02.01.09 -- GRID-IRONY

Sunday, February 1, 2009
GRID-IRONY, Puzzle by Victor Fleming and Matt Ginsberg, edited by Will Shortz
SUPER BOWL SUNDAY (81A. Setting for the answers to the 10 starred clues). This Sunday’s crossword is best left to the fans of football. Without a working knowledge of the sport’s terminology, one might have some difficulty in scoring a touchdown, er…solution -- much less becoming enthused over this gridiron special.
The ten entries involved, with their “ironic” clues -- BALL CARRIER (33A. “Airline for Lucille); HASH MARKS (40A. *Corned beef stains?); TWO MINUTE WARNING (62A. *Caution when boiling a 60-Down?); PASS INTERFERENCE (100A. *Chaperon’s job?); TIGHT ENDS (118A. *Tersely edited epilogues?); NEUTRAL ZONE (130A. *Where everyone wears beige?); ILLEGAL MOTION (3D. *Rolling past a stop sign?); EXTRA POINT (16D. *Added comment?); OFFENSIVE LINE (77D. *That dress makes you look fat,” e.g.?); FALSE START (91D. *Onset of a lie?).
The remaining puzzle is an over-sized grid containing a half-time parade of all-over-the-place crosswordese:
Across: 1. To-do, STIR; 5. Symptoms for a car mechanic, HUMS; 9. Some, ABITOF; 15. Big shots?, BELTS; 20. Decorated in ceramic, say, TILED; 22. 1980s hit-makers with a geographical name, ASIA; 23. Hispanic “Sesame Street” character, ROSITA; 24. Cousin of an aster, OXEYE; 25. Holden’s little brother in “The Catcher in the Rye”, ALLIE; 26. Fire, ZEAL; 27. Liquefied, MOLTEN; 28. Agreeing (with), ATONE; 29. Fully constituted, as a session of Congress, PLENARY; 31. Cool, HIP; 35. Envoy, LEGATE; 36. Locales for some paintings, CAVES; 38. Name repeated in Woody Allen’s “MELINDA and MELINDA”; 39. Epoch, ERA; 43. Competitor of Chambers, for short, OED; 44. “54-40 or fight” candidate, POLK; 48. Alternative to cable, DSL; 49. Home of the War in the Pacific National Historic Park, GUAM; 50. IPSE dixit; 53. Unwrap impatiently, RIPOPEN; 55. Subject for Hume, MORALS; 58. The Globe and others, THEATRES; 61. Feudal superior, LIEGE; 65. Dwindle, RUNLOW; 66. Like movies and hotels, RATED; 67. IVAN the Great, leader of 1462-1505; 68. Inattention, NEGLECT; 70. Have ANIN with; 71. Two tablets, say, DOSE; 73. Punch, SOCK; 75. “Bleah!”, ICK; 77. Not quite right; OFF; 80. Swear words?, IDO; 85. Natural do, FRO; 86. Go for the bronze?, TAN; 87. Tick (off), TEE; 88. Present opener?, OMNI; 89. Godfather’s voice, maybe, RASP; 90. Come from AFAR; 91. Tycoons, slangily, FATCATS; 94. Mech. ENGR; 96. Hollywood figure, AGENT; 97. Some golf fund-raisers, PROAMS; 105. Proto-seed, OVULE; 106. Might, STRENGTH; 107. They put on shows, AIRERS; 108. “I think we should say no”; LETSNOT; 1120. Score before winning a game, maybe, ADIN; 111. 5 for B or 6 for C, ATNO; 112. Something to contribute to, for short, IRA; 115. European tongue, ERSE; 116. It may be tapped, KEG; 122. Roman power, VIS; 123. Avon and others, STREAMS; 127. Agronomists’ samples, SOILS; 128. Museum supporters, EASELS; 134. Kind of sequencing, DNA; 135. “Great Expectations” girl, ESTELLA; 136. “No go”, IXNAY; 137. Some of the knights in Wagner’s “Tannhäuser”; 139. TROD the boards (acted); 141. Word sung twice before “to you and you and you”; 142. Dish name, PETRA; 143. It borders France, IBERIA; 144. “Holy cow!”, EGAD; 145. 1983 Streisand role, YENTL; 146. “Kenilworth”: author, SCOTT; 147. Packing a punch, POTENT; 148. Flout, DEFY; 149. Pause, REST.
