Ken Griffey, Jr.; Harry Connick, Jr.; Robert Downey, Jr. and Sammy Davis, Jr.
Puzzle by Joel Fagliano / Edited by Will Shortz
The note accompanying this solid Thursday crossword, “Some of the black squares in this puzzle's grid provide a hint to the four longest Down answers”, refers to the two monstrous black brackets posing as the letter “J” and the letter “r”, dividing the crossword into seven small puzzles connected by the four long answers, e.g., KEN GRIFFEY (4D. Baseball star), HARRY CONNICK (5D. Jazz/pop singer), ROBERT DOWNEY (20D. Actor) and SAMMY DAVIS (29D. Singer/dancer/actor), all four being JRs.
Other — Two more juniors, ISAAC (25D. Deep-voiced Hayes) and BARACK (48A. Presidential first name) with U S OF A (57A. Old Glory’s land, for short) are hanging out on the left side of the crossword. HOME GAMES, I’M ON A ROLL, PILES INTO and SWING VOTE are the long crosses.
Mid-size — AXIOMS (28D. They’re universally accepted), DODECA (23D. Twelve: Prefix), MERGERS (19A. One area of corporate law), ORIGAMI (22D. Paper tiger, e.g.), REEFER and SMOKE (20A. One getting hit on at a party?; 18A. Camel, e.g.), SWEATER (53A. Knit pick?).
Short stuff — ABAR, AFEW, ALLY, AMOS and AMOR, ASIF and ASIT, BUDS, CAY, CSI, DOME, DSL, ELSE, ETTE, GAEA (15D. Mother Earth), HALF, HARD, KAHN (24D. Architect Louis), KIWI, LEGS, MIME, MOMA, MVPS, NAME, ODO, OLD, PROF, RASH, RAY, REL, REOS, ROVE, SAT, SDAK (1A. It's bisected by the Missouri R.), SEES, SHIM, SILL, SPA, TAKE, TONE, WIL, YEAH, YSER.
By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right,
he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong.
~ Charles Wadsworth
Click on image to enlarge.
Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES — Crossword Puzzles and Games.
Remaining clues — ACROSS: 1. It’s bisected by the Missouri R.; 5. Fatiguing; 9. Drain; 14. About half of many schedules; 16. Bygone coins; 17. Gambler’s jubilant cry; 21. Beam; 22. “Deep space Nine” role; 24. Only bird with nostrils on the tip of its beak; 27. Chocolate substitute; 29. It has 10 sections; 32. “Yeah, right!”; 34. “A rabbi, a priest and a duck walk into ___ …” 36. Soccer period; 37. Third-longest river in Africa; 38. Home to van Gogh’s “The Starry Night,” in brief; 39. It may be assumed; 41. Sportswriters’ picks, for short; 42. Islet; 44. “Couldn’t agree more”; 45. Series of grisly cases; 46. No longer used; 58. Figure in a 5-4 Supreme Court decision; 60. Summer Olympics athlete; 61 Enters as a disorderly group; 62. Stays awake nights, maybe; 63. Associate; 64. Gets. — DOWN: 1. Thin wedge; 2. Nonrectangular part of a skyline; 3. Theme for Julio Iglesias; 6. Book after Joel; 7. First Amendment subj.; 8. Verizon service; 9. Additionally; 10. Street performer; 11. T.A., someday?; 12. Bit of filming; 13. North Sea feeder; 26. TV mother of Pebbles; 30. Over; 31. City known as the Big Guava; 35. Without consideration; 47. Stems, so to speak; 48. Some brew skis; 49. ___ were; 50. Not stay put; 51. Not too many; 52. Hit 2006 Disney-Pixar film; 53. Place for a potted plant; 54. Timbre; 55. Cigar’s end?; 56. Flying Cloud and Royale 8; 58. Place for complimentary bathrobes; 59. Actor Wheaton.