12.06.09 -- Seeing Double

Identical twins, Roselle, N.J., Diane Arbus, 1967


Sunday, December 6, 2009

DOUBLE BREAK POINT, Puzzle by Patrick Berry, edited by Will Shortz

Well, double break point is not a very common term if it is one; however, that is the title and an apt description of the interrelated entries of this sturdy, studious and stuttering Sunday stuttering, yet steady solve.

With GG, SS, TT, WW, PP, BB, RR, CC and DD (the double break point in nine two-word across entries), this crossword illustrates the amusing aspects of the language, both in the writing and the pronunciation -- CHANGING GROOMS (20. Deciding the best man is better, perhaps?), derived from the common changing rooms; SPORTS SCAR (25. Memento of an old athletic injury?), sports car; ASSAULT TRIFLES (32. Nitpicks?), assault rifles; NEW WAGER (52. Double or nothing, say?), new ager; TROOP PLEADERS (60. Begging soldiers?), troop leaders; LAB BRATS (67. Young scientists who are impossible to work with?), lab rats; CARPENTER RANTS (81. Things heard after thumbs are hit with hammers?), carpenter ants; ATOMIC CAGE (93. Holder of pet electrons, protons and neutrons?), atomic age; MIXED DEMOTIONS (100. Reductions in rank that aren’t entirely bad?), mixed emotions.

Other across: 1. Like mountains and maps, SCALED; 7. “The Lord of the Rings” dwarf, GIMLI; 12. Attack helicopter, COBRA; 17. 1930s heavyweight champ known as the Ambling Alp, CARNERA; 18. Choose not to cook, say, EAT OUT; 19. Plays at maximum volume, BLARES; 22. As yet unactualized, LATENT; 23. Where Caleb was sent as a spy, CANAAN; 24. Seaside bird, ERN (nicely crosses EGRET); 27. Suave competitor, PRELL; 28. Many a shipment to Detroit, STEEL; 30. Air play?, PASS; 31. Med. Care provider, HMO; 36. Uses as a source, CITES; 38. Like a foreboding sky, GRAY; 39. What white flour lacks, BRAN; 40. West Bank grp., PLO; 41. Majestic, STATELY; 45. Professorial material?, TWEED; 47. Bottom line?, FOOTER; 50. Sorters’ formations, PILES; 51. Architect of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, GEHRY; 54. Gambler’s declaration, I’M IN; 58. Hymn starter, GLORIA; 57. Like many rugs, WOVEN; 58. Keats’s “ODE on Indolence”; 59. Pickett’s Charge participant, REB; 62. Co. of which Howard Hughes became the principal shareholder in 1939, TWA; 63. ALA rigueur (literally); 64. Call before a football game, HEADS; 65. Manchester moms, MATERS; 66. Handle, GRIP; 69. Tips, LISTS; 70. View from Quai d’Orsay, SEINE; 71. Sir GARETH, nephew of King Arthur; 72. X-ray view, BONES; 73. Gave birth to a litter, WHELPED; 75. Triumphant cry, YES; 76. Kick in the rear, maybe, PROD; 77. Senate tie breaker, VEEP; 78. Country whose name means “warrior king”, GHANA; 87. Languish, ROT; 88. Water carrier, MAIN; 90. Maker of “the plow that broke the Plains”, DEERE; 91. Prostitute who protected Israelite spies, in Joshua, RAHAB; 97. Windup, END; 98. Pro PATRIA (for one’s country); 99. Get by somehow, MANAGE; 103. Key holders, PIANOS; 104. Spectacular autumn trees, ASPENS; 105. Up, ELEVATE; 106. Setting of Van Gogh’s “Café Terrace at Night”, ARLES; 107. Shy, SHORT; 1087. Adjusts for daylight saving, e.g., RESETS.

Down: 1. Large hot spot, SAHARA; 2. Heavy lifters, CRANES; 3. Archival material, ANALS; 4. They’re set for drinking and smoking, LEGAL AGES; 5. John-Boy Walton’s sister, ERIN; 6. Brown who wrote “The Lost Symbol”, DAN; 7. Earn, GARNER; 8. Skater Midori, ITO; 9. Farmyard chorus, MOOS; 10. Mattress problem, LUMP; 11. Come on in!”, IT’S OPEN; 12. School cards, CLASS CLOWNS; 13. Muesli ingredients, OATS; 14. "Mother Courage and Her Children” playwright, BRECHT; 15. Call again?, RENAME; 16. Minute Maid Park players, ASTROS; 17. Letters on old rubles, CCCP; 18. Great white EGRET (crossing ERN); 19. Lunch orders that are typically sliced in half, BLTS; 21. Los Angeles museum, with “the”, GETTY; 26. Coll. Dorm overseers, RAS; 28. Off, SLAY; 28. Tolerant of other opinions, LIBERAL MINDED; 33. It might have an extension: Abbr., URL; 34. James who wrote “A Million Little Pieces”, FREY; 35. Boyo, LAD; 37. Trace, IOTA; 40. Superheroes have them, POWERS; 41. Galaxy shape, SPIRAL; 42. Delay, TIME LAG; 43. “Arabian Nights” opener?, ALI BABA; 44. Olympics ideal, TEN; 45. Competitors of Wahoos and Tar Heels, TERPS; 40. It’s most useful when it’s cracked, WHIP; 47. Peggy Lee’s signature song, FEVER; 48. Vanity case?, EGO TRIP; 48. Médoc, for one, RED WINE; 51. Stock in trade, GOODS; 52. Stem joints, NODES; 53. Brought in, REAPED; 55. Hall-of-Famers, GREATS; 56. Reluctant, LOATH; 57. South Los Angeles district, WATTS; 60. 1986 film featuring Chevy Chase as Dusty Bottoms, THREE AMIGOS; 61. Affluence, EASE; 66. Cream alternative, GEL; 68. BRYN Mawr College; 69. Ankh’s top, LOOP; 70. Becomes layered while settling, SEPARATES; 72. Shaker’s sound, BRR; 73. “WE’RE here!”; 74. “Away From HER” (Julie Christie film); 76. Headwear also known as jipijapas, PANAMAS; 77. Colorado’s Mesa VERDE; 78. Rocking chair storyteller, GRAMPA; 79. Empty words, HOT AIR; 80. Keyless, ATONAL; 81. Pres. Title, CIC; 82. “You NEEDN’T bother!”; 83. Looks after, TENDS; 84. Best guide around town, probably, NATIVE; 85. Dewlap’s place, THROAT; 86. They’re all good, SAINTS; 89. Bullets, in Texas hold’em, ACES; 92. Dishonorable, BASE; 94. Horsehair source, MANE; 95. “Intolerance” actress Lillian, GISH; 96. Fair, EXPO; 98. Subway car feature, POLE; 101. Suffix with slogan, EER; 102. France’s Belle-Ile-en-MER.


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