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).
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.