03.09.10 — Go to Hell

Gustave Doré - Dante Alighieri - Inferno - Plate 8
(Canto III - Abandon all hope ye who enter here).


Through me you pass into the city of woe:
Through me you pass into eternal pain:
Through me among the people lost for aye.

Justice the founder of my fabric mov'd:
To rear me was the task of power divine,
Supremest wisdom, and primeval love.

Before me things create were none, save things
Eternal, and eternal I endure.
All hope abandon ye who enter here.

Such characters in colour dim I mark'd
Over a portal's lofty arch inscrib'd:
Whereat I thus: Master, these words import.

From Dante's Divine Comedy. The 1814 translation into English by the Reverend H. F. Cary


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Puzzle by Jeffrey Wechsler, edited by Will Shortz

ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE (15A. With 23-Across, famous “opening” line), DIVINE COMEDY (30A. With 35-Across, source of 15-/23-Across), THE GATES OF HELL (40A. 15-/23-Across location) and DANTE ALIGHIERI (52A. Creator of 30-/35-Across) are the interrelated group of this brilliant quote-and-source Tuesday crossword with a rectangular (14x16) rather than square (15x15) grid -- it is sure to set both academist and cruciverbalist blogosphere tongues awag!

Throw in the AENEID (42D. Classic tale in dactylic hexameter) and an OBOL (36D. Silver coin of ancient Greece) for good measure -- (The deceased were buried with an obolus, placed in the mouth of the corpse, in order that, once a dead person's shade reached the underworld of Hades, it would be able to pay Charon for passage across the river Acheron. Those without enough wealth, or whose friends refused to follow proper burial rites, were forced to wander the banks of the Acheron for one hundred years.) -- EGAD (25D. “Zounds!”)!

Dante shown holding a copy of the Divine Comedy, next to the entrance to Hell, the seven terraces of Mount Purgatory and the city of Florence, with the spheres of Heaven above, in Michelino's fresco.

Other -- ARSENIO (48A. Hall providing entertainment); EVE ARDEN (57A. “Our Miss Brooks” star of 1950s TV); 46A. “England hath long been mad, and scarr’d HERSELF”: Richmond in “King Richard III”; HOMAGES (18A. Respectful acts); PRAISES (20A. Says “Nice job!” to); TUNED OUT (11A. Paid no attention to).

Six-letter -- ARABIC (38A. Like 10, but not X); AS IT IS (28A. “Give the situation …”; CALMER (7D. Not so stormy); EMBEDS (43D. Some Iraq war reporters); 41D. GHETTO blaster; IN A ROW (2D. Aligned); 44D. Cuba LIBRES (rum highballs); REHASH (8D. Go over and over, as arguments); RESOLE (39D. Fix, as a boot); STRESS (59A. Emphasize); TAHITI (12D. Captain Cook landfall of April 1769); TIP-OFF (1A. Telltale sign); TUBULE (1D. Tiny biological channel, as in the kidney).

Five -- AEGIS (13A. Protection); AMATI (56A. Family name in early violin-making); ATRIA (38D. Open-air lobbies); LAY IN (45D. Store, as supplies); LOSES (16D. Comes up short, say); MANET (34A. “Olympia” artist); POSIT (20D. Suggest); 32. Knucklehead SMIFF, Paul Winchell dummy of old TV; STALK (32A. Support for an ear of corn); TAFFY (11D. Chewy confection).

Short stuff -- ADA, ABBY, AGOG, AIRE, ANTE, Like two peas in A POD, CASE, Stick in one’s CRAW, DASH, ELK, Rapper FLO Rida, FOO dog (Chinese breed), FUN and FURS, GEL and GET, HAR, “What will you HAVE?”, “I didn‘t know I had it IN ME!”, ISM, IVS, MIA and MIT, ODD, PENS, RAMA (49A. Blue-skinned deity), REIN, RELY, SES, SNAP, Lab TECH, WIPE.

Click on image to enlarge.

Puzzle available on the internet at

THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games.

If you subscribe to home delivery of The New York Times you are eligible to access the daily crossword via The New York Times - Times Reader, without additional charge, as part of your home delivery.
Remaining clues -- ACROSS: 17. Heavy coats; 29. Alberto VO5 product; 37. Belief system; 47. Lost soldier, briefly; 51. “Dear” columnist. DOWN: 3. Waterman products; 4. Weird; 6. Playfulness; 9. Spellbound; 10. Cinematic scene-changer; 14. His or her: Fr.; 21. Restraint; 22. Amount of money that can be raised?; 26. Depend (on); 27. Yellowstone roamer; 30. --; 34. Alex Doonesbury’s school, for short; 35. Lawyer’s assignment; 48. Org. that promotes sugarless gum; 50. Jacket fastener; 51. Suffix with Frigid-; 53. Hosp. hookups; 54. Acquire; 55. Raucous laugh syllable.

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