07.22.10 — 3; e.g., omg, etc.

oh, oh, oh myy
oh, oh, oh my, my, my, my, my, my
ooh my gosh

— Omg lyrics by Usher


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Puzzle by Jeremy Horwitz, edited by Will Shortz

Electronic solvers will read from the Notepad “The center square of this crossword has an across clue of Shortest title of any #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 [Britney Spears, 2009] and a down clue of Length of the eight runners-up to the Across answer, all of which are answers to starred clues in this puzzle — that extensive note produces the numeral 3 as an answer. Unfortunately, the numbering of the clues from 36 onward for the print and online versions is different — the print version has the number 36 in the center square. It seems the shorter the gimmick, the longer the explanation needed. The following commentary utilizes the numbering of the online version. Onward…

The center answer of 3 clues the three-letter group of ABC (5A. *Jackson 5, 1970), OMG (22A. *Usher feat. will.i.am, 2010), BEN (45A. *Michael Jackson, 1972), WHY (59A. *Frankie Avalon, 1959), BAD (12D. *Michael Jackson, 1987), WAR (32D. *Edwin Starr, 1970), LOW (34D. *Flo Rida feat. T-Pain, 2008) and SOS (54D. *Rihanna, 2006).

Twelve nine-letter entries dominate the crossword — ALABASTER (55A. Gypsum variety used in carvings), CLEOPATRA (51A. Earliest million-dollar movie role), EMOTICONS (31D. They often begin with colons), GUACAMOLE (17A. Salsa partner?), IRENE CARA (29D. “Fame” actress), ISLAMABAD (19A. Capital whose name is Urdu for “place of peace”), MOBILE BAY (30D. 1864 battle site that was the source of the quote “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!“), MT EVEREST (11D. Subject of the 1997 best seller “Into Thin Air”), ONE O’CLOCK (13A. Time it is when daylight saving time ends), POTENTIAL (57A. What a talent scout looks for), RE-EXAMINE (9D. Check over), UNDIVIDED (10D. United).

Mid-size — ATTIC, AROMAS (35A. Bouquets), BENEATH, BOO BOOS (6D. Faux pas), BOWED TO, C-CLAMP, CEDED, CRUMB (8A. Soupçon), CYCLE, DEBORAH (37A. Book of Judges judge), HAS TO, HONEST, HUBCAP, GREAT, IN USE, KEDGES (15D. Small anchors), LUMET (41A. “Network” director), MELLOW, NASAL, NOPES, ORANT (56A. Worshiping figure), PEALE, SABOT, SAY SO, SET TO, SOCAL, SO HOT (25D. “Smoking!”), SOLIDER, TIME WAS (28A. Nostalgist’s opening words), YENTA (16A. Dirt accumulator?).

Four-letter — ALMA, ARLO, CAMS, CECE, EAVE, EELS, ELIS, LXIV, MIRO (26A. “Harlequin’s Carnival,“ for one), OBEY, OCTO and ORTO, SHAG, SNIT, SPAN, TADS, YIPS and YOGI.

If nothing else, this crossword brilliantly illustrates the oft-found confusion between the newspaper and electronic versions of a crossword with the resultant wrath of crossword bloggers possessing a compulsion to explain the obvious!

oh, oh, oh myy
oh, oh, oh my, my, my, my, my, my
ooh my gosh


Above, the electronic solution, below the newsprint version with the beauty and simplicity of the grid  numbering and the corresponding clues.

Click on image to enlarge.

At left, the electronic version, 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: 1. Pups’ complaints; 18. Gave up; 20. Year of the Great Fire of Rome; 21. Unagi sources; 23. Gutter site; 24. Informal denials; 33. More substantial; 36. “I swear!”; 39. Greeted deferentially; 40. Foul mood; 43. Taft and Bush, collegiate; 46. Catch, as flies; 50. Gospel singer Winans; 54. Wooden-soled shoe; 58. Authority; 60. Numerical prefix. DOWN: 1. Hanna-Barbera bear; 2. Occupied; 3. “Positive thinking” exponent; 4. Setting for “The O.C.,” for short; 5. Longest book of the Book of Mormon; 7. Workshop device; 8. Bike; 14. Wheels inside a car; 24. Like the first of May or the end of June?; 27. “For here ___ go?”; 28. Kids; 38. Outer covering for some nuts; 39. Unworthy of; 42. Tone down; 44. Brawl; 46. Stretch over; 48. Lofty story; 49. Word repeated before some relatives’ names; 52. Succumb to mind control; 53. Janis’s comic-strip husband.


DD said...

NASAL? How on earth does this make sense?

DONALD said...


It seems the M sound of May and the N sound of June are nasal in their pronunciation. It is a stretch!