02.19.09 -- Wormhole

Illustration depicting a wormhole
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Puzzle by
Kevin G. Der, edited by Will Shortz
There’s another world at the end of this crossword. Adding an extra letter in front of five entries constitutes today’s interrelated group of entries -- an extra E, X, T, R and A, heralded by EXTRA EXTRA (57A. Old street cry, or what’s in 18-, 23-, 34-, 42- and 51-Across). Left alone, those entries would read bay window, ray of hope, urban legend, adios amigos, and Wes Craven, but instead (with justifying clues) -- EBAY WINDOW (18A. What might have the heading “Collectibles” or “Toys & Hobbies”?); XRAY OF HOPE (23A. Optimistic scan at the dentist’s?); TURBAN LEGEND (34A. Story of Ali Baba?); RADIOS AMIGOS (42A. Transmit’s a message to Pancho and pals?); AWES CRAVEN (51A. Amazes a horror film director?). After completing the puzzle, I still had no idea what was extra -- it’s one of those!
And down into the wormhole of negativity we go -- OH JOY (9A. “That’s great … not!”); HUHS (22A. Confused responses); TOADY (41A. Sycophant); URGENT (45A. Pressing); MY BAD (64A. “Sorry, I did it”); SLAP (68A. Unfortunate date ending); MEAGRE (2D. Thin, overseas); MOB (6D. Kind of scene); YOW (13D. “That hurt!”); VETOERS (33D. Nay sayers); NEINS (36D. Dortmund denials); BARE (38D. Not decent); STARE (43D. Unsettling look); AVULSE (47D. Tear off forcefully); MEAN IT (48D. Be serious); and ending with ASP (62D. “Poor venomous fool,” to Shakespeare).
It’s also
holoalphabetic -- e.g., all the letters of the alphabet are included, not to be confused with a pangram which is a sentence of every letter of the alphabet. Now, to FOCUS ON (21D. Pay strict attention to) the rest of the crossword, the remaining six-letter entries are ARREAR (3D. Amount of debt, old-style); ENDASH (49D. Long hyphen); EVOKED (32A. Conjured up);TJMAXX (1D. Marshalls competitor); URGENT (45A. Pressing).
Passing at warp, the five-letter entries -- AGEOF (20A. Words with innocence or consent); AQUAS (54D. Water colors); BUENO (16A. It’s good for Juan); CBERS (37A. Many truckers); EXTOL (53D. Honor); HABLA (25D. Speak in Spanish); IDAHO (7D. Home of the City of Rocks National Reserve); LAYUP (8D. Easy two points); LOGOS (26D. Racecar adornments); NIMOY (4D. “I Am Spock” autobiographer); OZAWA (67A. Conductor noted for wearing turtlenecks); SQUAD (56A. Starters and more); TRIES (34D. Essays); WAXES (52D. Becomes fuller); WHEEL (19D. Prop on “The Price Is Right”).
Making even shorter shrift of the short stuff -- AIM and AME, ASIS, BARE, CIA, CRUZ, DADA, DRAX, EDDY, EDGE, EMIL and EMO, EONS, EYE, FIR, GNC, HUN, IKEA, JED and JERI, LIVE, MARM, MOB, NNE, OBIS, ONO, RAW, RNA, SETH, SLAP, TBA, TMAN, ULNA, VEND, XER, XYZ, YODA (15A. Film character who says “Named must your fear be before banish it you can”), YOW, ZEES.
If you like crosswords written by a computer that seems to slither out of a, well...
wormhole, this one‘s for you! No LIE (40A. One may be caught in it)!
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Remaining clues -- Across: 1. One of the Untouchables; 5. Disney’s “___ and the Detectives”; 14. Ryan of “Star Trek: Voyager”; 26. Not recorded; 30. Boomer’s kid; 31. Org. in the Bourne series; 46. Naut. Heading; 47. Letters on some churches; 50. Scrabble 10-pointers; 55. Bond villain in “Moonraker”; 63. Bone meaning “elbow” in Latin; 65. A seeming eternity; 66. Sale caveat; 68. Unfortunate date ending; 69. Dickens’s Mr. Pecksniff. Down: 5. Socket filler; 6. Kind of scene; 9. They have bows; 10. Ancient pillager; 11. President Bartlet on “The West Wing”; 12. “Wedding Album” recording artist; 24. Center of holiday decorations; 27. Furniture chain; 28. Deal in; 29. Swirl; 35. Second part of a three-part command; 37. “Volver” actress, 2006; 38. Not decent; 39. Advantage; 44. Health supplement store; 55. Precursor to Surrealism; 57. Rock genre; 58. Series finale; 59. ? On a sched.; 60. Not even rare; 61. Code carrier.

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