Down: 1. Bound, in a way, STAPLED; 2. Boat steerers, TILLERS; 4. Spain’s Isabel I, e.g., REINA; 5. Vague, as a recollection, HAZY; 6. Milk, USE; 7. Half-of-Fame forward, MIAHAMM; 8. Mouth watering?, SALIVA; 9. Branch, ARM; 10. BOOB; 11. What a crescent symbolizes, ISLAM; 12. Lord, e.g., TITLE; 13. Verdi masterpiece, OTELLO; 14. Lovers, FANCIERS; 15. Daily meals, board; 17. First pope called “the Great”, LEOI; 18. TYNE and Wear (English county); 19. Sibyl, SEER; 21. Its stroke is “as a lover’s pinch, which hurts, and is desired,” per Cleopatra, DEATH; 30. “An American Life” autobiographer, REAGAN; 32. PER se; 34. “You ANDI” (1982 Eddie Rabbitt hit); 36. Castigate; CHASTISE; 37. Mogul negotiator, SKIER; 41. Takei’s “Star Trek” role;, SULU; 42. Month or year, SPAN; 45. European car, OPEL; 46. Kind of block, LEGO; 47. Had down pat, KNEW; 51. Ruckuses, stinks; 52. White-tailed bird, ERNE; 54. Having gumption, PLUCKY; 56. Shooting star, maybe, OMEN; 57y. Relieved (of), RID; 58. Old “Up, up and away” sloganeer, TWA; 59. Cab’s ancestor, HANSOM; 60. See 62-Across, EGG; 62. Quality, TRAIT; 63. Country singer Jackson, WANDA; 64. “Did IEVER!”; 65. Sum up, RECAP; 69. They close at night, LIDS; 71. 1993 triple-platinum Frank Sinatra album, DUETS; 72. The U.A.E. is in it, OPEC; 74. Totally dominate, OWN; 75. Lawyer’s need, CLIENT; 78. F, monetarily, FRANC; 79. F, musically, FORTE; 81. Anther’s place; STAMEN; 82. Pushed (around), BOSSED; 83. Spur, URGE; 84. Talks through a film, NARRATES; 90. Golden AGER; 92. Just right, APT; 93. Scarlett’s true love, TARA; 95. Ultimate, NTH; 96. It may come after you, ARE; 97. Barber’s emblem, pole; 98. KOA campground user, RVER; 99. Loopholes, OUTS; 101. Pique, SNIT; 102. Flavius’s fire, IGNIS; 103. Eero Saarinen, by birth, FINN; 104. Diminishes bit by bit, ERODES; 106. Boot option, STEELTIP; 19. Member of the mallow family; OKRA; 111. How U.S. senators are elected, ATLARGE; 113. Small creeks, RILLETS; 114. Onslaught, ASSAULT; 117. Site of many an outdoor wedding, GAZEBO; 119. “My GOD!”; 120. Suggested, HINTED; 121. Asian appetizer, SATAY; 124. “Have some!”, TRYIT; 125. London Parliament series painter, MONET; 126. Noise at night, SNORE; 129. Meal in Nisan, SEDER; 130. Barely defeats, NIPS; 131. Board member, EXEC; 132. A law UNTO itself; 133. Moran of “Happy Days”, ERIN; 135. Mini-whirlpool, EDDY; 138. Pre-coll. Exam; 140. Blockhead, OAF.
Incidentally, videotapes of the telecasts of the first two Super Bowls are not known to exist even though they were telecast by both NBC and CBS. Sports Illustrated has reported that the only existing footage of the first Super Bowl is a two minute clip of the game. In the early days of television into the 1960s, copies of TV broadcasts were routinely wiped (erased), in part due to videotape being prohibitively expensive, but mainly because it was thought no one would want to watch something they had already seen and were in on the outcome!
True gridiron irony!
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