01.08.10 -- As Far As I Can Tell




Sherlock, Jr., who is both the cleanup man and the projectionist at a local cinema, becomes an amateur detective through a correspondence course and foils the villain who has stolen his sweetheart and her watch. He dreams of success on the screen and awakens to triumph in his romance.

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Puzzle by Patrick Berry, edited by Will Shortz

Six 15-letter entries are the main feature of this Friday crossword, AS FAR AS I CAN TELL (17A. “That’s how it looks to me, anyway”); including BULLSEYE LANTERN (37A. Night light used by Sherlock Holmes); AMERICAN INDIANS (55A. Crows and others); DEFENSELESSNESS (3D. Extreme exposure); RAISE THE TITANIC (7D. Clive Cussler best seller made into a 1980 film); PIERRE DE RONSARD (11D. Charles IX’s court poet).



The Bullseye Lantern was a very popular tool used as early as the 13th century. It was an oil lit lantern that was encased in a tin box, with a refractive piece of glass that used the lit wick as its centerpiece, thus the name bullseye. As the Bullseye Lantern progressed, it became standard issue for Police in London, eventually made without oil and operated by battery and a light bulb.

Along with Sherlock, an air of mystery weaves in and out of the crossword, e.g., SHROUD (5A. Cover), PRY (11A. Ask too much?) and SPY (59D. Invisible ink user), CIA (1D. Plame affair org.), DOE (34A. John no one knows), HOSE (6D. Cheat, slangily), STALK (4D. Follow closely), NARKED (39D. Acted as an informant), TRAP (62A. Deadfall, e.g.), THE NET (19D. 1995 thriller about identity theft) and STREET (46A. Mason’s assistant).



Six-letter entries rule -- ADRIAN (32D. Monk’s first name on “Monk”); ANDALE (26D. Speedy Gonzales cry); ANGELS (52A. White robe wearers); AROUSE (23D. Stir to action); AT EASE (29D. Words that affect one’s standing?); ATTILA (41A. King defeated at Ch├ólons); COARSE (15A. Unsuitable for mixed company); ELATES (20A. Cheers); ERASER (24A. Rubber); ETCHED (35A. Like some glasswork); HASTEN (28A. Hightail); LETTER (38D. Thorn, once); LUMINA (61A. Chevy model discontinued in 2001); RAN DRY (33D. Stopped flowing); RASHES (18D. Irritated reactions); REEL IN (25D. Land); SCYTHE (30D. Father Time’s prop); SEA COW (64A. Docile marine mammal); SHINER (44A. Eye shadow?); TIDBIT (22D. Chocolate chip, e.g.).



Five -- DENTS (10D. Dings); ELITE (49D. Carriage trade); KENNY (48A. “South Park” boy); MINEO (50A. 1950s’-60s actor known as the Switchblade Kid), he of Crime in the Streets; ROILS (47D. Muddies up); TANKS (22A. Does badly at the box office); THREE (21A. Weak heart, for example?), now that last clue was a true mystery -- not throe, but THIS or THIS.

Anything else?  Oh...

Short stuff -- ABS and ASS, AMA, CADS, CUE, EDDA, EDGY, GNAW, IBET, IMUS, IOU, IRS, ISEE, JUS, Goya’s “La MAJA Desnuda“, NAG, NEAR, NINA, OAR and ORC, RID, ROLE, SCAT, TEST, USA, YULE.





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: 1. Repeat offenders?; 14. Sarcastic reply; 16. Note traded for bills; 27. Org. that awaits your return; 31. In the vicinity of; 36. 13th-century literary classic; 40. Therapist’s comment; 42. Disembarrass; 43. Cricket match; 45. Put in one’ s___ (interfere); 60. French dip’s dip; 63. Jack, for one. DOWN: 2. Things used during crunch time?; 5. “Vamoose!; 8. Member of Sauron’s army; 9. Miss ___; 12. It may be played for money; 13. ___ Ball, quinquennial dance in Harry Potter; 51. 1989 Radio Hall of Fame inductee; 53. Italian boxer Benvenuti; 54. Not just nibble; 56. Prompter action; 57. Practice overseers: Abbr.; 58. Not just nudge.



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