01.21.10 -- Cutting Corners


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Puzzle by Elizabeth C. Gorski, edited by Will Shortz

An idiom, CUTS CORNERS is defined in some corners as “to do something in the easiest, quickest, or cheapest way,” et cetera. As the central entry of this Thursday crossword it is a clue to the elimination of the corner black squares, leaving those spaces with, well… NOTHING.

Across: 1. “Don’t take offense at that”, NOTHING PERSONAL; 9. Was free, COST NOTHING; 64. Loan lure, maybe, NOTHING DOWN; 65. Daring person’s cry, HERE GOES NOTHING.

Down: 13. Free of bells and whistles, NOTHING FANCY; 15. “Swish!”, NOTHING BUT NET; 38. A nominal fee, NEXT TO NOTHING; 47. Betting option, ALL OR NOTHING.

Other long entries include AGAMEMNON (16A. Major role in “Troy”); ALEXANDER (63A. “Seinfeld” co-star); CAUDILLO (36D. Authoritarian Spanish leader); FIVE TO ONE (13A. Some fairly difficult odds); LET’S ROLL (24D. “It’s game time …!“); LIME JELLO (58A. Green mold in the fridge); SCAPULAS (11D. Shoulder blades); SORENSEN (20D. Author of the 1965 biography “Kennedy”).

Mid-size -- 7D. Make A NOTE of; DC CAB (14A. 1983 Gary Busey comedy); EMERALD (39D. Ring rock); ERRANT (34A. Wide of the mark); EVADED (2D. Sidestepped); ISOLDE (45D. Tristan’s love); LENAPE (8D. Delaware tribe) ; MOOLAH (43D. Dough); NEARER (38A. Occurring relatively soon); NEREIDS (26D. 50 mythical sea nymphs); OASIS (40A. Haven); OLLAS (62A. Pueblo pottery); OPTIC (32A. Microscope part); PIG OUT (1D. Eat an entire cake, say); SEPTETS (23D. Disney’s dwarfs and others); SHAMU (17A. Performer in a seven-million-gallon tank); SLEEP ON (23A. Put off till tomorrow, say); SLOVENS (49A. Hardly fops); STOLES (46D. Opera house attire); TALLS (56A. Seven-footers’ jeans sizes, say); TAMARIN (12D. Rain forest monkey); VOILE (50D. Wedding dress fabric).

Short stuff -- CDS, COO and CUE, DOWN, EER and ERE and EXE, EMU, ERIC, ISA, JAG, KENO, KOOL, LIE and LOO, MER, NODS, NON, OCHS, OOM, OUR, RAZE, REMS, RRS, SLAW, SPAT, SSN, STE and STL, TAS, TOM, TRIS, URN, YTD, XED and ZED (44A. British character in “Zorro“).

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: 18. Affirmations to pitchers; 19. Univ. helpers; 21. Dustup; 22. Stick on a pub wall; 27. It may have a big mouth; 28. Since Jan. 1; 29. Ballad’s end?; 30. “We shun it ___ it comes”: Emily Dickinson; 31. It’s not to be believed; 36. What this puzzle’s theme does?; 41. Brevipennate bird; 42. Cat on the prowl; 45. 1992 hit “Life ___ Highway”; 48. Struck (out); 51. Lambert Airport’s home: Abbr.; 52. Speaker in the Hall of Fame; 54. What might charge a going rate?; 55. Brand at a checkout counter that’s also the name of a Phoenix radio station. DOWN: 3. Bedtime phenomena; 4. Veronique, for one: Abbr.; 5. ___-pah band; 6. Vote in Vichy; 9. Alternatives to downloads; 10. Newspaper publisher Arthur ___ Sulzberger; 25. ___ the Midget, regular on “The Howard Stern Show”; 32. Sinclair Lewis novel “___ Mr. Wrenn”; 33. Corp. manage of day-to-day affairs; 35. Things with xings; 37. Bulldoze; 53. Part of many a KFC order; 55. Numbers game; 57. Application datum: Abbr.; 59. On a map it may be colored bleu; 60. Program file extension: 61. XK or XKE, for short.

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