06.20.09 -- Vicissitude

A Jester, Philippe Mercier
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Puzzle by Brad Wilber, edited by Will Shortz
If the crossword solver sometimes doesn’t have a clue, it’s likely there really isn’t a practical one, and this Saturday crossword abounds with the lack, hawking its CAPRICE (40D. Fancy) as casually as a seller of snake oil. WAS I SNORING is clued as Response to being elbowed, maybe, while MERRY ANDREW gets the terse clue of Clown. ANGLOMANIA is Going bonkers for the British? and EROTICA is Body art? Writer on pictures is ROGER EBERT and Writer whose words are twisted? is an IRONIST. Reduced fare?, DIET PLATE. Followers of some meals are SIESTAS and a TACO is folded before dinner, and EGGROLL is stuffed in a restaurant. Beige attribute, NEUTRALITY. Staged is THEATRICAL and Shape shifters are AMOEBAE. Enough to make even the SANEST (42A. Maximally balanced) HESITANT (32D. Waffling) and ILL AT EASE (65D. Restive).
People in the puzzle include ASOK (22A. “Dilbert” character who was reincarnated as his own clone); a DRYAD (28A. Companion for Pan) who it seems keeps residence in a TREE; an EMT (36D. One making a journey with a gurney); HEEP (64A. Blackmailer in an 1850 novel); IONESCO (2D. “The Bald Soprano” playwright, 1950); KEITH (23D. Country star Urban); LEMAT (6D. Paul who won a Golden Globe for “American Graffiti”); LOEB (54A. 1924 co-defendant); a MOPPET (50A. Tyke); T C BOYLE (45D. “Drop City” novelist, 2003); TANTALUS (15D. Victim of terrible teasing); TENIERS (8D. Surname of three generations of Flemish old masters); TSO (58A. General in the Taping Rebellion); YAZ (29D. Old Fenway nickname).
Other TRIVIA (25A. Kind of question) includes ATARI (10D. Maker of the Lynx and Jaguar systems); BOLIVIA (11D. Where Quechua is spoken); DRAYAGE (1D. Certain hauling fee); EOLITH (31A. Prehistoric stone tool); FT RILEY (27D. Kansas mil. Reservation with eh U.S. Cavalry Museum); TIE GAME (13D. Outcome disallowed by the N.H.L. in 2005); ZUNI (37A. Kachina doll makers).
More -- ABASED (7D. Brought down); G CLEF (26A. Indicator of high-level staff?); LIT UP (47A. Visibly elated); LYRIC (49A. Part of a number); MACHISMO (38A. Bruiser’s display); MAMMOTH (38D. Bigger than big); ORDINAL (21D. Second, e.g.); OUT-DUEL (41D. Best in a one-on-one); PORTAL (48D. Way in); PRE-OP (51D. Before making the cut?); SALIVATE (33A. Show great anticipation); SERTA (53D. Option at Sleepy’s); VINYL (34D. Part of some audiophiles’ collections).
For today’s cartoon, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.
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Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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Remaining clues -- Across: 12. Consumption meas.; 16. Bagels, essentially; 18. Eczema treater; 19. “___ Blues” (track on the Beatles’ “White Album”); 24. Driver’s helper; 46. Professional grp. With its own insurance agency; 52. Set-___; 59. Dramatic honor. Down: 5. Ship part; 9. Solar system discovery of 2003; 56. Orange, peach or strawberry product; 57. Imperfection; 61. Interrogator’s red flag raiser.

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