12.23.09 -- Black and White and Read All Over


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Puzzle by Jonathan Porat, edited by Will Shortz

This schizophrenic Wednesday crossword brings up the question “What’s BLACK and WHITE and RED ALL OVER?”, well, of course, it’s a NEWSPAPER (72A. Answer to an old riddle alluded to by the starts of 17-, 32-, 42- and 64-Across). The 15-letter across entries employed to form the riddle (sans “what is”) are BLACK MAGIC WOMAN (17A. 1970 Santana hit); WHITE HOUSE TAPES (32A. Evidence in the Watergate scandal); RED-BLOODED MALES (42A Macho types); ALL OVER THE PLACE (64A. Varying wildly) -- NEWSPAPER. Holoalphabetic, the across half of the puzzle is a smooth ride compared to the down, which is stop and go riddled with a plethora of abbreviations, interjections and that ilk of ink.

Onward -- ANAHEIM CA (70A. Part of a postal address for Disneyland), AS WE SPEAK (15A. This very moment), JUST TRY ME (1A. “I dare you”) are the next longest entries, followed by those of seven letters -- GROUPIE (26A. Idol worshiper?), LE HAVRE (44D. France’s second-busiest port), ON A WHIM (51A. Impulsively) and SAW TO IT (10D. Took care of business).

The five-letter group dominates the crossword -- 53D. Finnish architect Alvar AALTO; A DASH (22A. Tiny recipe amount); ADOUT (59A. Break point score, perhaps); ANODE (71A. + end); AWAKE (16A. Conscious); BARBQ (28A. Kind of pit, briefly); BOCCE (57D. Ball-rolling game); CARVE (18D. Have turkey-serving duty, say); EENIE (14D. Start of a counting rhyme); EKING (9D. Barely making [out]); HATER (69A. Misanthrope); JAM UP (12D. Become blocked); MORAN (54D. Erin of “Happy Days”); NOLAN (52D. Christopher who directed “The Dark Knight”); OKAPI (13D. Animal with striped legs); OMAHA (51D. 1935 Triple Crown horse); 45D. Nitrous OXIDE; PART B (55A. Medical insurance portion of Medicare); QUADS (30D. Campus areas); SCI FI (50A. Trekkies’ genre); SENAT (20A. It might pass une loi); ST JOE (10A. The Hawks of the Atlantic 10 conference, informally); SWARD (3D. Stretch of grass); TRAMP (56D. Charlie Chaplin persona); USLTA (2D. Org. that used to bring people to court?), that‘s uh… United States Lawn Tennis Association.

Short stuff -- ABT and ART, AIR, BOZO, BTW, DIP, EHS, EVE, HRE and HRH, ITD, JABS, LIA Fáil, Irish coronation stone, MAGE, MFA and MOA, OVA, PEP, POL, ROY, RPM, SAE and SAS, SPEC, STR, TEC and TEX, THAW, TSK, TWO, UNA, UPI, UTNE, VIN, WAR, YEAR and YEAS, WAR, ZAP (40A. Instantly fry).


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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: 19. Orch. Section; 21. Reuters competitor; 31. Burgundy or Chablis; 39. “Without ___, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable”: Shaw; 40. Instantly fry; 41. In vitro cells; 49. Lone Star State cowboy; 58. Extinct cousin of the kiwi; 62. Artist Lichtenstein. Down: 1. Pointed criticisms; 4. Sam Spade type; 5. “Uh-uh, bad!”; 6. Tach reading; 7. Votes for; 8. Gandalf, for one; 11. See 32-Down; 23. U.S. dance grp.; 24. It facilitates replying to a MS.; 25. Buckingham Palace letters; 27. Article in El Mundo; 29. Schmo; 32. Card game for 11-Down; 33. Onetime realm of central Eur.; 34. “___ be an honor”; 35. A writer may work on it; 36. Washington pro; 37. Christmas ___; 38. Carrier to Copenhagen; 43. “Oh yea …,” in a text message; 46. Brief swim; 47. Design deg.; 48. Lungful; 60. ___ Reader; 61. Midwinter phenomenon, sometimes; 63. Strangely, it’s shorter than a day on Venus; 65. Orthographer’s ref.; 66. Frequent Canadian interjections; 67. Vim.

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