02.21.10 -- My Word! -- Cryptic Crossword

Brad Pitt in Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds”


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cryptic Crossword by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon, edited by Will Shortz

Here’s what I came up with…

Across: 4. Sequence of words wears on the ears (6), PHRASE (frays); 7. After starters, courteous cry for dessert (3,5), ICE CREAM (nice scream); 8. How “Aura Lee” is pronounced? (6), ORALLY; 9. Fuel lying around Pennsylvania (7), PROPANE, (PA + prone); 10. Tarantino snarled, %$#@!, TARNATION (anagram); 12. Carry on large merry-go-round (8), CAROUSEL; 13. On a pig diet, at first (6), ABOARD (A.D. +boar); 17. New pistons mesh in Homeric saga? (3,8), THE SIMPSONS (anagram); 20. Two of the Spaniards vow at the altar and dance in a square (2-2-2), DO-SI-DO; 22. Set of records failed at recombining (4,4), DATA FILE (anagram); 24. Pare m.p.h. back in blackout (4,5), DEEP SLEEP (peel speed); 25. Green pellets bug farm worker (7), PEASANT; 26. Setback for a musician in entering “Rent” (3,3) TIN EAR (“in” in “tear); 27. Three articles (mom hated one) (8), ANATHEMA (an, a, the, mom); 28. Overheard a freckly tribe member (6), APACHE

Down: 1. Party recalled in two-star comedy (9), DEMOCRATS (reverse star comedy, no y); 2. “Precious” certainly kept in step (9), TREASURED (tread sure); 3. Cell door admits me (6), GAMETE (me + gate); 4. Leader of Persia (shah’s land) owns snappy fish (8), PIRANHAS (Pasha in Iran has piranhas?); 5. Kin share when catching train in Chi (8), RELATION (el + ration); 6. Guy’s name for what better observers do aloud? (7), SEYMOUR; 7. Rascal behaved as though hit (8), IMPACTED; 11. Where Davy fell and Ed turned in (1,2,4), A LA MODE (Alamo + Ed); 14. French emperor is aloof, wearing off-white (9), BONAPARTE (“apart” within “bone”); 15. Like Captain Hook’s men, says Hook at first? (9), ASPIRATES; 16. Loss of faculty upset dean I met, DEMENTIA (anagram); 19. Very close friend to Samuel Wilder (4,4), SOUL MATE; 21. Dance on steep ground (3-4), ONE-STEP (anagram); 23. Tag on some cheap pen drawings (6), APPEND

Click on image to enlarge.

Puzzle available on the internet at

THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games.


Judyth said...

Happy you did this puzzle--one of the toughest I've done. For 20 A --I got "Dosido" a square dance step;
24 A - DeepSleep. For 2 D Treasured; for 7 D Impacted; 21 D One Step - an anagram of on steep.
What do you think?
Judy Katz

DONALD said...


Thanks for straightening up the place -- reposted to reflect your comment.

Anonymous said...

Please, explain for me (it's driving me nuts)...

How does one get ASPIRATES from "says Hook at first?"? I got the answer from "As" + "Pirates"- "Like" + "Captain Hook's men," but part two has me flummoxed.

DONALD said...


Says Hook at first refers I believe to the H in Hook being an aspirant, e.g., in phonetics, aspiration is the strong burst of air that accompanies the release of some obstruents (relative to consonents). To feel or see aspirated sounds, one can put a hand in front of one's mouth, and one should feel a puff of air. A candle is also used -- as in the musical My Fair Lady, 'enry 'iggins. It's likely assumed Captain Hook's men speak akin to Eliza Doolittle.

That might not be the whole story, but it was good enough for me to rest easy