01.20.10 -- Wicked Game

Chris Isaak, from the music video of Wicked Game


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Puzzle by Trip Payne, edited by Will Shortz

Each containing an ON and an UP, SUCTION CUP, CONTROL GROUPS, ONWARD AND UPWARD, MONEY SUPPLIES and WONTON SOUP comprise the interrelated group of this wicked Wednesday crossword. Is ward here to be pronounced as word? What’s up? Er, or... uh -- what's on!  The clue for 38-Across is Aspirant’s motto … or, phonetically, what 18-, 23-, 47- and 57-Across each consist of -- confusing, as there are (phonetically) two ons, two ups, two uns and two oops!

Across: 1. Stingy, MEAN; 5. Phrenologists read them, BUMPS; 10. Not shut all the way, AJAR; 14. What to call a crown, SIRE; 15. Chris ISAAK with the 1991 hit “Wicked Game”; 16. Common mixer, SODA; 17. Roofless home, NEST; 18. It creates a small vacuum, SUCTION CUP; 20. Personal account, BIO; 21. “Now I see!”, AHA; 22. Art buyers worries, FAKES; 23. Parts of double-blind trials, CONTROL GROUPS; 28. Baby sitter’s bane, IMP; 20. Where flocks feed, LEAS; 30. Word unlikely to end a sentence, THE; 33. Sauce prepared in a mortar, PESTO; 36. Daughter of Laban, in the Bible, LEAH; 37. 1856 Stowe novel, DRED; 38. Aspirant’s motto … etc.; 41. Clancy hero, RYAN; 42. Gives succor to, AIDS; 43. Clear, as a loan, REPAY; 44. Salt, TAR; 45. Contralto ETTA James; 46. Elusive swimmer, EEL; 47. What national banks oversee, MONEY SUPPLIES; 53. Not too SWIFT; 55. Tapped-out message, often, SOS; 56. Reach the end, DIE; 57. Chinese menu option, WONTON SOUP; 61. Show-off’s shout, TADA; 62. “The Gong Show” regular ARTE Johnson; 63. It can be worth up to 20 points, SPARE; 64. “Pardon me”, AHEM; 65. Unappreciated worker, PEON; 66. Seize, to Caesar, CARPE; 67. Like the “Saw” movies, GORY.

A research team at The History Bluff unearthed a priceless relic from a forgotten corner of their museum. This artifact, which at first glance looks like King David’s sling, is in fact the ancient king’s jockstrap.

Down: 1. Rachel Maddow’s network, MSNBC; 2. Children’s song refrain, EIEIO; 3. Flame blame, sometimes, ARSON; 4. Post-tax amount, NET; 5. King’s neighbor, BISHOP; 6. Fully expected, USUAL; 7. OS X runner, MAC; 8. Too rehearsed, PAT; 98. Perform a wedeln, e.g., SKI; 10. No problem at all, A SNAP; 11. Guy’s means of support, JOCKSTRAP; 12. Literally, “by two”, ADUE; 13. They often include samples, RAPS; 19. “The Sum OF US” (Russell Crowe movie); 21. Hard wear?, ARMOR; 24. Nashville-based athlete, TITAN; 25. Actresses Farrell and Jackson, GLENDAS; 26. Goes from cover to cover, READS; 27. Kailua Bay’s setting, OAHU; 31. Vengeful goddess, HERA; 32. Swirl, EDDY; 33. Left to the captain?, PORT; 34. Popular singer born in County Donegal, ENYA; 35. Overrun, SWARM INTO; 36. Body that’s not the clergy, LAITY; 37. Harp (on), DWELL; 39. Fruit growing at an oasis, DATE; 40. Gets ready, PREPS; 45. Opposite of exo-, ENTO; 46. Heroic poem, ÉPOPÉE; 48. Frequently, OFTEN; 49. Take over, USURP; 50. Western potato, IDAHO; 51. Large duck, EIDER; 52. Run-down, SEAMY; 53. Cash-free transaction, SWAP; 54. Modeled, WORE; 58. Grp. That meets in the Situation Room, MSC; 59. Upscale hotel offering, SPA; 60. Boathouse item, OAR; 61. Cry before “You’re it!”, TAG.


Click on image to enlarge.

Puzzle available on the internet at

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