01.30.10 -- Crotalus Horridus


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Puzzle by Mark Diehl, edited by Will Shortz

Every day verbiage cloaked with ambiguous clues renders this grab-bag Saturday crossword a self-described ENIGMA (52A. Head-scratcher). The clue of Get ready for chow could be anything, but it’s STRAP ON A FEEDBAG.  Make a person feel good -- well, doesn't that leave a wide range of possibilities -- today it’s WARM ONE’S HEART, no less intersected by a COLD ONE (28D. Pub pull). Absents oneself? GETS LOST. Nowhere near an agreement? FAR APART. Blame-diffusing words? WE ALL DO IT. “Who DOESN’T?”

We're AIRBORNE (33A. Not grounded) for an AERIAL ASSAULT (33A. Shock-and-awe strategy), ATONAL (16A. Lacking a signature, say), making BLOOPERS (51A. Overthrows, e.g.) and ALA CARTE (53A. Not together). There’s ONSET (42D. First sign) and the slightly longer ONIONSET (15A. Small planted bulb). Navy relative is ANIL and ARMY is a Major employer. Preserve … or get rid of? CAN. Relatively hard to pin down? DODGIER.

Other across: 1. Allergy source, CAT HAIRS; 9. “Steve Canyon” cartoonist, CANIFF; 17. Diamondback, for one, PIT VIPER; 18. Church room, VESTRY; 19. Group whose 1972 debut album “Can’t Buy a Thrill” went platinum, STEELY DAN; 21. Plenty, A HEAP; 22. Robin Hood, the EARL of Huntington; 23. Indian barter item, PELT; 25. No. usually figured to two decimals, GPA; 26 Toyota pickup named for a U.S. city, TACOMA; 29. Giocondo and Angelico, FRAS; 34. Sources of some Zimbabwean exports, DIAMOND FIELDS; 35. Alternative to Beauvais, ORLY; 37. Substantial hit: Abbr., DBL; 38. Hardly balmy, SANE; 43. Co-winner of the first Albert Einstein Award, 1951, GÖDEL; 49. Like Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard”, IRONIC; 54. Certs ingredient, RETSYN.

"Macbeth and Banquo meeting the witches on the heath" by Théodore Chassériau, 1855.

Down: 1. Small stand, COPSE; 2. One of the Pointer Sisters, ANITA; 3. Strength of a solution, TITER; 4. Neighborhood eyesore, HOVEL; 6. Game with a spotter, I SPY; 7. English horn, e.g., REED; 9. Ohio pro, for short, CAV; 10. Worried, ATEAT; 11. Little something, NOSH; 12. Limits of some sums, INTEGRALS; 14. Go by quickly, FLY PAST; 20. Macduff, to Macbeth, NEMESIS; 24. California peak, LASSEN; 26. The witches in “Macbeth”, e.g., TRIO; 27. Cross of mysteries, AMANDA; 29. Long row, FEUD; 32. Pull up, HALT; 38. Vile, SLIMY; 39. PAPAL States; 40. Thackeray’s “Vanity Fair: A Novel Without A HERO”; 41. What a loser may be out of, SORTS; 44. Many Caltech grads: Abbr., ENGS; 46. M.’s counterpart, MLLE; 47. Judging point at a dog show, COAT; 48 Comfy wear, MOCS.

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.

No comments: