12.28.07 -- Alphabet Soup

Friday, December 28, 2007

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Puzzle by John Farmer, edited by Will Shortz

Whatever can be said or not said about this crossword puzzle, it is full of seldom-seen entries accompanied by brutal cluing. Additionally, every letter in the alphabet is included -- some would call it a pangram, which it is not; but it could be called pangramish, which is about as clumsy a definition as possible outside of perhaps an alphabet soup. The very symmetrical diagram (or grid), with its double-cross and anchored edges is an attractive one at which to gaze!

The 15-square LANDOCALRISSIAN (14A Sci-fi character whose name is an anagram of CAROLINA ISLANDS) and MEMBERSOFTHEBAR (53A Some licensed practioners); with the 14-square entries, JENNIFER LOPEZ (11A Singer with the #1 hit “All I Have“) and QUICKBROWNFOX (56A Exercise animal?) utilize most of the alphabet with the exception of V, Y, and G, which can be plucked from VALOR (43D Pluck); POTSY (57A Hopscotch); and OMEGA (26D Corinthian conclusion).

Rarefied definitions coupled with unusual entries make any puzzle more difficult, and today’s crossword is replete:

Across: 1. Algonquian Indian tribe; 6. Went sniggling; 16. Otoscope user, for short; 17. Have quite enough for; 18. MedWatch agcy.; 21. Chalon-sur-SAONE, France; 22. “The Da Vinci Code” priory; 23. “Half ALOAF … “; 25. Bygone Ford; 26. Place to find a C-note?; 27. Climber’s support; 29. Indian pastries; 31. DON Herbert, TV’s Mr. Wizard; 32. 100 qintars; 33. Hands out; 37. Constellation between Cygnus and Pisces; 41. They’re plucked; 42. Bird: Prefix; 44. Star ANISE; 45. “ASET of Six” (Joseph Conrad story collection); 46. “A parlor utensil for subduing the impenitent visitor”: Ambrose Bierce; 48. 1950s British P.M.; 49. Mooring site; 50. Stuffed with cheese, in Mexican cooking; 52. D-Day arena: Abbr.; 58. Tough to dig into, as soil.

Down: 1. Notice; 2. Home of many of 1-Across: Abbr.; 3. A long time in Lisbon; 4. Fuchsite and alurgite; 5. Assuming even that; 6. They’ll give you the run-around; 7. Illuminati; 8. Place, e.g.; 9. 7-in. platters; 10. More than exalts; 11. Sound of change; 12. Mr. Rosewater in Kurt Vonnegut’s “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater”; 13. Butterfly” actress, 1981; 14. Clear the way to; 15. Some babysitters; 20. South Beach, e.g.; 22. Northwest tribe; 24. 2004 Sondheim musical, with “The”; 28. Country INN; 30. It can fill a yard; 33. Elevator button; 34. 1968 hit whose title is repeated three times with “Oh” and then again after “Baby I love you”; 35. Make hot; 36. Passes effortlessly; 37. Miss badly; 38. Seaman in a ceremonial honor guard; 39. Excise on some out-of-state purchases; 40. Mr. abroad; 46. Extra benefits; 47. When a football may be hiked; 50. Geom. Figure; 51. “This is disastrous!”; 54. Pulitzer category, briefly; 55. Red EFT (young amphibian).

Last, but not least -- TGIF (19A “I’m ready for the weekend!”)!

Pegasus - Red flying horse used as the winged mascot for the Exxon Mobil Corporation.


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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