01.02.08 -- The Case of the Missing Oboe

Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Puzzle by Patrick Blindauer, edited by Will Shortz
CONNECTALLTHEOS (41A What to do after completing this puzzle, with four straight lines); CLARINET (20A With 59-Across, hint to this puzzle’s secret); RELATIVE (59A See 20-Across) results in an “O” bow -- read that as “Oboe”. Alas, a missing OBOE!
Technically, there is no OBOE in the puzzle. Well, almost -- OTOE (45A Chief Whitehorse, e.g.) could easily have been an OBOE if a LAT (36D 50 degs., maybe) had been a LAB (name your own clue), but alas, no OBOE… ! OBOE is probably one of the most common crossword puzzle entries used -- all the right letters for the right reasons -- today it’s the star!
A large supporting cast of common crossword puzzle entries are played on this “O” bow: LAPD, SPCA, IRON, AGONY, IRAN, CONN, FDA, UNE, MOT, LINE, ISERE, ENIDS, ARMS, EEE, ACH, UHOH, IDLE, ENOLA, NOES, DEAN, LENOX, ASST, ARID -- that’s just across. The familiar tunes going down are CHA, HOG, IPO, TINCT, LAIR, ATRIA, PLANB, SIC, CONDO, TACIT, ONION, TOTO, SASHA, ROMEO, ESSEN, ESTER, FAUNA, ELDER, DALAI, RENEW, HST, LOL, and Rocker AXL Rose!
With all of that, this puzzle is still SWELL (73A. Jim-dandy)!
So, what’s new? Well, the inclusion of both CHITA (1A. Rivera of the original “Chicago) and VERDON (56A. Gwen of the original “Chicago”) -- and that was too easy for me, as I saw the production in 1976. Went back a second time when Liza Minnelli appeared briefly in the show. It was the best musical that year, although it did not win an award for being so -- that was given to the dreadful “A Chorus Line” -- however, “Chicago” won the Oscar for Best Picture when it became a film in 2002.
PROFITEERED (11D. Made a killing, say) and TENNISSHOES (26D. Some court attire) lead the long entries, followed by ABRASION (27A. Souvenir from a bad trip?) and FOSTERED (52A. Promoted). After that, HOTTUB (24A. Honeymoon suite feature), DINERO (9D. Bread for burritos?) (was it yesterday we had DENIRO?); BEVELS (50D. Instruments for drawing angles); and ASYLUM (5D. Sanctuary) help fill all that blank space between “O”s.
Unusual O’s in the puzzle: OLOF (37D. Former Swedish P.M. Palme) threw me off, expecting OLAF. FOB (49A. “The Gift of the Magi” gift) caught me still thinking Christmas instead of O. Henry, but that is a Christmas story! ONE (65D. With 32-Across, a ball game) OCAT (32A. See 65-Down) doesn’t usually get both halves in a puzzle. OCHOS (53D. Spanish skating figures) drew a blank until I typed this and said “D’oh, go figure, figure eight!”
With the “O”’s as the oenomel of the puzzle, odd entries such as ABORC (21D. Multiple-choice choices), OREIDA Foods, Inc. (48D), and ROLO (35A. Chewy candy), the otiose HOG, IPO, CONDO, TOTO, LOL and others, are merely omnium-gatherum.
Okay!...let’s ENDAT (34D. Wrap up by) doing it with a du-“O”!
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Across: 6. “Dragnet” force, in brief; 10. Org. for which a D.V.M. might work; 14. Southwestern sheepherders; 15. Mythical king of the Huns; 16. Press; 17. Unending pain; 18. Ayatollah’s land; 19. N.Y. neighbor; 23. Grp. That conducts many tests; 29. Le Figaro article; 30. Epigram; 33. “Come here often?,” e.g.; 38. River to the Rhone; 44. Children’s author Blyton and others; 46. Subject of illicit trade; 47. Japanese leader of the 1960s; 51. Ample shoe width; 58. Berlin cry; 61. “Yikes!”; 63. Like some hands; 64. ___ Gay (W.W. II plane); 68. Some votes; 69. Cain of “Lois & Clark”; 70. China company; 71. Secy.; 72. Dry. Down: 1. Half a dance; 2. Keep all to oneself; 3. New issue on Wall St.; 4. Color faintly; 6. Dragon’s ___ (early video game); 7. Central courts; 8. Alternative if things go wrong; 10. Order to attack, with “on”; 12. Individually owned apartment; 13. Former U.N. chief Kofi; 21. Multiple-choice choices; 22. Kind of approval; 24. Actor Tom of “Amadeus”; 25. Bialy flavorer; 28. Violinist Schneider, informally; 31. Curtain puller of film; 34. Wrap up by; 39. Beau; 40. City north of Cologne; 42. Any acetate, chemically; 43. Pope after John X; 52. Animals; 54. Cain vis-à-vis Abel; 55. ___ Lama; 57. Freshen; 60. Be inclined; 62. Post W.W. II pres.; 66. Response to a joke in an I.M.


Anonymous said...

I didn't have trouble with this puzzle but I still don't know what an "O" bow is. Is it another name for a bow tie?

DONALD said...

41-Across CONNECTALLTHEOS (Connect all the O's)-- when that is done, the lines made should form what could pass for a facsimile of a bow-tie, ergo, an O bow -- pun, of course, on oboe.

I don't think there is a bow tie referred to as an "O" bow -- but perhaps a polka dot tie could pass muster!