01.16.10 -- January Thaw

Where Are You Going (Eu haere ia oe), Paul Gauguin, 1893, used as the cover illustration for the Dover edition of The Moon and Sixpence (1919) by William Somerset Maugham -- the complex story of , a man who abandons his family and his secure life as an English businessman to pursue an uncertain but meaningful existence as an artist, from Paris slums to the lush fertility of Tahiti, and into the glory of the creative wilderness.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Puzzle by Ned White, edited by Will Shortz

The fifteen-letter MOON AND SIXPENCE (8D. 1919 novel set in Paris and Tahiti, with “The”) and the idiomatic BEER AND SKITTLES (36A. A bowl of cherries, in Chelsea), e.g., peaches and cream, are the two main entries of this likeable Saturday crossword with a pinwheel arrangement of black squares and plenty of open white spaces. It’s been a cold week, and I am counting on the coming January thaw. In the meantime, today’s countdown:

Nine-letter -- ARETHA NOW (17A. 1968 soul album with the hit “Think”); IN SO FAR AS (56A. To the extent that); I REMEMBER (12D. “Time was …”); PASO DOBLE (11D. Dance based on bullfight music); POTATO ROT (14A. Plant disease similar to blackleg); SCORE CARD (60A. A caddie may hold it); SEED MONEY (32D. Entrepreneur’s request); TEAR DROPS (33D. They may fall when you’re down).

Jackson Pollack dancing colors from the film Pollock with Ed Harris

Eight -- BRACKISH (36D. Neither freshwater nor marine); CATAWBAS (13D. Carolina natives); ED HARRIS (34D. Jackson Pollock’s player in “Pollack”); END RHYME (62A. Sonnet feature); HIS OR HER (39A. Gender-neutral phrase); STAGE MOM (1A. One very concerned with how a kid acts), clued in this past Tuesday’s crossword as Parent in the wings, perhaps; STAMPEDE (32A. Driver’s problem); TWO WEEKS (15D. What an angry employee might give a boss).

Mid-size -- AABBA (35A. Limerick scheme); 9D. ALARM (48D. Cell phone feature); The AMBOY Dukes (1960s-’70s band); ASCAP (46A. Org. that tracks numbers) and ASPIC (9A. Edible mold); ATEAT (3D. Troubled); ATRIA (35D. They’re fed by venae cavae); BATHES (31D. Engages in hydrotherapy); BESET (18A. Plague); CARAY (47D. Sportscaster with the autobiography “Holy Cow!”); HAS ON (45D. Sports) and HYSON (61A. A caddy may hold it); I’M REAL (51A. #1 hit from the album “J.Lo”); IN OIL (54A. How some foods are packed); MEARA (16A. Comic actress who co-starred on “Archie Bunker’s Place”); MET UP (23A. Got together); MILAN (44D. Biblioteca Ambrosiana locale); MORPH (44A. Change [into]); NO NO NO (20A. “That’s completely wrong!”); OR NOT (7D. Speculation follower); 49D. PAS DE bourrée (ballet move); PUMAS (25D. Deer stalkers); REAMS (38A Sheets are sold in them); SEPTA (59A. Dividers of 35-Down); SPASM (1D. Jerk); TAWNY (26A. Like the coats of 25-Down); TORTE (2D. Nutty nosh); U S ARMY (24D. Company man’s grp.?).

Short stuff -- ACH, ADRY, ALA, CMD, BOMB, DEW, ETH, FER, GAT, ION, ITO, KOR, LORD, LPN, MOAN, NEW and NNW, NIE, OMA, SEE, STA, SUL, TAX, TOM (41D. Kenyan leader Mboya whom Obama called his “godfather“).

"The January thaw is special because it opens Winter's door a crack just when it seems that the ice has locked it tight. Through that crack one can see the certainty of March and April somewhere up ahead....The worst one can say about the January thaw is that it never lasts. It lifts the heart, then drops it with a cold thud when the warm spell passes and the chill congeals the earth again....But when January does relent, even for a day or two, we can celebrate, cautiously." -- Hal Borland, Sundial of the Seasons.

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: 19. Boarding house?: Abbr.; 22. Medical suffix; 28. South of Brazil?; 30. Not just reworked; 31. Lay an egg; 40. “___ White Season” (André Brink novel); 41. Cost increaser; 42. Not even once, to Nietzsche; 43. Mil. Authority; 53. Mimicking. DOWN: 4. Rod; 5. End of the Bible?; 6. Evidence of paranormal activity, perhaps; 10. Go with; 21. Kansas City-to-Omaha dir.; 29. Orderly supervisor, maybe: Abbr.; 37. What “+” may indicate; 52. One who minds his manors?; 55. Contemporary of Baiul and Yamaguchi; 57. Élément #26; 58. Exclamation in Ems.

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