02.20.09 -- Spelunk!

The Cave of the Storm Nymphs Sir Edward John Poynter
Friday, February 20, 2009
Puzzle by Paula Gamache, edited by Will Shortz
Hmm… thinking about spelunking!
This cave of treasures features a half-dozen eleven-letter entries headlined by
WEASEL WORDS (1A. Aids in artful deception) and includes an ALUMINUM CAN (53A. Recyclable), HEAT SENSORS (55A. Components of some alarms), plenty of INCOHERENCE (17A. Babble) even if RIGHT SIDE UP (15A. Correctly positioned); and importunes one to KISS MY GRITS (49A. 1970s-’80s sitcom put-down/catchphrase).
With that, the following is numerical/alphabetical…
Ten -- AIR CARRIER (27D. American, for one);
APGAR SCORE (25D. Measure of a newborn’s health, named for its developer); CIRCLE LINE (13D. Big Apple excursion operation); HASHES OVER (14D. Reviews repeatedly); SCOTTIE DOG (12D. Pet with short legs and a hard coat, informally); SHORE COVER (26D. Extension of the terms of a marine insurance policy).
Eight --
DUCK CALL (10D. Decoy accompanier); REAR EXIT (38A. Back out?); SHANTIES (28A. Crude dwellings); TAX EXILE (33D. Wealthy Cayman Islands resident, maybe).
Seven -- ETHICAL (5D. Like straight shooters);
REBEKAH (36D. One of Judaism’s four matriarchs); RIOT GUN (37D. It can be a stunner); SCRIBED (41A. Wrote); SCUTTLE (24A. Sink) hand in hand with SPELUNK (11D. Cave) as illustrated!
Six --
AS A MAN (25A. How Viola is disguised in “Twelfth Night”); CORTEX (43A. Center of learning); KLATCH (21A. Gabfest); L SEVEN (6D. Square, in 1950s slang, indicated visually by a two-hand gesture); SHAYNE (40D. Private detective Mike of Brett Halliday novels); SINGER (40A. One may be backed up).
Five -- ACRID (30D. Bitter); 30A. Go for A WALK; 29A.
PHIAL of Galadriel (gift to Frodo Baggins); RAREE (36A. Street show); ROONE (37A. 2003 memoir of a TV executive); SHALE (24D. Slate, originally); SEMIS (42D. Round of four); SWEET (28D. “Nice!”); T CELL (33A. Antigen attacker); WIRED (7D. High on amphetamines).
Four -- AGCY (3D. Part of 16-Across: Abbr.);
BEAT (44A. Switch); BSMT (44D. Real-estate ad abbr.); CDIV (34A. Year of the last known Roman gladiator competition); CONE (34D. Juniper product); 2D. Strauss’s “EINE Nacht in Venedig”; GORY (32A. Like some details): ICED (23A. Hit); I MAY (23D. Words after “if” or before “as well”); IVES (20A. Big Daddy player on 1950s Broadway); ODES (8D. Dedicated compositions); 45D. PICO Rivera, Calif.; SHOE (42A. Something fit to be tied?); SSNS (47D. Hyphenated IDs); STAR (46D. Lead); WRIT (1D. Baliff’s concern).
Three -- ARC (35A. Plot line); ATT (22D. Court figure: Abbr.); CIA (16A. Org. in the 1982 film “Enigma”);
ELO (31A. “Livin’ Thing” group, in brief); ERR (54A. Not be on target); ORS (18A. Where people wear gowns, for short); OVI (48A. Duct opening?); PSS (45A. Followers of closings: Abbr.); 52A. Loch REE, on the River Shannon; REN (9D. TV pooch); RIT (39D. Slowing, in mus.); RMS (51D. Real-estate ad abbr.); SCH (12A. Knowledge base?: Abbr.); 52A. SHO (4D. “The Tudors” airer, briefly); 50D. SUA sponte (of its own accord, at law).
Off to spelunk!
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Puzzle available on the internet at
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