04.07.10 — Rats!


“A rat, a rat!”— Gertrude, “Hamlet”, IVi

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Puzzle by Richard Silvestri, edited by Will Shortz

RAT (58D. Chinese calendar animal … or the key to this puzzle’s theme) hidden within what would be pumpkin pie, supreme being and Eric the Red, e.g., PUMPKIN PIRATE (20A. One who plunders boatloads of jack-o’-lanterns?), SUPREME BERATING (37A. First-rate chastisement?) and ERRATIC THE RED (48A. Nickname for an unpredictable Communist?) are the interrelated group of this wacky Wednesday crossword.

Other creatures — CLAM (18A. Symbol of uncommunicativeness), GERBIL (25A. Pet store offering), JACKAL (5D. Follower who does the dirty work) and OXEN (63A. Yoked pair). People — ALOU (15A. Baseball family name), BLOOD (55A. Family), BURT (14A. Ward who played Robin), a LADY (44A. One may be in waiting), a ROPER (27D. Rodeo specialist), and a SHE-devil.

Mid-size — ABOVE, AGATE, ALLIN, ALOUD, EDGER, ELUDE, GASES (25D. Krypton and others), GORGE, HINGE, ICING, INFER, LEADEN, LOBBY, LOCAL, MEANT, PODIA, PRIDE (21D. Fall preceder), PROVE, SLEPT (9A. Was in the arms of Morpheus), SMIRK, SPIRIT, STATE, TANKER (45A. Ship of fuels), TEHRAN (45D. Home of the Azadi Tower) and YEMEN (62A. Arab League member).

Short stuff — AMID, AMOR, ATON, BAY (55D. Dark horse), BIDE, BUMP, BURN, COAX, DOZE (54D. Snooze), EBB, EDEN, EDIT and EMIT, ELBA and ELBE, EQUI, GIZA (61A. Egypt‘s third-largest city), IKEA, ISTO, ITEM, JAMB, LIFT, MOAN, NIL, QUIP, PEN (46A. “The Tongue of the mind”: Cervantes), PINE, RAGS, RAN, ROOM, SER and SET, SOAR, STET, TAG, TATA, URDU, WELD, WOKE (35A. Shook out of dreamland).

Click on image to enlarge.

Puzzle available on the internet at

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Remaining clues — ACROSS: 1. Prefix with lateral; 5. Frame side; 16. Conductors’ platforms; 17. Wait; 19. Hockey no-no; 23. Published; 24 Zillch; 29. Pick-me-up; 34. One way to read; 36. In among; 40. Tree of Life locale; 41. Destination for a ferry from Livorno; 42. Get stuffed; 43. Words from the Rev.; 47. Stage design; 56 Skyrocket; 57. Love of Spain; 59. Preceding on the page; 60. “I’m off!”; 64. What “……..” means to a typesetter. DOWN: 1. A drop in the ocean?; 2. Will Rogers specialty; 3. Official language of Pakistan; 4. News clipping; 6. Bushed; 7. Sound stressed, maybe; 8. Traffic slower; 10. Neighborhood pub; 11. Ready for release; 12. Tar source; 13. It’s game; 22. Draw a conclusion; 26. Not get caught by; 28. Use as fuel; 29. Hotel area; 30. Furniture chain; 31. Show of smugness; 32. Pivotal point; 33 Trimming tool; 35. Ironworker’s union?; 36. Loads; 38. Had in view; 39. Banded gemstone; 44. Heavy; 46. Establish as fact; 47. Union member; 48. Hamburg’s river; 49. Leeway; 50. Part of an analogy; 51. Sweet-talk; 52. Car wash gear; 53. Shoot out.

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