10.04.07 -- Спутник

Thursday, October 4, 2007
Puzzle by Sheldon Benardo, edited by Will Shortz
Fifty years ago today, Sputnik 1 (Спутник-1) was the first artificial satellite to be put into geocentric orbit. Launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957, it was the first satellite of the Sputnik program, and it began the so-called Space Race.
SPUTNIK (38A Newsmaker of October 4, 1957); SATELLITE (11D 38-Across, e.g.); SPACERACE (32D Event started by 38-Across); YURIGAGARIN (17A Leading Russian in the 32-Down); and ALANSHEPARD (60A Leading American in the 32-Down) are the inter-related entries in today's crossword puzzle commemorating the historic event of a half-century ago.
I love this puzzle -- it is as timely as a crossword puzzle can be, e.g. making note of anniversaries, holidays, seasons, and events of the past that occur on the date of the publication of the puzzle. This crossword doesn’t just throw the entries into the grid, the outer four are perfectly symmetrical, spinning around the central entry of SPUTNIK -- or if looked at another way, they are its four antennae.
Technology is further represented in the form of ARES (33A NASA launch vehicle); STARDATE (38D Enterprise log entry); ABOMBS (5A W.W. II blast makers); and EARHART (48A “20 Hrs., 40 Min.” author, 1928).
Humanity -- PANG (1A Twinge) and TIC (62A Twitch) (non-identical twins clues, still very Shortzesque!); BEG (6D Have a hand out, say); AMOR patriae (14A) (love of country) and DICTA (45 Orders); ESTEEM (20A Regard); MINDSETS (21A Attitudes); TENDTO (63A Personally handle); RENDS (51D Tears) and URGE (64A Egg on); AMUSE (2D Beguile) and GRIEVES (4D Distresses); ROAST (41 Be hot under the collar) and STRUT (24D Show pride, in a way); STARE (53D Intimidate, in a way, with “down”) and AVOW (28D Profess).
Finality is also present with the entries “No EXIT (12D); SELL (22D Dump, e.g.); HEWN (29D Chopped); SENDBACK (10D Remit); and ENDSUP (66A Finishes).
Remaining acrosses: SEA (11 Realm of Proteus, in Greek myth); REBALE (15 Pack again, as hay); AXL Rose (16); TIE (19 One to one, e.g.); REEVE (23 Pilgrim in Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales"); SANIBEL (24 Florida island resort); ERST (25 Once, once); ALLAH (27 Prayer word); BASS (30 Paul McCartney played it for the Beatles); CLIVE (36 Record producer Davis); AMP (37 Connection for an electric guitar); TOW (40 Result of a road emergency); TAOS (43 New Mexico county or its seat); SEWN (44 Basted); RHEE (46 Korea’s Syngman); LASSO (52 Catch on the range); FERNDALE (56A Detroit suburb named for the plants the area was once overgrown with) (now we know!); SILTED (58 Blocked, as a harbor, with “up”); Victorian ERA (59); ACE (65 Bridge topper?); and PEER (67 Earl, for one).
Downs: PAYER (1 One with checks and balances?); NORTE (3 Durango direction); ARAM (5 Composer Khachaturian); OBAMA (7 Future senator who delivered the 2004 Democratic convention keynote address); MARIN (8 California county); BLINI (9 Shrovetide dish); ALES (13 Stein fillers); GEER (18 “The Waltons” actor); SAP (26 Bonehead); BARD (30 Odist, e.g.); AMOI (Parisian possessive) ETA Pi (dessert lover’s fraternity?) (34D) (groan); SNORT (35 Stallion’s sound); ISH (39 Suffix with sheep or goat); STAN (42 1972 Wimbledon winner Smith); SEALPUP (44 Arctic newborn); ELIE (47 First name at the 1986 Nobel Prize ceremony); Van HALEN (49) “ALAND flowing with milk and honey” (Canaan, in the Bible) (50); SERGE (54 Suit material); ODDER (Comparatively unconventional); FETA (56 Kind of cheese); ERIC (57 Newsman Sevareid); SHOP (58 Butcher’s, baker’s or candlestick maker’s); and STU (61 Disco guy on “The Simpsons”).
What a wonderful puzzle!


On a final note, let us today remember ASTA, TOTO, and ENOS:
Pet Blessings 2007 -- Christians everywhere celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi on October 4 by blessing their pets in the spirit of this patron saint of animals and ecology. Pet blessing locations in the United States HERE.

For today's cartoon, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.

The New York Times Crossword Puzzle solution above is by the author of this blog and does not guarantee accuracy. If you find errors or omissions, you are more than welcome to make note of same in the Comments section of this post -- any corrections found necessary will be executed promptly upon verification.
Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yeah. amazing thoughts.