04.16.10 — Its Purpose Is Frightening

Scarecrow by Jeff Preston

Scarecrows are merely discarded clothing stuffed with straw and stuck on a pole to simulate a human presence in farm fields to keep larger pests, like deer and crows, away from food crops. Ancient ritual demands that the scarecrows be ceremonially burned just after the harvest — around the time of Samhain, or Halloween – and added to celebratory bonfires as an offering to traditions we no longer remember. If the scarecrows aren’t burned, wandering spirits might decide to move into one, animating it and causing all sorts of mischief. Some spirits just like to play pranks, while others have a less well-developed sense of humor…. Scarecrows by Bill Bodden


Friday, April 16, 2010

Puzzle by Eric Berlin, edited by Will Shortz

Across: 1. Exude, REEK OF; 7. Family tree abbr., DESC; 11. Backing, PRO; 14. Marching ILLINI (Midwest college band); 15. Mix, OLIO; 16. Post-Manhattan Project agcy., AEC; 17. It has a lot of small dishes, TASTING MENU; 19. Guilty, in a legal phrase, REA; 20. Like many appliances: Abbr., ELEC; 21. Forest cover?, ANIMAL PELT; 23. Narnian guardian, ASLAN; 25. Security need: Abbr., IDENT; 26. Its purpose is frightening, SCARECROW; 30. Noted 21-Across dealer, ASTOR; 32. OPEC member: Abbr., UAE; 33. They’re checked for life, PULSES; 35. Connecting, briefly, THRU; 36. Climactic musical finales, STRETTI; 38. Like some pulled calves?, LASSOED; 40. “That’s A HOT one!”; 41. Unload on, in a way, SELL TO; 43. Work containing about 2.5 million quotations: Abbr., OED; 44. Unsettled sort, NOMAD; 46. “Rumor has it …”, REPUTEDLY; 48. Discourage, DETER; 50. Tibiae neighbors, TARSI; 51. Enters, SETS FOOT IN; 53. Member of the Hindu trinity, SIVA; 57. It may lie in a bed, ORE; 58. Women who may make people break up?, COMEDIENNES; 60. Place for many belts, BAR; 61. ON OR about; 62. Some godchildren, NIECES; 63. Way: Abbr., SYS; 64. Rialto attention-getter, NEON; 65. Absorbed, ENRAPT.

Down: 1. Graduation, e.g., RITE; 2. Offerer of the Matmid frequent flier club, EL AL; 3. More, ELSE; 4. Build-it-yourself wheels, KIT CAR; 5. Clandestine maritime org., ONI; 6. Demands of some directors, FINAL CUTS; 7. Company with the stock symbol DPZ, DOMINOS; 8. I., for one, ELEM; 9. Six-Day War setting, SINAI; 10. COULDA Been the One” (2006 Rihanna song); 11. Pop’s condition, PARENTHOOD; 12. Like some projectors, REEL-TO-REEL; 13. One O’CAT (kid’s game); 18. More difficult, in slang, GNARLIER; 22. They might be smoked out, PESTS; 24. Reaping time: Abbr., SEPT; 26. Longtime human “Sesame Street” role, SUSAN; 27. Crookes tube emission, CATHODE RAY; 28. Measurers of gas properties, AEROMETERS; 29. Making seven figures, say, WELL PAID; 31. Kind of complexion, RUDDY; 34. Gloomy, SATURNINE; 37. Nations Unies members, ETATS; 39. They’re often loaded, SOTS; 42. End of discussion?, LETTER N; 45. Military alert status, DEFCON; 47. Michael with the memoir “Work in Progress”, EISNER; 49. TV executive Arledge, ROONE; 51. Doesn’t just tear up, SOBS; 52. Novel with the chapter “Farming in Polynesia”, OMOO; 54. Old victim of the Spanish, INCA; 55. Resident of D.C.’s Observatory Circle, VEEP; 56. Right hand: Abbr., ASST; 59. EIN weites Feld” (Günter Grass novel).

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.

No comments: