08.06.09 -- To Err Is Human

The Tower of Babel by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, 1563
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Puzzle by Dan Naddor, edited by Will Shortz
ERR (29A. Use the answer to any of this puzzle’s starred clues in ordinary conversation?), along with the answers with their starred clues, e.g., PEROGATIVE (17A. *Privilege), IRREGARDLESS (19A. *No matter), EX CETERA (31A. *And so forth), PRONOUNCIATIONS (36A. *Ways things are said), ASTERICK (41A. *Sign to look elsewhere), CAME ACROSSED (54A. *Stumbled upon) and SUPPOSABLY (57A. *As it’s widely believed) constitute the interrelated entries of this dreadful Thursday crossword. Why did this thing even make it out of someone’s mind, much less onto the pages of The New York Times? Will crosswords filled with sundry misspellings and/or mispronunciations now become acceptable? Lord, help us!
Who mispronounces pronunciations, prerogative, et cetera, came across, asterisk or supposedly? -- the only common misuse here represented I have heard is that in regard to regardless, and regardless of that single exception, it is a dull fact that the daily spoken word is rife with phonetic error, intentional or not. Are these just pet peeves? Will the entire dictionary be gone through before this genre causes civil unrest and uprising? It should have died on April 27, 2008 with misspellings and the title OOPS!
Remaining clues -- Across: 1. Commercial name that literally means “to the skies”; 5. Shouts while shaking pompoms; 9. Break; 13. “MILA 18” (Leon Uris novel); 14. “Law & Order: S.V.U.” actor; 15. Insurance figure; 16. Opposite of hinder; 21. Milch : German :: LATTE : Italian; 22. Common seal; 25. Virgil described its “roar of frightful ruin”; 28. New Deal org.; 35. Lady of the Haus; 40. All EARS; 42. Check out; 43. Comedian Margaret; 46. Some fund-raisers; 47. One side in Mideast talks; 50 Peak for Zeus, in Homer; 60. Morales of “NYPD Blue”; 61. Stocking caps, e.g.; 62. Rock’s Mötley CRUE; 63. 24-Down replacement; 64. Ammonium particles, e.g.; 65. Gets ready, with “up”; 66. Rick with the 1976 #1 hit “Disco Duck”.
Down: 1. Modern letters; 2. Scales seen at night; 3. Ready; 4. Age range for most first-year college students; 5. TV host Kelly; 6. One-hit wonder?; 7. Range rovers; 8. Hot; 9. Much, slangily; 10. News inits.; 11. John; 12. Cause of some skin burns; 15. Conspirator against Caesar; 18. Backpack fill; 20. Really irk; 23. “Vive LE ROI!”; 24. Coin with a laurel branch on the back; 26. Modern: Ger.; 27. Son of Prince Valiant; 30. Kennedy’s secretary of state; 31. Individual and team event at the Olympics; 32. Imaging lab output; 33. Actor Feldman; 34. Here, to Javier; 35. Tournament favorite; 37. Suffix with sex; 38. Had; 39. Juan’s words of affection; 43. Informal byes; 44. Unlikely Oscar nominees; 45. Without a break; 48. Sales slips: Abbr.; 49. New York hockey player; 51. Put out: 52. “The Wreck of the Mary DEARE; 53. Informal bye; 55. Object under a magnifying glass, maybe; 56. Some whiskeys; 57. Make tracks?; 58. Formula UNO (Italian auto racing); 59. A.T.M. need.
Ah well! -- to err is human…
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