05.16.09 -- Evil Genius

May 16, 2009
Puzzle by
Tyler Hinman and Byron Walden, edited by Will Shortz
Having never watched a single episode of The Simpsons, my entire experience with same is from crossword puzzles -- I am sure this is due to the unusual names of the characters which are numerous and, of course, legitimate for use in crosswords due to the mainstream nature of the television program, especially the short and/or odd ones for general fill. Today, however, we get a long entry --
TERWILLIGER (20A. Sideshow Bob’s last name on “The Simpsons”). So I managed to read most of the Wikipedia entry to encounter the character of Mr. Terwilliger -- he’s described as an evil genius whose plans often involve murder and destruction -- unfortunately, that still doesn’t explain why everyone’s complexion is yellow! Does anyone know why?
COFFEE BREAK is the other eleven-letter entry, followed by six nine-letter entries -- AS YOU WERE (15A. Captain’s command); BEEN THERE (61A. “I sympathize”), but no "done that"; HARD EDGE (37D. Like a style of painting with sharply delineated forms); JAZZ HANDS (1A. Exuberant gesture with splayed fingers); NED BEATTY (56A. “Deliverance” actor); ORGAN STOP (59A. Something pulled out in church); STRONG BOX (17A. Safe). AMPHORAE (35D. Early containers) and CATSCANS (34D. Radiodensity indicators) span the ages side-by-side.
PLATTE (44D. River facetiously described as “a mile wide at the mouth, but only six inches deep”) and NEBRASKA (7D. Location of the 44-Down) is today’s see-something-else-somewhere-else-in-the-puzzle combo. Fill-in-the-blankers are 22A. “Vous ETES ici” (French map indication); 28A. Corriere della SERA, Italy’s top-selling newspaper; 50A. OLDE-tyme; 21D. Foals : horses :: crias : LLAMAS; 27D. All TOLD.
Question-mark clues are provided for LONG A (18A. Something gays and straights have in common?); SHE (47A. One going steady?); SEXIER (9D. Closer to 10?); RING TONE (12D. Bars for a cell?); LEARNERS (14D. Picker-uppers?); and
51A. Work stoppage?, which isn’t TAKE FIVE (36D. Rest) or DROWSES (8D. Suffers through a boring meeting, maybe)…
Other people in the puzzle -- AMANDA (38A. Mrs. Wingfield in “The Glass Menagerie”); APACHE (31D. Extra in “Broken Arrow,” 1950); ARIEL (55A. Red-haired Disney princess); CARRERE (39D. “Wayne’s World” actress); EDITOR (45D. White, in fiction, or Brown, in real life); INGENUES (13D. Wide-eyed ones); KENT (53D. Frequent phone booth user); MAINER (32A. Longfellow or Millay, by birth); and two from the world of sports, MINOSO (29D. Baseball player known as Mr. White Sox) and SABAN (49D. Nick of college football who was twice A.P. Coach of the Year). No Apu or Lou or Stu, nor Kang or Krusty, Louie or Lenny, Moe or Mona, Snake or Snyder, nor Artie Ziff!
This is what a
CATALPA (34A. Tree with heart-shaped leaves) looks like. HARNESS gets clued today as a Tack item. SUSANS (23D. Preakness flowers, familiarly) is topical as the Preakness is today. Rounding out the six-letter entries are ASTUTE (2D. Sharp); CHORDS (48A. They may be fingered); EASELS (24A. Studio props); HOBNOB (42D. Chat); JASPER (1D. Traditional March birthstone); RETYPE (46D. Enter again); ZYRTEC (3D. Antiallergy brand).
Five-letter --
A-LINE (16A. Coat cut); AS PER (43A. In accordance with); AW GEE (6D. “You shouldn’t have”); CASIO (39A. Maker of the first electric compact calculator); CELLO (48D. Item with a peg box); NAVEL (58A. Central point); PALLS (10D. Shrouds); PERIL (10A. Snake in the grass); RECUT (26A. Like some gems and old movies); SEE TO (60A. Handle); SOAKS (30A. Registers, with “in”).
Short stuff -- AIT (54D. Island in the Thames),
ARIA (33D. “Votre toast,” for one); ASH (57D. Powdery evidence), CHAR, ELOI (11D. “My God,” in Aramaic); FEET (52D. “Dogs“), HUNT, MOUE, PUT (19A. Phrase), SHE (47A. One going steady?), "steady as she goes" goes well with "as you were"; TNN (25A. Onetime Nascar outlet), TPKS and ZOO.
Will Will never stop with The Simpsons?!
For today’s cartoon, go to
The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated, or not!
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Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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