Sunday, January 12, 2014
It’s Only ‘A’ Game, Puzzle by Andrew Chaikin / Edited by Will Shortz
Fourteen overwrought clues with mundane answers utilizing only the vowel A constitutes the main feature of this Sunday crossword:
CASABLANCA (22A. Grand-slam drama that stars Bacall’s man)
FA LA LA LA LA (24A. Half an Xmas “Halls” chant)
STAR WARS (38A. Astral saga that has a Darth part)
A MAN A PLAN A CANAL PANAMA (63A. Fab “backward-gram” à la “Sam, aha Bahamas!”)
RASTA MAN (87A. Black cat that packs grass and chants “Jah”)
MAGNA CARTA (106A. Landmark vassal law act)
BALACLAVAS (108A. Warm mask/cap amalgams)
ALAN ALDA (4D. “M*A*S*H” star)
CATCH AS CATCH CAN (28D. Haphazard)
BAFTA AWARDS (36D. Gala that saw “Black Swan,” “Avatar” and “Ab Fab” attract claps)
BLACK AND TAN (37D. Bar glass that’s half Bass, half dark malt)
SAND MANDALA (38D. Lama’s art that can’t last)
ABRA CADABRA (39D. “Shazam!”)
ANAGRAMS (81D. Flashback and halfbacks)
Other across — LAB ANIMAL (20A. Text subject); Count CHOCULA; Kris KROSS (music duo); Segway inventor Dean KAMEN; TOADIES (73A. Kowtowers); ICOSA (91A. Prefix with -hedron); PYROMANIA (111A. Burning desire)
Down — WEASEL (9D. “Pop” goer); CLANS (10D. Online gaming guilds); PALOMA (13D. Picasso’s designer daughter); MILDREW (14D. Tilex target); LALO Schifrin; Designer STELLA McCartney; Comedian Margaret CHO; Jackie CHAN; TURN-ON (88D. Source of excitement); A TEAM (89D. TV/movie group associated with this puzzle’s theme); SATAN (95D. The Adversary).
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Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES — Crossword Puzzles and Games.