Sunday, June 7, 2009 SHIFTY BUSINESS, Puzzle by Jeremy Newton, edited by Will Shortz Integrated into this Sunday crossword is the most common five-speed shift pattern -- 1st, 3rd, 5th, Neutral, 2nd, 4th and Reverse -- in circles in the grid duplicating the pattern of a floor gear shift box. While there are other manual transmission layouts, the shift pattern used in today’s puzzle is well suited to a crossword, due to its being symmetrical. As for the driver, this layout is reasonably intuitive because it starts at the upper left and works left to right, top to bottom, with reverse at the end of the sequence and toward the rear of the car. The entries that happen upon these circled gears are as follows: Across, in order of appearance -- WHO’S [FIRST] (33. Teacher’s question at the start of a show-and-tell); GO TO [THIRD] BASE (35. Anticipate heading home); [FIFTH] ACTS (38A. Endings for Shakespeare); TAKES A [NEUTRAL] STANCE (67. Doesn’t care either way); THIS [SECOND] (98A. At once); JULY [FOURTH] BBQS (101A. Some summer feasts in the U.S.); [REVERSE] SIDE (103. Where to sign a credit card, e.g.). The corresponding downs -- SEEN [FIRST]-HAND (5. Witnessed); COME [THIRD] (10. Finish last on “Jeopardy!”); SAKS [FIFTH] AVENUE (15. Look over); ODOR [NEUTRAL]IZER (48D. It freshens the air); THIRTY-[SECOND] SPOT (67. TV advertising staple; [FOURTH]-RATE (102. Hardly commendable); RUN A [REVERSE] PLAY (84. Trick the defensive line, maybe). Other: Eight- and nine-letter entries -- AIRBUSES (88D. Double-deckers in the sky, maybe); ALTEREGOS (83A. Bruce Wayne and Batman, e.g.); FACEMASK (55A. “Friday the 13th” prop); GAMEROOM (85A. Place for matches at home); RAINDELAY (56A. Inning stretcher, maybe); WEAPONED (9D. Gave missiles to).
Seven-letter -- ALMSBOX (11D. Donation receptacle); AREOLAE (21A. Biological rings); BAREXAM (54D. Practice requirement?); CAVEART (44A. Some early paintings); ERNESTO (93A. Che Guevara’s real first name); FOCALLY (55D. As the center of attention); GAPESAT (125A. Views wide-eyed); INHASTE (116A. Rashly); NEUTERS (122A. Gets fixed), nearly Neutral; NYTIMES (94A. Big Apple daily, in brief); NOVICES (49A. They’re learning the ropes); ONEIDAS (42A. New York tribe); POWCAMP (7A. Where an M.I.A. might be); PSYCHUP (92D. Energize); SCAMMER (24A. Con artist); SHIATSU (90A. Massage technique); 40A. THOMSON Reuters, media giant).
Six-letter -- ALIENS (119A. “Men in Black” figures); ANOINT (53A. Bless); ASIMOV (39D. “Foundation” trilogy writer); AUGERS (89A. Drilling devices); BEGETS (76D. Fathers); CASTRO (22A. 1950 University of Havana grad) and CRISCO (64A. Oil bigwig?); CLEANS (73D. Empties, with “out”) and CLEARS (69D. Unclogs); EXOTIC (74A Pet store category); HYMNAL (126A. It’s bound to be used in a service); IQTEST (97D. Brightness detector); ISLETS (14A. Parts of Fiji); ITALIC (80A. Leaning, in a way); MUTING (95D. Silencing); NESTED (23A. Tightly stacked, as ice trays); NOIDEA (20A. “Beats me”), anagram for Oneida?; ODDEST (1A. As weird as they come); OKTHEN (25A. “Alrighty”); ONDOPE (114A. Hopped up, in a way); ORTEGA (41D. Old El Paso competitor); PASEOS (7D. Bygone Toyotas); PERUSE (13D. Look over); POISON (121A. Negative influence); RAILSAT (96A. Verbally assaults); SABINE (123A. Texas/Louisiana border river); SIESTA (124A. You take it lying down); SNORTY (61A. Audibly upset, as a bull); STEINS (34D. Oktoberfest souvenirs). Short stuff in order of ATOZ -- AGES, ANAT, ANY, ASTAB, BADD, CARR and CARS, CATO, COD, COST, CRU, DIGS, DISCO, DOCS, DOETH, DONNA, DUTCH, EASY, EDSEL, EDT, ELSE, ESSO, ESTA, ETHIC, GAR (63A. Long-snouted swimmer), HANOI, IBM, ICEIN, ICON, INDIE, ING, LAKE, LENA, LIL, MAE, MASH, MGMT, MISC, NAME, NEA, OMOO, ONIT, ONNOW, ORC, OSS and OST, ORC and OTC, OUIJA, PES, REINA, SEL, SKYY, SLAT, SONS and SONGS, SOT, SPRIT, STDS, TADA (6D. “Brilliant, ain’t I?!”), TAMI, TAN, EMPT, TODAY, TORT, TRA, TRENT, TTOPS, URNS, UTAH, UVRAY. ----------------- 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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Remaining clues -- Across: 26. Like Tylenol PM: Abbr.; 27. It might be dropped; 29. Foot, to a zoologist; 30. Crypt alternatives; 32. Suffix with floor or roof; 47. Prefix with ribonucleic; 54. Color Me ___, 1990s RUB group; 58. Sequel to “Typee”; 62. Norms: Abbr.; 76. Not big, in a small way; 76. Diminish; 82. All-inclusive; 87. “Calm down”; 91. Pole in sailing; 107. A bather may want one; 108. Blind part; 110. Grand ___ (wine designation); 111. Per diem worker; 113. UPS option, briefly. Down: 1. Available for viewing; 2. “A merry heart ___ good like a medicine”: Proverbs; 3. Boogie, Bee Gees-style; 4. D.C. summer clock setting; 8. Frodo foe; 12. Oda ___ Brown (Oscar-winning role); 14. Clicked pic; 16. W.W. II craft for getting troops ashore; 17. Set of moral rules; 18. Rock singer Reznor; 19. Billboard listings; 28. Corp. leadership; 31. Isabella II, por ejemplo; 36. Currently; 37. ___ minute; 43. E.R. folk; 44. They get tired; 45. Biol. Subject; 46. Empty; 50. Baker v. ___, landmark 1962 Supreme Court case; 51. Spanish for “are”; 52. Big name in vodka; 57. Summer camp locale; 59 Other: Abbr.; 60. Direction from Hannover to Berline; 64. Roman who declared “Carthage must be destroyed”; 65. Taking care of business; 70. Quarters, informally; 71. Home of Rainbow Bridge National Monument; 72. Suspense novelist ___ Hoag; 77. A long time; 78 Suit basis; 79. Canadian station name; 81. Sell for; 83. Take ___ at (attempt); 86. Kind of board; 91. Overseas seasoning; 93. “Anything ___?”; 98. Features of some “Vettes; 99. Former enemy capital; 100. Sundance entry, often; 104. Trap during winter, maybe; 105. Title girl in a Ritchie Valens hit; 106. Flop in a lot; 109. Actress Olin; 112. Reduce to a pulp; 115. Org. in the 1946 film “Cloak and Dagger”; 117. Class-based society?: Abbr.; 118. La-la lead-in; 120. Creator of the chess champion Deep Blue.