11.20.11 — COUNTDOWN

Beyoncé - a frame from the video Countdown


Sunday, November 20, 2011

FIGURE IT OUT, Puzzle by Trip Payne / Edited by Will Shortz

This won’t spoil anything — COUNTDOWN is the end result of this tedious Sunday crossword, clued by PUT NINE LETTERS IN ORDER (63A. How to get this puzzle’s final word) — why? — The solver will be hard-pressed to bother with the afterthought, boldly and almost rudely commanded by the title of the crossword (FIGURE IT OUT), headed by the note: “In some squares of this crossword (as indicated by slashes), the Across and Down answers do not actually cross. Write both parts in the squares. Then use the central Across answer to interpret them properly to spell an appropriate final word.” If that is not enough to qualify as tedium, in the online version of this puzzle it is noted that the slashes are replaced by circles, and the program will accept either one of the answers that goes in that square, but not both (because of electronic restrictions). Figure it out? Count me out!


Click on image to enlarge.

Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES — Crossword Puzzles and Games.
Remaining clues — ACROSS: 1. ___ World Tour (sports circuit); 4. Stew; 8. Comedian Nora; 12. School hall feature; 18. Rank in kendo; 19. Article’s start, to a journalist; 20. Former New York governor Cuomo; 21. Like some moving estimates; 22. Justice Fortas; 23. Computer animation option; 25. Some harvesters; 26. Calculator symbol; 28. The “B” of B&N; 29. Lincoln ___ (L.A. neighborhood); 31. “___ You Glad You’re You?”; 32. Fill-in; 33. Teeing off; 34. Mountain in Deuteronomy; 36. X-ray units; 37. Settee settings; 39. Gourmet’s treat; 41. Paid, with “up”; 42. Within the grace period?; 45. Thuggish sorts; 49. Armored truck company; 50. Is persistent at an auction; 51. Alternately; 52. Ill-gotten gains; 53 Signs; 54. Dieter’s unit: Abbr.; 55. The Great Commoner; 56. Front of a coin: Abbr.; 59. Aunt ___ (“Star Wars” character); 60. Lead-in to 1812 or attrition; 62. Stat that may be “adjusted”; 63. How to get this puzzle’s final word; 69. Suffix with malt; 70. You can believe it; 71. Way off; 72. Furthermore; 73. Burned out; 75. You go by one in Québec; 76. Strike down; 77. Season Pass offered; 81. Some ninths; 83. Rattlesnake, at times; 84. Singer Morissette; 86. 2011 International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee; 87. Bob Marley’s group, with “the”; 88. Vodka source; 89. Not ethereal; 91. County northwest of San Francisco; 92. Traumatize; 95. Men in the middle of the peerage; 96. Takes a bit off; 99. La Città Eterna; 101. Trojan War figure; 103. “I’d never have suspected!”; 104. Veep before Spiro; 105. Gurus’ titles; 106. Oscar winner for “Cocoon,” 1985; 108. “My sources say no” source; 111. Years, to Yves; 113. Like some accents; 114. Item to thrust; 115. “Details forthcoming”: Abbr.; 116. Pants; 117. Prudential Center team; 118. - 119. “___ questions?” — DOWN: Make fit; 2. Dinner date request; 3. Zithromax treats it; 4. Sitcom waitress; 5. Cardinals; 6. Awards with a “Best Fact Crime” category; 7. Will’s ex-wife on “Glee”; 8. Morse bits; 9. Swiss canton; 10. Seasonal saint; 11. Hole in the head; 12. Cap; 13. Fit to be called up; 14. Fruit-flavored soft drink; 15. Emperor Taejo united it; 16. Correct; 17. Is quiet; 20. Video file format; 24. “Dear ___ Landers”; 27. Watching without being watched; 30. Jiffy; 34. Minds; 35. Sci-fi series set in the 23rd century; 38. “Yikes!”; 39. It was first broken in 1954; 40. Monitor inits.; 41. “Independent Lens” network; 42. Puzzler; 43. Come back from adjournment; 44. “Awake in the Dark” author; 46. Wasn’t lackadaisical; 47. ___ nous; 48. Chi Cygni, for one; 51. Italian province or seaport; 54. Desk chair features; 57. Short while; 58. One step up from a four-cylinder; 60. King, for example; 61. Rock’s ___ Fighters; 63. Politicians’ supporters, sometimes; 64. Incorporating; 65. Singer Marie; 66. Grandson of Adam; 67. Send away; 68. Certain muscles; 74. Oscar-nominated sci-fi film of 2009; 76. Besmirches; 78. Ladylove; 79. Thiamine; 80. Spanish bear; 82. Intel interpreter, for short; 83. TV award discontinued in 1997; 84. Ardent adherents; 85. Actor Chaney; 87. Electrical worker; 90. Conversation stopper; 91. Over-the-shoulder garment; 92. Sends millions of unwanted messages, say; 93. Animal crackers animal; 94. Georgia Dome, e.g.; 96. Color whose name is French for “flea”; 97. Blood type system; 98. Rise up; 100. Appraise; 102. Most-quoted author in the O.E.D.: Abbr.; 104. #1’s, e.g.; 107. Chicago trains; 109. Kind of course; 110. CBS’s Moonves.


Anonymous said...

Loved your explanation on this puzzle. What made the whole thing more bizarre: if you download and print the PDF version (what I usually do), it prints a second page -- the KEY. That has never happened before. Why give a key to a puzzle that you haven't even started?

Horrible excuse for a Sunday puzzle.

Leon said...

Countdown video was cool.

cellochic said...

Love these puzzles.....but not this one! As I usually do, I kept at it, but for the first time, glad when it was done. Looking forward to next Sunday's....got to be much better than this one.