01.22.10 -- ABRACADABRA

Abracadabra, a frame from the dance version video by Brown-Eyed Girls


Friday, January 22, 2010

Puzzle by Natan Last, edited by Will Shortz

Odd word of the day? OODLES, yes, oo·dles; a great quanity : lot; noun plural but singular or plural in construction; etymological origin unknown, circa 1867; pronunciation \ˈü-dəlz\ -- as in OODLES OF NOODLES (36A. Ramen brand), featured in this Friday crossword soup, a tangle of terminology and pea-soup clues designed to BEFOG (27D. Opposite of clarify). Ramen is not a company it’s a noodle. The company that made the bags of ramen called Oodles of Noodles is Nissin Foods.  The aforementioned Oodles of Noodles first appeared in 1976; however, the product's name has since been changed to Top Ramen. Never partook of either; however, it seems the product(s) is/was quite salty and very popular with college folk who desire oriental debris in their hot Perrier. Hmmm…

A - B - R - A - C - A - D - A - B - R - A
A - B - R - A - C - A - D - A - B - R
A - B - R - A - C - A - D - A - B
A - B - R - A - C - A - D - A
A - B - R - A - C - A - D
A - B - R - A - C - A
A - B - R - A - C
A - B - R - A
A - B - R
A - B

ABRACADABRA (15A. Cry before a disappearance) stars among and leads the eleven-letter entries, followed in alphabetical obedience by AMERICAN PIE (58A. Song that mentions “the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost”); GENERATION X (54A. So-called “baby busters”); NED FLANDERS (60A. Well-known TV evangelical), here‘s something else I‘ve never encountered, e.g., The Simpsons -- why does The New York Times crossword obsess with these particular cartoon characters?; THE CAT’S MEOW (17A. Something that’s just too cool); WATER LILIES (1A. Pad producers).

Nine -- ASTI ITALY (20A. European wine center); DONATELLO (12D. “St. Mark” artist); EDUCATION (33D. Cabinet department); FOOTLOOSE (39A. Free); OPALESCES (13D. Is like a moonstone); PORTFOLIO (32D. What an art student builds); SOTTO VOCE (49A. Hushed); SPELUNKER (31A. One exploring deeply?).

Mid-size and mixed -- ABHOR, C-NOTE, CRUET, DELCO, DOLED, ELLIOTT (26D. E.T.’s pal), EROICA (10D. Work that marked the start of musical Romanticism), FATHA, HOGAN, IDSAY, IHOPE, PERIL (45D. You’re in it if you cry 41-Down), e.g., SAVE ME (41D. Help line?), SAWIN, SAXES, TOLEDOS (21D. Finely tempered blades), TRESS, WATTS, VENIR, and the trio of FRUIT (38A. It’s sometimes forbidden), RIND (52D. 38-Across covering) and POD (45A. 38-Across variety).

Short stuff -- ACA, ALI (53A. Big name in flooring?), ANNS, ARNO and ATCO, BAA, CAY, 51D. Vint CERF, the Father of the Internet, DOE, OPS (16A. Saturn’s wife), EACH, EON and ERN, ESPY, HOSE, IBET, IVS, KOFI, LAMS, LAT, LESH, MIO, NAP, ONED, RES, RCA, RHEA (52A. Mother of the Gods), SAME, SIG, SOFA, SRS, TAN, TOSH (19A. Musician who was a trailblazing Rastafarian).

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: 12. Name in many suit cases; 18. Recharging aid; 22. Matching ring recipients: Abbr.; 23 Small part of an archipelago; 25. Ben Franklin; 26. Follower of directions; 27. Cry upon being fleeced?; 29. Grateful Dead bassist Phil; 35. Longtime name in auto parts; 40. Classic record label for the Bee Gees and Cream; 41. M., in Milan; 42. Monitor setting, briefly; 43. Nickname in pioneering jazz piano; 46. “Grey’s Anatomy” hookups; 57. Pronoun in 20-Across; 59. Unit in astronomy. DOWN: 1. There are 746 in a single horsepower; 2. Can’t stomach; 3. Bun bit; 4. Up; 5. Producer of some dishes; 6. Muscle strengthened in rowing, in brief; 7. Opinion opener; 8. Skedaddles; 9. “Uh-huh”; 11. Admitted politely; 14. Make out; 23. Item next to a salad bowl; 24. Jamaica’s St. ___ Bay; 28. The Ponte alle Grazie spans it; 30. You may work out its kinks; 31. Common crash site?; 34. First name in international diplomacy; 35. Passed (out); 37. En ___ tiempo (formerly, to Felipe); 44. Navajo home; 46. Bit of wishful thinking; 47. To come, in Cádiz or Caen; 48. Instruments in Ravel’s “Boléro”; 50. Superficial, briefly; 55. Here, in Honduras; 56. Result of exposing oneself at the beach?


jneaves said...

I think 4 down and 45 across are questionable clues -- how do get EACH out of UP and have never heard of POD being a FRUIT

Anonymous said...

I agree--never heard of "up" being "each." Also, never heard of "lams" as a verb. And what's with superficial being "oned"?
And, how about "I'd say" and "I bet"?
Pretty obscure--especially for a Friday puzzle.