10.15.08 -- Baby, Etc.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Puzzle by Kevin G. Der, edited by Will Shortz
Four groups of interrelated entries can be extracted from today’s crossword, baby starts, media/computer, conversation/attitude, and people.
BABY (53D. Word before the starts of 16-, 36- and 58-Across and 10-, 14- and 33-Down) unites the entries of GRANDPOOBAH (16A. Self-important sort); SITBACKANDRELAX (36A. Chill); TALKISCHEAP (58A. Words to a blowhard); BLUEWHALE (10D. Krill-eating creature); BOOMSHAKALAKA (14D. Hoops announcer’s “Slam dunk!”); and STEPSONIT (33D. Wastes no time) resulting in the non-entries of baby grand, baby sit, baby talk, baby blue, Baby Boom, and baby steps.
Another group in the puzzle is computer/media related -- BBC (10A. Media grp. With a royal charter); BMI (61A. Ascap counterpart); CHAT (28A. Online activity); DATA (24D. What pollsters need); IPHONE (13A. Macworld 2007 debut); RIP (65A. Copy, as from CD to PC); TEXT (30D. Communicate with without speaking); URL (18A. WWW address); and WEBCAMS (26D. Videoconferencing devices).
NAMEIT (66A. “Anything you want”) heads the group possessing a variety of conversation, attitudes and the like, including ABHOR (9D. Can’t stand); ASAJOKE (44A. In fun); 31D. “Just ASEC!” (“Hold on!”); CRAW (25A. Sticking point?); DEEM (24A. Consider); HALE (35A. In fine fettle); KOS (38D. Some W.B.A. wins); 54D. “This one’s ONME”; OPENTO (63A. Not dismissive of); SAD (50A. Needing a 53-Across) and BOOST (53A. Spirits lifter); SMUG (47A. Self-important); UTTER (48D. Give voice to) WARMSTO (26A. Grows fond of); -- boom shaka laka, sit back and relax grand poobah, talk is cheap!
People in the puzzle include ); ALI (59D. The Fight of the Century fighter); ANN (57A. Beattie or Blyth); AMATI (51D. Rare strings); BAND (55A. Halftime crew); BORG (11D. Villainous “Star Trek” collective with “the”); CPA (60D. Books reviewer, for short); ELIA (62A. Director Kazan); JONI (45D. “Big Yellow Taxi” singer Mitchell); OPRAH (2D. She played Sofia in “The Color Purple”); PEPPER (6D. Fab Four’s “Sgt.”); PROS (20A. Whizzes); ROK (41A. “M*A*S*H” soldier); THANE (3D. Macbeth, e.g.).
With those four groups out of the way, the miscellany remaining of any size includes ASSET (31A. It’s a plus) and ATEST (42A. Bikini event); DEPOT (52D. Greyhound stop); HIGHS (1D. Some daily temperatures); HOTTIP (1A. Tout’s offering) along with ODDSON (46D. Heavily favored); MACHETE (22D. Jungle clearer); OMEGA (21A. Literally, “great O”); SCENE (50D. Postcard feature).
The fill includes ACME (56A. Road Runner cartoon company), BLIP and BURB, COED, COLA and COPA, ELEC, ERA, HANG, HOE, IND, LOO and LODE, OREM, PEA, PUBS, RAKE, SHE, SILO, TON and TONG, YETabout that BABY!
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Xword information -- Across: Subject of Mendel’s study of genetics; 14. Many a commuter’s home, for short; 15. Head of London?; 19. Pend; 23. Any ship; 34. Break ground?; 40A. “Juice”: Abbr.; 49. Sourdough’s strike; 64. As of now. Down: 4. Grab, as an ice cube; 5. The Colts, on a scoreboard; 7. Trivia contest locales; 8. Victorian ___; 12. Caffeine source; 17. Utah’s “Family City U.S.A.; 25. Like many dorms; 27. Capacity unit; 3. Barn neighbor; 37. Mountaineer’s grip; 39. Croupier’s tool; 55. Control tower image.

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