10.21.09 -- Crash Test


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Puzzle by Peter A. Collins, edited by Will Shortz

Quick! What fascinates a solver with any clue or answer? This is a test! Sorry, times up, we’ve hit the wall!

Well, for me, it’s not BOY GEORGE MICHAEL JACKSON BROWNE and POP (65A. Genre for 1- & 22-Across, 22- & 26-Across, 26- & 46-Across and 46- & 49-Across), the interrelated group of this Wednesday crossword -- descending the ladder:  Boy George, George Michael, Michael Jackson and Jackson Browne. The clues? 1. “Whew!”, 22. Dragon-slaying saint, 26. Archangel in Daniel, 46. Mississippi’s capital and 49. “Hägar the Horrible” creator Dik. Go figure!

I'll opt for CRASH TEST (58A. Job for a dummy?), which goes nicely with DUMBS DOWN (17A. Oversimplifies, as educational standards) -- SALES SLIP (47A. Proof of purchase) and TREASURER (23A. Club official) are the remaining longer entries.

Joining the seven-letter entries are JALISCO (42D. Guadalajara’s state); LE MONDE (43A. French newspaper since 1944), SENATOR (29A. Judge in an impeachment trial) and MID-WEEK (5D. Hump day, to an office worker), hey, that’s today! AURAS and AURORA (16A. Saintly glows, 10D. Dawn goddess); 35A. Ab OVO (from the start) and OVOLO (31D. Convex molding), while the unrelated OBI and OBIE occupy uncrossed locations, otherwise separated but by a letter.

Six-letter entries -- AVOWEL (6D. Affirmation); 18D. "Oh, BOTHER!" (Pooh expression); INKPOT (39D. Place to dip a quill); JINGLE (42A. Ad music); J S BACH (46D. “Goldberg Variations” composer, in brief); NANTES (45D. City on the Loire with a quarter million people), ON DECK (33A. Not quite up yet); OSWALD (44D. Ruby’s live-TV victim), SATEEN (9D. Lustrous cloth).

Five -- AGILE (60A. Quick-footed); BARRE (36A. Ballet rail); CD-ROM (28D. PC backup medium); DEEDS (63A. Heroic acts); 4A. "I'M ALL ears!"; IN AWE (27D. Blown away);  Bob Marley’s “I SHOT the Sheriff”; LEWIS (7D. Explorer with Sacagawea); MECCA (61A. Pilgrimage destination); MOBIL (26D. 1999 Exxon merger partner); NIVEA (15A. Big name in skin care); RABAT (57A. North African capital); ROSEN (32D. Baseball’s Al a k a the Hebrew Hammer); SABLE (9A. Weasel-like animal); SORES (48D. Results of abrasion); TONGS (30D. Picker-uppers); 19A. Council of TRENT, 1545-63; VINOS (38A. Barrio quaffs).

Short stuff (the grist of self-appointed crossword critics, you know who you are!) -- ALE, ANA, BADE and BRAD and BRER, CMI, ESSO and ESTE, GREG, HAT, HEAP, IDLE, INS, IRA, IWO, KEG, KIA, LAN and LANG, OHOS, ONUS, OSLO, RACE and RAGE, STEP, TIS, TREE, USES, WWI, VICI, YAMS. 

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: 14. Santa ___, Calif.; 20. Flying A competitor; 21. A.E.F.’s conflict; 34. Bud holder, of sorts; 37. Frank McCourt memoir; 40. Noted 1945 photo site, briefly; 41. It might get a 4.0 A.P.R.; 52. Part of a geisha’s attire; 53. Cries of surprise; 62. Draft pick?. Down: 1. Expressed, as a farewell; 2. Cross to bear; 3. Thanksgiving dish; 4. Those with clout; 8. PC-linking system; 11. Uncle Remus title; 12. January 1 song word; 13. 90 degrees from sur; 22. Dharma’s sitcom spouse; 24. 5K, for one; 25. A Swiss Army knife has lots of them; 34. Sportage automaker; 37. Cheshire cat’s place; 38. End of a Caesarean boast; 41. Out of work; 49. Thin nail; 50. Latest thing; 51. Best New American Play award; 54. Jalopy; 55. Where the traitorous Vidkun Quisling lived; 56. 1/12 of a recovery program; 58. Early 10th-century year; 59. It may be felt on your head.

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