01.23.11 — Letter Openers

“A four month project, some letters were easy to find, others much more difficult.”


Sunday, January 23, 2011

LETTER OPENERS, Puzzle by Chris A. McGlothlin, edited by Will Shortz

In this clever holoalphabetic Sunday crossword, 95-Down, From A TO Z (how this puzzle goes), along with the title Letter Openers clues the solver to the full alphabet being represented by a “free-standing” letter at the beginning of 26 entries:

A-ONE (28D. *Tops)
B-MOVIE (13D. (Plan 9 From Outer Space,” e.g.)
C-SPAN (125A. *House coverer)
D-DAY (29A. *Setting for “Saving Private Ryan”)
E STREET BAND (26A. *The Boss’s backers)
F-STOP (72D. *It helps one get the picture)
G-MAN (36A. *Ace ___ Stories, old detective pulp magazine)
H-BOMB (12A. *Weapon first tested in ‘52)
iPOD (34A. *Touch, e.g.)
J-LO (88A. *4x platinum album of 2001)
K-TEL (54D. *”As Seen on TV” company)
L-BAR (112A. *Beam with a bend)
M-DASH (52A. *Typography symbol)
‘N SYNC (42D. *Group with the 2000 #1 hit “It’s Gonna Be Me”)
O-RING (17A. *Gasket type)
P. DIDDY (127A. *One of Sean Combs’s aliases)
Q-TIP (83D. *Little swab)
R-VALUE (6A. *Insulation measure)
S-TYPE (73D. *Midsize Jaguar)
T-TOP (100A. *Vette option)
U-HAUL (43D. *Thing that won’t go off without a hitch?)
V-SIX (68A. *It may be under a hood)
W-TWO (94D. *I.R.S. form)
Y CHROMOSOME (116A. *Women just don’t get it)
Z-AXIS (64D. *3-D graph line)

Other — ARISE, fair sun, and kill the envious moon”: Romeo; BIRD DOGS (16D. Pointers); BENAZIR ((118A. Former Pakistani P.M. Bhutto); BREAMS (90D. Bluegills); CEL (76A. One carrying a toon); CAROLS (98A. Numbers by a door?); IN DRAG (4D. Cross-dressing); LUMP SUM (57A. Payment type); MARCONI (58D. 1909 Physics Nobelist for work in wireless telegraphy); MARIANAS Trench (earth’s deepest depression); MUSIC (52D. Shakespeare’s “food of love”); NO DRAMA (92D. Obama nickname); NUS and ENS (42A. N N N; 45A. N N N); PUSH UP (32D. Exercise one is prone to do); RABBI (6D. Bar mitzvah party); TERNE (111D. Lead/tin alloy); TILDES (22A. They’re found in año after año).

Now‘s as good a time as any to run this again...

Click on image to enlarge.

Puzzle available on the internet at

Remaining clues — ACROSS: 1. Yo, she was Adrian; 18. Bedridden, say; 19. Debilitates; 24. Oscar snubber of 1972; 25. Frequently pierced place; 28. It may go off the road, briefly; 30. Taxco table; 31. Winds; 32. Nanki-___ of “The Mikado”; 38. Swindle, slangily; 39. One of the Blues Brothers; 46. Stocks up; 49. Slant; 50. Shelled; 53. Pilot’s mileau; 55. Darn; 58. Workplace for a cabin boy; 59. Hot times on the Riviera; 61. 12-Across and the like; 62. Tag sale tag; 63. Opposite of Guerra; 65. ___ Mode, female character in “The Incredibles”; 67. ___ Kadiddlehopper, Red Skelton character; 69. The third one is a shocker; 71. Barks; 74. Numerical prefix; 78. The year 640; 79. “Give it ___!”; 80. Honoree’s place; 84. Small; 85. .___; 89. Maurice of Nixon’s cabinet; 90. King protector; 91. Bottle in the kitchen or bath; 93. When the word “safari”; 96. Coach Parseghian; 97. Going ___; 101. Actress Sofer; 103. Light bulb over one’s tête?; 104. “Awesome!”; 105. Shelter org.; 108. Skewer; 114. Skeletal opening?; 120. Spanish pastry; 122. Last-second bidder on e-Bay; 123. Marathoner’s need; 124. Mountain homes; 126. Like a turkey’s wattle; 128. Steak ___. — DOWN: 1. Tribal heads?; 3. Melodious speaking tones; 5. Author who won a posthumous Pulitzer in 1958; 7. Spreading fast on YouTube; 8. Country singer Jackson and others; 9. Jenny ___ a k a the Swedish Nightingale; 10. Grand Forks sch.; 11. ___ trip; 14. Saturn’s spouse; 15. Flatten, in a way; 20. Inlet; 21. Like some winks; 23. Trig ratio; 27. Bunches; 33. Places where some R.N.’s work; 35. Took the part of; 37. Deli array; 38. Sting’s instrument; 40. Repeated cry in Buster Poindexter’s “Hot Hot Hot”; 41. ___ point; 44. Hit; 46. Mingles (with); 47. They may have keys; 48. Scranton-to-Philadelphia dir.; 51. Like some amusement parks; 57. Vegas opening?; 60. Some drum parts; 66. The Queen of Soul, familiarly; 68. Colorado ski area; 70. Dockworker’s org.; 75. Coax; 77. Harry Shearer’s program on public radio; 78. Kind of income; 79. Beelike; 81. Call letters?; 85. Govt. flu-fighting org.; 86. Mouths; 96. Oil company acronym; 99. Grasping; 102. Town in Umbria; 105. Nose-burning; 106. Bit; 107. Lackluster; 109. Old man; 110. “Um … er …”; 112. Dumbbell abbr.; 113. Call, e.g.; 116. Doctor Zhivago; 117. How many oldies get re-released; 119. Not go straight; 120. Limit; 121. “If only ___ listened …”.

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