Monday, February 23, 2009 Puzzle by Alan Arbesfeld, edited by Will Shortz Band, bend, bind, bond and bund are the binding elements of today’s interrelated entries -- RUBBER BAND (17A. Stretchable holder); AROUND THE BEND (23A. Loony); THE TIES THAT BIND (35A. Strong family connections, idiomatically); MUNICIPAL BOND (47A. Tax-free investment); CUMMERBUND (57A. Tux go-with). HIRED GUNS (32D. Armed thugs) and WEBMASTER (3D. Internet guru) are the remaining long entries, followed by the mid-sized entries of ASSISTS (27A. Stats in hockey and basketball); BARRELS (44A. OPEC units); BLIMPS (44D. Hoverers over sports stadiums); CABINS (6D. Mountain retreats); CELEBS (10D. OK! Magazine topics); HITTER (43D. One getting a single or a double, e.g.); ROARER (46D. One guffawing); STENOS (5D. Dictation takers). Five-letter entries -- 51A. Aids and ABETS; ALEUT (14A. Alaskan native); AMMAN (50D. Jordan’s capital); ECARD (13D. Modern-day birthday greeting); 62A. Country singer Tennessee ERNIE Ford; FAWNS (1A. Offspring of bucks and does); HOARD (7D. Stockpile); LIVEN (12D. Animate); MATES (47D. Chess endings); NERVE (49D. Chutzpah); ORATE (11. Talk bombastically); PETER (22A. Lose steam, with “out”); RASPS (65A. Talks like Don Corleone); UBOAT (48D. W.W. II Atlantic lurker). Short stuff -- ABLE, ACRO, ADES, ALUM, ANN, ANTS, AONE, ARTY, CHAW, COLE, CSI, EAVE, EDYS, EERS, ELHI, ERIC, FARM, GSA, HAHA, HERA, HIE, INTL, IONS, LAVA, MILA, MLLE, MMM, NATO, NOIR, NUB, RIOT and ROUT, SAHL, SLAP and SNAP and SNIP, SLR, STER, TECH, TORT, UNO, WED. Have a good week! ----------------- For today’s cartoon, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.
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