The Forest, illustration by Gustav Doré for Dante’s Inferno
Friday, January 7, 2011
Puzzle by Joe DiPietro, edited by Will Shortz
The Club seems to have felt the SCREWS (1D. Pressure, metaphorically) with this one, losing “precious seconds” contemplating this or that — no problem here, the boiler (e.g., FURNACE, 57A. Source of heat) went down tonight and outside it’s below freezing, creating a vision of a long cold night! Life-long wife does not like the cold, so she did the puzzle while I ran down the service company, keeping company until it was up and running. Now what to do? … Wait!, how about a few quotes from The Club!
“Just when we’ve managed to make it through our week and are looking around for some fluffy brain candy, Joe DiPietro hits us with a puzzle that is filled with misdirection and tough cluing … I still have school-age children …” ~ Deb Amlen
“I very nearly had an unsolvable square or two in the southwest corner, and I had to back into the northwest corner in order to find a foothold in that zone. So there was a touch of Saturday-grade fear but then it all came together for me. Whew!” ~ Amy Reynaldo
“… fine words and phrases all around, and there's nothing particularly unattractive about this grid. But there's not much to love, either, and precious little to comment on … I just (finally) ordered my books for Spring semester today …” ~ Rex Parker
Oh, the angst!
Across — 1. Rome’s SISTINE Choir; 8. Didn’t go out, SAT HOME; 15. Iron-deficient?, CREASED; 16. Subject of 2002 Senate authorization, IRAQ WAR; 17. Unstable, RICKETY; 18. Going by, LAPSING; 19. Glycerides, e.g., ESTERS; 20. Actress Mazar of HBO’s “Entourage”, DEBI; 21. Prefix with biology, EXO; 22. Complaint, WHINE; 23. Fine-tuning, HONING; 25. Gambler’s opening?, SLOT; 26. Person with dreads, RASTA; 27. Bust, RAID; 31. Privy to the gag, IN ON IT; 33. Source of the line “Midway upon the road of our life I found myself within a dark wood …”, INFERNO; 35. Brief online messages, E-NOTES; 36. Apply with force, SLAM ON; 37. Saber rattlers, MENACES; 39. Place name in 1960s TV, PEYTON; 40. Dom Pedro’s ill-fated wife, INÉS; 41. It’s probably played first, SIDE A; 43. P.M. counterpart, PRES; 45. Loud horn, KLAXON; 47. Stayed out?, SLEPT; 48. Palindromic girl, ADA; 51. Departure info?, OBIT; 52. Match venues, STADIA; 53. Seeks, RUNS FOR; 55. Better, as cuts of meat, CHOICER; 56. Bit of change in Cuba, CENTAVO; 57. Source of heat, FURNACE; 58. Bulk up, STOUTEN; 59. Bristles, SEES RED.
Down — 1. Pressure, metaphorically, SCREWS; 2. Overseas fabric spun from flax, IRISH LINEN; 3. Prime seating area at sporting events, maybe, SECTION ONE; 4. Censured, TAKEN TO TASK; 5. French department or a river that runs through it, ISERE; 6. Pulls in, NETS; 7. Ice cream eponym, EDY; 8. Carriage part?, SILENT I … the “I“ is silent?, hmmm… ; 9. Indus outlet, ARABIAN SEA; 10. Hard-to-miss shot, TAP-IN; 11. Command ctrs., HQS; 12. Boo-boo, OWIE; 13. MANX cat; 14. Consequently, ERGO; 20. Mohawk and others, DOS; 23. Lid, HAT; 24. It’s known as “The Prairies” in Canada, GREAT PLAINS; 26. Transcends, RISES ABOVE; 28. Robber’s target, ARMORED CAR; 29. Unbroken, IN ONE PIECE; 30. Get into, DON; 32. Toshiba competitor, NEC; 34. Zipper hider, FLY; 35. Owner of Capitol Records and Parlophone, EMI; 38. Spade mashie, SIX IRON; 39. Cooler, PEN; 42. Point, DOT; 44. Acted rudely, in a way, STARED; 46. Diet, LO-FAT; 47. Lay up, STORE; 48. Indirect lines, ARCS; 49. Puccini’s “O Mimi, tu più non torni”, DUET … with “subtitles“!; 50. ANNO mundi; 52. Actor Andrew of 1990s TV, SHUE; 54. Poker legend Ungar, STU; 55. Ty Cobb and Willie Mays, positionally: Abbr., CFS.
If you like self-revelation from the blogger in crossword commentary, today is as close as it comes here… So, after the boiler repair (a loose wire), I did do the puzzle while I had a hot bowl of soup — after all, it is National Soup Month! In the tradition of The Club, I’ll end today’s post with a question, you know, begging for comments… can you guess the soup? … or should I say, tell me what soup you like! … or just say “Is it soup yet?” I can’t decide… Oh, the angst!
“If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” ~ Harry S Truman
Click on image to enlarge.
Puzzle available on the internet at