10.04.09 -- Ennui

Ennui, Walter Sickert, c1913 Tate Gallery, London
October 4, 2009
INITIAL OFFERINGS, Puzzle by Todd McClary, edited by Will Shortz
What makes a solver like or dislike a crossword? I know I’m hardly fond of this Sunday fabrication. Is it the likeness it shares with last Sunday’s dreary concoction, or more so that it is a lifeless, slavish and convoluted exercise upon particular letters of the alphabet?
SA produces SAMUEL ADAMS ESSAY with a trumped up clue of Article written by an early American patriot? -- DK, DON KING DECAY (39A. Dental problem for a boxing promoter?), NV, NIA VARDALOS ENVY (47A. Desire to be more like an actress of Greek descent?), QT, QUENTIN TARANTINO CUTIE (66A. Adorable child of an edgy filmaker?), TP, TITO PUENTE TEPEE (88A. Tent used by a Latin musician?), ME, MAX ERNST EMMY (94A. Television award given to a Surrealist?) and KV, KURT VONNEGUT CAVY (115A. Roden named for a 20th-century novelist?).
The remainder of the puzzle features an overdose of evasiveness and obscurity in equal amounts -- I kick myself for wasting my time on it…
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Remaining clues across -- 1. Political comedian with the 1973 album “Sing a Song of Watergate”; 9. Breakfast dishware; 16. Whispered message lead-in; 20. Agreements; 21. Major-league manager who won World Series in both leagues; 22. Stat. for 1-Down; 25. Line formed at a barbershop?; 26. Ticked (off); 27. Active military conflicts; 28. “No way, no how!”; 29. Farm worker; 32. Record label for Bill Haley and His Comets; 34. Enemy in the 1980s arcade game Arabian; 35. Alfred of “The Da Vinci Code”; 36. Ditty, e.g.; 38. Japanese drama; 42. When repeated, gleeful student’s cry; 44. Chinese dynasty of 1,000 years ago; 46. Obstruct; 47. Desire to be more like an actress of Greek descent?; 52. Shrubby expanse; 58. Godzilla contemporary that was a giant flying turtle; 57. One rewarded for good behavior, perhaps; 58. Like gymnasts’ bodies; 59. Saturate; 61. Company that makes Styrofoam; 62. Dance club V.I.P.’s; 65. Silent signal; 73. Link letters; 74. “___ to Joy”; 75. Cut (off); 76. So-called art silk; 77. Gulf of ___, modern pirates’ realm; 79. Become a sailor; 82. Hidden; 86. “D;Artagnan Romances” author; 90. Theme; 92. Literary pen name; 93. Attack tactic; 100. Alias indication; 102. List; 103. Inception; 104. “___ note to follow …”; 105. Asian film genre; 107. Foxlike; 108. Safari weapon; 109. Oyster bed diver; 112. R&B singer Hendryx; 114. Noirish; 120. Name beside a harp on euro coins; 121. Getting for ready for a hand; 122. Car air freshener shape; 123. Brothers; 124. Less lenient; 125. Draws. Down -- 1. Range: Abbr.; 2. 3,600 secondi; 3. “Stand” band; 4. Stretched to the limit; 5. The Black Stallion, e.g.; 6. Actress Quinn; 7. Cause of congestion; 8. Deadhead’s supply; 9. Red-haired PBS star; 10. Intestinal opening?; 11. Slowly started pleasing; 12. John of “High Fidelity”; 13. “Back in the ___”; 14. Smokey Bear spots, for short; 15. Express; 16. Looney Tunes lothario; 17. Like much of the Danube’s territory; 18. First name at Wimbledon; 19. Dish setting for watching satellite programs?; 24. Brainstorming cry; 28. “Ob-vi-ous-ly!”; 29. Copying; 30. Mobile phone giant; 31. Latish wake-up time; 33. Animal that leaves when it’s cared for?; 35. “Singin’ in the Rain” studio; 37. Get closer; 39. Clue game board space; 40. “If only ___ known …”; 41. Parliament vote; 43. Begin liking; 45. Like; 48. Overly enthusiastic; 49. Crush, e.g.; 50. Southern Conference school; 51. Salamandridae family member; 53. “___ Got No” (“Hair” song); 54. Empath on “Star Trek: T.N.G.”; 55. London’s ___ Park; 60. A, in Armentieres; 62. Forensic ID; 63. Bloomsday honoree; 64. Skedaddles; 66. Campus space; 67. Asian tongue; 68. Something on a table: Abbr.; 69. Heaps; 70. ___-Rooter; 71. Member of a modern theocracy; 72. Debut; 78. III, IV and V, maybe; 79. Shower need; 80. Chop ___; 81. Electric ___; 83. Modern pentathlon equipment; 84. Imperial; 85. Wee; 87. More likely to snap; 88. “America” contraction; 89. Turning the other cheek; 91. Blast producer; 94. “The Ecstatic” rapper; 95. Household helper; 96. Nissan S.U.V.; 97. Someone offering a lift?; 98. Boxing champ Hagler; 99. Court great Karl; 101. Check line; 105. Prince Valiant’s son; 106. Write in; 109. Kick; 110. Single-named artist; 111. Bldg. planner; 113. ___ Senatus (old Roman records); 115. ___ in kangaroo; 116. “Go Green!” newsletter org.; 117. Bow; 118. Nov. parade figure; 119. Intercom response.

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