04.29.07 -- Voila Viola!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Click here for LARGE PRINT.

Puzzle by Henry Hook, Edited by Will Shortz
What an odd gathering -- MARKSPITZ (23A …and 25-Across have “canine” surnames), JUNEPOINTER (25A …and 41-Across sang with their siblings), DONNYOSMOND (41A … and 52-Across are Mormons), KENJENNINGS (52A … and 69-Across have affiliations with “Jeopardy!”), MERVGRIFFIN (69A … and 80-Across have mythological creatures as surnames), ETHELMERMAN (80A … and 99-Across starred in musicals and share their first names with a classic-sitcom couple), FREDASTAIRE (99A … and 101-Across are known for their fancy footwork), and CARLLEWIS (104A … and 23-Across are Olympic gold medallists).
Do these people really belong together? All right, maybe Mark and Carl can jaw about the world of sports, Fred and Ethel can sing a duet; but what happens with June, Donny, Merv and Ken -- I’m sure there are possibilities, but what? I get the Spitz and Pointer thing, the Griffin and Merman thing, the Ethel and Fred thing, but the rest of the circle seems out of tune with what appears to be an attempt at a “theme”. I really can’t say anymore about the “circle”, as I want to stay positive -- but I can’t help myself!
It’s been years, I mean years! since any of these people had topicality-- it’s like this puzzle was written a quarter century ago! Why do I have the feeling I’ve done this puzzle before? I had the same feeling about the Thursday, April 19, 2007 puzzle by Henry Hook. However, that was a good solve, fun!
This Sunday construction is plodding, packed with obscure proper names, archaic usage, words no one uses -- ARGO (105A Xena’s horse), TROW (92D Think way back?), HORNY (29D Keratoid), DURST (108A Showed courage old style), CHIRR (89D Cicada sound) -- simple fill with obtuse clues -- (20A LaSalle and DeSoto) AUTO, (21A Concentration thwarter) NOISE, (50D Make fast) STARVE… oh why go on, I guess I just don’t like plodding along with nothing that sparkles a little bit, and the only exception I saw was (22A Something that might be tucked under the chin) VIOLA.
Voila!, a viola! I’ll name today's puzzle for it, post a picture and hope it entertains our sadly mismatched guests!I’m sure if it is Ultra Vi who is playing, everyone will love it!
Left click on any image to enlarge.
Puzzle available on the internet at:
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
If you subscribe to home delivery of The New York Times you are eligible to access the daily crossword via The New York Times - Times Reader, without additional charge, as part of your home delivery subscription.


Linda G said...

After I finished this puzzle, I found myself at a loss for words that would adequately describe the theme. Orange had done a good job, so I just let her take the credit and linked to her blog.

It was nice to solve the puzzle leisurely during the day instead of trying to crunch it when I was already worn out from a busy day : )

Ultra Vi will be happy to see that she made the puzzle (and blogs) again!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Donald,

Thank you for that lovely viola picture! I still remember when you wrote "voila!" in answer to my post and misspelled it "viola!"

Viola! indeed.

I am still squinting at your site (using a mac with no r/l click option) but finding it to be a very pleasurable type of pain.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for making the answers a size able to be read from my notebook computer.

DONALD said...

Ultra Vi

"Select All" option on your Mac should do it -- HOWEVER, just to keep you hanging out, I've established a link at the beginning of the article "Click here for LARGE PRINT" -- try it!

As far as the photos go, there must be an option on Mac to click or double-click on photo -- which enlarges them (one at a time) for your view!

Thanks for your comment -- it is much appreciated. Donald


Did you click on the puzzle for enlargement -- curious, as I am trying to make this a reader-friendly site.

Thanks. Donald


Believe me I know what you're saying -- sometimes these puzzles just leaves one wanting to forget them!

That's when I crank it up and scribble the truth -- e.g., I didn't like it! It makes me feel better about the waste of time!

Listen, your blog -- I read today's -- was just fine! It's just a "not tonight" which leaves us with hope for tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

You did great, Donald - except for one little mistake. 108A is "durst", not "darst."


DONALD said...


Thanks! I should really take the time, when there's any left, to go confirm everything more carefully if I'm going to hang the laundry out in the front yard!

I skipped over AAU due to its being initials and DURST, thinking of darest.

Again thanks, it's been corrected.