02.19.10 -- Gas!



Friday, February 19, 2010

Puzzle by Victor Fleming, edited by Will Shortz

This gaseous Friday crossword is a meandering four-in-one variety of the quadrupuzzle, this time featuring JOE THE PLUMBER (34A. Metaphor for a middle-class American) plunked smack-dab in the middle of the equivalent of an overflow trap, the puzzle‘s only passageway.  As Joe knows, in plumbing, a trap is a U-, S-, or J-shaped pipe located below or within a plumbing fixture used to prevent sewer gases from entering buildings. In puzzledom, it prevents the solver from cruciverbal mobility.


Office with three men and a boy, New York, 1894-95. Writing on the back, referring to the boy, says "William W Miller, his first job, taken about 1894 or 1895, N.Y."

Puzzle 1 (Upper left) -- ACROSS: 1. Male gopher, OFFICE BOY; 15. “The Broken Tower” poet, HART CRANE; 17. “Beautiful” things in a 1951 hit song, BROWN EYES; 19. Orlando’s AMWAY Arena; 20. Capital largely surrounded by high clay walls, SANA; 23. Uncle BENS; 26. They make cents., YRS. DOWN: 1. “Man alive!”:, OH BABY; 2. One with growing concerns, FARMER; 3. Displays displeasure, FROWNS; 4. “IT WAS my pleasure”; 5. Big Apple sch., CCNY; 6. Ahead of, in verse, ERE; 7. Parts of planes in which to put 18-Across, BAYS; 8. First to be called up, ONE-A; 9. Answerable with a nod or a shake, YES/NO.

Puzzle 2 (Upper right) -- ACROSS: 10. People travel only one way on them, T-BARS; 16. The senior Saarinen, ELIEL; 18. See 7-Down, CARGO; 22. Sportscaster Collinsworth, CRIS; 24. City at the mouth of the Fox River, OSHKOSH; 31. Homage, SALUTE; 33. Cat’s-eye relatives, AGATES; 38. Las ISLAS Filipinas; 40. Abbr. at the top of a memo, ATTN. DOWN: 10. Sherlock, TEC; 11. They have chocolate relatives, BLACK LABS; 12. Overhead corridor, AIR ROUTE; 13. Need for checking people out, REGISTER; 14. Applies carelessly, SLOSHES; 21. Blitzkrieg, ASSAULT; 25. Ewing player, HAGMAN; 36. U.S.N. craft, LST.

Puzzle 3 (Lower left) -- ACROSS; 27. Cards, WAGS; 32. Dress down, BASTE; 37. Host of a self-titled 1990s talk show, RU PAUL; 39. Ancient Macedonian capital, EDESSA; 44. Hair salon activity, RINSING; 47. Freedom fighter, for short?, ACLU; 52. Weapon for Wonder Woman, TIARA; 56. Put through the system?, EATEN; 58. Some flying saucers, SLEDS. DOWN: 27. Twist alternative, WATUSI; 28. Oregon Shakespeare Festival locale, ASHLAND; 29. Former AT&T rival, GTE; 30. Crayola color in a 64-crayon box, SEPIA; 32. Encouraging statement start, BE ASSURED; 34. Kind of appointment, JUDICIAL; 35. Like most bars, OPEN LATE; 37. Downgrades, e.g., RERATES; 53. FAQ part: Abr., ANS.

Puzzle 4 (Lower right) -- ACROSS: 41. Abbr. for the Prince of Wales, HMS; 46. New range rover?, FOAL; 48. Their faces have spots, DICE; 51. Secretary on “Hogan’s Heroes”, HILDA; 54. When women may get in for less, LADIES DAY; 57. Rush hour, to radio programmers, DRIVE TIME; 59. Fleet type, SPEEDSTER. DOWN: 41. “Whoa!”, HOLD IT; 42. MADAME Sans-G√™ne” (Sardou play); 43. Offer?, SLAYER; 45. Brightens, GILDS; 46. Sock deliverers, FISTS; 49. Complaint, CARP; 50. Lou Grant’s ex on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, EDIE; 51. Not brush off, HEED; 55. It may be added to excess... IVE.



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Puzzle available on the internet at

THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games.

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1 comment:

Janet Isserlis said...

thank you for this site

was working on this puzzle for days, getting stuck and found this in your archive.

i'm grateful (if also a little retentive)