Thursday, March 12, 2015
Puzzle by Ellen Lauschner and Jeff Chen
Edited by Will Shortz
Two 2×2 blocks of black squares to be imagined as containing the word FIRE, surrounded by entries that require the word as part of their answers, constitutes the main feature of this hot little Thursday crossword:
WILD[FIRE] (9D. Metaphor for quick-spreading success)
SPIT[FIRE] (10D. British W.W. II plane)
[FIRE]-LIT (34D. Like a hearth)
[FIRE] AXE (35D. Emergency tool for breaking down doors)
PLAYS WITH [FIRE] (24A. Risks disaster)
[FIRE] LANE (26A. Illegal place to park)
GUN[FIRE] (28A. Rat-a-tat-tat)
[FIRE] ANTS (29A. Stinging insects)
MIS[FIRE] (31D. Failure)
BON[FIRE] (32D. Feature of a big outdoor party)
[FIRE] SALE (58D. Chapter 11 event, maybe)
[FIRE] EXIT (59D. Building safety feature)
OPEN [FIRE] (47A. Start shooting)
[FIRE]MAN (50A. Many a calendar beefcake)
SURE[FIRE] (53A. Impossible to fail)
[FIRE] IN THE HOLE (54A. Warning before a detonation … and a hint to 16 of this puzzle’s answers)
Other — ARACHNID (8D. Scorpion or tick), ARBOR DAY (40D. Annual April celebration), BROWSES (57A. Goes on Safari, say), CD TOWER (22A. Jewel case display unit), I’D SAY SO (4D. “Yep, sounds about right!”), LOST ARTS (3D. Letter writing and sentence diagramming, it’s said), Marvel supervillain Norman OSBORN a.k.a. the Green Goblin, POOLSIDE (41D. Relaxing in a cabana chair, maybe), SEMI-SOFT (38D. Like Havarti cheese).
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Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES — Crossword Puzzles and Games.