----------------- Wednesday, June 17, 2009 Puzzle by Peter A. Collins and Joe Krozel, edited by Will Shortz TREE (46A. Thing depicted by this puzzle’s circled letters) and circled letters resulting in the word LIMB (7D. Life’s partner), TRUNK (31D. Magician’s prop) and ROOT (59D. Cheer for) with four more LIMBS and two more ROOTS in unclued circles, constitute this puzzle’s main feature. I didn’t regard the circles while doing the crossword so I don’t know if they are of any use in the solution; however, the “tree” is rather abstract. Included much as an afterthought is NESTS (73A. Items in a 46-Across, often), as are most of the crossword’s entries, existing mainly to serve the arrangement of the words contained within circles. Seven- and eight-letter entries -- ALKALINE (4D. High-pH); BALLADE (27A. 24-line verse form); ENDUSER (54A. Software buyer usually); ITSADATE (40D. “Meet you then!”); KEROSENE (51A. Jet fuel component); PRELATES (41D. Church dignitaries); TAKECARE (3D. “Bye, now”); TRAINSET (29A. Toy on a layout). Six -- EASTER (13D. Egg roll time) and EATSAT (11D. Bothers no end); EDENIC (49D. Like paradise); GRANDE (12D. Starbucks size); ILOILO (10D. Philippine seaport); INHALE (48D. Yoga instructor’s direction) OLDAGE (60A. It beats the alternative, in a saying); ONEARM (20A. Feature of a Las Vegas “bandit”); ONLOAN (53D. Like the art in some exhibits); RIOTER (32A. Water cannon target); STIRIN (5D. Add while cooking); SUNGTO (50D. Serenaded); WETTED (47D. Licked, e.g.); WIESEL (47A. “Night” novelist). Five -- ABNER (35D. Daisy Mae’s guy); ACTAS (1A Sub for); ATEST (70A. Blast from the past); 26D. I BEGTO differ"; CLARA (16A. Bow, the “It Girl”); CLIMB (25A. Do a Sherpa’s work); DÉCOR (71A. Architectural Digest topic); ELITE (68A. Like SEALs); GRAMS (34A. Nutrition label units); IOTAS (19A. Tiny bits); OATEN (67A. Like porridge); PCLAB (8D. Place for a programming class, perhaps); PIPES (39A. Kiltie’s instrument); RANBY (55D. Told in order to get a quick opinion); RENAL (56A. Kidney-related); SHALT (14A. Word after “thou”); SIEGE (9A. Campaign against Troy, e.g.); STEER (36A. Branded beast); TANGO (63A. Radio letter after sierra); 17. “Rikki-TIKKI-Tavi”; UCONN (44A. Huskies’ sch.). Short stuff -- ABC, ALP, ASTO, BAM, BOO, BIC, CHIN, CLEO, CML, DARN, EEN, ENTS, GEST, ISNT, LISP, MARM, MMS, NOR, OAR, RAT, REO, ROD, ROOT, RUES, SCI, SEE, TDS, THEN, TUB, YTD.
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Remaining clues -- Across: 6. Jungfrau or Eiger; 15. Lighter maker; 18. Mid 10th-century year; 22. April 1 cigar sound; 24. George Harrison’s “___ It a Pity”; 33. Patch up; 38. Lard holder; 57. “That was ___ …”; 58. Tool at Henley; 65. Here-there link; 69. “That’s not fair!”; 72. Pay stub abbr. Down: 1. Concerning; 2. Place for a Vandyke; 6. Multiple-choice choices; 9. Poli ___; 21. Ruler divs.; 23. Old-time schoolteacher; 28. Daffy Duck trademark; 29. One might pass for these, briefly; 30. One down in the dumps?; 37. Wishes undone; 42. Dark time, to a bard; 43. Drop in on; 45. ’63 Liz Taylor role; 52. Flying Cloud automaker; 61. Heroic deed; 62. Docs who might treat sinusitis; 64 Key contraction; 66. Axle, e.g.