12.22.07 -- Quadrupuzzle II

Empty Mask, Rene Magritte 1928 -- Words in Images
Saturday, December 22, 2007

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Puzzle by Harvey Estes, edited by Will Shortz
The construction -- it’s like four yoyos on a single string. Neat trick! Crossword puzzles, linked together in the center by eight letters around a black square have a foreboding appearance -- why? It’s the same as having four small crosswords -- each quadrant must be solved separately. As much use as any letter is from another section, the center might as well be closed completely, causing no angst to the solver. See 12.01.07 -- Quadrupuzzle.
Puzzle 1 (Upper left): 1A. PRESSURE, Lobby say (not asking for your PSI this time); 13A. RELOANED, Made further advances (a suggestive clue?); 15A. IDEALISM, Lofty pursuit (a lot of entries in this puzzle are here due to their common-letter qualifications); 17A MAGRITTE, The Treachery of Images” painter (that pipe, I don’t get it); 19. SIENESE, Some Tuscans (one less E, the clue could be “Gary of films”); 21. TRADES, Sporting news (more common letters). 1D. PRIM, Perhaps a little too neat; 2D. “His eyes are REDAS fire with weeping”: Shak.; 3D. ELEGIT, Creditor’s writ (if that doesn’t give pause, what will?); 4D. SOARER, One on the way up?; 5D. SALINA, Kansas city; 6D. UNITED, One; 7D. RESTSEASY, Is relaxed; and 8D. EDMEESE, Dick Thornburgh’s predecessor in the cabinet.
So, that’s the picture, lots of A’s, E’s, L’s, R’s, S’s and T’s, all dressed up with clues that seem to be ashamed of their partners -- it repeats for the three remaining mini-puzzles. No J’s, K’s, Q’s, W’s, X’s, or Z’s -- be on all ALERTS, we’re only packing SARDINES in this tin of four six-square crosswords!
Puzzle 2 (Upper right): Across -- 9. Where one can retire young?; 14. Singles player; 16. Really moving, musically; 18. Whipps candy bar maker; 20. Caret indication; 22. French teacher; 23. Gizmo that measures gas properties; 31. Online registration creations. Down -- 9. Worse in quality, slangily; 10. Artist who was a founder of the Pre-Raphaelites; 11. Encrypted?; 12. Stages of space exploration; 16. Upper parts of piano duets.
It’s tempting to do a Dr. Seuss parody on this puzzle -- EDMEESE, REESES, CHEESIER, SIENESE, SEAMAN, ESSENE, ASSESSES, SERASERA, RESTSEASY, et cetera.
Puzzle 3 (Lower left): Across -- 25. Back to back: Fr.; 32. Tony-nominated “Pippin” actress; 34. Watergate judge; 40. Deck figure; 43. Kind of hero; 46. Mushroom producers; 48. Impetuses for some outrageous acts; 50. They, in Sao Paulo. Down -- 25. Opposite of encourage; 26. ORIENTAL shorthair (cat breed); 27. Que follower; 28. Hostilities; 29. Transfers to another vessel, maybe; 30. Long-armed redheads.
I suppose one can admire the ability to pack these entries together in such big chunks -- and with the obtuse clues, it does make for good puzzlement.
Puzzle 4 (Lower right): Across -- 35. San Diego suburb; 41. Puts down; 44. Big herbicide producer; 47. Natural wave catcher; 49. Comparison basis; 51. Eyeballs. Down -- 24. Roadsters; 33. Colorado city on the Rio Grande; 36. Targets of those catching some rays?; 37. Early Palestinian; 38. Museum of archaeology display; 39. Son of Aphrodite; 42. Indication of wonderment; 45. Traffic regs., e.g.
That’s it, and take a look -- only four four-letter entries, PRIM, CRIB, ELAS, and ORDS, with not a single three-letter entry.
I've said it before, I'll probably say it again and again -- “If a puzzle is to puzzle, this puzzle puzzles!”
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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dann walsh said...


this one busted my...


DONALD said...

Bruised mine!

Unknown said...

The online version had a different clue for 16 across (Upper parts of piano duets) which would be Primo and therefore make that quadrant very difficult if not impossible.

DONALD said...


I must have completed it after a change was made, if that's so -- meaning 16A and 16D were somehow duplicated -- I don't know...

Unknown said...

Nice of you not to say "Dummy, you got across and down mixed up." J.