01.05.11 — Horse!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Puzzle by Ed Sessa, edited by Will Shortz

HELLO, I’M MISTER ED (17A. Opening line from a TV show that debuted on 1/5/61), TIME TO HIT THE HAY (25A. With 43-Across, line spoken by the show’s star), OH, I FORGOT I ATE IT (43A. See 25-Across) and THE TALKING HORSE (57A. Familiar title for the star of the show) are the interrelated tetrad of this winningly whinnying Wednesday crossword published on the 50th anniversary of the television debut of Mister Ed.

Other — ABS and PECS (9D. Sit-up muscles; 23D. Neighbors of 9-Down), ATOLLS (14A. Coral Islands), CLOSETS (5D. Suitable sites for suits), EILEEN (62A. Former space shuttle commander Collins), FORBADE, IN AGES and IS INTO, MEDICI (1A. Renowned family of Italian history), NATASHA (10D. “Rocky and Bullwinkle” villainess), STEERS, MOSH pit (rock concert area) and WATCH IT (42D. “Be careful!”).

Five-letter — AD LIB, ALECS, AMICI, AWACS (33A. High-tech surveillance acronym), HARTE, ILEAC, I’LL GO and I WISH, MACH I (27D. Chuck Yeager’s breakthrough), SNOOP, TABOO (25D. Like cannibalism, e.g.), WITCH (42A. Part of a “Macbeth“ trio), YACHT, YELPS (37A. Canine complaints).

Short stuff — AMA and LAMA; ARK; ASS; ATMS; “A one and A TWO; AXE; BICS and BITS (39A. Bridle parts), BRIC-a-brac; CLIP; DEEP; DHOW (50D. Indian Ocean vessel); DOLT; EGG; ELBA; ELSE; ENTS; ETAS and ETES; EXEC; FAIT accompli; Phileas FOGG, fictional circumnavigator; FREE; “Fee, fi, fo, FUM”; ILL; IKEA; IST; LET; LIPS (53A. Logo image for “The Rocky Horror Picture Show“); MAHI; MCAN; MEMO; MEN’S; OLE; OSH Kosh B‘Gosh; OWS; PARE; PETS; PEZ; TAP; TEEN; USER; WON; YORK; ZEDS (13D. Jazz duo in London?).

It is often said the crew was able to get Mister Ed to move his mouth by applying peanut butter to his gums in order for him to try to remove it by moving his lips. However, Alan Young (the actor who played Mister Ed’s owner, Wilbur Post) said in 2004 that he had started the story himself. In another interview, Young said, “…the producers, suggested we keep the method a secret because they thought kids would be disappointed if they found out the technical details of how it was done, so I made up the peanut butter story, and everyone bought it. It was initially done by putting a piece of nylon thread in his mouth. But Ed actually learned to move his lips on cue when the trainer touched his hoof. In fact, he soon learned to do it when I stopped talking during a scene! Ed was very smart.” …neigh!, there’s more at Making Ed “talk”, Wikipedia.


Click on image to enlarge.

Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES — Crossword Puzzles and Games.
Remaining clues — ACROSS: 7. Thom ___ shoes; 11. ___-a-Mania, candy collector’s convention since 1991; 15. Island of exile; 16. Hew; 20. Ideal ending?; 21. Buttinsky; 22. “Smart” guys; 23. Subject of a hotel policy; 24. Pumpkinhead; 34. “Rama ___ Ding Dong” (1961 hit); 35. Org. in the health care debate; 36. Pens sold in 10packs; 47. It was “lost” in 1981’s top-grossing movie; 48. “The Lord of the Rings” tree creatures; 49. Wing it; 52. Of the lower small intestine; 60. Hit the jackpot; 61. Furrow-producing; 63. Pained cries; 64. Pilots’ announcements, for short; 65. Pilots. — DOWN: 1. When repeated, a food fish; 2 Summers in la cite; 3. Definitely no genius; 4. Indisposed; 6. Really digs; 7. Office reinder; 8. “Good” rate; 11. Skin; 12. Big cheese; 19. Ultimate word in an ultimatum; 24. Bill dispensers; 26. “Wouldn’t that be nice”; 28. “Send me”; 29. Dance like the Hines Brothers; 30. Poker Flat creator Bret; 31. Friends, in Florence; 32. Luxury craft; 37. Fergie’s duchy; 38. Object of a spring hunt; 41. Prohibited; 45. Holden Caulfield, for one; 46. Since way back when; 51. Monocle part; 52. Chain founded in Sweden; 54. Unattached; 55. Lead-in for friendly; 56. Department store department; 58. Tennis judge’s call; 59. “Bravo!”.

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