02.15.10 -- The Days of Winter

Gilbert Stuart's unfinished 1796 painting of George Washington, also known as The Athenaeum, is his most celebrated and famous work.

Washington's Birthday is a United States federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February. It is also commonly known as Presidents Day.

Puzzle by Lynn Lempel, edited by Will Shortz

This frigid Monday crossword reminds us that idle hands (and other body parts) are the devil’s workshop -- MIND IN THE GUTTER (17A. What a dirty person has), HAND IN THE TILL (27A. What an embezzler has), FOOT IN THE DOOR (43A. What a well-connected applicant has) and HEAD IN THE CLOUDS (58A. What a dreamer has) -- I want to add PIE IN THE SKY (Future happiness unlikely to ever be realized), but that doesn’t possess a body part. Whatever… I’m just saying, February is the month that numbers the days of Winter!

COLD (23A. Refrigerated) and ICIER (30D. Far less friendly) keep the chill intact among the remains which include DIRECT (24D. Lacking a stopover, as a flight), DONALD (5D. Gazillionaire Trump), DOT COM (45D. Techie’s company), GROSS OUT (39D. Fill with disgust), GUSHES (19D. Oohs and aahs over), 20A. INDIRA Gandhi, pioneering female leader, MEDICARE (4D. Health program for seniors), NITWIT (10D. Lamebrain), SEND ON (38D. Forward, as mail), TESTEE (54A. Exam taker), TOP DOG (44D. Honcho), TUFFET (29D. Spot for eating curds and whey).

Five-letter -- Things heat up a little with ARDOR (61A. Passion), DECAF, DODGE, ENDOW, HASTO, IRONY, MIAMI, NORAH, ROUEN (35A. City where Joan of Arc was burned), SCARY (33A. Hair-raising), SERFS, TOWEL, TREKS (42A. Long arduous walks).

Short stuff -- AERO, ALES, APT, ATMS, CAMP, CHAD, CIA, CLEO, DADA and DATA (and TATA), DAHL, DEMI, “The butler DID it”, DORM, EDIE and EDIT, ELSE, EMU, ESTA, EYE, GINS, IRE (and WIRE), KEN, LASS, LET, LINK, LSU, MADD, MAYO, OAT, ODD and ODIN, OMEN, OPAL, RIND, SELF, SKI (25A. Go down a slippery slope), STEM, “Take THAT!“, TOWS, TUNA, UNIT, WANE (22A. Become less bright, as the moon).

Presidents Day? -- HERE!

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Puzzle available on the internet at

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Remaining clues -- ACROSS: 1. Collegiate digs; 5. Baby’s first word, maybe; 9. Provide with funds, as a college; 14. Emmy-winning Falco; 15. Milky gem; 16. ___-Dade County; 21. Sch. In Baton Rouge; 36. Espionage org.; 37. “If all ___ fails …”; 38. Feudal workers; 39. Machines on cotton plantations; 40. Tennis serve requiring a do-over; 41. Coffee for before bed; 46. Eccentric; 47. Aids for disabled cars; 48. Kid’s summer getaway; 51. Bit of Dobbin’s dinner; 62. Tartar sauce ingredient; 63. The “U” in I.C.U.; 64. Manage to avoid; 65. Blossom supporter; 66. “Toodle-oo”. DOWN: 1. Actress Moore; 2. Valhalla god; 3. Orange or watermelon cover; 6. Suitable; 7. Roald who wrote “James and the Giant Peach”; 8. Pub quaffs; 9. Australia’s unofficial national bird; 11. Input for computers; 12. Portent; 13. Telegram; 18. Literary twist; 26. Documentary filmmaker Burns; 27. Simply must; 28. Singer Jones whose father is Ravi Shankar; 31. Connection; 32. Fair maiden; 33. Freudian concern; 34. Egypt’s last ruling Ptolemy, familiarly; 42. Low-tech hair dryer; 49. Prefix with dynamic; 540. Grass-roots org. that fights alcohol abuse; 52. Devices you can bank on briefly; 55. Deli salad fish; 56. Fix up, as text; 57. “Cómo ___ usted?”; 59. Fury; 60. Cyclops’ distinctive feature.

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