSWORD; 9. Positive story about operating room in Virginia, FAVORABLE; 11. Reggie Miller, for one, comes back to give a summary, PACER; 12. Trials or transactions, ORDEALS; 13. Touching fellow who has been in the sun, TANGENT; 14. Oscar-winning actor is embracing Reagan, IRONS; 16. Most ridiculous place for a bird, INANEST; 19. Hot old lover quoted, EXCITED; 21. Talent to burn, they say, FLAIR; 23. Take out additional cent, EXTRACT; 25. Doctor Adam ran a fast time, RAMADAN; 27. Feel sorry about missing the first bird, EGRET; 28. Change back row, REARRANGE; 29. Great tie, wrong knot, TOWERING; 30. Well-spoken doc goes after viral malady, FLUENT. Down: 1. Lifted top off a low- grade flower, DAFFODIL; 2. Find a video featuring Letterman, DAVID; 3. Pens hymns for the audience, CORRALS; 5. A. bartender may pour it right on one’s toes, ALERT; 6. Middle Easterner losing a good English medical instrument, SYRINGE; 7. Short race confused players, ORCHESTRA; 8. Obligation to include record agent, DEPUTY; 10. Introduction of Band Aid musician, BASSIST; 15. Deposition plainly visible at end of fifth file, OVERTHROW; 17. Country/god, ANDORRA; 18. Byzantine patterns in part of church, TRANSEPT; 20. Oscar-winning actress has paintings for hire, CHARTER; 21. Bottomless woman holding hoop right near the thigh, FEMORAL; 22. Theater company breakfast, theater company breakfast, REPEAT; 24. Spin around one Italian city; 26. Somewhat slow without an author, DANTE. I had my doubts as to FLAIR, and stubbornly stuck to DEPOSE, DENSE and ANEAT. Dan in Comments set me right -- it's not DEPOSE, but D(EP)UTY (obligation = duty, record = EP, agent = deputy); and as to DENSE, it's DANTE -- somewhat slow without an author = (an)DANTE; and finally, a bartender may pour it right on one's toes = ALE+RT. FLAIR is correct, as FLARE has a (verb) sense of burn (as in flare-up). I also didn’t understand the clue for PASSWORD (see Elizabeth's explanation in Comments), nor the answer of OVERTHROW, which I later came around to its' being OVERT (plainly visible) plus the end of fifth (H) plus file (ROW). Thanks for the help, and now I hope I can declare this puzzle finished! Click on image to enlarge. Puzzle available on the internet at THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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