03.17.10 — ST/PA TRICK

Saint Patrick, stained-glass window in the Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, California


Wednesday, March 17, 2010 — St. Patrick’s Day

Puzzle by Patrick Merrell, edited by Will Shortz

ST PATRICK (March figure .. Or when split into three parts, a title for this puzzle) — O.K., you can have your title -- and your puzzle too! Oh, I get it all right, the TRICK is to replace the PA with ST and question-mark-clue the results — but why? Paring knife, oil painting, take-home pay and pair skating become STRING KNIFE (17A. Twine cutter?), OIL STINTING (24A. OPEC production cutback?), TAKE-HOME STY (50A. Pen for a pet pig?) and STIR SKATING (60A. Ice hockey in prison?). Why?

Remaining across1A. U.S. political scandal involving a fiction sheik, ABSCAM (clued in Sunday’s crossword as F.B.I. scandal of the 1970s- ‘80s); 14. Puget Sound city, TACOMA; 21. Setting of an April marathon, BOSTON; 31. Bygone monarchs, TSARS; 34. Legal precedent setter, TEST CASE; 39. Buzzer in the kitchen, maybe, HOUSEFLY; 42. Onetime South African P.M. Jan SMUTS; 56. Imam, e.g., CLERIC; 57. Be postponed, LIE OVER; 65. Will’s focus, ESTATE; 68. Fur wraps, STOLES.

Down — 1. Offered for breeding, AT STUD; 2. Shower room sight, BATH MAT; 3. Fun house sounds, SCREAMS; 5. Prenatal exam, briefly, AMNIO; 6. Great: Prefix, MAGNI; 9. Like some private dets., EX-FBI; 10. “I’ve got my EYE ON you!”; 11. Horace’s “Ars POETICA; 12. Mexican beer choices, CORONAS; 13. Glittery glue-on, SPANGLE; 22. Bank teller’s fear, STICK-UP; 25. Make up galleys for printing, SET TYPE; 28. Less respectful, SASSIER; 39. Came out of one’s shell, HATCHED; 40. Being walked, as Fido, ON A LEAD; 41. Disheveled, UNKEMPT; 43. Of no matter, TRIVIAL; 44. End of life as we know it?, SILENT E; 49. Becomes one, MERGES; 51. Tissue: Prefix, HISTO; 52. Quarterfinals qualifiers, e.g., OCTET; 53. Little ones: Var., TIKES; 54. Brewing need, YEAST.

Short stuffALUM, ANNI, COIL, DAMS, DDT (66A. Banned bug spray), that's dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane to you, EAP, ÉPÉE, ERA and ERN, HEM, ICAL, ILE, INT, ISLS, KELP, OOP, OTTO and OTTS, PCS, PEI and POI, PRIM, ROXY, RTE and RTS, SIS, SPF, TCM, TENT, TIER, UMA, UPI.

Click on image to enlarge.

Puzzle available on the internet at

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Remaining clues -- ACROSS: 7. Sport whose name has two accents; 11. Some tablets; 15. Classic theater name; 16. Alley ___; 19. Time for the history books; 27. Reservoir producers; 27. Reservoir producers; 29. Louvre Pyramid architect; 30. Suffix with myth; 45. Years in old Rome; 46. Reuters competitor; 48. Strait-laced; 59. Folded-over skirt part; 63. “The Raven” writer’s inits.; 64. Rental for an outdoor reception; 67. Some valuable 1920s- ‘40s baseball cards. DOWN: 4. Stamp purchase; 7. Directional ending; 8. Polynesian paste; 18. Seaweed variety; 26. Layer; 32. Map no.; 33. Hawaiian Tropic no.; 35. What your mom might call your aunt; 36. RKO film airer, maybe; 38. Grad; 47. Archipelago’s makeup: Abbr.; 58. One of four Holy Roman emperors; 61. Bankbook fig.; 62. Football linemen: Abbr.

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