03.15.09 -- Prior "S"s

The Prioress' Tale, a painting by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones.
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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Puzzle by Patrick Berry, edited by Will Shortz

There is no prioress in today’s crossword, but it features plenty of prior esses in the form of present esses! SCREAMED SCORN (23A. Ridiculed someone as loudly as possible?); STABLE STALK (28A. Piece of hay?); STOOL SKITS (30A. Comedic bits by guys sitting at a bar?); SPACE SCAR (39A. Astronaut’s old wound?); SOLD SAGE (53A. Worked at an herb shop, maybe?); SWITCH SHUNTS (57A. Change devices hat divert trains to different tracks?); SMELTING SPOT (81A. Ore refinery?); SOIL SPAN (84A. Large field of dirt?); SHAM SHOCK (99A. Reaction upon being hit with a chair in WrestleMania?); SPIT SCREWS (108A. What an angry robot might do?); SLAYING SLOW (111A. What Buffy might be doing at the end of a long, hard night?); SWISHING SWELL (119. Increase in perfect basketball shots).

Remains across: 1. Sporty Mazdas, MIATAS; 7. Name shared by two apostles, JAMES; 12. Org. founded by Samuel Gompers, AFL; 13. Dartboard site, PUB; 18. Eastern Catholic who recognizes the pope’ authority, UNIATE; 19. Habitual practices, USAGES; 21. Geological epoch when mastodons appeared, MIOCENE; 25. Colombian carrier, AVIANCA; 26. Scratch left on a table?, TIP; 27. Oscar winner Kedrova, LILA; 34. Stoked, perhaps, AGOG; 35. Originally, NEE; 36. Architect Saarinen, EERO; 37. Does some improvisations, SCATS; 43. Book recited during Purim, ESTHER; 46. Tarot suit, CUPS; 48. Modest knowledge; SMATTER; 49. “Tarzan” star Ron ELY; 50. Holders of jacks, MODEMS; 52. Co. that makes bar code scanners, NCR; 63. Gilbert and Sullivan princess, IDA; 64. “Rapture” singer Baker, ANITA; 66. Nautical passage, STRAIT; 67. The Pacific’s “Valley Isle”, MAUI; 68. It may be checked, KING; 70. Actor Rhames of the “Mission: Impossible” films, VING; 72. Icon on Guinness bottles, HARP; 73. Cracker coating, SALT; 74. Literary award shaped like a rocket, HUGO; 75. Blockbuster movie, e.g.; RENTAL; 77. World Heritage Site in Jordan, PETRA; 80. CBS show with two spinoffs, CSI; 86. Director Jean-LUC Godard; 87. “Holy moly!”, YEGODS; 89. Opposite of paleo-, NEO; 90. Kickback for good publicity, PLUGOLA; 94. “Let’s Make a Deal” choice, DOOR; 95. Pythian Games site; DELPHI; 101. Removes lumps from batter, STIRS; 104. Schonberg’s “Moses und ARON”; 105. German “rocks”, EIS; 106. Desideratum, NEED; 116. See 121-Down, LEIA; 117. Hierarchy chart’s top box, CEO; 118. Atlas Mountains locale, ALGERIA; 123. Making, as money; 124. Out, in library lingo, ONLOAN; 125. Be a busybody, MEDDLE; 126. It’s considerably bigger than D, EEE; 127. SAO Miguel (largest of the Azores); 128. Tossed, SLUNG; 129. Judge, ASSESS.

The downs: 1. Too good to miss, as a TV show, MUSTSEE; 2. Urges on; INCITES; 3. 1970 disaster flick, AIRPORT; 4. Inventor’s inits., TAE; 5. In any way, ATALL; 6. Penultimate, round, SEMIS; 7. Like bar mitzvahs, JUDAIC; 8. Dummkopf, ASS; 9. Buddy, MAC; 10. Yes-men feed them, EGOS; 11. Tempur-Pedic competitor, SERTA; 12. Combination, AMALGAM; 13. V, to Valerian, FIVE; 14. “Family Guy” mom, LOIS; 15. Hair shirt wearer’s activity, PENANCE; 16. Not properly explained, UNCLEAR; 17. It might hold the solution, BEAKER; 20. Hiccups, so to speak, SNAGS; 22. Cool CAT; 24. Group with an Exalted Ruler, ELKS; 29. Hits with one’s fist, BOPS; OOHED and aahed; 32 Folded fast food, TACO; 33. Snow tire features, STUDS; 38. Ejects, SPEWS; 40. “Bold Lover, never CANST thou kiss”: Keats; 41. Make aquatints, ETCH; 42. Moves fingers across strings, STRUMS; 44. “Born Free” lioness, ELSA; 5. Illinois governor before Blagojevich; 47. See 115-Down, SMITH; 50. Dispensing, with “out”, METING; 51. Standing subway passenger’s aid, STRAP; 53. Worshiper’s at Amritsar’s Golden Temple, SIKHS; 54. Disgrace, ODIUM; 55. Depression-era photojournalist Dorothea LANGE; 56. Accepted fact, GIVEN; 58. Nice touch, CARESS; 59. Aware of, HIPTO; 60. Org. co-founded by W.E. B. Du Bois, NAACP; 61. City in Tornado Alley, TULSA; 62. Audit, with “on”, SITIN; 65. Apprehensive, ANTSY; 69. “The Lord of the Rings” ring bearer, GOLLUM; 71. Opened wide, GAPED; 75. Maker of Caplio cameras, RICOH; 76. Brand recognition aids, LOGOS; 78. Drink garnish, often, RIND; 79. Away from the wind, ALEE; 82. Actions on shirtsleeves, TUGS; 83. Honey pie, TOOTS; 85. Alternative energy type, SOLAR; 88. IV, DRIP; 90. 2008 World Series winner, PHILLIE; 91. Trattoria dish, LASAGNE; 92. In ancient times, LONGAGO; 93. Strong hold-em holding, ACES; 96. Go before, PRECEDE; 97. Writer William Dean HOWELLS; 98. Foot pads?, INSOLES; 99. Bun topper, SESAME; 100. Only five-time U.S. Horse of the Year, KELSO; 102. Irritating, RILING; 103. W.W. II submachine gun, STEN; 107. Certain crossword entries, DOWNS; 109. Arithmetic series symbol, SIGMA; 110. Docket listings, CASES; 112. On the other hand, YET; 113. Rainbow goddess, IRIS; 114. Ing√©nue in Chekhov’s “The Seagull”, NINA; 115. With 47-Down, Oscar nominee for “Ali”, WILL; 120. Old bronze coin, SOU; 121. Solo, love interest of 116-Across, HAN; 122. Dict. entries, WDS.

The lowly little "s", a hopeful guess for many a crossword corner, today has had its' day!

May your crosswords be blessed with "s"s prior and present... yes!, and feature flocks of future esses!

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Puzzle available on the internet at

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