A sign for Super Bowl XLIV is seen at sunrise on the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010. The Indianapolis Colts will play the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV on Sunday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Sunday, February 7, 2010
THE FOOTBALL FAN, Puzzle by Patrick Berry, edited by Will Shortz
“The football fan is fingering the buttons on the remote … he pushes the FIRST DOWN and the game is on!” “He’s prepared a SUPERBOWL of popcorn for himself …” “ … and he’s got Budweiser and Michelob on tap -- excellent DRAFT PICKS!” “Now he remembers setting $10 aside for pizza -- he searches his jacket and finds it IN THE POCKET” “But he forgot to place the order -- we may be looking at a LATE CALL here, folks” “He phones the pizzeria and tells them he wants full cheese and mushroom COVERAGE” “The pizzeria’s out of mushrooms, though, so he’ll need to make a SUBSTITUTION” “O.K., he’s ordered the pizza -- but now his wife is moving around in front of the TV, making SCREEN PASSES!” “He’s looking for an opening, but she’s doing a tremendous job of BLOCKING!” “Now he’s spotted the pizza delivery boy, who’s through the gate and crossing the YARD LINE!” “The pizza is $9.75 … he hands the $10 off to the boy and waits for the QUARTER BACK” “Now he’s got the pizza -- but the TV’s showing nothing but snow! He quickly gives it an ON-SIDE KICK …” “… and it works -- the RECEPTION is good!” “His posterior goes all the way back into the easy chair -- TOUCHDOWN!”
Yeah, that’s it -- fourteen entry/clues telling a little tale of a football fan on Superbowl Sunday with football sport-speak becoming part of household activity during a television broadcast of the football game. This is a scrappy crossword, filled with short stuff, stop and go clues and answers, pure torture, probably somewhat like the befuddling game of football itself -- a sport I decline in favor of baseball. The grid of the crossword looks a cross between a stadium and/or a football with stitches down the middle being held. Sort of.
Other -- ALLOYED (98A. Impure); BLACK AS TAR (94D. Jet), COSSETED (12D. Spoiled), ELITISM (57D. Snobbishness), EPICARP (84D. Fruit peel), JELLIED (101D. One way to serve eel); HAIR OIL (44D. Pomade), LAWNBOY (47D. Brand name acquired by Toro), LONG-JAWED (103D. Having a big mouth?), MCCOURT (83D. “Tis” memoirist), NUREYEV (71D. Frequent partner of Fonteyn), ONION ROLL (102D. Bialy, e.g.), ORIENTATE (2D. Show the ropes), PLUNDER (65A. Pirate treasure), REVOLVERS (29D. They’re drawn in western scenes), SANCTIONED (11D. Permissable), SEASONED (106D. Battle-scarred), SELLERS (“105A. “A Shot in the Dark” star, 1964), SEVERAL (59A. A number of), SODDING (59D. Laying down the lawn), SPRIEST (26D. Most agile), STEARNS (69D. Bear’s partner in investing), TAKE A TRIP (87D. Vacation), TALONED (52A. Like birds of prey), TEA CART (111A. Wheeled table), WORM-EATEN (3D. Ratty).
Mid-size -- ADLAI, ADREM, AGORAE, AMMAN and AMWAY, ANACIN, ANORAK, APACHE, ASNER, AT LAST, BISMOL (75. Pepto” go-with), BUCKY, CADRE, CAJOLE, CENTER (63A. Hiker?), CLARE, CUOMO, DAWDLE, DENIS, DIKTAT (120D. Harsh decree), DIRAE, EPILOG, HASNT, ICIER, INBED, JERKY, KENNER, LADEN, LEMONS, LENITY, LOFTS, MERRIE, NADER, NINJA, NIOBE, NONFAT, OSSIAN, PEEVE, QUARKS, RATIOS, REPOSE, ROTINI, SAHIBS, SNAFU, SNERD, STEEPS, SULFA, TAICHI, TELLS, UNITE, UNPEG, UPBEAT,UPPER, USABLE, VIALS, WANED.
