01.23.10 -- Bamboozled!

Jimmy Crack Corn -- Eminem


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Puzzle by Karen M. Tracey, edited by Will Shortz

"Blue Tail Fly", "De Blue Tail Fly", or "Jimmy Crack Corn" is thought to be a blackface minstrel song, first performed in the United States in the 1840s that remains a popular children's song today. -- Wikipedia

Jim crack corn and I don't care,
Jim crack corn and I don't care,
Jim crack corn and I don't care,
My master's gone away.

JIMMY CRACK CORN (50A. Old song with the lyric “When he would ride in the afternoon / I’d follow him with my hickory broom”) WALTZES OFF WITH (23A. Wins easily) this Saturday crossword, drunk with perplexing oddness and mystifying obscurity, quite possibly leaving the solver thoroughly bamboozled!

Poster for Spike Lee's movie Bamboozled (2000) 

TZATZIKI (5D. Gyro sauce) is today’s what? word… or not, depending upon one’s culinary inclinations. POLITBURO and BOLSHEVIK (11D Lenin’s body and 12D. Lenin, for one) go together like a horse and carriage. ZETA-JONES (29D. “Chicago” Oscar winner) headlines a SOCIABLE cast that includes AMELIAS, ANGLICANS, an ARMY BRAT, ARNAZ, a CLERK, ERIKA, an IDIOT, ISAAC, ISABEL, KELSEY, LIVIA, ORATORS, OSLIN, a PAINTER and TESSA -- the supporting cast of living creatures include the FIRE ANT, a HEN, a SNAKE PIT and the TOAD FISH (9D. Grunting, slimy-skinned swimmer).

Other: AKIN TO, ANVIL, EIDER, LA LAW, LEAPT, NOOKS, NYETS, OCCLUDE (45D. Block); ON A STREAK (57A. Hot); OZARK, PANATELLA (18A. Smoke with straight sides); PULSE, RESOD, SALAAM, SAMISEN (41D. Instrument played with a spatula), SEE ME, TENDS, TEN OF, TO-DO LIST (22A. Agenda).

Short stuff -- ACK, AMAT, APBS, ARNO, ASSN, BENE, EHS, ESTS, IAM, KOS, MOOT and MOTT, MOP, MTGS, OED, OHMS, the omnipresent OREO (15A. Treat with a “Golden” variety), REFS, RIP, SOBA and SUVA, STAT, TKTS, TOWS.

Still, who is Jimmy and why did he crack corn? It has been held that "cracking corn" means cracking open a jug of corn liquor. Try it next time your master goes away, and after a half dozen verses you won't care either.

(viewer discretion advised)

Click on image to enlarge.

Puzzle available on the internet at

THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games.

If you subscribe to home delivery of The New York Times you are eligible to access the daily crossword via The New York Times - Times Reader, without additional charge, as part of your home delivery.
Remaining clues -- ACROSS: 1. Acted impulsively; 8. Unofficial “Main Street” of New York’s Chinatown; 10. They might prevent getaways, briefly; 14. He starred as himself in “Cuban Pete,” 1946; 16. Doubt; 17. Wife of Augustus; 20. Like; 25. Nest down; 26. Archer of literature; 28. ___ Plateau (U.S. region); 31. They’re in the neighborhood: Abbr.; 33. Capital on the island of Viti Levu; 34. Source of valuable deposits; 35. Self expression?; 37. Responses of confusion; 39. One may be in stitches; 40. Chairmen often call them: Abbr.; 42. Calls; 44. Potential hiding places; 46. Respectful greeting; 48. Stern playing?; 55. Not withdrawn; 56. 1-Down counselor Ann; 59. Living proof?; 60. Italian well; 61. River with historic flooding in 1966; 62. Goober; 63. A.M.A. member?: Abbr.; 64. B-way buys; 65. Inclines. DOWN: 1. “ER” replaced it on NBC’s schedule in 1994; 2. “Traffic” actress Christensen; 3. Aid in forging; 6. One with a replaceable head; 8. Near the hour; 13. Saves, say; 19. Some emergency services; 21. It has hundreds of thousands of meanings: Abbr.; 24. Curt summons; 27. Swimmers do them; 28. Resistor measures; 30. Book of Common Prayer readers; 32. Actress Allen; 36. Kid with no hometown, often; 41. Instrument played with a spatula; 43. Major pest in the South; 45. Block; 47. One of a loving trio?; 49. “Oh, no!”; 51. Court figure; 52. K.T. of country; 53. Do some green maintenance; 54. 11-Down dissents; 55. Nagasaki noodle; 58. Takes down.

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