04.04.09 -- Step-By-Step

Algorithm technique illustration by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, Berkeley National Laboratory
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Puzzle by Matt Ginsberg, edited by Will Shortz
An algorithm of eleven entries and all of the clues is the thread in this Saturday crossword -- The first letter of the across clues spell out ANY CLUE OF A WORD OF EIGHT OR MORE LETTERS continuing with the first letter of the down clues IS THE OPPOSITE OF THE WORD TO BE ENTERED -- this directive includes, of course, the entry of LAST LETTERS (33A. Explanatory information about his puzzle is revealed by reading these in the clues); continuing with OPPOSITION (18A. Friendly side in a debate); EVENNESS (23A. Asymmetry, as in a relationship); RELEGATE (49A. Make more important); INACTIVATE (54A. Energize); GRACEFUL (3D. Tripping over one’s feet); ESSENTIAL (4D. Hardly necessary); IN SECRET (9D. Overtly); IRREGULAR (32D. Well-proportioned); TRUSTING (35D. Remaining leery of); SEPARATE (36. Draw together).
This is the second crossword in the New York Times this past year in which the first letter of the clues spell a message, the other being Sunday, November 16, 2008, which was a made-for-television puzzle (as was the recent Thursday, April 2, 2008). The "after-solve" gimmick of these types of crosswords is a nuisance in that after the solution is complete, one is asked to dwell upon it -- frankly, once there are no blank squares staring out at me anymore, I don't really care!
Remaining across: 1. Attendant, PAGE; 5. No mild pepper, CHILI; 10. Yearly loan figs., APRS; 14. Chooses badly, ERRS; 15. Lead role in a classic Arthur Miller play, LOMAN; 16. Upstate New York county, ERIE; 17. Eventful stretches, ERAS; 20. Officer’s request, at times, LICENSE; 22. Rival of Roach in early film comedy, SENNETT; 25. Wile E. Coyote, often, CHASER; 26. Overhead supporter, RAFTER; 27. Ruminate (over), PORE; 29. Determine the innocence or guilt of, TRY; 30. Orleans pronoun, LUI; 31. Feodor III’s successor as czar, PETERI; 37. Its streets are immortalized in a classic cowboy ballad, LAREDO; 38. Govt. agency creation, REG; 40. Head, TOP; 43. “The Thinker,” for one, NUDE; 44. On-call accessory, BEEPER; 47. Rakes’ shedmates, SPACES; 51. Opening of a toast, HERESTO; 53. Reinforced, SECURED; 56. Leucite source, LAVA; 57. Edit menu command, REDO; 58. Titled, NAMED; 59. Two fives for ATEN; 60. ESPN anchor Wingo, TREY; 61. Result of polishing, GLOSS; 62. Split, RENT.
Down: 1. Implement in a kitchen, PEELER; 21. Station information, ARRIVAL; 5. Expert dealmaker, CLOSER; 6. Optimists keep them alive, HOPES; 7. Parent’s challenge, IMP; 8. Part of French Indochina, LAOS; 10. State Farm competitor, AETNA; 11. Incense burner, at times, PRIEST; 12. Tears may be brought to one’s eyes, RIOTER; 13. Ever-vigilant sort, SENTRY; 19. One possible answer to “Where are you!”, INHERE; 21. Frankfurt-to-Copenhagen dir., NNE; 24. Ticket taker?, SPEEDER; 28. “How to Make an American Quilt” author Whitney, OTTO; 31. Entreated, PLED; 32. Of soundest mind, SANEST; 39 Take vengeance, GETEVEN; 40. Option for dressing down, TSHIRT; 41. Barkeep’s gizmo, OPENER; 42. Event for a marshal, PARADE; 44. Extorts, BLEEDS; 45. Nafta’s overseas counterpart, EEC; 46. Tiny biter, REDANT; 48. Entrap, DECOY; 50. Rob of “Melrose Place”, ROB; 52. Eyecup’s shape, OVAL; 55. Domitian’s “I love”, AMO.
For today’s cartoon, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.
Click on image to enlarge.
Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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alanrichard said...

I finished this puzzle in < 10 minutes. It was a very easy Saturday puzzle. HOwever I had no idea what the theme was - so I read your blog and now I understand - thanks!

cornbread hell said...


ApaulO ARTik Agrinaut said...

done in 9 minutes...