02.06.10 -- The Writing on the Wall

Rembrandt's 'Belshazzar's Feast', 1635 -- National Gallery, London

In the book of Daniel, at a drunken feast, King Belshazzar of Babylon takes sacred golden and silver vessels removed from Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem by his predecessor Nebuchadnezzar, and with the holy items, the King and his court praise “the gods of gold and silver, brass, iron, wood, and stone“. Immediately, the disembodied fingers of a human hand appear and write on the wall of the royal palace the words מנא ,מנא, תקל, ופרסין (Mene, Mene, Tekel u-Pharsin). That very night King Belshazzar is slain, and Darius the Mede becomes King.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Puzzle by Frederick J. Healy, edited by Will Shortz

Across: 1. Savage, HARSH; 6. Present, NONCE; 11. Alpine feature, ARETE; 12. Get in the can early, PRE-RECORD; 16. Tasty torus, BAGEL; 17. Heavily corroded, RUST-EATEN; 17. “Not bad at all!”, I’M IMPRESSED; 20. Cavaliers’ home, for short, UVA; 21. “Cheers” alternative, BEST WISHES; 22. Calculating bunch, briefly, CPAS; 23. Relief pitcher Craig HANSEN; 24. Day-care charges, TOTS; 25. Like some wrongs, AVENGED; 27. “Blue II” and "Harlequin’s Carnival”, MIROS; 28. Run on, NATTER; 29. FANNIE Mae; 30. Less approachable, ICIER; 31. Magic acts?, BASKETS; 32. Safety org., MADD; 33. King’s middle name, LUTHER; 34. Poison, BANE; 35. Observance made official by President Wilson in 1914, MOTHER’S DAY; 39. N.F.L. passing stat., ATT; 40. Prominently featured, CENTER STAGE; 41. “The lady in red” betrayed him, DILLINGER; 43. Pulitzer-winning poet Mark Van DOREN; 44. Samaritans’ doings, GOOD DEEDS; 45. Have no life, AREN’T; 46. ENTRE año (in the course of the year: Sp.); 47. Socialite who inspired “Call Me Madam”, MESTA.

Down: 1. Career diplomat Philip HABIB; 2. Mild-flavored seaweed in Japanese cuisine, ARAME; 3. Denver university, REGIS; 4. Slow an increase, STEM THE TIDE; 5. Heading for classified information? HELP WANTED; 6. Grant consideration, NEED; 7. Goose, in Spain or Italy, OCA; 8. Lacking sufficient desire, NOT UP TO IT; 9. Levee breaches, CREVASSES; 109. “Hairspray” mom and others, EDNAS; 12. Iron-handed one?, PRESSER; 13. Hasty, RUSHED; 14 Ruhr Museum locale, ESSEN; 15. Lines: Abbr., RTES; 19. A dead one looks like something else, RINGER; 22. Place to get milk, CORNER STORE; 24 Whit, TINKER’S DAM; 25. Opposite of sluggishness, ANIMATION; 26. Something to build on, VACANT LOT; 27. Lothario, MASHER; 29. Confession receivers, FATHERS; 31. Stopped being a 38-Down, with “out”, BUTTED; 33. What opens easily?, LONG E; 34. Scout’s honor, BADGE; 35. Mysterious word repeated in Daniel 5:25. MENE; 36. Isn’t too yellow, DARES; 37. Chemical AGENT; 38. Blabbermouth, YENTA; 40. Killer ending?, CIDE; 42. C.E.O., e.g.: Abbr., LDR.

Click on image to enlarge.

Puzzle available on the internet at

THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games.

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