03.22.09 -- Closing the Deal

Alice and Cards, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, 1951
Sunday, March 22, 2009
CLOSING THE DEAL, Puzzle by Joon Pahk and Matt Matera, edited by Will Shortz
I’m sure one doesn’t need to be hot for a crossword puzzle to solve it, but a little fire might help. It also helps if the puzzle's got a bit of rhythm (if that can be applied to a crossword) or pizzazz (and that can be applied to anything) which might motivate the solving process; however, this one manages to serve up just a so-so hand, which is no complaint -- it's actually fairly interesting in retrospect.
There’s a group of interrelated across entries referring to the playing of cards -- I suppose if one plays cards, the puzzle's a done deal; however, I was unfamiliar with several of the card games what with two having secondary names and never having played four of the games -- not that one need have experienced or experience anything found in a crossword puzzle contrary to the ramblings of one self-appointed crossword "critic"!
POKER (25. Painful prod); DIAMOND SOLITAIRE (27. Engagement gift); YOM KIPPUR WAR (50. Conflict of 1973); DINETTE SET (57. Showcase Showdown prize, perhaps); ARTICHOKE HEARTS (67. Fancy salad ingredients); BATHTUB GIN (83. Speakeasy supply); LONDON BRIDGE (92. Subject of a nursery rhyme that has only eight different words); CENTURY TWENTY-ONE (109. Big name in real estate); PIZZERIA UNO (119. Classic name in chain restaurants).
Other entries of length -- EX-MARINES (23A. Corps veterans); MAGNETIZED (74D. Made more attractive?); TAKES A WALK (16D. Leaves); TOW HEADED (91A. Fair-haired); ZOOT SUITS (52A. Bygone party attire). Zoots, but not SUITS!
People in the puzzle -- ALOIS (34D. Eponymous Dr. Alzheimer); CPAS (107D. Ones working on columns, for short); a DAMOZEL (93D. Young woman, old-style); DIOR (13D. Christian of the cloth?); 77D. Thomas Hardy’s EGDON Heath; ELY (120D. Ron of “Tarzan”); EMP (39D. Hirohito’s title: Abbr.); 63D. Alibi IKE (Ring Lardner character); ITURBI (69D. Pianist Jose); LEEAAKER (65A. Star of 1950s TV’s “The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin”); LORI (9D. “Full House” actress Loughlin); NICOLE (41D. Designer Miller); OZMA (125A. Princess of literature); 43A.
PAAVO Nurmi, the Flying Finn; PETER (51D. “Quo vadis?” speaker); PYE (95A. English poet laureate Henry); REBS (129A. Gray side); REESE (76A. Man with cups and pieces); ROS (38D. Author Asquith of children’s books); a SERB (64D. Balkan native); SETH (54D. Rogen of “Knocked Up”); SHUTE (127A. “On the Beach” author); 58D. THOM Yorke, lead singer of Radiohead; T-MAN (101A. Untouchable, say); TUTU (112D. Peace Nobelist from South Africa); YGOR (115D. “Son of Frankenstein” role).
Remains across -- 1. Eye affliction; 5. Wearing a long dress and a collar buttoned to the top, maybe; 9. Was; 14. Raise hell; 19. Evian and others; 20. Harried; 21.
Manuscript marks noting possible errors; 22. Go on and on; 29. Turned on the waterworks; 30. In Sicily it’s about 10, 920 ft. high; 31 After-Christmas sale shoppers, e.g.; 33. Papier-MACHE; 37. Shows in a theater; 46. Penne ALLA vodka; 47. Traveler’s alternative to 90-Down, JFK; 55. Part of a family; 56. Munic. Official; 59. Stripe; 60. Down; 61. Help desk sign; 62. See 84-Down; 72. Easily beat all the competition; 75. Petty; 80. River separating continents; 81. Singular praise?; 87. H.S. class; 88. Montréal-MIRABEL International Airport; 96. Singular; 97. Energy source; 98. Having only the forepart visible, as a beast in heraldry; 100. ULNAR nerve (funny bone tingler); 103. “A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a VIOLIN; what else does a man need to be happy?”: Albert Einstein; 107. Historian’s Muse; 121. Like, with “to”; 122. Spinning; 123. Untagged, in tag; 124. Michelangelo’s David, e.g.; 126. “Alas…”; 128. Showed disdain, in a way.
Down -- 1. Origin; 2. Get ready to take off; 3.
Desert in the Southwest; 4. This is a test; 5. It may be fine or fine art; 6. Typeface imitative of handwriting; 7. Words of explanation; 8. Quark/antiquary pairs; 10. “Su-u-ure”; 11. Sacred Hindu text; 12. K-12; 14. Killer APP; 15. One with prier engagements?; 17. Sch. Near the Rio Grande; 18. Cheeky; 24. Where 51-Down was martyred; 26. Pro TEM; 28. Like some petticoats; 32. Symphony, e.g.; 33. “Zoom-zoom” sloganeer; 35. Dull, hollow sound; 36. Often-anonymous intimidation technique; 40. Scratches (out); 42. Flowering shrub; 44. “x” in an equation; 45. “At-ten-SHUN!,: e.g.; 47. Protrude; 48. “Bah!”; 49. 24 of them = 100%: Abbr.; 53. Rear of a galley; 50. Brave activity; 66. Based on A TRUE story; 68. TAKIN’ Care of Business” (1974 hit); 70. Los Angeles’s CEDARS-Sinai Medical Center; 71. Basic cooking instruction; 72. They’re often scheduled at noon; 73. “… then again, I could be wrong”; 78. Home of St. Catherine; 79. Rear-ENDER; 82. Sometimes-satin item of apparel; 84. With 62-Across, comic’s challenge; 85. Certain M.P.G. rating: Abbr.; 86. French beverage; 88. Home of Mondrian’s “Broadway Boogie Woogie”; 89. Part of an academic address; 90. Traveler’s alternative to 47-Across, LAG; 94. Green-eyed monster; 99. Nashville 11; 100. “UNTO the Sons (Gay Talese best seller); 102. Big A.T.M. maker); 104. Accept responsibility; 105. LEAD A double life; 106. Fjord, for example; 108. Old Italian bread; 110. Fünf minus vier; 111. Sodium hydroxide, chemically; 113. Second, e.g.; 114. Mechanical; 116. Squishy stuff; 117. Feeling no pain; 118. Juan’s “those”.
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THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How lovely to see The Blessed Damozel by Rossetti here!