01.03.08 -- High and Dry

29D. JINNI (Bottled spirit) -- illustration from Disney's "Aladdin"


Thursday, January 3, 2008

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Puzzle by Henry Hook, edited by Will Shortz

The author of today’s puzzle, Henry Hook, is a sort of JINNI (29D. Bottled spirit). He’ll do what he needs to when it needs to be done -- I’m sure if his lamp gets rubbed a little now and then, he’ll pop out ready to grant a few wishes!

The Henry Hook crossword this Thursday is a beauty -- well, all his crosswords are, it’s probably just me that gets rubbed the wrong way -- but, he does have a way with words!

MORTONSALTGIRL (16A. Ad icon since 1914); PENGUIN (37A. Oswald Cobblepot’s nom de crime); MARYPOPPINS (11D. Caretaker for the Banks household); and CHAMBERLAIN (24D. Churchill predecessor) are the inter-related entries along with CARRYUMBRELLAS (56A. What 16- and 37-Across and 11- and 24-Down were all known to do).

Fine and dandy -- where did I get hooked today? Count JINNI for sure, along with the entire central portion of the puzzle and it’s nasty clever clues -- 34A. It could easily go up -- FIRETRAP; 29A. One may hold the mayo -- JAR (I had BLT); REUSE, 31D. Do something else with -- (I had WTF); and, unfamiliarity with Oswald Cobblepot. Anyone who says they know everything is a puerile prevaricator -- in today’s middle section, I knew nothing -- not even ARGON, or rather it’s definition -- 30D. Element whose name roughly means “lazy”.

I’ll not take you down the memory lane of the solution process -- I find it tedious to read of those trials and tribulations -- there’s so much more to doing a crossword puzzle than grasping a pen and gasping for breath while gaping at the clock! If those folk eat or drive the same way they do crosswords -- I’ll be left at the table alone and very gladly walk home!

TEEPEE (25A. Crow’s nest?) -- how do we spell this?; BLUENOSE (41A. Prig) -- must be a New England expression; REACTS (45D. Isn’t stoic) -- I wrote in SWEATS, I was in the sauna; PETSHOP (4D. Place to pick up a puppy) -- reminded me of a song; SPLEEN (12D. Ill will) -- seemed very Shakespearean; TOUSLES (43D. Dishevels) -- just wouldn’t come into focus; ANXIOUS (52A. Impatient) -- I’m not; XMAS (54A. Opening day?) -- hard clue, especially for someone who doesn’t get presents.

Other middle-sized entries -- SHIATSU (19A. Acupressure technique); ANNIE (5D) and ARCHIE (22A. Regular at Kelsey’s Bar, on TV); ATONE (32A. Mend); GREER (44A. “The Female Eunuch” author); MONET (47A. Cezanne colleague); BERGEN (48A. Recipient of a 1937 wooden Oscar); HOUSES (50A. Contains); HORSE (50D. Silver, for one) and WAHOO (28A. Rebel yell).

ROUE and MOUE (13A. Pleasure seeker; and 47D. Grimace), along with the Shortzesque twin-clued ARM and LEG (1D and 42D. Half a huge cost?) lead the clever four-letter parade of entries which are fresh or freshly clued -- ALEE, ALMS, APSE, ASAP, ATOP, AWAY, DAIS (63A. Roast setting), EARN, EAST, EELS, ESSE, IBIS, NICE, OHIO, PISA, PURE, RASA (23D. Tabula description), REAP, SCAT (7D. Ignore the lyrics?), SNAG, SOSA, TILE, TINE, and WETS.

Even the three-letter entries are a treat -- ARG, ASS, ETA, FEE, GBS, INE, JAR, LAO, LEI, OUR, PAW, REG, RNA, SAL, STA, TIE, TOO, TUT, WEE, YAM, and YEW.

Remember -- getting there is half the fun!


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

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.

Across: 1. Having surmounted; 5. Semicircular room; 9. Poor box contents; 13. Pleasure seeker; 14. Respectable; 15. Obtain; 20. Tree sacred to Druids; 29. One may hold mayo; 32. Mend; 33. “Hurry!”; 36. Candied side dish; 38. Boxer’s hand; 43. Backsplash component; 46. Bach’s “Partita No. 6 ___ Minor”; 51. ___ Paradise, protagonist of “On the Road”; 62. Antler feature; 63. Roast setting; 64. Big ___ Conference; 65. Reason to say “Now what do we do?”; 66. Being, to Brutus; 67. First batter to hit a home run against every Major League Baseball team. Down: 2. Unduly; 3. Lord’s Prayer start; 5. Musical with the song “Easy Street”; 6. Arno city; 6. Sniggler’s take; 9. Bol. Neighbor; 10. Ring around the collar?; 17. Allegheny + Monongahela; 18. Famous nine-year-old king; 21. Itty-bitty; 22. Vacationing; 26. Have coming; 27. Fraternity chapter; 34. Charge; 35. Undo a lead; 37. Untarnished; 39. Out of harm’s way; 40. Moistens; 44. Literary monogram; 49. Passing obstruction?; 53. Art class figure; 55. Everglades denizen; 57. Genetics abbr.; 58. ___ U.S. Pat. Off.; 59. Seven-faced doctor of film; 60. Ninny; 61. RR bldg.


Ellen said...

Henry Hook lives in Brooklyn, though he was in the Boston area several years ago.

DONALD said...

Damn! I hope it's in Red Hook!