Leftovers -- AAA and ABA and ABE and ABU, ACT, ANA and ANAT, ANNE, APSE, ASIA, CARD, CDS, CLIP, CULL, DAB, DADA, DCC, DEED, DEY and DYED, DIN, ELI, ENOW, ENT, EWE, GIN, HIS, IBM, ILL and ILIE, INN, IST, JOAN, JUDD, KAHN, KCAL, LDR, LEA and LEE, LID and LIP, LOW, LUC, MOOR, MUDD, OBEY, ODE and ONE, ORO, PHD, PJS, RAE, RDA, RED, SAN, SOS, STAT and STET, TAD, TALE, TBS, TEMP, TIED, TIL, TOE and TOM, TWIT, UTES, VERA, YAW.
Puzzle available on the internet at
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Remaining clues -- ACROSS: 1. Despicable; 4. World capital once called Philadelphia; 9. Computer book inserts, often; 12. Funny fellow; 16. “Antiart” art; 20. Gold, to Goya; 21. 1980s-’90s New York governor; 22. Actress Thompson; 23. Observe; 24. Medical sch. Topic; 27. Halfway house; 30. Crunch-time helper; 34. Form popular mong the Romantics; 35. No. on a food label; 36. Bergen dummy; 38. Go off course; 39. Thoroughly wets; 41. Perfumery bottles; 43. Eastern exercise; 46. Up to, in brief; 54. N.F.L.’er Manning; 55. Mountain West Conference team; 56. Nastase of tennis; 58. Lost power; 70. Not up; 71. Green man?; 72. Male meower; 78. Film producer Apatow; 79. Veep Agnew; 81. Big holding in Risk; 82. Mildness; 83. Like cartoon “Melodies” 85. Essayist Didion; 86. Lacks, briefly; 88. Vaulted recess; 91. IntelliStation maker; 92. Pertinent, in Latin; 94. 1978 World Series M.V.P. Dent; 95. Bronx cocktail ingredient; 100. Soft-soap; 106. Muddled situation; 107. Fashion’s Wang; 109. Sufficent, once; 110. Battery size; 119. Wee bit; 121. Novel ending; 122. Amphetaine, slangily; 123. Heroic poet of Gaelic legend; 125. Ceiling; 127. Masked warrior; 120. Org. that accredits law schools; 130. Suffix with special; 136. Periods of time; 140. Corn site; 143. “It Had to Be You” lyricist; 144. Sister of Charles; 145. Actor Vigoda; 146. ‘52 campaign name; 147 Gettysburg general; 148. Keep in; 149. Even; 150. Bloodshot; 151. Unintentional poker table signals; 152. P.M. or pres. DOWN: 1. Tosses high; 4. Play a part; 5. Newsman Roger; 6. Shrubby wasteland; 7. Direct-sales giant; 8. Light, say; 9. Movie snippet; 10. Leary of TV’s “Rescue Me”; 13. “Aladdin” monkey; 14. Lie peacefully; 15. Gone platinum?; 16. Lotion amount;l 17. Inuit jacket; 18. Waste time; 19. After much delay; 32. Nettlesome person; 33. Easy-Bake Oven introducer; 37. 700, once; 40. High degree; 42. Sticker, in a way; 45. Scarcely; 49. Vexation; 50. French director Besson; 51 Crater’s edge; 53. Carrying a lot; 60. Sine and cosine; 61. Old public squares; 62. They may be on the verge of a breakdown; 64. Id follower; 65. Make one; 67. Core military group; 73. Colonial “masters” 74. Aidful; 76. Francisco, e.g.; 77. Remove a fastener from; 78. Spasmodic; 80. Some loungewear; 89. Kind of drug; 90. Ivanovic of tennis; 93. Another name for the Furies; 97. Quilty of “Lolita”; 98. Motrin rival; 99. Old ottoman title; 104. She that is shorn; 108. Arctic-explorer John; 111. Cable inits.; 112. Fireside recitation; 114 Ruckus; 115. Up and down; 116. Optimistic; 117. Iraq War helicopter; 118. Salad pasta; 120. Harsh decree; 124. Daughter of Tantalus; 128. Part of L.E.D.; 128. Actor Ed; 131. “Now!”; 133 Exploit; 134. Get the best of; 135. Food energy unit: Abbr.; 138. Talking tree of Middle-earth; 139. Letterless phone button; 142. Greetings.